World News in Brief: May 3

Friday, 2019-05-03 12:11:58
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More than one million people have been evacuated in and around India's eastern city of Puri, and all flights and 200 trains have been canceled in the wake of the "Fani" cyclone which is expected to make the landfall in eastern parts of the country on Friday (May 3) morning.

* Heavy rains and strong winds will continue across Sri Lanka in the coming days as a severe cyclonic storm, named Fani, is moving away from the island country, the Meteorology Department said in its latest weather update on Thursday (May 2).

* The Indonesian government is set to compensate severely-affected election workers or their families, Indonesian General Elections Commission (KPU) said on Thursday. The number of election workers who died while undertaking their work has risen to 409, a KPU commissioner said in Jakarta on Thursday.

* The African Union (AU) Commission has said that the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) is set to enter into force on May 30. The AfCFTA is regarded as the world's largest free trade zone by the number of countries, covering more than 1.2 billion people, with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of US$2.5 trillion.

* The European Union's top diplomat criticized the United States' latest move on Cuba on Thursday, labeling it as contrary to international law and pledging to take all appropriate measures against its effects.

* US State Department said Thursday that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov will talk in Finland over issues like Venezuela and Ukraine.

* Norway said Thursday it had put forward a proposal for stronger control of the international trade in plastic wastes.

* A total of 392 people have been killed and 1,936 others injured in the fighting between the UN-backed Libyan government and the east-based army in and around the capital Tripoli, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Thursday. In addition, some 50,000 people are estimated to be displaced, said WHO via Twitter.

* The Moroccan Prime Minister Saad Eddine El Othmani and the European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, Pierre Moscovici, pledged here on Thursday to broaden economic partnership between the two sides.

* Sudan's Transitional Military Council (TMC) on Thursday renewed commitment to steps of dialogue with opposition parties in the country, said a statement by the TMC.

* Jordan and Spain on Thursday agreed to enhance their cooperation to boost bilateral ties and coordinate their stances on pushing forward the Mideast peace process.

* Iran's ambassador to the United Nations said Thursday that Iran's missile program is defensive and will never be up to negotiations, Press TV reported.

* Libya's UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez Serraj on Thursday stressed that there will be no cease-fire in and around the capital Tripoli until the rival eastern-based army forces "return to where they came from."

* Ukraine will host the spring session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in 2020, the Ukrainian parliament press service said.

* The African Union (AU) on Thursday dispatched a team of experts to support the negotiations among Sudan's stakeholders so as to facilitate an agreement towards establishing a consensual and civilian-led transition.

* Migrants' attempts to illegally enter Bulgaria across the border with Greece increased in 2018 and the trend continued, an official said in Sofia on Thursday. In 2018, 4,662 migrants have tried to illegally enter Bulgaria from Greece, which was approximately a six-fold increase compared to 2017.

* The Tunisian and French naval forces completed a joint military exercise off Bizerte coast in northeastern Tunisia, the defense ministry said on Thursday.