World News in Brief: March 13

Tuesday, 2018-03-13 07:36:07
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China on March 13 unveiled a massive cabinet reshuffle plan to make the government better-structured, more efficient, and service-oriented.

The institutional reform plan of the State Council will be submitted to the on-going first session of the 13th National People's Congress for deliberations.

There will be 26 ministries and commissions of the State Council after the reshuffle.

* Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised aluminum and steelworkers on March 12 he would defend them against possible US tariffs and called US President Donald Trump to stress that "mutually beneficial" cross-border supply chains should be preserved.

* US House Intelligence Committee Republicans said on March 12 the panel had finished investigating Russia and the 2016 US election, and found no collusion between President Donald Trump's campaign and Moscow's efforts to influence the vote.

* Asian stocks stalled on March 13, halting an earlier rally after Wall Street shares lost steam, while the dollar sagged on the back of declining US yields. The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies was flat at 89.900 after shedding about 0.2 percent overnight.

* Police in the US city of Austin, Texas, said on March 12 that they believed that three package bombings over the past 10 days were "related."
Texas governor's office is offering a reward of up to US$15,000 for any information that leads to the arrest or identification of those involved.

* The Syrian army on March 12 secured the evacuation of civilians from recently-captured areas in the capital Damascus' Eastern Ghouta countryside, state news agency SANA reported.

The latest batch of civilians was evacuated from the town of Medyara, which was stormed by the Syrian army on March 11.

* The European Commission is planning legislation that would use the threat of denied visas to encourage countries outside the bloc to cooperate on repatriating failed asylum seekers, the German newspaper Die Welt reported on March 13.

The arrival of more than a million refugees from war and poverty in Africa and the Middle East since 2015 has caused political ructions across Europe, placing governments under pressure to send back more of those who fail to win asylum protection in Europe.

* US President Donald Trump issued an order on March 13 prohibiting Broadcom Ltd's proposed takeover of Qualcomm Inc on grounds of national security.

Qualcomm has rebuffed Broadcom's $117 billion takeover offer, which is under investigation by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, a multi-agency panel led by the Treasury Department that reviews national security implications when foreign entities take over US corporations.