World News in Brief: October 18

Thursday, 2018-10-18 11:25:39
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Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Anton Vaino, head of the Administration of the President of the Russian Federation, in Beijing Wednesday (October 17).

* Austria and Singapore Wednesday signed an agreement to boost the exchange of ideas and know-how in the fields of digitalization and information and communications technology, local media reported.

* Russian president Vladimir Putin on October 17 signed the Agreement on Comprehensive Partnership and Strategic Cooperation between Russia and Egypt with visiting Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in the Black Sea coastal city Sochi.

* President Donald Trump said on October 17 the United States has asked Turkey for any audio or video evidence it may have related to the disappearance of US-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi but was not sure whether any such evidence exists.

* British Prime Minister Theresa May assured EU leaders in Brussels on October 17 that she can still reach a Brexit deal, avoiding a showdown over stalled talks as Brussels stepped up planning for a failure of negotiations.

* China is ready to work with Belgium to strength cooperation and exchanges at all levels, said Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on October 17. Li made the remarks in Brussels when holding talks with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel during a working visit to the country.

* UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said on October 17 he would step down at the end of November for family reasons, quitting as the Syrian government - backed by Iran and Russia - has retaken most of the country and a political deal remains elusive.

* China and Belgium on October 17 agreed to keep unleashing complementary advantages, tapping more cooperation potentials, and yielding greater development achievements in pragmatic cooperation.

* Iraq's prime minister-designate Adel Abdul Mahdi said on October 17 he would present a new cabinet to parliament for approval next week.

* European Union leaders are meeting in Brussels on October 17 to discuss Brexit after London walked away last week from a deal the EU has offered over disagreements on how to keep an open Irish border.

* Heavy rain that pummeled Nicaragua has left at least six people dead this month, local news outlets reported Wednesday, October 17.

* Russia's Aerospace Defense Forces will soon receive a regimental unit of S-400 Triumpf missile systems and three divisional units of Pantsir-S missile systems, local news reported Thursday.

* European Union members on the UN Security Council on October 17 asked the political actors in Syria, particularly the government, to engage in the early convening of a constitutional committee.

* Iran has scrapped visa-free entry for Serbian nationals, days after the Balkan country reintroduced visas for Iranians, Tehran Times daily reported on October 17.

* Iranian foreign minister on October 17 urged Pakistan to follow up the fate of kidnapped Iranian border guards and transferred them to Pakistani soil.

* The Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo is likely to worsen significantly unless the response to it is stepped up, an emergency committee of experts convened by the World Health Organization said on October 17.

* The Syrian government has given approval for the United Nations to deliver aid next week to thousands of civilians stranded on the Jordanian-Syrian border and threatened with starvation, aid workers and camp officials said on October 17.

* The Russian unemployment rate was 4.5 percent in September, marking a decrease of 10.1 percent over the same period in 2017, the Russian Federal State Statistics Service Rosstat said in a report on October 17.

* At least 270,000 children in South Sudan are severely malnourished and face greater risk of starvation, with some 20,000 expected to die from extreme hunger before the end of year, aid group Save the Children warned on October 18. The aid agency said nearly half of South Sudan's population is facing extreme hunger.

* Bolivia and Peru on October 17 agreed to carry out joint surveillance and monitoring operations in order to enhance the protection of natural areas along their shared border.

* Wildlife authorities in southern Australia announced Wednesday an investigation into the deaths of almost 60 penguins which were killed in a suspected dog attack.