World News in Brief: July 23

Tuesday, 2019-07-23 11:15:13
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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte vowed on Monday (July 22) to continue his campaign to combat illegal drugs and stamp out corruption in government.

* Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Monday, both pledging to boost comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries.

* US President Donald Trump said on Monday that his country has had "positive correspondence" with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) recently. Earlier on Monday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also told the media that Washington kept in contact with Pyongyang.

* Britain called on Monday for a European-led naval mission to ensure safe shipping through the Strait of Hormuz, days after Iran seized a British-flagged tanker in what London described as an act of "state piracy" in the strategic waterway.

* Iran's foreign minister warned the West on Monday against "starting a conflict," saying it was not seeking confrontation after its military seized the British-flagged tanker Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz last week.

* The Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi on Monday held a phone call with British Defense Secretary Penny Mordaunt over regional tensions in the Middle East region.

* US President Donald Trump tweeted Monday that his administration and congressional leaders reached a bipartisan budget deal for the next two years that will also raise the US borrowing limit to avoid potential default.

* Greece's newly-elected conservative government won a confidence vote on Monday on its economic policy, which includes tax cuts and measures to speed up investments. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis's New Democracy party won a landslide election on July 7, on pledges to cut taxes and boost growth in an economy which shrank by a quarter during a protracted debt crisis.

* Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday that if a planned safe zone in northern Syria is not established, and if threats continue against Turkey, Ankara would launch a military operation east of the Euphrates river.

* Preliminary investigation has shown that "an electromagnetic attack" is the probable cause of the massive blackout hitting most parts of Venezuela earlier Monday, an official said. The power outage affected much of the country (about 17 states) as of 4:40 p.m. local time (2040 GMT), including the capital district.

* US President Donald Trump on Monday dismissed Iran's claim of dismantling a spying network in the country working for the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) amid escalating tensions in the region.

* Egypt, the United States and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) started a joint military exercise on Monday in the Red Sea, the Egyptian armed forces said in a statement.

* Turkey will retaliate if the United States imposes sanctions over Ankara's purchase of Russian S-400 missile defense systems, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Monday.

* Police in San Juan fired tear gas on Monday night to disperse thousands of protestors demanding Puerto Rico's govenor resign over offensive chat messages, the latest scandal to hit a bankrupt island struggling to recover from 2017 hurricanes.

Xinhua, Reuters