World News in Brief: February 14

Friday, 2020-02-14 16:30:29
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Philippines volcanologists on Friday (February 14) further lowered the alert level to 2 at Taal Volcano, nearly five weeks since it began spewing ash and steam.

* Terminal 21 shopping mall in Thailand's northeast on Thursday (February 13) flung its door open as shoppers headed toward the main entrance to offer moral support, four days after a soldier shot and killed nearly 30 people and wounding more than 50 others.

* A total of 20 students were injured as a mortar fire launched by members of the Arakan Army, a local insurgent group, hit a primary school in Myanmar's Rakhine state, said a release from the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services late Thursday. Arakan Army members attacked a group of Myanmar military personnel during their security operation in Buthidaung township on Thursday morning.

*The new Russian government approved Thursday amendments to the 2020-2022 federal budget aimed at funding measures outlined by Russian President Vladimir Putin in his address to the Federal Assembly last month. The amendments provide for maintaining the budget surplus at 0.8 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) this year, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said at Thursday's government meeting, according to an official transcript.

* Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo De Sousa arrived in New Delhi on Thursday for a four-day state visit. This is Rebelo de Sousa's first visit to India.

* The death toll from a Jan. 23 gas tanker truck explosion in Peru's capital Lima rose to 30 on Thursday, the Health Ministry said.

* The Russian military has dispatched fighter jets twice in the last seven days to intercept foreign reconnaissance aircraft, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a weekly report on Friday. During this period, it said an estimated 33 foreign planes and six drones carried out reconnaissance missions near the country's borders.

* Interim Tunisian Defense Minister Karim Jamoussi on Thursday met with French Ambassador Olivier Poivre d'Arvor over means to develop military cooperation and security developments in the region.

* Migratory pressure on the southern border of Hungary is expected to increase as more and more people arrive as the weather improves, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Thursday. Orban spoke in Roszke, a village at the southern border of Hungary with Serbia, after visiting the border fence with Slovakian Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini.

* Visiting Greek Foreign Minister Nikolaos Dendias said on Thursday that Greece and Algeria agree on a political solution without foreign military interference for the Libyan crisis. Dendias made the remarks in a press statement after a meeting with his Algerian counterpart Sabri Boukadoum in the capital Algiers.

* The state-owned Libyan National Oil Corporation (NOC) on Thursday said that the suspension of oil exports due to closure of oil fields and ports has caused a loss of more than US$1.4 billion so far.

* The death toll from the latest round of Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria has risen to 70, the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) said Thursday. A total of 472 confirmed cases of the acute viral hemorrhagic fever, which continued to spread in the most populous African country, had been recorded as of Tuesday, the NCDC said in a statement.

Xinhua