World News in Brief: October 23

Wednesday, 2019-10-23 15:04:56
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Chinese and Lao officials signed a document for carrying out China aid projects for poverty alleviation in Laos on Wednesday (October 23) in Lao capital Vientiane.

* Pyongyang is interested in regular dialogue with Moscow through the legislative branches, Pak Thae Song, chairman of the Supreme People's Assembly of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), said in Moscow on Tuesday (October 22).

* British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday was defeated in a vote on his Brexit timetable, meaning his government could push for a general election. Lawmakers voted 308 to 322 to turn down his proposed rapid timetable for Brexit bill. As a result, Johnson has to pause the Withdrawal Agreement Bill.

* The Trump administration's special envoy for Syria and the anti-ISIS (the Islamic State) coalition James Jeffrey said on Tuesday that he was not consulted on President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw US troops from Syria.

* Israeli President Reuven Rivlin decided Tuesday to task opposition leader Benny Gantz with forming a new government after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's failure to do so. Gantz will have 28 days to try to form a governing coalition.

* Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority Mohammad Ishtaye said Tuesday there is no difference between incumbent Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his competitor Benny Gantz.

* An Israeli military drone crashed over Lebanon on Wednesday morning in the vicinity of the border with Israel, the army said. The drone fell adjacent to Israel's border with Lebanon within Lebanese territory.

* The US Senate on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved North Macedonia's accession to NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization). Senators voted 91 to 2 to ratify North Macedonia as the alliance's 30th member state.

* Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi has said that China is confident of reaching an investment deal with the European Union (EU).

* Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic welcomed in Zagreb on Tuesday European Commission's (EC) decision that Croatia had met technical requirements for Schengen Area accession.

* Justin Trudeau avoided becoming the first Canadian prime minister since 1930 to lose power after governing with a first-term majority. Following the 43rd general election, Trudeau's Liberal Party will hold 157 seats in the 338-seat House while the Conservative Party, which received a higher percentage of the popular vote and will remain the official opposition, won 121 seats as of early Tuesday morning.

* The Ukrainian government predicted next year's gross domestic product (GDP) growth to be up to 3.7 percent, Interfax Ukraine reported on Tuesday.

* Chief of Staff of Iranian Armed Forces Mohammad Baqeri on Tuesday warned Iran's "enemies" against any act of aggression against the country.

* Some 800 members of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) have pulled out of the planned safe zone in northern Syria, as part of the US-Turkey cease-fire deal, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday.

* Poland's governing Law and Justice Party (PiS) challenged on Tuesday the results in six constituencies in elections for parliament's upper house (Senate), where its candidates have lost to the opposition.

* An aid convoy reached besieged Yemeni civilians in south of Yemen's port city of Hodeidah for the first time since 2018, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) said Tuesday.

* More than 7,100 refugees have crossed from northeast Syria into Iraq in the past seven days, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said here on Tuesday.

* Tunisian parliament will hold a plenary session on Wednesday for the swearing-in of the newly elected president, Kais Saied, the parliament announced Tuesday.

* The European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia said Tuesday it has rescued seven Somali Navy personnel who were stranded off the coast of Somalia.