World News in Brief: March 31

Sunday, 2019-03-31 11:07:36
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The government of India has once again extended the deadline to impose retaliatory tariffs on as many as 29 US products, including almond, walnut and pulses, from April 1 till May 2.

* The Russian Foreign Ministry on March 30 warned the United States against further interfering in Venezuela's domestic affairs and stirring up speculations about Russia conducting military operations in the South American country.

* Both supporters and opponents of the Venezuelan government took to the streets on March 30 amid an ongoing political and economic crisis aggravated by successive blackouts.

* British Prime Minister Theresa May risks the "total collapse" of her government if she fails to get her battered Brexit deal through parliament, the Sunday Times newspaper said, amid growing speculation that she might call an early election.

* Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said his government still supports an orderly Brexit despite a third deal being rejected by the British parliament on March 29, though he admits a no-deal scenario appears increasingly likely.

* Jacinda Ardern will arrive in Beijing on March 31 for her first China trip since becoming New Zealand's prime minister. Her visit is expected to inject new impetus into the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership, and bring tangible benefits to the peoples of the two countries, the Xinhua reported.

* Slovakia's ruling party-backed candidate Maros Sefcovic conceded defeat in the euro zone country's presidential election on March 30. Sefcovic, a vice-president the European Union's executive Commission, told reporters he had called his rival, liberal lawyer Zuzana Caputova, to congratulate her on her victory.

* Dozens of experts from a diverse range of fields gathered at the Michigan China Forum on March 30 to share thoughts on China-US relations and probe into cooperation opportunities between the two countries.

* German police arrested six terror suspects on suspicion of being affiliated with the Islamic State (IS) extremist group and of planning an attack, but released them later, the German Press Agency (DPA) reported on March 30.

* Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi raised on March 30 the minimum wage of state employees to EGP2,000 (US$115.74) per month from EGP1,200, state Nile TV reported.

* Militancy and counter-militancy have left 26 fighters dead including 13 militants in Kandahar and Zabul provinces of Afghanistan since Saturday (March 30) morning, officials said.

* Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed met with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Tunis Afrique Presse (TAP) reported on March 30. Tunisia will host a quadripartite meeting as part of the Arab League Summit, in the presence of the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union and the Arab League, to discuss ways of implementing the roadmap and organizing free elections in Libya before the end of the year.

* There are signs that Libya's two rival leaders may for the first time solve a key dispute over control of the army, amid efforts to overcome the country's eight-year-long conflict, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on March 30.

* Iran said on March 30 it faced an emergency in a southwestern province threatened by flooding and worked to evacuate dozens of villages as forecasters predicted more of the heavy rains that have killed at least 45 people this week, state media reported.

* Tens of thousands of Palestinians rallied at the Israel-Gaza border on March 30, facing off against Israeli tanks and troops on the first anniversary of the 'Great March of Return' demonstrations.

* Libya held rare municipal elections in nine communities on March 30, although turnout in the country's first voting for five years reached only about 38 percent.

* Algeria's army chief repeated a proposal on March 30 to declare President Abdelaziz Bouteflika unfit for office under article 102 of the constitution and told opponents not to seek to undermine the military. Army Chief of Staff Ahmed Gaed Salah said in a statement issued by the Defence Ministry that most people supported the army's plan but some were resisting.