World News in Brief: January 12

Saturday, 2019-01-12 12:57:16
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Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, on January 11 called for efforts to advance Party building, and demanded "greater strategic achievements" in full and strict governance over the Party. Xi, also Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks at the third plenary session of the 19th Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) of the CPC.

* As the clock struck midnight, the partial government shutdown over disputed congressional funds for President Donald Trump's border wall entered the 22nd day on Saturday, making it the longest government closure in the US history.

* The Syrian air defenses intercepted most of the missiles launched by Israeli warplanes on areas near the capital Damascus on January 11 night, the Syrian army said. The Israeli warplanes flew from the Galilee Panhandle and fired several missiles on the vicinity of the capital Damascus, said an army statement.

* The United Nations on January 11 stepped up its battle against starvation in Yemen with a 32-million-US dollar transfer of funds from its Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to the humanitarian relief effort in the war-scarred country.

* US National Security Adviser John Bolton said on January 11 discussions between the militaries of the United States and Turkey on Syria would continue next week, expecting the result of discussions would be acceptable on both sides.

* Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Jens Stoltenberg's statements that NATO is ready to resort to military measures for settling the problem of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty are aimed at distracting attentions from a crisis within the alliance, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on January 11.

* Macedonian Parliament members voted on January 11 to endorse the constitutional changes regarding the name of the country. Eighty-one MPs voted in favor of the amendments 33, 34, 35 and 36 to the Macedonian constitution, paving the way to changing the country's name to the Republic of North Macedonia.

* The Republic of Korea's defense ministry said on January 11 that it will increase defense budget by a yearly average of 7.5 percent in the next five years, according to local media reports. Under the mid-term defense budget plan, KRW270.7 trillion (US$242.6 billion) will be spent on strengthening independent defense capability from 2019 to 2023.

* Germany, the European Union (EU) and Russia must cooperate more closely economically and politically, the German Eastern Business Association (OAOEV) demanded on January 11.

* The cold wave that has brought heavy snowfalls to southern Europe, where such weather has rarely been seen, is likely to last for another week, while above-normal precipitation in the eastern Mediterranean sub-region and northern Middle East is expected over the coming week or two, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) warned on January 11.

* A winter storm is spreading snow along a 1,500-mile path from Denver to New York City and may affect more than 20 million people over the weekend, US weather service said. The storm will crank up on January 11 and should last until at least late Sunday before it peters out, according to a USA Today report.

* Iranian fighter jets on January 11 fired domestically-made missiles and bombs on the designated targets during the ongoing aerial military exercise, Press TV reported. The F-4 Phantom fighter jets fired Maverick tactical air-to-ground missiles and the domestically-manufactured "Qassed" smart bombs.

* Twelve people were killed and two others injured on January 10 in a terrorist attack in Burkina Faso's northern province of Soum, the country's security ministry announced late on January 11 in a statement.