World briefs


MALDIVES-CHINA The Maldives foreign minister says his country needs to restructure its massive debt to China, which he says has put the Indian ocean archipelago in a difficult situation. Abdulla Shahid said the country’s Chinese debt currently totals about $1.4 billion.

INDONESIA State-owned enterprises minister said yesterday he will fire and seek the prosecution of the head of the national airline after he was implicated in the smuggling of a Harley Davidson motorcycle into the country on a new jet.

NORTH KOREA threatened yesterday to resume insults of U.S. President Donald Trump and consider him a “dotard” if he keeps using words that provoke the North. Choe Son Hui, the first vice foreign minister, issued the warning days after Trump spoke of a possible military option toward the North and revived his “rocket man” nickname for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

PAKISTAN Journalists and rights activists have rallied in support of a leading newspaper in Islamabad and elsewhere, days after Islamists gathered at the newspaper, threatening staff and demanding its editor be hanged. At yesterday’s rally, activists and journalists condemned this week’s besieging of English-language newspaper Dawn’s office in Islamabad.

MAURITANIA Scores of migrants who swam through rough Atlantic Ocean waters to safety from a capsized boat were receiving care yesterday in Mauritania after 58 others drowned in one of the deadliest disasters this year among people making the perilous journey to Europe.

NEW ZEALAND  Prime minister Jacinda Ardern (pictured) said she will do all she can to stop a man accused of killing 51 Muslim worshippers from spreading his message of hate at his trial, while she hopes artificial intelligence will one day stop such attacks from being broadcast online.

RUSSIA The state-controlled nuclear fuel company said yesterday it has suspended a joint research project with Iran because of its move to resume uranium enrichment. The TVEL company that makes nuclear fuel components said in a statement that Iran’s decision to resume uranium enrichment at Fordo facility makes it impossible to convert the facility to produce radioactive isotopes for medical purposes.

PORTUGAL won’t exclude Chinese companies from supplying technology for the country’s next-generation 5G wireless network, senior Portuguese officials told U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo yesterday.

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (pictured) announced yesterday that the House is moving forward to draft articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. “Our democracy is what is at stake,” Pelosi said. “The president leaves us no choice but to act.”

AUSTRALIA Two customs agents and an information technology worker appeared in a court yesterday charged with drug offenses over Australia’s largest seizure of methamphetamine, which had been smuggled to Melbourne from Bangkok in stereo speakers. Police estimate the 1.6 metric tons of the drug had a street value of $818 million. 

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