World News in Brief: December 18

Tuesday, 2018-12-18 20:36:16
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The ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) held its annual congress on December 18 to review achievements in 2018 and to set targets for 2019.

* German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed the agreement reached at the United Nations climate talks COP24 in Katowice as "an important signal for multilateralism", government spokesman Steffen Seibert said in Berlin on December 17.

* Russia's nuclear triad has grown significantly stronger and it is necessary to further strengthen the potential of its strategic nuclear forces next year, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday (December 18).

* The Republic of Korea and the United States will have a working-group meeting this week in Seoul ahead of the groundbreaking ceremony next week for the inter-Korean railway and road connection, Seoul's foreign ministry said Tuesday.

* Singapore's Ministry of Home Affairs announced on December 17 that the Infrastructure Protection Act (IPA), which is part of the city-state's counter-terrorism strategy, will take effect from December 18.

* The Indonesian police has stepped up security measures to prevent terrorist attacks during the Christmas holidays. A total of nearly 95,000 police personnel will be deployed to boost security.

* A total of 17 individuals were detained overnight on suspicion of setting a toll station on fire in southern France as "yellow vest" protesters continue blocking motorways to oppose French government's economic and fiscal reforms, state-run France Info radio reported on December 18.

* The Arab League (AL) Council on December 18 held an emergency session at the level of permanent delegates for discussing the recent Israeli escalations against Palestinian people, official news agency MENA reported.

* The government-backed Afghanistan Peace Consultative Board (APCB) has advocated for talks between the government and the Taliban, a statement of the Presidential Palace said.
* A new report prepared for the US Senate Intelligence Committee on alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election in the United States is "absolutely unfounded," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday.

* Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman and European Council President Donald Tusk on December 17 discussed the situation in the Azov region, the Ukrainian government press service said.

* Chinese tourists to the Philippines reached 1.06 million from January to October, up 30.7 percent year on year, a recent report by a local newspaper cited Secretary of the Department of Tourism Bernadette Romulo-Puyat as saying.

* Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will travel to Turkey on December 19 for an official visit, Tasnim news agency reported on December 18.

* Turkish authorities on December 18 arrested 118 soldiers over their alleged links to a group believed to be behind a coup attempt in 2016.