World News in Brief: February 23

Saturday, 2019-02-23 14:45:16
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A deep magnitude-7.5 earthquake struck the Peru-Ecuador border region early on February 22 morning, the US Geological Survey said, causing tremors that the Ecuadorian president said were felt around the country.

* US President Donald Trump said on February 22 that he expects to meet China's leader, Xi Jinping, soon and said they may nail down the final points of a trade deal.

* The President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and President of the European Council Donald Tusk are due in the Egyptian Red Sea resort Sharm el-Sheikh on February 24 for the first EU-Arab League Summit, the Commission said in a statement on February 22.

* Chinese President Xi Jinping on February 22 met with Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, Saudi Arabia's crown prince, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

* US State Department said on February 22 that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his Japanese counterpart discussed the next-step engagement with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) over phone.

* Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari cast his ballot in the presidential election on February 23 as polls opened after a week-long delay, television images on Channels TV showed.

* The United States will leave a total of about 400 US troops in Syria, split between a safe zone being negotiated for northeastern Syria and the US military base at Tanf, near the border with Iraq and Jordan, a senior administration official said on February 22.

* Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez announced on February 22 night the closing of three bridges connecting the country with Colombia.

* Speaking in front of reporters on February 22 at the White House, US President Donald Trump said he will "100 percent" veto any attempt by Congress to block his national emergency declaration.

* At least 15 mining firms in South Africa have received notices of strikes to be held next week in support of colleagues at Sibanye-Stillwater who on strike over wages and job cuts, Minerals Council South Africa said on February 22.

* Libyan Coast Guards on February 22 rescued 113 illegal migrants, including women and children, off the country's western coast.

* According to the survey conducted by the center for social and marketing research SOCIS, a total of 70.8 percent of Ukrainians plan to vote in the forthcoming presidential election, scheduled for March 31.

* The US army started the deployment of up to 400 troops and heavy weapons to Bulgaria for a joint drill with the Balkan country lasting until Oct. 19, authorities said on February 22.

* Tunisia and Spain on February 22 signed an agreement worth EUR25 million (over US$28.3 million) to refurbish small businesses, said the Tunisian Ministry of Investment, Development and International Cooperation.