World News in Brief: March 26

Tuesday, 2019-03-26 15:31:17
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Chinese President Xi Jinping and his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, on March 25 agreed to carry forward the high-level ties between the two countries and forge a more solid, stable and vibrant China-France comprehensive strategic partnership on a new starting point in history. The consensus was reached during the talks between Xi and Macron at the Elysee Palace in Paris.

* Britain's Prince Charles and Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel met in Havana on March 25, vowing to strengthen bilateral ties and cooperation in a wide range of areas, the Cuban government said.

* At the meeting on March 25 between Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who also acts as the People's Action Party (PAP)'s secretary-general, and Song Tao, minister of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the two sides expressed their willingness to further develop the ties between the two parties.

* British lawmakers on March 25 voted in favor of an amendment which would lead to a series of indicative votes on Wednesday on "alternative ways forward" on Brexit. MPs voted 329 to 302 for the amendment tabled by Oliver Letwin. The vote came after British Prime Minister Theresa May vowed the government would oppose the amendment.

* US President Donald Trump on March 25 signed a proclamation recognizing Israel's sovereignty over the disputed Golan Heights, territory that Israel seized from Syria in 1967.

* Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit condemned on March 25 US President Donald Trump's recognition of the Syrian Golan Heights as Israeli territory. Aboul-Gheit said in a statement that this proclamation is void and a blatant violation of the international law.

* Israel and militants in the Gaza Strip resumed mutual attacks early on March 26, just hours after an Eyptian-brokered cease-fire came into effect, local media reported.

* US State Department said on March 25 that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov held a phone conversation over the situation in Venezuela.

* Brazil's ex-president Michel Temer and seven of his close aides were ordered to be released from prison on March 25, following their arrest last week on corruption charges.

* Australia and China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) signed a free trade agreement and an investment agreement in Sydney on March 26.

* The US economic growth is expected to sharply slow down over the next two years, a survey by the National Association of Business Economics (NABE) showed on March 25. According to the March 2019 NABE Outlook Survey, US economic growth, as measured by real gross domestic product (GDP), is projected to slow to 2.4 percent in 2019 and further decelerate to 2.0 percent in 2020.

* China's National Immigration Administration (NIA) will open an online service on April 1 to facilitate application and inquiry of travel documents. The service will consist of the website, an app of NIA and mini-programs attached to WeChat and Alipay, the NIA said in a statement on March 26.

* Turkish jets were not involved in any harassment of a helicopter carrying Greek Prime Minister in the Aegean Sea, state-run Anadolu Agency quoted security sources as saying on March 25.

* Ukraine has set up a total of 101 polling stations abroad for the presidential election scheduled for March 31, the data from the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) showed on March 25. A total of 420,342 ballot papers have been handed over to the polling stations outside Ukraine.

* Morocco will buy US$3.787 billion’s worth of arms from the United States, the Moroccan financial news site reported on March 25.