World News in Brief: January 18

Saturday, 2020-01-18 16:59:24
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The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) on Friday (January 17) called for the release of Siham Sergewa, a member of the Libyan House of Representatives, or the parliament. Sergewa was kidnapped by unidentified gunmen and taken to an unknown location six months ago in the eastern city Benghazi.

*China and Myanmar have agreed to work together to build a community with a shared future, opening a new era of bilateral ties. Chinese President Xi Jinping and Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi announced the decision during their formal talks in the Myanmar capital of Nay Pyi Taw on Saturday (January 18).

* It is essential for the European Union to be more active on the international level, not to let others decide its destiny, said European Council President Charles Michel in Vienna on Friday.

*France will deploy Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier to back military operations against the Islamic State (IS), Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly announced on Friday.

* New Zealand and China have a maturing relationship, which is incredibly positive, said New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Saturday as local residents gathered together to celebrate the Chinese New Year Festival.

* Parts of Australia's east coast were hit by severe storms on Saturday, dousing some of the bushfires that have devastated the region for months but causing road closures and flash flooding.

* US President Donald Trump said Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei should be very careful about what he says after Khamenei harshly criticized the United States in a Friday prayers sermon in Tehran.

* British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to start trade talks with the United States before negotiating with the European Union, the Telegraph reported on Friday. The final decision has not yet been taken and different scenarios are being looked at by British ministers, the newspaper added.

* A new migrant caravan that left Honduras on January 15 is nearing Mexico's southern border, the Mexican Interior Ministry said on Friday. Hundreds of migrants including children joined the caravan in the northwestern Honduran city of San Pedro Sula on January 15, with many of them hoping to reach the US-Mexican border.

* Guatemala's newly sworn-in president Alejandro Giammattei on Thursday announced the breakoff of diplomatic ties with Venezuela and the closure of its embassy in Caracas. Giammattei confirmed the decision to the press following a meeting with the secretary general of the Washington-based Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro.

* Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday slammed the Syrian regime for failing to comply with the cease-fire, which was brokered by Turkey and Russia.

* Four people were shot dead Friday at a residence in Grantsville, a town of about 10,000 people in the US state of Utah, local police said.