World News in Brief: November 4

Monday, 2019-11-04 12:20:25
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Negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) have made a major breakthrough, according to leaders attending the 22nd ASEAN-China, Japan and the Republic of Korea leaders' meeting in Bangkok on Monday (November 4).

* Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Bangkok, Thailand, on Sunday (November 3) met with Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith on closer cooperation to build the China-Laos community with a shared future.

* Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen met in Bangkok, Thailand, on Sunday and agreed to expand cooperation to bring the two countries' relations to a higher level.

* British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Sunday he would rule out a new referendum on Scottish independence, saying he would not give the go-ahead for another legally-binding vote while he is at 10 Downing Street.

* Iraq's Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi appealed on Sunday to protesters to help restore normal life across the country and said the unrest was costing the economy "billions of dollars".

* Germany should have one million charging stations for electric cars by 2030, Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a video message on Sunday, ahead of meetings on Monday with the car industry on how to speed the move to low-emission battery-driven vehicles.

* Republic of Korea's President Moon Jae-in on Monday suggested high-level talks to resolve a deepening political and trade row with Japan during a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Moon's spokeswoman said in a statement. The two leaders held 11-minute talks on the sidelines of a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) grouping in Bangkok, the spokeswoman, Ko Min-jung, said.

* Iran's Mahan Air will suspend flights to Italy in December as Italy has announced bans on the airline under pressure of the United States, Head of the Association of Iranian Airlines (AIA) Masoud Assadi Salmani said on Sunday. Mahan Air's flights to the Italian cities of Rome and Milan will continue until December 21, Assadi Salmani said, according to Iran's state IRIB TV.

* Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) pilots took the first test flight of Israeli version of "Air Force One" on Sunday. According to IAI, it will be the first time for the Israeli president and prime minister to have an aircraft only for their use.

* Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on Sunday headed to Washington for US-brokered talks over the controversial dam constructed by Ethiopia on their shared Nile River, Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Slated for November 6, the meeting will gather the foreign ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan and will be attended by the World Bank.

* Jordan's Senate President Faisal Fayez on Sunday called on the international community to shoulder its responsibilities to support the Palestinians in establishing a sovereign and independent state on their national soil, the state-run Petra news agency reported.

* Iranian forces will target the interests of the United States and its allies in case of aggression against Iran by Washington, the spokesman for Iran's Armed Forces said on Sunday.

* The Syrian army on Sunday consolidated its positions in the countryside of Hasakah province in northeastern Syria and met with other Syrian military units advancing from Raqqa province in northern Syria, according to the state news agency SANA.

* The US forces pulled out on Sunday from a base in the northern countryside of Syria's Aleppo province in northern Syria, sources said. Activists said the US forces left the base of Sabta near the village of Surrin south of the city of Ayn al-Arab in the northeastern countryside of Aleppo after removing all equipment.

* Leaders of the Arab public in Israel launched a hunger strike on Sunday, accusing the Israeli authorities of ignoring growing crime in the Arab communities.

* The Hamas chief announced on Sunday that an agreement has been reached with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas over holding the parliamentary and presidential elections in the Palestinian territories.

* The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has destroyed one of terror group Boko Haram's hideouts in the northeastern Nigerian state of Borno, an NAF spokesperson told Xinhua on Sunday.

* Libya's UN-backed government forces captured seven eastern-based army soldiers during clashes in south of the capital Tripoli, according to a statement by the UN-backed government on its official Facebook page.

* Nigeria will keep its land borders closed to trade until at least January 31, 2020, the customs spokesman told Reuters on Sunday. Nigeria launched a partial border closure in August to tackle smuggling of rice and other goods. Last month the head of customs confirmed that all trade via land borders was halted indefinitely.