World briefs

CHINA A state media outlet reported yesterday that three alleged assailants wanted in relation with a 2015 terrorist incident have been killed in the country’s far northwest. Tianshan Net said the three were killed by authorities in the Xinjiang region on Sunday after resisting arrest. The report said they were wanted in connection with an incident on April 22, 2015, but gave no details.

US-NORT KOREA With Donald Trump getting ready to take office as president, North Korea is talking about launching a newly perfected intercontinental ballistic missile. Officials in Washington say that if Pyongyang launches anything that threatens the territory of the U.S. or its allies, it will be shot down. The barb trading could suggest Pyongyang and Washington are feeling each other out ahead of Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20. 

EAST TIMOR plans to negotiate a larger share of the oil and gas wealth in the seabed between the impoverished Southeast Asian nation and Australia by restarting talks on a maritime boundary. 

SINGAPORE’s defense minister says nine armored personnel carriers that are being held in Hong Kong should be returned immediately under sovereign immunity laws. The vehicles were being shipped back to Singapore following military training exercises in Taiwan. 

PAKISTAN Two research groups have noted that the country saw a significant drop in militant violence last year, crediting the military for the decrease in attacks. The two Islamabad-based groups say that large-scale military operations in lawless tribal regions are behind the drop.

AUSTRALIA’s heath minister temporarily steps down while her travel expense claims are investigated. The scandal could trigger the first reshuffle of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s Cabinet since his government was re-elected six months ago.

CYPRUS  The rival leaders of ethnically divided Cyprus are meeting in Geneva for a summit aiming to reunify the Mediterranean island, beginning with the thorny issue of property and compensation for people who lost land when it was split decades ago.

EUROPE Heavy snow and frigid temperatures have gripped large parts of Europe, leading to dozens of deaths, freezing rivers, the grounding of planes and traffic accidents. Serbian authorities have declared emergency measures in 10 municipalities, while the sea froze in shallow Croatian bays, trapping fishermen’s boats to the amazement of locals who haven’t seen anything like this in decades.

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