World News in Brief: February 17

Monday, 2020-02-17 14:38:32
 Font Size:     |        Print

Singapore's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth will stand at -0.5 to 1.5 percent in 2020, with growth expected to come in at around 0.5 percent, the mid-point of the forecast range, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) announced in a report on Monday (February 17). The ministry said that the Singapore economy grew by 0.7 percent in 2019, which was lower than the 3.4 percent growth recorded in 2018.

* A total of 1,200 medical professionals, which make up the second group of the 2,600 reinforcement medics sent by the armed forces of China, arrived in Wuhan Monday to help contain the virus.

* The climate change is the gravest and most urgent obstacle to the global stability and prosperity, and greater joint efforts made by every country and every community in the world are necessary to deal with the crisis, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in Islamabad, Pakistan, on Sunday (February 16).

* The 56th Munich Security Conference (MSC) closed on Sunday as attendees didn't share consensus on "Westlessness," the theme of this year's conference. The debates on "Westlessness," which refers to the loss of common standing of what it means to be part of the West, would likely continue.

* US President Donald Trump spoke over phone with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday to discuss issues concerning Syria and Libya, said the White House on Sunday.

* North Macedonia's lawmakers voted to dissolve the 120-seat parliament, paying the way for early elections set for April 12. Parliament Speaker Talat Xhaferi said that according to the consultations with the State Electoral Committee, Sunday was the last date for dissolving parliament as a precondition for organizing elections for members of the Parliament in accordance with the related law.

* Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani announced on Sunday that Iran is keen on maintaining excellent bilateral ties with Lebanon, LBCI local TV channel reported.

* The United Nations announced on Sunday that the Yemeni government and the Houthi rebel group agreed on a detailed plan to conduct a large-scale exchange of prisoners.

* British Ambassador to Lebanon Chris Rampling said that Britain will provide help to Lebanon depending on the reforms that will be taken by the new cabinet, local media reported on Sunday.

* Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday that his administration will never negotiate with the United States under "maximum pressure."

* Authorities in Tanzania's northern district of Mwanga on Sunday ordered at least 25,000 villagers around Nyumba ya Mungu dam to evacuate to safer areas because the dam is on the brink of bursting after overflowing from ongoing heavy rains.

* Four American corporations signed on Sunday five agreements with Senegalese state-owned companies, agencies and Senegalese government, during the visit of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Pompeo's visit is seen as part of the efforts to deepen cooperation between Senegal and the United States. After Senegal, Pompeo's first african tour will take him to Angola and Ethiopia.

* Visiting Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said on Sunday that his country is expecting major economic cooperation with Syria in the future.

* An Omani-US joint air force drill codenamed Precision Testing began on Sunday, the official Oman News Agency (ONA) reported.

* Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday highlighted his administration's determination to retake all Syrian areas from rebels, the state news agency SANA reported.

* Extreme wintry weather, known as dzud in Mongolia, has killed 3,625 livestock animals so far this year in the western Mongolian province of Uvs alone, the country's National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said Monday.

* An unknown poisonous gas leaked from a container at a port in Pakistan's southern city of Karachi killing at least five people, while 70 others fainted, local police said.