World News in Brief: December 13

Friday, 2019-12-13 14:54:37
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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said on Friday (December 13) that it has approved a US$200 million loan to help the Philippine government prepare and implement major infrastructure projects under its flagship "Build, Build, Build" development program.

* Trade between China and Russia is expected to hit a record high of US$110 billion this year, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) of China forecast on Thursday (December 12).

* Chief nuclear envoys of Republic of Korea (RoK) and the United States will hold talks in Seoul next week over the Korean Peninsula issues, RoK's foreign ministry said Friday.

* The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) keeps raising tensions in all spheres, including on land, at sea, in the air, in cyberspace and outer space, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

* German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Thursday rejected the planned sanctions by the United States against companies working on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that runs from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea.

* Turkey on Thursday rejected a bill supporting sanctions against Ankara passed by the U.S. Senate's Foreign Relations Committee as a disrespect for its sovereign decisions on national security.

* The Mexican Senate ratified on Thursday the modified U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) after protracted negotiations for more than two years.

* The Hungarian government is ready to sign the European Union's (EU) new 2050 climate agreement with conditions, but insists on bigger contribution from the richer countries, the Hungarian news agency MTI reported on Thursday.

* Six bodies have been prepared for air lifting off the volcanic White Island, New Zealand Police Deputy Commissioner John Tims said Friday morning. The process to transport the recovered bodies to Navy ship HMNZS Wellington by helicopter has begun, said Tims.

* Jordan and Palestine on Thursday discussed joint action to confront all unilateral Israeli measures to change the facts on the ground in the Palestinian territories.

* Turkish and Russian troops on Thursday held the 15th round of joint ground patrols in northern Syria, the Turkish Defense Ministry said in a written statement.

* The Danish government proposes to send a frigate, complete with a helicopter and up to 155 service personnel, to the Strait of Hormuz for four months from the autumn of 2020, Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod and Defense Minister Trine Bramsen said following a meeting of the country's Foreign Policy Committee on Thursday.

* At least 15 people were killed and one other was injured when fire engulfed a passenger bus following its head-on collision with a van in Zhob district of Pakistan's southwestern Balochistan province on Friday, a local official said.

Xinhua