World News in Brief: October 17

Thursday, 2019-10-17 15:18:40
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Indonesia and the Republic of Korea announced on Wednesday (October 16) the conclusion of talks on a bilateral trade deal between the two countries. The two-way trade between Indonesia and the Republic of Korea after the implementation of the trade deal may reach US$30 billion by 2022, significantly higher than US$18.62 billion recorded in 2018.

* German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday (October 17) that Germany would make relations with China a key issue during its 2020 EU presidency. Germany takes over the rotating six-month presidency in the second half of 2020.

* US President Donald Trump on Wednesday threatened that Ankara will face "devastating" sanctions if high-level discussions between the two sides do not "work it out."

* The European Union (EU) members of the UN Security Council on Wednesday regretted Turkey's continued military operation in northeast Syria despite repeated calls for an end to Ankara's military adventure.

* Britain will leave the European Union on October 31 if no Brexit deal is reached with the bloc, housing minister Robert Jenrick said on Thursday. Jenrick said a Brexit deal could still be done despite Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party saying it cannot support current proposals from Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the European Union.

* Spain will send more police to Catalonia after three evenings of unrest, Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska told Telecinco TV on Thursday, adding that this was both to guarantee security and to allow police already there to rest.

* Solutions still need to be found for customs arrangements in Northern Ireland to clinch a Brexit deal and European Union leaders could yet meet again if they do not reach an agreement at this week's summit, Germany's Angela Merkel said on Thursday. The German chancellor said the British government had shown "a readiness to negotiate with very concrete proposals".

* The US House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to pass a resolution rebuking President Donald Trump's decision to pull US troops out of northern Syria amid ongoing Turkish offensive. The vote was 354 to 60 for the resolution, wining bipartisan support.

* Hungary would have to "use force" at its southern border with Serbia to protect the European Union's frontier if Turkey delivers on a threat to open the gates for refugees through the Balkans towards Europe, Hungary's prime minister said.

* US Federal Reserve (Fed) said in its latest Beige Book on Wednesday that the country saw "slight to modest" economic growth between September and early October, as trade tensions and slower global growth created an additional drag on the US economy.

* The Libyan navy on Wednesday rescued more than 80 illegal immigrants of African and Asian nationalities off the country's western coast.

* The United States said on Wednesday that it will resume foreign assistance fundings to three Central American countries -- El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. The three countries have been intensely pressed by and finally reached pacts with the United States over immigration issues.

* Iraqi Defense Minister Najah al-Shammari said on Wednesday that the security forces captured a number of Islamic State (IS) militants who tried to infiltrate into Iraq to flee the battles in neighboring Syria.

* Two police officers and a civilian were killed and 43 people wounded after a car bomb blast rocked Alishing district in Afghanistan's eastern Laghman province on Wednesday, the district chief said.

* Thirty-five foreign pilgrims were killed and four others injured in a bus accident near the Saudi holy city of Madinah, the official Saudi Press Agency reported Thursday.

Xinhua, Reuters