World News in Brief: March 9

Friday, 2018-03-09 06:50:26
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US President Donald Trump on March 8 (local time) formally signed proclamations to impose steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, noting a strong steel and aluminum industry is "vital to our national security."

The tariffs will take effect in 15 days with initial exemptions for Canada and Mexico pending the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

* The Republic of Korea (RoK)'s national security adviser will announce at the White House at 7 p.m. EST on March 8 (0000 GMT) an invitation from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s leader Kim Jong Un to meet with US President Donald Trump and will also announce a commitment by Kim to stop DPRK’s nuclear and missile testing.

* President of European Central Bank Mario Draghi said that the bank decided to keep the key ECB interest rates unchanged.

“We continue to expect them to remain at their present levels for a extended period of time, and well past the horizon of our net asset purchases. We confirm that our net asset purchases at the current monthly pace of 30 billion euro are intended to run until the end of September, 2018, or beyond if necessary", he said.

* The UN Security Council on March 8 unanimously adopted a resolution to extend the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) for another year, till March 17, 2019.

* Turkey on March 8 launched a new manhunt in 29 provinces for 121 people suspected of links to an outlawed network for masterminding a coup bid in 2016, local media reported.

* The European Commission plans a further €1 billion (US$1.23 billion) of financial aid for Ukraine, it said on March 9, with disbursement conditional on Kiev making progress on reforms.

* A suicide bombing claimed by the hardliner Islamic State (IS) group in the Afghan capital Kabul on March 9 has left 10 people dead and 22 others injured, spokesman for Ministry of Public Health said.

Reuters, Xinhua