World News in Brief: November 16, 2019

Saturday, 2019-11-16 10:45:40
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NDO – The Japanese Immigration Services Agency has published statistics showing that Vietnam led in number of foreigners getting Specified Skilled Worker visas for people with vocational skills in the country.

* Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow welcomed the disengagement of Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists at two flash points in eastern Ukraine.

* The Republic of Korea (RoK)’s Ministry of Unification said it had received an ultimatum from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) about removal of the RoK’s Mt Kumgang tourist resort, while calling on Pyongyang to deal with it through mutual agreement.

* At the 51st Security Consultative Meeting (SCM) in Seoul, the RoK’s Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo and his US counterpart Mark Esper affirmed that the agreement on military cost-sharing between Washington and Seoul was very important.

* Japan's NHK World TV reported that Ibaraki prefecture wanted to expand cooperation with the Vietnamese Government by inviting more Vietnamese workers to the locality to ease the labour shortage.

* Japan continued to urge the RoK to rethink its decision to terminate the General Security of Military Information Agreement, or GSOMIA, which helped the two neighbours deal with missile threat from the DPRK.

* The Indonesian Defense Minister held a meeting with his Malaysian counterpart in order to promote defense cooperation between the two countries.

* Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) Jens Stoltenberg rejected the French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent statement that the alliance was experiencing “brain death”.

* The Trump administration proposed raising fees for US citizenship applications by 83% because the current fees did not recover the full costs of providing adjudication and naturalisation services.

* Ukrainian parliament has approved an increase in defence spending in 2020 that will mark a new record (nearly US$10 billion) as President Volodymr Zelensky vowed to end the country's long conflict with Russian-backed separatists.

* Britain’s opposition Labour Party has announced plans to nationalise BT’s broadband network if it wins next month’s general election on December 12, part of sweeping plans to provide free full-fiber broadband for all.

* The International Energy Agency (IEA) warned that the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies face stiffening competition in 2020, as demand for their crude is expected to fall sharply.

* The Palestinians reported that a series of rockets were indiscriminately fired from Gaza at Israel again. No casualties have been reported, nor has any organisation claimed to carry out the attack.

* South African Airways (SAA)’ employees conducted an ‘indefinite’ strike to demand higher wages and protest planned job cuts, forcing the struggling state-owned carrier to cancel all flights.

* The 50 attorneys general investigating Google for potential antitrust violations are expected to expand their probe and examine the company's Android and search businesses.

* Pakistan’s police said lighting strikes killed at least 18 people and injured several more during a deadly night in Thar desert, Xin province.

* Bangladesh coast guard rescued 122 Rohingya Muslim refugees as the boat they had boarded to illegally flee to Malaysia started sinking in the Bay of Bengal.

* At least 50 Sri Lankan election officials at the capital Colombo's main counting centre were admitted to hospital on November 15 due to food poisoning. The incident happened just a day before the country’s presidential election officially began.

* Heavy snowfall lead to widespread disruption in south-east France, leaving one dead and thousands of houses without power and disrupted travel for both rail and road networks.