World News in Brief: December 2

Monday, 2019-12-02 15:55:49
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Saudi Arabia assumed the G20 presidency on Sunday (December 1) and will hold the leaders' summit in Riyadh on November 21-22, 2020, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

* The China-Russia east-route natural gas pipeline was put into operation on Monday (December 2). The pipeline began providing China with Russian natural gas, scheduled to reach 5 billion cubic meters in 2020 and increase to 38 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually from 2024, under a 30-year contract signed between the China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) and Russian gas giant Gazprom in May 2014.

* Saudi Arabia will host the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit in the capital Riyadh on December 10, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.

* Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia arrived in New Delhi on Monday for a five-day state visit at the invitation of President of India Ram Nath Kovind. This is the Swedish King's third visit to India, the earlier visits being in the years 1993 and 2005.

* Palestine on Sunday slammed Israel's decision on building a new settlement in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, saying it is a "clear result" of U.S. backing. The move came right after Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennett approved the construction of a new settlement in Hebron.

* A total of 13 Pakistani nationals died Monday at dawn after a fire broke out in their tin house in Southern Shuneh area, 45 km to the west of Amman, according to a statement by the Civil Defence Department.

*Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Monday instructed officials to take immediate action to ensure the safety and welfare of the people affected by floods and landslides in the island country.

* About 400 traffic accidents happened in the Greater Toronto Area Sunday due to a mix of ice pellets and snow, CTV Toronto News reported Sunday night.

* Sri Lanka's new government will aim to increase investments from China and a few other leading markets next year in order to boost the Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) sector and the economy of the island country, State Minister of Investment Promotion Keheliya Rambukwella was quoted in local media reports as saying in Colombo on Monday.

* China and Iran held a consultation on Iran nuclear issue Sunday in Beijing. Both sides exchanged in-depth views on the current Iranian nuclear situation and the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and reached broad consensus.

* The Ministry of Transport of the UN-backed Libyan government on Sunday announced that the Mitiga International Airport in the capital Tripoli will resume flights on December 12.

* Mexican security forces early Sunday killed seven more suspected members of a drug cartel that attacked a small-town city hall in North Mexico's border state of Coahuila on Saturday, official sources said.

* Croatian Defense Minister Damir Krsticevic and his German counterpart Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer agreed on Sunday that Croatia and Germany will jointly organize an EU-NATO cooperation conference in the Croatian city of Split next year. The meeting of the European defense ministers will take place on June 8-9 during the Croatian presidency of the European Union.

* Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat announced on Sunday his decision to resign from office after January 12, when a new leader is chosen for the Labour Party and could replace him as prime minister.

* Iran on Sunday began registration of the candidates for the upcoming legislative elections amid the mounting pressures of the United States on the country's vital economic sectors. The 11th round of parliamentary elections in Iran is slated for Feb. 21, 2020, four years after the previous one in 2016.

* The Turkish security forces are in contact with 5,300 families of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) members and have convinced more than 600 "terrorists" to surrender in the past three years, a minister said on Sunday.

* Two airstrikes within 72 hours killed 14 children and injured at least 10 other civilians in Libya, said the forces of Libya's UN-backed government on Sunday.

* Taliban fighters' ambush on a convoy of army in Afghanistan's northern Kunduz province left 12 people dead, including four Afghan soldiers on Sunday, an army spokesman in the restive province said.