World News in Brief: January 26

Sunday, 2020-01-26 14:27:34
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Cambodia exported 282,071 tons of dry rubber in 2019, an increase of 30 percent from 217,501 tons in the year before, according to Agriculture Ministry on Sunday (January 26). The Southeast Asian nation made a gross revenue of roughly US$377 million from exports of the commodity last year, up 31.8 percent from US$286 million in a year earlier, said the ministry's annual report.

* The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology downgraded on Sunday the alert level for Taal Volcano from alert level four to alert level three in response to reduced activity 15 days after the island volcano erupted on January 12. But the institute warned that the lowering of the alert level does not mean that the threat of a hazardous eruption has disappeared.

* India and Brazil on Saturday (January 25) inked 15 agreements for boosting mutual cooperation on a wide range of areas, including cyber security, oil and natural gas, and health and medicine. The agreements were signed in the presence of visiting Brazilian President Jair Messias Bolsonaro and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

* US President Donald Trump has signed a proclamation that will raise tariffs on derivative steel and aluminum imports to cover nails, staples and other downstream products, while studies show that tariffs have hurt the American manufacturing sector and the overall economy.

* Pakistan's Ministry of Interior in partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) launched a US$25-million program to strengthen the criminal justice system in Pakistan and prevent and fight terrorism.

* Official data released Saturday shows that Mongolia raked in a total of US$607.2 million from tourism in 2019, up 10.2 percent from the previous year. The Mongolian Environment and Tourism Ministry said the Asian country attracted around 577,300 foreign tourists last year, up 9.1 percent compared to 2018.

* Bulgaria's expulsion of a diplomat from the Russian Embassy and an employee from Russia's Trade Mission is an "openly unfriendly and provocative" step, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Saturday.

* Mexican authorities are investigating a shooting at a restaurant in the central state of Guanajuato that left nine people dead and one wounded, local public prosecutor's office reported on Saturday.

* US President Donald Trump's legal team started Saturday to make opening arguments in defense of the president in the ongoing impeachment trial in the Senate, after House managers, a group of seven House Democrats acting as prosecutors, argued for the president's conviction and removal from office over the last three days.

* The Syrian army seems determined to capture rebel-held areas in Idlib and Aleppo provinces in northern Syria, with two official statements released Saturday regarding such intention.

* The death toll from a gas tanker explosion in the Peruvian capital has risen to 13, health authorities said on Saturday.

* The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) on Saturday expressed regret over continued violations of the arms embargo in Libya, as the armed conflict between the eastern-based army and the UN-backed government continues.

* At least 16 militants have been confirmed killed as fighting planes struck Taliban hideouts in Balkh district of the northern Balkh province on Saturday, army spokesman in the northern region Mohammad Hanif Rezai said Sunday.

Xinhua