World News in Brief: August 9

Friday, 2019-08-09 14:51:45
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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to recruit and train up to 10,000 elite special forces to fight the growing threat of Islamic State-affiliated terror groups that are trying to establish a front in the Philippines.

* Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng and Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Takeo Akiba will hold a new round of China-Japan strategic dialogue on August 10 in Japan, as agreed by both sides.

* The Republic of Korea President Moon Jae-in conducted a major cabinet reshuffle Friday (August 9), replacing eight ministerial-level officials and nominating a new ambassador to the United States, according to the presidential Blue House.

* India on Thursday (August 8) responded to Pakistan's decision to downgrade bilateral ties, saying the decision was "not supported by facts on the ground."

* A Russian UN envoy highlighted Thursday the importance of establishing a security system in the Gulf, saying it might be essential for consolidating political and diplomatic efforts in the region.

*US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday rejected a plea from more than 200 mayors to call lawmakers back early from the Senate summer recess for gun bill voting. The legislations concerned are about expanding background checks for gun purchase, which were already approved by the House.

* US President Donald Trump on Thursday accused French President Emmanuel Macron of sending "mixed signals" to Iran on behalf of the United States.

* Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said late on Thursday that he will ask parliament for a vote of confidence after Interior Minister Matteo Salvini called for snap elections earlier in the evening, bringing Italy one step closer to a government crisis.

* British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday unveiled a new fast-track visa plan to attract "the very best minds from around the world" in a bid to boost the country's science sector after Brexit.

* Australia will move to establish a timetable to put a ban on waste exports, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) announced on Friday at its 47th general meeting in Cairns, Queensland state.

* An agreement between Turkey and the United States on establishing a safe zone in northeastern Syria is a "very good start," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday.

* US and Canadian fighter jets on Thursday intercepted Russian bombers off the coast of Alaska, according to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).

* Chinese and Iraqi officials on Thursday expressed keenness to strengthen bilateral ties and boost cooperation in various fields, including facilitating visa applications, Iraqi Foreign Ministry said.

* Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said on Thursday that Russian President Vladimir Putin is to visit Finland in late August.

* Continuous heavy downpours, softening the soil underneath a bell tower at a local temple in Tha Song Yang, a northwestern-most district of Tak Province of Thailand, caused landslides, local media reported.

* The Arab League strongly condemned on Thursday an Israeli decision to build 2,300 new settlement units in the occupied West Bank.

* Syrian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that the Syrian government rejects the US-Turkish agreement to establish a safe zone in northern Syria, state news agency SANA reported.

* The Egyptian police identified on Thursday the terrorist who killed 20 people using a booby-trapped car in the Egyptian capital Cairo earlier this week.

* Around 20 people died and over 22,000 were evacuated in floods over the last 24 hours in India's southern state of Kerala, media reported on Friday.

* At least 22 inmates escaped early Thursday from a prison in Meiganga, a town in Cameroon's mountainous region of Adamawa, police said.

Xinhua