World News in Brief: May 15, 2019

Wednesday, 2019-05-15 10:05:06
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Secretary-General of ASEAN Dato Lim Jock Hoi and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan Taro Kono signed an Agreement on Technical Cooperation between ASEAN and the Government of Japan in Tokyo on May 13.

* In a statement carried by KCNA - the official news agencies of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the country’s foreign ministry has demanded the return of a cargo ship seized by Washington last week, calling it an “illegal act”.

* Scientists at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii have said that carbon dioxide levels in the Earth’s atmosphere are the highest they've seen in all of human existence.

* In his speech at the International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference (IMDEX Asia) in Singapore, Singaporean Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen called for concerted efforts in safeguarding regional maritime security.

* Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US President Donald Trump are scheduled to discuss bilateral trade and North Korea during the latter’s visit to Japan in late May ahead of the G20 meeting.

* The Office for National Statistics has said that the overall unemployment rate in the UK is now at the lowest level in 45 years, despite the current Brexit gloom.

* Spain has withdrawn a frigate from a US-led naval group in the Gulf amid differences over Iran between the European Union and the US.

* During her meeting in Belgium with the Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA) of Libya, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini underscored the need to resume the dialogue process in Libya.

* The US Government announced the granting of an additional US$ 160-million to Colombia for the implementation of the peace agreement signed with the former FARC guerrilla.

* Argentina’s military and federal police ordered an evacuation after receiving a bomb threat phone call against the presidential palace.

* Authorities in Niger have foiled a "terrorist" attack on a high-security prison near the capital city, Niamey, Interior Minister Mohamed Bazoum said on Monday.

* The United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock, has warned that Cameroon is facing worsening violence and conflict and the number of people needing humanitarian assistance has increased 30% from last year to 4.3 million people.

* Microsoft has announced that it will spend more than US$100 million over the next five years to open its first development centre in Africa and hire 500 people within four years.