World News in Brief: January 1

Wednesday, 2020-01-01 14:35:21
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Myanmar President U Win Myint Wednesday (January 1) called for the participation of people in their tasks of Union Peace, building a Democratic Federal Union and development programmes. Speaking on the occasion of new year 2020, the president expressed his belief that the hardships and challenges that the country is facing can be successfully overcome by holding onto truth, justice, honesty and transparency.

* The Philippines is going to lift martial law in Mindanao at midnight on Tuesday (December 31) after two years and seven months, because the law and order has been restored in the southern Philippines. However, the Armed Forces of the Philippines said Mindanao will still be under a state of national emergency.

* The Chairman of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Un has blamed the United States for the impasse of bilateral nuclear talks, the official Korean Central News Agency reported Wednesday. At the Fifth Plenary Session of the Seventh Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea Tuesday, Kim said the more the United States stalls for time and hesitates in the settlement of the DPRK-US relations, the deeper it will fall into an impasse.

* US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he would be happy to have a trial in the US Senate following his impeachment by the Democratic-led House of Representatives, but that he did not really care.

* French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday he would push through an overhaul of the pension system, after weeks of nationwide strikes by trade unions. Macron said in a traditional New Year's Eve address he expected his government to quickly find a compromise with unions on the reform, but without departing from the principles laid out by ministers.

* Italians need to be more confident and strengthen their social cohesion, Italian President Sergio Mattarella said in his New Year speech on Tuesday.

* The first ticket for the upcoming presidential elections in Bolivia was made official on Tuesday when Fernando Camacho, the former president of the Santa Cruz Civic Committee, and Marco Pumari, the current president of Potosinists Civic Committee, announced their intention to run for president and vice president of the country, respectively.

* British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Tuesday night that the first item on his agenda "is to fulfil the will of the electorate" and take the country out of the European Union (EU) by the end of January.

* Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday strongly condemned the recent deadly US airstrikes in Iraq, official IRNA news agency reported.

* The Arab League (AL) affirmed on Tuesday its commitment to the unity and sovereignty of Libya, rejecting any foreign intervention in the war-torn North African country.

* Australian authorities on Wednesday confirmed a third death in devastating bushfires that engulfed the country's southeast coastal region this week and said a fourth person was missing and feared dead.

* The United States is immediately deploying about 750 soldiers to the Middle East in response to the violent protests at the US Embassy in Iraq, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Tuesday. President Donald Trump spoke on Tuesday with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abd al-Mahdi and emphasized the need to protect US personnel and facilities, the White House said in a statement, after an attack on the US Embassy in Baghdad.

* The Afghan National Police had busted a terror group in the country's southern province of Kandahar, the Interior Ministry confirmed on Wednesday.

* A visiting Iranian official said on Tuesday that the deployment of the Syrian army on the border with Turkey will bring security, peace and stability to Syria, state news agency SANA reported.

* At least 16 prisoners were killed, five others wounded after riots occurred Tuesday afternoon in a prison in the northern Mexican state of Zacatecas, local media reported.

* The Somali Special Forces (Danab Brigade) killed 20 al-Shabab extremists in the country's southern region of Lower Shabelle on Tuesday, a military officer said Wednesday.