World News in Brief: February 11

Tuesday, 2020-02-11 14:47:21
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The Philippines has officially notified the United States about the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between Manila and Washington, Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin tweeted on Tuesday (February 11).

* Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat has said that Singapore was committed to building a strong ecosystem so as to support innovation in the aviation industry.

* Myanmar earned over US$907 million from mineral export in the first four months of present fiscal year (FY) 2019-2020 which started in October, according to figures of the Ministry of Commerce on Tuesday.

* The Fijian economy is anticipated to grow by 1.7 percent in 2020, following an estimated 1 percent expansion in 2019.

* Counting of votes began in Delhi on Tuesday, after the February 8 Assembly polls amidst a high-pitched electoral battle. The final results are likely to be announced by the evening.

* The leader of Germany's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, announced on Monday (February 10) that she is not planning to run for the country's chancellorship and will resign as the party's leader. Chancellor Angela Merkel said in Berlin on Monday that she had "taken note of the decision with the utmost respect" and regretted Kramp-Karrenbauer's decision.

* The White House said on Monday that President Donald Trump will pay a two-day visit to India in late February (24-25), his first trip to the South Asian country since his presidency.

* Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic announced his candidacy in Zagreb on Monday for the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) president who will be elected on March 15.

* The Albanian Ministry of Finance and Economy and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) have signed an agreement in which EBRD will provide US$50 million in loan to finance the rehabilitation of roads in Albania, the ministry said on Monday.

* The Czech Republic saw wind speeds reaching up to 180 km per hour on Monday, with at least one death and several injuries in the adverse weather. Widespread power outage, disruptions in rail and road traffic, flight delays and cancellations were also reported.

* A Palestinian official denied on Monday the withdrawal of a draft resolution presented to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) against the United States peace plan, known as "the Deal of the Century." Saeb Erekat, secretary general of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee, said in a press statement that the reports on withdrawing the draft resolution "are untrue and baseless."

* The New Hampshire primary of the 2020 US presidential election began on Tuesday, with the first group of voters casting ballots in several small towns.

* Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey would never allow US so-called "Deal of the Century" to threaten peace in the region, the state-run Anadolu agency reported Monday.

* Hundreds of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon protested on Monday at Al Rashidiya camp in Tyre, voicing their rejection for the US "Deal of the Century," Elnashra, an online independent newspaper, reported. The protest comes in support of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' meeting with the United Nations slated for Tuesday to express opposition to the US plan and to demand adherence to international law.

* The Trump administration has proposed selling 15 million barrels of crude oil from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), according to the White House budget proposal for fiscal year 2021, which runs from October this year through September next year, released Monday.

* The African Union (AU) is preparing to implement two cross-border high-speed train projects, the first infrastructure projects of its kind, the AU's Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy Abou-Zedi Amani said Monday.

* Libya's United Nations-backed government on Monday accused the rival east-based army of "intransigence" by refusing to agree to a ceasefire proposal during the Libyan 5+5 Joint Military Commission (JMC) talks in Geneva.