World News in Brief: June 12, 2019

Wednesday, 2019-06-12 11:04:27
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Thailand’s royal family has approved Prayuth Chan-ocha as the Southeast Asian country’s Prime Minister, whose cabinet members are expected to be announced this month.

* Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked the government to create a plan to make India a US$5 trillion economy with the top priority given to enhancing the people’s living standards.

* France, Germany, Poland, Sweden and the UK have issued a joint statement expressing support for Moldova’s parliament as the country is embroiled in a serious political crisis.

* US President Donald Trump continued to express his displeasure at high tariffs imposed by India on American goods, including Harley Davidson motorcycles.

* Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has asked parliament to sack General Prosecutor Yuri Lutshenko and to appoint a former Ukrainian envoy to NATO, Vadym Prystaiko, as new foreign minister.

* An Iranian court has approved the conditional release of a Lebanese citizen who was sentenced to 10 years in jail on charges of spying for the US.

* Egypt’s Foreign Ministry has asked the UK government to intervene to halt the auction of a statue of King Tutankhamun’s head held by Christie’s.

* During the reception for a US delegation, Lebanon’s president urged the US to take part in the country’s oil exploration activities.

* Gabon’s presidential office has announced a list of 28 ministers, 10 fewer than the previous administration, following a scandal over timber smuggling.

* US President Donald Trump called tariffs over French wine imported to the US and US wine exported to France unfair and vowed to take action to deal with the issue.

* The multinational exercise Saber Guardian 2019 has formally kicked off with about 8,000 troops from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and the US.

* The US Defense Department is proceeding with the largest military hardware procurement order with Lockheed Martin concerning F-35 fighter jets worth US$34 billion.

* Under a newly signed agreement, the US will increase the number of its troops in Poland from the current 4,500 to 6,000. Poland pledges US$2 billion to modernising military infrastructure and facilitating the operation of US forces.

* A helicopter crashed while landing on a skyscraper in New York, killing the pilot.

* Russia’s maritime and river transport agency said three were killed and another three injured as an explosion hit a tanker in the city of Makhachkala.

* Six civilians were killed in a roadside bomb blast in Afghanistan’s southern province of Kandahar.

* Amazon has overtaken Apple and Google to become the world’s most valuable brand at US$315 billion.