World News in Brief: June 16

Sunday, 2019-06-16 14:27:05
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A 6.6-magnitude quake jolted 136 km ESE of L'Esperance Rock, New Zealand at 0517 GMT on Sunday (June 16), the US Geological Survey said. The epicenter, with a depth of 111.0 km, was initially determined to be at 31.7 degrees south latitude and 177.5 degrees west longitude.

* Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Tajik counterpart Emomali Rahmon held talks in Dushanbe Saturday (June 15), agreeing to further deepen the two countries' comprehensive strategic partnership for common development and prosperity.

* The Republic of Korean President Moon Jae-in was in Sweden on June 13-14 to talk about innovation, inclusivity and the Korean Peninsula issue, as part of a state visit to commemorate 60 years of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

An explosion took place inside a military base in Syrian capital Damascus on Saturday afternoon, state news agency SANA reported. Citing a military source, the report said that an investigation is underway to determine the exact details.

* Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Sunday that OPEC would probably meet in the first week in July in Vienna and that he hoped it would reach consensus on extending its agreement to cut oil output.

* British Prime Minister Theresa May is considering pushing through a GBP27 billion (US$34 billion) increase to the education budget in her final weeks in power prompting a clash with the finance ministry, the Sunday Telegraph reported.

* India will impose higher retaliatory tariffs on 28 US products including almonds, apples and walnuts from Sunday, following Washington's withdrawal of key trade privileges for New Delhi.

* UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on the European Union to aim for a 55% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, far more than the bloc's current target for a 40% reduction.

* Zuzana Caputova was sworn in as president of Slovakia on Saturday, thus becoming the first female president of the country. The swearing-in took place before Constitutional Court chair Ivan Fiacan during a ceremonial parliamentary session held in Bratislava.

* Pakistan will receive US$3.4 billion in budgetary support from the Asian Development Bank (ABD), the de facto finance minister said on Saturday, as the government seeks help to overcome a ballooning balance of payments crisis.

* The Saudi Arabia-led coalition launched airstrikes on Houthi rebels' targets in the Yemeni capital Sanaa early Sunday, local media said. No casualties were reported.

* Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced on Saturday that Palestine will not participate in the US-sponsored economic workshop to be held in Manama, capital of Bahrain, on June 25.

* Saudi Arabia's crown prince blamed Iran for attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman and called on the international community to take a "decisive stand" but said in an interview published on Sunday that the kingdom does not want a war in the region.

* Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said he expected Russian S-400 missile defence systems to start arriving in Turkey in the first half of July, broadcaster NTV reported on Sunday, a development set to fuel tensions with NATO ally Washington.

* The air force of Libya's eastern-based army on Saturday targeted a military store of the rival UN-backed government in the eastern part of the capital Tripoli, killing nine people and damaging a nearby hospital, authorities said.

* A United Airlines plane skidded off the runway after landing at Newark Liberty International Airport in the US state of New Jersey on Saturday afternoon, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said. No injuries have been reported.