World News in Brief: December 26

Wednesday, 2018-12-26 15:51:06
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Russia's President Vladimir Putin does not have immediate plans to meet with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on December 25.

Earlier on December 25, Erdogan told reporters he would most probably meet with Putin to discuss the US withdrawal from Syria.

* US President Donald Trump on December 25 reiterated that the US Federal Reserve was raising interest rates too quickly but added that US companies were "the greatest in the world" and presented a "tremendous" buying opportunity for investors. On December 24, Trump said "The only problem our economy has is the Fed."

* Turkey is determined to cross to the east of the Euphrates river in northern Syria as soon as possible, Ankara's foreign minister was quoted as saying on December 25, signalling renewed intent to launch a military campaign delayed by the US withdrawal.

* So far 17,447 people have been displaced by the volcano-triggered tsunami in Indonesia, Indonesian disaster management agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told a press briefing in Jakarta on December 26.

* German police said on December 25 they had found a flag of the Islamic State (IS) militant group near the site of a suspected attack on a railway track in Berlin and that investigators were examining whether the perpetrators had any political motives.

* Iran's President Hassan Rouhani on December 25 presented a US$47 billion state budget with increased spending on lower income groups, saying US sanctions would affect people's lives and economic growth but not bring the government to its knees.

* Afghan authorities on December 25 collected 43 bodies from a government compound in the capital Kabul that was targeted by a suicide bomber and extremists armed with assault rifles on December 24, officials said.

*Japan will withdraw from the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and resume commercial whaling from July, it said on December 26, abandoning a decades-old campaign to persuade the commission to allow it to hunt whales commercially.

* Brazil's president-elect Jair Bolsonaro on December 25 said he wants an agreement with Israel to build desalination plants in the parched north where droughts are frequent.

* The Arab League (AL) condemned Tuesday a terror attack on the Libyan Foreign Ministry in Tripoli that killed three and injured several others.

* Private buyers of Iranian crude have had "no problems" exporting it, Iran's oil minister was quoted as saying on December 26 by state news agency IRNA, despite US sanctions targeting Iran's oil exports.

* At least two people were killed and 11 wounded on December 25 by a car bomb in the northern Iraqi city of Tal Afar, a former Islamic State stronghold, the military said. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack hours later, via its Amaq news agency.

Reuters, Xinhua