Sat, Mar 09, 2019 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take



Russia to lease third sub

New Delhi has signed a US$3 billion deal to lease a third Russian nuclear-powered submarine for 10 years, giving the nation a boost in the Indian Ocean, media reported yesterday. The deal — which reportedly took months to negotiate — comes as tensions run high between India and Pakistan, and as Chinese influence grows in the region. A Ministry of Defence spokesman declined to confirm the agreement, but the reports said that the submarine would be delivered by 2025.


Flooding kills at least two

At least two people were killed and six more were missing after torrential rains and severe flooding, forcing the evacuation of hundreds of people, the National Board for Disaster Management said yesterday. Heavy rain has pounded the nation for days, causing the Citarum River — dubbed “the world’s dirtiest” by the World Bank — on Java to burst its banks and deadly flash floods in the east. Floods and landslides killed a pair of residents in East Nusa Tenggara Province, the agency said. Six others are still missing and three people were injured, it added. The floods have affected more than 30,000 people in parts of West Java and East Java provinces, it said.


PM resigns over reforms

Prime Minister Juha Sipila yesterday tendered his government’s resignation after it failed to push through a social and healthcare reform package, the president’s office said. The announcement was made just five weeks ahead of legislative elections scheduled for April 14. Sipila has since 2015 headed a coalition made up of his Center Party, the conservative National Coalition and Blue Reform, a moderate faction spun off from the far right. Sipila has made health and social reform one of his top priorities, seeing a shake-up as necessary to cut the ballooning costs of treating an aging population. The reform has been a struggle over a decade and has divided successive governments.


Interference ‘disastrous’

Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) yesterday issued a stern warning against interfering in or imposing sanctions on Venezuela, saying history offers a clear lesson about not “following the same old disastrous road.” Responding to a question on whether China still recognized Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro or had had contact with the opposition, Wang said the sovereignty and independence of Latin American nations should be respected. “The internal affairs of every country should be decided by their own people. External interference and sanctions will only exacerbate the tension situation, and allow the law of the jungle to once again run amok,” Wang told his annual news conference.


China agreement mulled

The government appears undecided over whether to sign an agreement with China endorsing its Belt and Road Initiative, amid pressure from the US to stand down. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Guglielmo Picchi said that further reflection is needed before signing the proposed agreement. “As of today, I don’t think we should proceed with the signing,” he tweeted on Wednesday. Undersecretary of State Michele Geraci told the foreign media that while the negotiations are not over, the deal could be signed when Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) visits Italy later this month. On Wednesday, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Lu Kang (陸慷) criticized comments by the White House. A spokesman told the Financial Times that the US believes the initiative benefits China, not Italy. “The US statement is very absurd,” Lu said. “As a large economy and a big country, Italy is very clear about its own interests and can independently make its own policies and judgements.”

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