World News in Brief: January 8

Wednesday, 2020-01-08 14:02:28
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Polish President Andrzej Duda and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki expressed the hope on Tuesday (January 7) during an extraordinary meeting of the cabinet council that Poland could play a positive role in the Middle East.

* The Philippines has ordered its citizens to leave Iraq, the Philippine foreign ministry said on Wednesday (January 8), after Iran attacked US forces there in response to a US strike that killed an Iranian general last week.

* India on Wednesday issued a travel warning asking its citizens to avoid "non-essential" travel to Iraq, hours after Iran launched missile attacks on US-led forces in Iraq.

* US President Donald Trump on Tuesday appeared to downplay Iran's missile attack against US forces in Iraq, while highlighting US military strength at the same time.

* Dubai-based Emirates Airline cancelled a return flight to Baghdad on Wednesday following Iran's missile attack on US-led forces in Iraq.

* No Norwegian soldiers were injured or killed in Iran's missile strike on the Al-Asad air base in Iraq, a Norwegian military spokesman told Reuters early on Wednesday.

* No Danish soldiers were injured or killed in Wednesday's missile strike on the Al-Asad air base in Iraq, the Danish armed forces said in a post on Twitter.

* The energy minister of the United Arab Emirates said on Wednesday he saw no immediate risk to oil travelling through the vital gateway of the Strait of Hormuz after Iran attacked bases housing US forces in Iraq.

* Iraqi oil facilities are secured and the country's production is continuing, OPEC's Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo said on Wednesday.

* Iran's army renewed a demand for US troops to be withdrawn from the Middle East, state TV reported on Wednesday, after the elite Revolutionary Guards launched missile attacks on American targets in Iraq.

* Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the capital Damascus on Tuesday and met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on his first trip to Damascus since the war erupted nearly nine years ago, according to state news agency SANA.

* British lawmakers started a three-day Brexit debate Tuesday on their first House of Commons sitting of the new year. MPs debated details of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Brexit Withdrawal Bill which was passed last month with an overwhelming majority.

* Top European diplomats emerged from a Tuesday meeting saying continuing outside interference is fuelling the crisis in Libya and that there is no military solution to it.

* Venezuela's National Assembly convened on Tuesday with opposition deputy Luis Parra serving as president of the legislative body. A little past 10 a.m. local time (1400 GMT), Parra announced via Twitter that the day's session was opened "with the regulation quorum" required.

* Austria's new coalition government was sworn in by President Alexander Van der Bellen at the presidential residence of Hofburg Palace on Tuesday.

* Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Wednesday visited South Australian communities devastated by bushfires, vowing to help them "rebuild and recover."

* Puerto Rico Governor Wanda Vazquez declared a state of emergency on Tuesday after a series of earthquakes killed at least one person, toppled buildings and knocked out power to nearly the entire island of more than 3 million people. The largest of the quakes in the US territory registered at magnitude 6.4, the most powerful to hit the Caribbean island in 102 years.

Xinhua, Reuters