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World News Roundup: Yemen's airstrikes kill 31 civilians; Nepal evacuates 175 citizens and more

Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 16-02-2020 18:40 IST | Created: 16-02-2020 18:27 IST
World News Roundup: Yemen's airstrikes kill 31 civilians; Nepal evacuates 175 citizens and more
Representative image. Image Credit: ANI

Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

EU must develop 'appetite for power', Borrell says

European Union governments need to be willing to intervene in international crises or risk prolonging paralysis in their foreign policy, the EU's top diplomat said on Sunday. The EU is the world's largest trading bloc but it often fails to speak with one voice on foreign policy because its policy-making requires consensus among members. EU governments are divided on issues from Libya to Venezuela.

CDU's Merz would score best head-to-head against top German Green: poll

Friedrich Merz would fare best among those aspiring to lead Germany's governing Christian Democrats (CDU) into the next national election against the leader of their potential main rivals, the opposition Greens, a poll showed on Sunday. The CDU was thrown into disarray this week when leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer stood down a little over a year into the job. She must now find a successor to steer the conservative party through the election, due by Oct. 2021, after Chancellor Angela Merkel said she would not seek a fifth term.

Yemen's air strikes 'kill 31 civilians' after Saudi jet crash

Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi movement accused the Saudi-led coalition of carrying out retaliatory airstrikes on Saturday that killed at least 30 people including civilians, in the latest flare-up of a five-year war. The United Nations office in Yemen said preliminary field reports indicated that "as many as 31 civilians were killed and 12 others injured in strikes that hit Al-Hayjah area" in Al-Jawf province.

Nepal evacuates 175 citizens, mostly students, from Wuhan after coronavirus outbreak

Nepal on Sunday evacuated 175 of its nationals from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of a coronavirus outbreak, an official said, after protests by parents of students studying in the city. A plane operated by state-owned Nepal Airlines carrying 134 men and 41 women, mostly students, landed at Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport before dawn, Health Ministry spokesman Mahendra Shrestha said.

UK post-Brexit rules to 'turn off the tap' of low-skilled foreign labor

Britain will "turn off the tap" of foreign, low-skilled labor and require all skilled workers wishing to come to the country to have a job offer and meet salary and language requirements as it sets post-Brexit rules from next year. Britain formally left the European Union at the end of January but a transition period is in effect until Dec. 31, during which time little changes.

With biryani and rice balls, Malaysia aims for halal Olympic gold

A small factory in Malaysia's capital is preparing thousands of ready-to-eat halal meals, from fried rice to chicken biryani, to be shipped off to Japan for 2020's biggest sporting event. Food firms from Muslim-majority Malaysia, are expected to be big winners from a rush of Muslim travelers to Japan for the Olympics and Paralympic Games, from late July to September.

Rockets hit U.S. coalition base in Baghdad, no casualties

Rockets hit a U.S.-led military coalition's Baghdad headquarters early on Sunday but caused no casualties, a coalition spokesman said, in the latest attack to target U.S. facilities in Iraq. Washington has blamed Iran-backed paramilitary groups for increasingly regular rocketing and shelling of bases hosting U.S. forces in Iraq and of the area around the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

Hong Kong to arrange flights to take home passengers from Diamond Princess ship

The Hong Kong government will send aircraft to Japan to bring back passengers from the quarantined cruise ship Diamond Princess, where the most coronavirus infections outside China have occurred. In a statement late on Saturday, the Security Bureau said chartered flights would return Hong Kong residents to the city for free once Japanese authorities had confirmed the plan.

Magnitude 5.8 quake hits in vicinity of Iran's Qeshm island in the Gulf: Fars

A magnitude 5.8 earthquake hit in the vicinity of Iran's Qeshm island in the Gulf, the Fars news agency reported on Sunday. The report did not present any information about possible casualties or damage.

China says coronavirus curbs start to work; 70 more cases on the cruise ship

The number of new coronavirus cases in China fell on Sunday and a health official said intense efforts to stop its spread was beginning to work, as another 70 people tested positive on a virus-stricken cruise ship quarantined in Japan. The coronavirus, thought to have emerged at a wildlife market in the central Chinese province of Hubei, has presented the ruling Communist Party with the huge challenge of stamping it out while at the same time minimizing damage to the world's second-largest economy.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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