World News in Brief: October 17

Wednesday, 2018-10-17 14:45:25
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Myanmar's ongoing special peace talks focused on the issue of non-secession from the union, Vice Chairman of the ethnic Kayin National Union (KNU) Pado Saw Kwe Htoo Win told a press conference at the end of the second day of the talks late Tuesday (October 16).

* Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen left Phnom Penh early Wednesday (October 17) for a nine-day European tour that will take him to Belgium, Turkey and Switzerland.

* Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday reiterated China's commitment to free trade and economic globalization while meeting with Stephen Perry, chairman of Britain's 48 Group Club in Beijing.

* Venezuela on October 16 said it would use the euro, yuan or other convertible currency instead of the US$ as the hard currency of choice for international and currency exchange transactions.

* The state-owned Indian Railways will run as many as 40 special trains over the next one month to meet the passenger rush during the ongoing festive season in the country, officials said Wednesday.

* The total death toll caused by Hurricane Michael has jumped to 26 after police in the US state of Florida said on October 16 that another 12 bodies have been discovered, with dozens still unaccounted for. Analysts have put the total loss inflicted by Hurricane Michael to be between 15 and US$21 billion.

* Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks with visiting Norwegian King Harald V in Beijing Tuesday, and they agreed to inject new impetus into the development of bilateral relations, and write a new chapter of the traditional friendship between the two nations.

* Germany will deliver electricity to Belgium in order to help prevent black-outs from occurring in its neighboring country during the winter, German economy minister Peter Altmaier announced on October 16.

* Governor Jay Inslee of the US west coastal state of Washington on October 16 announced the largest purchase of green power, which will meet nearly one quarter of electricity demand required for state agency operations, or an equivalent power need of more than 6,000 homes. He said eight state agencies will buy over 100 million kWh of electricity by 2021 from wind and solar projects built in Washington State.

* Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree to allocate 8.4 billion rubles (about US$130 million) for projects in the Far Eastern Federal District, the government's official website said on October 17.

* Asylum seekers being detained by Australia would be settled by New Zealand under a proposal being considered by Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

* Brazilian President Michel Temer has been indicted for corruption, money laundering and conspiracy to commit crimes, Brazil's Federal Police said on October 16. In their report, the Federal Police said that there was enough evidence of the crimes and thus requested the blockage of the president's assets.

* US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday that Saudi Arabia has strongly denied any knowledge of the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as President Donald Trump refused to condemn the country before the fact is found out.

* Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived in Brussels on October 16 for a working visit to Belgium and the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit. This is the third visit to Belgium by the Chinese premier in four years.

* The US Department of the Treasury on October 16 imposed sanctions on "a vast network of businesses" for providing financial support to a "paramilitary force" subordinate to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), accusing it of supporting the force in recruiting and training child soldiers.

* Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Russia will leave the Council of Europe(CoE) voluntarily if its opponents insist on its expulsion, according to the foreign ministry's website.

* Officials at UN Headquarters are waiting for further developments in the disappearance -- and feared slaying -- of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi before commenting further on the case, the chief UN spokesman said on Tuesday.

* Uganda's ministry of health on October 16 said there is no Ebola outbreak in the east African country after blood samples from a Congolese woman who crossed into the country tested negative.

* Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on October 16 said that Turkey could take necessary operation against Kurdish militants' presence east of the Euphrates River in Syria.

* The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) urged conflicting parties in Ukraine to adhere to the ceasefire regime, Martin Sajdik, the OSCE's special envoy to Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) on Ukraine, told reporters on Tuesday.

* Yemen is currently facing the world's worst hunger crisis, with some 8 million people considered to be on the brink of famine, a World Food Programme (WFP) official told journalists here on October 16.

* The Russian-Pakistani military drills "Friendship 2018" will be held in the mountains of Pakistan from October 21 to November 4, a Russian press official said Tuesday.

* A train derailed Tuesday in northern Morocco, killing seven passengers and injuring 125 others, official sources said. Causes of the accident are still unknown.