World News in Brief: November 18, 2019

Monday, 2019-11-18 15:56:26
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* The Cuban capital of Havana celebrated its 500th founding anniversary with a great gala in the terrace in front of the Havana Capitol with the attendance of more than 5,000 guests.

* Belarussian voters went to the polls to elect 110 deputies of the House of Representatives out of 513 candidates.

* The Election Commission of Sri Lanka has announced that former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa has been elected as the country’s president, winning 52.25% of the vote.

* Russia has returned three naval ships to Ukraine seized in November 2018 for allegedly entering its territorial waters illegally and failing to comply with the request of Russian competent authorities.

* At the talks on the sidelines of the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus in Thailand, defence ministers of Japan and the Republic of Korea failed to reach any breakthrough on an intelligence sharing agreement.

* Russian helicopter maker Rostec has confirmed that India has delayed buying 140 Russian helicopters although the Russian side has provided full information to India’s Ministry of Defence.

* UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party pledged to treat EU citizens as immigrants from other areas after the UK ends the principle of free movement within the EU.

* UK Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn said his party will not form a coalition government if it fails to win a majority at parliament after the December 12 election.

* Iran’s deputy defence minister Qassem Taqizadeh said the country is producing a laser air defence system and is planning to increase the range and accuracy of its cruise missiles.

* With three days left until the deadline to form a new Israeli government, leader of the Blue and White alliance Benny Gantz met representatives of centre-left and right-wing parties in a bid to resolve the current political deadlock.

* US Air Force Chief of Staff David Goldfein said he was hopeful a bitter dispute between Gulf Arab states could soon end and urged them to unify military capabilities as tensions with Iran simmer.

* A number of Italian cities, including Venice, have raised their warnings after prolonged heavy rains caused the worst flooding in half a century in the country.

* At least seven were killed and another eight were injured after a gas pipeline exploded in front of a five-storey building in Chittagong, Bangladesh.

* One person was killed and another was injured in a fire at an apartment building in Ontario, Canada.

* Nigeria’s road safety agency has confirmed that at least seven people were killed and one more injured in a road accident along a busy highway in the southern state of Osun.