World News in Brief: December 27

Thursday, 2018-12-27 16:08:54
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The Philippines' most active volcano, Mount Mayon, spewed grayish white ash plume that rose 500 to 600 meters above the crater Thursday (December 27) morning, a Philippine volcanologist said.

* Indonesian authorities have risen alert status of Anak Krakatau volcano and enlarged the no-go zone after the eruption of the volcano triggered a tsunami in coastal areas of Sunda Strait which killed over 430 people, disaster agency officials said on December 27.

* Russia's Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket with two Kanopus-V remote sensing satellites and 26 small foreign spacecraft has been launched from the Vostochny spaceport in the Far Eastern Amur region on December 27, Russia's Roscosmos space agency said in a statement.

* President Donald Trump made a surprise Christmas visit to US troops in Iraq on December 26, his first trip to a conflict zone nearly two years into his presidency and days after announcing a pullout of American troops from neighboring Syria.

* Twenty-eight people were injured in Italy's Sicily on December 26 in an earthquake triggered by the eruption of Mount Etna, Italian authorities said.

* A US trade team will travel to Beijing the week of January 7 to hold talks with Chinese officials, Bloomberg reported on December 26, citing two people familiar with the matter.

* The Pakistani government on December 26 announced to launch a wide-ranging comprehensive operation to counter-terrorism and target killing across the country in March next year.

* Russia needs to improve the competitiveness of its economy on a global scale in response to Western sanctions, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on December 26.

* Eleven government forces were wounded in a landmine blast believed to set off by leftist rebels in southern Philippines on December 26, military officials on December 27 said.

* Sri Lanka's Disaster Management Center (DMC) on December 26 said that two people had been killed and over 86,000 affected from flash floods caused by days of heavy rains in northern Sri Lanka.

* An explosive device wounded a police officer and a civilian when it detonated outside a church in central Athens, Turkey, early on December 27, shortly before liturgy was due to start and without warning, police and state media said.

Reuters, Xinhua