World News in Brief: August 9, 2018

Thursday, 2018-08-09 11:15:54
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A ceremony took place at the headquarters of the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia to mark the 51st anniversary of the group's founding. The event was attended by ASEAN Secretary-General Dato Lim Jock Hoi as well as many officials and diplomats of ASEAN member countries.

* The Republic of Korea's defence ministry announced a plan to capitalise on big data, 3D printing, drones and other cutting-edge technologies to strengthen the military's logistical support capabilities.

* German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas warned that US President Donald Trump's decision to reimpose sanctions on Iran could further destabilise the Middle East and boost radical forces in the region.

* The Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has confirmed that US President Donald Trump sent a letter to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin through diplomatic channels, mentioning the way in which the two countries can cooperate in many fields including anti-terrorism.

* Six people have been imprisoned for up to four years for their part in a scheme to cheat on China's national graduate school exam, state media reported.

* Canadian Ambassador to the US has returned to Canada to meet government officials to prepare for the resumption of NAFTA negotiations, which have been delayed since May.

* Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro released a series of pictures concerning the drone attack targetted at him and the country's leadership on August 4.

* Iran's Labour Minister Ali Rabiei was impeached on Wednesday after months of mounting anger over the government's handling of an economic crisis which has deepened with the return of US sanctions. Rabiei lost a confidence motion in parliament by 129 votes to 111.

* US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Tuesday threw his support behind President Donald Trump's idea of creating a space-focused military command.

* After the first round of Mali's presidential election was marred by violence and accusations of fraud, EU observers on Tuesday called for more transparency and access during Sunday's run-off.

* Fourteen bodies were found in the north-eastern city of Beni in Congo, five days after suspected rebels kidnapped 15 people.

* The death toll from Sunday's devastating 6.9 magnitude earthquake on the Indonesian island of Lombok has risen to 347 as of August 8.

* In the United States, thousands of firefighters have been deployed to distinguish forest fires in the western state of California, which have killed 11 people.

* The death toll in a heatwave in Spain has risen to nine while a wildfire in a resort in Portugal's southern region has injured 30 people.

* Authorities in Peru say at least nine people have died from food poisoning following a funeral ceremony.

* Nine confirmed Ebola victims have died since the virus resurfaced in the Democratic Republic of Congo this month, the country’s health ministry said.

* The Japanese government said 138 people have died and more than 70,000 hospitalised in the last three months due to scorching summer heat.