World News in Brief: December 14

Saturday, 2019-12-14 11:15:57
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China and the United States have agreed on the text of a phase one economic and trade agreement based on the principle of equality and mutual respect. The text includes nine chapters, according to a statement issued by the Chinese side Friday (December 13) night.

* Japan's cabinet on Friday approved an extra budget of JPY4.47 trillion (US$41 billion) to support disaster-related efforts and other projects. A large portion of the extra budget will be used for reconstruction works of natural disasters and mitigation measures for similar events in the future.

* US House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on Friday announced that the Democrat-led House will vote on the two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump next week. The announcement came shortly after the Democrat-led House Judiciary Committee approved the two articles strictly along party lines.

* British Prime Minister Boris Johnson headed to Buckingham Palace Friday for an audience with Queen Elizabeth following his win in Thursday's general election. The monarch, under Britain's constitution, has to grant her permission before a party leader can form a new government. Johnson needs to go through the process to demonstrate he has a mandate to govern the country for five years.

* Clashes broke out in central London on Friday as hundreds of protesters took to Downing Street to "defy Tory rule" after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's election victory. A heavy police presence was seen close to the Cenotaph in Whitehall, which was cordoned off as clashes broke out.

* The European Union (EU) aims to build a strong strategic relationship with the United Kingdom (UK) but not at the expense of its own interests, Charles Michel, president of the European Council, said on Friday.

* The European Council reiterates its full support for the rules-based international order and notes with concern the paralysis of the World Trade Organization for settling disputes, said the European Council.

* China approved a draft regulation on implementing the foreign investment law Thursday to better protect the interests of foreign investors. The draft regulation was passed at a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.

* The German government on Friday introduced a stricter gun law and an extension of Germany's national arms registry as proposed by the German Ministry of the Interior(BMI).

* The United Nations Higher Commission of Refugees (UNHCR) on Friday said that 1,780 refugees and asylum seekers have been released from detention centers in Libya so far in 2019.

* The 41st Meeting of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs was held in Athens on Friday, ending with a call for closer cooperation within the group, with the EU and other organizations to promote economic growth, peace and stability.

* Chief commander of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said that the Iranian nation will not surrender under the US pressures, Tehran Times daily reported on Friday.

* Ten civilians were killed and six others wounded in a roadside bomb explosion in Afghanistan's eastern Ghazni province on Friday, an Interior Ministry official confirmed.

* Nearly 900,000 people in Libya will need humanitarian assistance in 2020, said the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Friday.