World News in Brief: December 19

Thursday, 2019-12-19 11:18:43
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The New South Wales (NSW) government in Australia has declared a state of emergency on Thursday (December 19) , with bushfire conditions expected to worsen over the coming days as a record-breaking heat wave sweeps across the country.

* At a Security Council meeting on on Wednesday (December 18) on Middle East, China's Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Wu Haitao expressed concerns over continued settlement activities by Israel in occupied Palestinian territory.

*Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said Wednesday that he and Russian Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin have agreed to make every effort "to achieve a large number of concrete results" in bilateral economic relations.

* Germany aimed to reduce the country's primary energy consumption by 30 percent by 2030, compared to the 2008 level, the Ministry for Economic Affairs announced on Wednesday.

* Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov and Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley met Wednesday to discuss measures to prevent incidents during military activities.

*Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Wednesday denied business owners are in a state of "alarm" over the levels of violent crime, such as armed robbery of cargo trucks.

* The Greek Parliament passed on Wednesday night the state budget for 2020 that provides for an increase in the economic growth rate as well as a rise in exports and investments.

* Iraq's parliament on Wednesday decided to adjourn its session untill next Monday after it passed part of the draft election law, the Iraqi official television reported.

* France has signed some agreements with Sudan on Wednesday agreeing to provide the latter with a total of EUR250 million (US$277 million) in soft loans.

* Iran threatened on Wednesday to further reduce its commitments to the 2015 landmark nuclear deal if the European Union (EU) "keeps failing" to protect the Islamic republic's interest.

* Eleven candidates for the upcoming presidential election in Croatia faced off on Tuesday night in a TV debate, exchanging their views on a slew of issues including immigration, NATO membership and relations with neighboring countries.

* Up to 139 terrorists have been neutralized during the past four months in anti-terror operations in Turkey, the semi-official Anadolu Agency reported on Wednesday.

* US sanctions will not stop the construction of the Nord Stream-2 natural gas pipeline between Russia and Europe, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday.

* Investments from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Egypt hit US$7.2 billion in 2019 compared to US$6.6 billion in 2018, Egypt's Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation said on Wednesday.

* Representatives from Yemen's government and the Houthis tasked with monitoring a ceasefire brokered by the United Nations met on Wednesday on a ship on the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah.

* The Rwandan government on Wednesday said it has evacuated close to 6,000 residents from high-risk zones in different parts of the country threatened by heavy rains in the first three weeks of December.