World News in Brief: August 17

Saturday, 2019-08-17 13:21:07
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Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday (August 16) he has signed a decree awarding the Hero of Russia titles to the captain and co-pilot of a plane who saved the lives of all 226 passengers during a hard landing.

* Fifteen people have been killed with 13 others injured in Thursday (August 15)'s armed attacks launched by three armed groups in Myanmar, an official from Myanmar President's Office told a press briefing on Friday.

* US Special Representative for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Stephen Biegun will visit Japan and Republic of Korea next week, said the US State Department on Friday. Biegun will travel to Japan from Aug. 19 to 20 and Seoul from Aug. 20 to 22 to meet with officials there to discuss the denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, said the department in a statement.

* Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov and his counterparts of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Friday.

* The Chairman of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Un guided the test-fire of a new weapon again on Friday morning, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Saturday (August 17). The recent weapon tests came as plans to resume working-level talks between Pyongyang and Washington appear to have stalled.

* US President Donald Trump on Friday floated the possibility of a deal with the Taliban after a meeting with senior advisors on Afghan issues.

* German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke out in favor of resuming state-organized sea rescue operations for refugees in the Mediterranean on Thursday evening in Berlin. Merkel also stressed that sea rescue was just as necessary as the fight against traffickers who illegally bring migrants to Europe.

* Three Russian crew members of a cargo ship have been abducted by pirates near the port of Douala in southern Cameroon, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Friday. Russian diplomats are actively working with Cameroonian authorities and the ship-owner to facilitate the quick release of the Russian citizens.

* The African Union and UN have called for peaceful and credible elections in Jubaland, southern Somalia, saying the polls slated for Aug. 24 are critical for the country's stability.

* The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Special Monitoring Mission (OSCE SMM) to Ukraine recorded fewer ceasefire violations in Eastern Ukraine over the two weeks since July 29, the organization's official Facebook page said Friday. The ongoing conflict in the East of Ukraine started in April 2014.

* Israeli war jets struck early on Saturday facilities of militant groups in the Gaza Strip in response to earlier rockets attack from the coastal enclave into southern Israel, security sources and local media said.

* Yemen's Houthi rebels said they attacked Saudi Abha airport on Friday evening, using multiple bomb-laden drones, Houthi-run al-Masirah TV reported. Saudi Arabia has yet to confirm the alleged attack.

* Persistent heavy rain triggered by super typhoon Lekima battered northeast China's Jilin Province as of Tuesday, leaving 85,089 people from 22 counties and districts affected, the provincial flood control headquarters said Friday.

* Security forces have killed 60 militants and recaptured more than 100 villages from Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan's Ghor province over the past nearly one month, deputy provincial Police Chief Wahidullah Nizami said Friday.