World News in Brief: January 22

Wednesday, 2020-01-22 12:25:52
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The Thai Ministry of Public Health announced Tuesday (January 21) that it would step up measures to screen Chinese tourists arriving in Thailand for Lunar New Year celebrations. Thailand has to implement stricter control measures as China has confirmed that the new coronavirus can be transmitted from person to person, said Dr Tanarak Plipat, deputy director-general of the ministry's Department of Disease Control.

* Australians should remain alert but not alarmed about the mysterious coronavirus, Prime Minister Scott Morrison reassured the public on Wednesday (January 22).

* The 90th Mekong River joint patrol led by China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand concluded Tuesday, as three Chinese law enforcement boats returned to Guanlei Port in southwestern province of Yunnan.

* Russian President Vladimir Putin appointed new cabinet members on Tuesday, according to the decrees Kremlin published on its website. According to one of the decrees, the new government has reduced its former ten deputy prime ministers to nine.

* The Republican-controlled US Senate on Tuesday rejected three sepreate motions proposed by the Democrats to acquire documents and evidence in the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump. The motions, brought up by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, are amendments to the Republican-proposed resolution guiding the trial process.

* Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Tuesday that his government will table legislation to ratify the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) next week.

* Ships of the Russian Baltic Fleet and Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force are holding their first ever joint anti-piracy drills in the Arabian Sea, the Russian Defense Ministry said Tuesday. The Russian Yaroslav Mudry guard ship, the Yelnya tanker and the Viktor Konetsky tugboat, as well as the Japanese destroyer Harusame are participating in the drills, the ministry said in a statement.

* The legislative chamber and the senate of Uzbekistan's newly-formed parliament have approved Abdulla Aripov as the prime minister of the Central Asian nation in its joint session on Tuesday. Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has nominated Aripov as a candidate to lead the government for a new five-year term noting that he has known him for more than 20 years.

* Nepal-China trade through Rasuwagadhi-Kerung (Geelong) border point has been halted completely for the past four days due to landslides and insistent snowfall in the bordering region, a senior Nepali official said Tuesday. This is the main border point for bilateral trade between the Himalayan country and its northern neighbour through the land route.

* Mongolia exported a total of 6.5 million barrels of crude oil in 2019, the country's Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry said Tuesday. The Asian country still has no refinery yet.

*All 437 schools run by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) will be closed for a day on Wednesday due to the city's unhealthy haze, BMA spokesperson Pongsakorn Kwanmuang announced on Tuesday.

* At least 15 Taliban militants have been killed after the Afghan Air Force targeted their positions in eastern Ghazni province, the Afghan Defense Ministry said Tuesday.

* Edi Rama, chairperson-in-office of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), has promised to do everything possible to bring a sustainable, long-lasting ceasefire to east Ukraine during his visit to Stanytsia Luhanska checkpoint.

* Iraqi caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said on Tuesday that firing rockets at the US embassy in Baghdad is unacceptable and harms Iraq.

* Lebanon's Prime Minister Hassan Diab announced on Tuesday the formation of a new cabinet of 20 ministers around one month following his appointment, local TV channel LBCI reported.

* Jordan reiterates its full support to Iraq's stability and security, according to Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi on Tuesday.

* A total of 1,055,685 Syrians have received residence permits in Turkey, according to a report issued by Turkey's Interior Ministry on Tuesday.

* The US Embassy in Libya on Tuesday expressed concern over the suspension of oil exports due to the closure of oil ports and fields in the country.

* Labor ministers from East and Horn of Africa states on Tuesday signed an agreement to guide their countries on harmonization of migration policies.