World News in Brief: October 25

Thursday, 2018-10-25 12:35:11
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Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad is paying a two-day visit to Thailand until Thursday,October 25. The Malaysian premier met with his Thai counterpart Prayut Chan-o-cha at the Government House on Wednesday (October 24) during which both sides discussed issues pertaining to regional security, connectivity and economic partnerships, besides ASEAN cooperation frameworks.

* Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a phone call with Saudi crown prince on October 24 to discuss the joint efforts to shed light all aspects of the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, state-run Anadolu Agency reported. The phone conversation was made at request of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, according to Turkish presidential sources. Two leaders discussed the steps to be taken for the investigation.

* The Republic of Korea (RoK) and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) completed the pullout of weapons and guard posts from the Joint Security Area (JSA) inside the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), which has left the Korean Peninsula divided, Seoul's defense ministry said Thursday.

* An explosive device was sent to CNN's New York offices on October 24, hours after authorities said they had intercepted suspicious packages intended for former US President Barack Obama, and former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called the explosive device sent to the CNN offices in the Time Warner Center "an effort to terrorize" and "an act of terror attempting to undermine our free press."

* France would take adequate action against Saudi Arabia if the facts of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's death were clearly established and responsibility of Riyadh over the incident would be proven, Benjamin Griveaux, the government spokesperson said on October 24.

* Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on October 24 that the Polish government's plan to allow a permanent deployment of a US division in its territory as a threat to regional security, local media reported.

* The long history between Italy and Russia added a new chapter Wednesday when Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Russian President Vladimir Putin met for the first time, vowing to strengthen trade ties.

* Sudan and Egypt on October 24 agreed to coordinate with each other on regional and international issues.

* The chair of the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee warned Wednesday of the danger border checkpoints will not be ready if Britain crashes out of the European Union with no deal.

* Israel will supply India with air and missile defense system Long-Range Surface-to-Air Missile (LRSAM) in a deal worth US$777 million, Israel Aerospace Industries announced on October 24. The contract was signed with the Indian government company Bharat Electronics.

* A dispute between Italy and France continued Wednesday as French authorities denied allegations by Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini that French police are "dumping" migrants across the border.

* The UN special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura arrived in Damascus on Wednesday for talks with Syrian officials, a week after his decision to resign by the end of November. The envoy is expected to meet with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem first to discuss the creation of the constitutional committee which will be tasked with drafting a post-war constitution.

* Russia's Siberia is becoming an increasingly attractive target for international terrorists, Nikolai Patrushev, the secretary of the Russian Security Council, said Wednesday at a council meeting in Novosibirsk. According to Patrushev, in the first nine months of this year, the council received 56 cases on terrorism-related charges.

* Belgium and China Wednesday launched a new cargo train route linking the Belgian city of Liege, some 100 km southeast of Brussels, to Zhengzhou, the capital city of China's Henan province.

* The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said Wednesday its 20-Year Air Passenger Forecast shows that China will displace the United States as the world's largest aviation market in the mid-2020s. By 2020, India will take 3rd place after the United States, surpassing Britain around 2024.

* Russia's Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket with spacecraft has been launched at 03:15 a.m. local time (00:15 GMT) by the Russian Aerospace Defense Forces from the Plesetsk spaceport, local news reported Thursday. All pre-launch operations were carried out in a normal mode. The device was successfully placed into orbit, TASS news agency quoted the Russian Defense Ministry as saying.

* Portugal's Coastal Control Unit of the GNR police force detected 30 migrants in an inflatable boat on the Aegean Sea on Wednesday and handed them over to the Greek authorities.

* Israeli fighter jets fired missiles early Thursday targeting several Hamas facilities in response to a rocket launched from the Hamas-ruled enclave into Israel, security officials and eyewitnesses said.

* The resumption of sanctions on Iran adds uncertainty to crude oil prices, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) on October 24. According to the outlook, Brent crude oil spot prices, which averaged US$70 per barrel in September, are expected to average US$81 per barrel in the fourth quarter of 2018 and will fall to an average of US$75 per barrel in 2019.