World News in Brief: November 1

Thursday, 2018-11-01 10:57:07
 Font Size:     |        Print

Search and rescue operations were ongoing in northern Philippines after 13 people were killed and dozens trapped in landslides caused by heavy rains from Typhoon Yutu, a government official said on Wednesday (October 31).

* Cuba's foreign trade and investment minister said on Wednesday the country had signed nearly 200 investment projects worth US$5.5 billion since it slashed taxes and made other adjustments to its investment law in 2014.

* British Prime Minister Theresa May has struck a deal with the European Union that would give UK financial services companies continued access to European markets after Brexit, the Times reported on November 1.

* A young man detonated a bomb Wednesday morning in the building of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) in the northwestern city of Arkhangelsk, killing himself and wounding three FSB officers, the Russian Investigative Committee said.

* The Republic of Korea (RoK) and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) agreed to hold sports talks later this week to increase sports exchange between the two sides, Seoul's unification ministry said Wednesday.

* Austria government said on October 31 that it would not join a United Nations (UN) migration pact, which is set to be adopted in December at a UN conference in Morocco.

* US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on October 31 that he would meet with the foreign minister of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) next week to discuss Pyongyang's reported readiness to open its nuke and missile sites for international inspectors, as well as the second summit of two countries' leaders.

* US President Donald Trump said Wednesday that the country's military is being mobilized at southern border with Mexico, in another effort to deter members of a caravan of Central American migrants from reaching the border.

* UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday announced the appointment of Geir Pedersen of Norway as his new special envoy for Syria to succeed Staffan de Mistura, who steps down in November.

* Colombian President Ivan Duque's administration presented a tax bill to Congress on Wednesday that aims to raise COP14 trillion (US$4.37 billion) to finance next year's budget, including higher taxes on the middle class and lower duties on businesses.

* Mexican president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador met on Wednesday with Hermes and ICA, two of the biggest construction firms contracted to build a US$13 billion airport near the capital that is now slated to be scrapped, company executives said.

* Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in Tehran on October 31 that the US officials have retreated from their earlier stance to cut down Iran's oil exports to zero. The US sanctions to target Iran's most crucial part of the economy, namely its oil exports, will start on November 4.

* US national security adviser John Bolton said on Wednesday the Trump administration wants sanctions on Iran's crude exports to strain Tehran, but does not want to harm countries that depend on the oil.

* Two Tu-160 strategic bombers of the Russian air forces have started a planned 10-hour flight over the neutral waters of the Barents and Norwegian Seas, the Russian Defense Ministry said Wednesday.

* Italy's jobless rate rose and the nation's economy appeared to have grounded to a halt after posting modest growth over the past three years, according to official data released on October 30-31. Overall unemployment increased 0.3 percent to 10.1 percent in September compared to August, while youth (ages 15-25) unemployment added 0.2 percent to 31.6 percent in the same period.

* Governments around the world implemented a record 314 business reforms in "bureaucracy busting efforts" over the past year, the World Bank Group said in a report Wednesday. Afghanistan, Djibouti, China, Azerbaijan, and India are among the top 10 improvers of business climate in this year's assessment, thanks to their efforts in reforms, said the report.

* More than 1,500 bodies of civilians have been found in a newly-discovered mass grave in Syria's northern province of Raqqa, the former de facto capital of the Islamic State (IS), the pro-government al-Watan newspaper said Wednesday.

* The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has temporarily suspended its wide-scale offensive against the Islamic State (IS) in eastern Syria amid Turkish strikes, a war monitor reported Wednesday.

* More than 8.4 million people in Yemen are living on the edge of famine in the world's largest hunger crisis, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) said Wednesday, adding it needs more resources to feed them.

Xinhua, Reuters