World News in Brief: February 10

Monday, 2020-02-10 13:57:34
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Laos recorded a trade deficit of US$137 million in 2019 even though the value of exports exceeded the yearly plan, according to Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

* Cambodia and Laos pledged on Sunday (February 9) to further strengthen their comprehensive strategic partnership for mutual benefit, a senior Cambodian official said. The pledge was made during a meeting in Phnom Penh between Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen and visiting Lao President Bounnhang Vorachit, said Eang Sophalleth, a personal assistant to the prime minister.

* Border trade between Myanmar and its neighboring Thailand reached over US$1.15 billion in first quarter of the present fiscal year (FY) 2019-2020 which started in October, according to figures released from the Commerce Ministry on February 9.

* The nearly 18-hour shooting rampage that killed at least 27 people in Thailand's northeastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima ended, as the gunman himself was shot dead by security forces on Sunday. Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha who visited the injured at Nakorn Ratchasima hospital on Sunday, confirmed that 27 people including the shooter died and 57 people have been injured.

*Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has identified Indonesia as a key player in his push to diversify the Australian economy. Morrison on Monday (February 10) met with Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Canberra days after the Indonesian parliament ratified a comprehensive free trade deal between the two countries.

* Senior diplomats from the Republic of Korea and the United States held talks in Seoul Monday to discuss the Korean Peninsula affairs, according to local media reports.

* Australia will commit to a 2050 emissions reduction target at November's United Nations (UN) climate change conference in Britain. Angus Taylor, minister for energy and emissions reduction, told Nine Entertainment newspapers that the government will settle on its long-term target before the landmark UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow.

* A total of 35 militants have been confirmed dead as a cleanup operation continues in Balkh district of the northern Balkh province in Afghanistan, said an army statement released in Mazar-I- Sharif on February 10.

* An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.2 jolted off Papua New Guinea on Sunday, the US Geological Survey said. The quake, which occurred at 0604 GMT, was centered 122 km south of Kokopo with a depth of 31.3 km, said the USGS.

* German railway operator Deutsche Bahn said Sunday that it is halting long-distance train services nationwide until at least Monday morning as a powerful storm is traveling through the country. Deutsche Bahn's move came hours after major airports in Germany announced flight disruptions.

* Storm Ciara, named the "storm of the century", slammed Britain on Sunday as gale winds and heavy rain triggered tornado warnings and blackouts, shut highway and grounded flights.

* Jordan on Sunday urged intensified international efforts to preserve territorial integrity, protect civilians and enhance de-escalation efforts in Syria.

* Speakers at the 33rd session of the African Union (AU) summit that opened on Sunday in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, voiced views on development, peace and security and economic empowerment of women in Africa.