World News in Brief: January 19

Sunday, 2020-01-19 15:16:39
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First batch of Cuban governors and deputy governors since 1959 were elected on Saturday (January 18) in order to "economically and socially contribute" to national development, according to the Cuban constitution. Earlier on Friday, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel called for special attention to the creation of new government structures, as part of the effort to enhance people's power.

* The death toll of Yemeni soldiers killed on Saturday in a ballistic missile attack by Houthi rebels in Yemen's northeastern province of Marib has risen to at least 70, local media said on Sunday (January 19).

* China's central bank pumped CNY200 billion (about US$29.03 billion) into the financial system via reverse repos on Sunday. The People's Bank of China (PBOC) injected CNY200 billion into the market through 14-day reverse repos at an interest rate of 2.65 percent.

* Yemen's president told the military on Sunday it needs to be on high alert and ready for battle following an attack on Saturday by Iran-aligned Houthis on a military training camp in the city of Marib.

* Qatar Airways, Emirates and several other Gulf airlines still fly in Iraqi and Iranian airspace and to cities in both countries, even as other international carriers have rerouted planes since the United States and Iran traded military strikes.

* The Australian government said on Sunday it will provide financial aid to the country's tourism sector that's been badly hit by long-lasting bushfires, as business owners fretted about cancellations that stretch into the months ahead.

* US President Donald Trump marked the 60th anniversary of the signing of the current US-Japan security treaty with a call for a stronger and deeper alliance between the two countries, despite criticising the pact six months ago.

* China's natural gas consumption will continue to increase in 2020 amid the country's efforts to tackle air pollution, said PetroChina, China's largest oil and gas producer. Consumption of natural gas is estimated to expand 8.6 percent to 330 billion cubic meters in 2020, the company's research report showed.

* Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its partners including Russia and others are expected to further extend production cut until the end of 2020 from the end of March, 2020, according to a research note by Swiss investment bank UBS AG on Friday. Still, OPEC and its partners would have higher production allowance in the second half of 2020, said UBS in the report.

* Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtaye declared on Saturday that Palestine will invest US$100 million to establish an alternative energy sources company.

* Uzbekistan's Ministry of Investment and Foreign Trade signed project implementation agreements in strategic energy sector with Mubadala, Abu Dhabi's investment and development fund, and its subsidiary Masdar, the ministry's press service said Saturday.

* King Abdullah II of Jordan on Saturday sent a letter to Iraqi President Barham Salih and Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi about tension de-escalation in the Gulf region.

* Qatar condemned the storming of Libya's eastern Zueitina oil export port by forces from areas controlled by the Libyan National Army (LNA), Qatar's state news agency said on Sunday.