World News in Brief: December 18

Wednesday, 2019-12-18 17:00:27
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Cambodia exported products worth US$10.8 billion under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) during the first 10 months of 2019, up 6.4 percent over the same period last year, said a Commerce Ministry's report on Wednesday (December 18).

* The World Bank said on Wednesday that it has approved a US$400-million development policy loan to boost the Philippines' competitiveness and fiscal sustainability and to strengthen the country's financial resilience to natural disasters and climate change impacts. The new loan has a 19-year maturity, inclusive of a 10-year grace period.

* US President Donald Trump on Tuesday (December 17) sent a six-page letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, slamming the House Democrats impeachment effort as an "illegal, partisan attempted coup" and an "unprecedented and unconstitutional abuse of power."

* Negotiators from the Republic of Korea and the United States held talks in Seoul over the sharing of the upkeep cost for the US Forces Korea (USFK), RoK’s foreign ministry said Wednesday.

* Sixteen miners were killed after a coal and gas outburst happened at a coal mine in southwest China's Guizhou Province early Tuesday, local authorities said on Wednesday. Rescue work has ended and investigation is underway.

* The Brazilian Congress approved on Tuesday the basic text of the country's 2020 federal budget. However, congressmen are still voting on some aspects of the budget.

* The US State Department is planning to significantly reduce the number of American personnel in Iraq, local media reported on Tuesday. The reduction, which will be from 486 to 349, concerns staff in the US embassy and the diplomatic support center in the capital city of Baghdad, as well as the consulate in Iraq's northern city of Erbil, said Foreign Policy.

* A total of 26 people were detained and 17 police officers injured during the protest in Kiev, capital of Ukraine, the Kiev police communication department announced on Tuesday night.

* Slovenia supports European Union (EU) enlargement and sees setbacks in the process as harmful for the stability of Serbia and the rest of the Balkans region, Slovenian Prime Minister Marjan Sarec said Tuesday.

* Israeli soldiers shot and killed on Tuesday night a Palestinian militant who approached the fence of the border between eastern Gaza Strip and Israel, Israeli and Palestinian sources said.

* The Finnish five-party coalition government under Prime Minister Sanna Marin won parliamentary vote of confidence on Tuesday. The government enjoyed a majority backing in the voting with 105 votes for, 80 against and 14 absent.

* The Israeli authorities allowed on Tuesday the shipment of 24 firefighting vehicles used for civil defense in the Gaza Strip for the first time since 2007, officials in Gaza said.

* Jordan said on Tuesday the European Parliament approved with a vast majority to grant Jordan a soft loan of EUR500 (US$557 million) with a low-interest rate. According to a statement by Jordan's Foreign Ministry, the loan seeks to support Jordan's economy and alleviate the burdens of regional crises.

Xinhua