World News in Brief: February 21

Thursday, 2019-02-21 10:48:49
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Nearly 120,000 Thais will cast their vote for MPs overseas in advance of the March 24 general election, the Election Commission announced in a press statement on February 20. A total of 119,184 Thai nationals have registered to go to the polls in 67 foreign countries and regions where they are currently residing.

* The 16th meeting of the foreign ministers of China, Russia and India will be held in Wuzhen, east China's Zhejiang Province, on Feb. 27, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang announced on February 20 in Beijing.

* Russian President Vladimir Putin said in his annual address to the parliament on February 20 that the government will boost expenditures on national projects concerning social development and beef up its military might to protect the country against external threat.

* US President Donald Trump said on February 20 that his upcoming Hanoi summit with Kim Jong-un, top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), would be "successful."

* US President Donald Trump on February 20 had a phone conversation with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe about the upcoming summit between the United States and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the White House said.

* Chinese President Xi Jinping on February 20 met with visiting Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

* UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres reiterated his condemnation of the "terrorist attack" against Indian security forces in Indian-controlled Kashmir and subsequent violence, his spokesperson said on February 20.

* At a UN General Assembly meeting held in United Nations on February 20, Ukraine and Russia clashed over border issues following remarks by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko that a full-scale war along the Russian border with Ukraine is "not an unrealistic prospect."

* The death toll from Brazil's tragic dam disaster in southeast Minas Gerais state has climbed to 171, and 139 people remain missing, the state civil defense agency said on February 20.

* Intense clashes broke out between Yemen's government forces and the Houthi rebels in the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah on February 20 night despite the cease-fire brokered by the United Nations, an army commander told Xinhua.

* The Jordanian government and the international community on February 20 launched the Jordanian Response Plan for 2019 worth US$2.4 billion to address the impact of the Syrian crisis.

* Russia will deliver the first batch of S-400 air defense system to Turkey in July and the missile systems will be activated in October, a Turkish defense official said on February 20.

* The commander of the US Central Command (CENTCOM) Gen. Joseph Votel paid a visit to Afghan capital Kabul and held meeting with President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on February 19, the Presidential Palace said on February 20.

* India's air show "Aero India 2019" began on February 20 at Yelahanka air force station in Bengaluru, the capital city of southern Indian state of Karnataka, officials said.

* As many as 2,000 people, including 150 Islamic State (IS) militants, left the IS last stronghold in eastern Syria on February 20, a war monitor reported.

* The Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, a state-owned Israeli technology company, unveiled on February 20 the new long-range surface-to-air missile "Rocks."

* The Croatian Parliament adopted on February 20 urgent procedure on amendments to the INA Act, the legislation on the leading Croatian oil company.

* The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported 537 deaths among the 844 cases of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since last August, a UN spokesman said on February 20.