Thursday, January 31, 2019

World News Briefs -- January 31, 2019

Stumbling block: The Russian Novatar 9M729 ground-based cruise missile system is accused by the U.S. of breaching the INF treaty which Russia denies. The U.S. now says it will pull out of the treaty as soon as this weekend after talks to resolve the standoff failed

Daily Mail: Trump administration says it will quit arms control treaty which bans U.S. nuclear missiles from Europe after accusing Putin of failing to comply with pact

* U.S. arms controls officials held last-ditch talks in Moscow Thursday on the 1987 signed Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF
* Treaty was signed by Reagan and Gorbachev and banned both Soviet and U.S. land-based nuclear missiles from being stationed in Europe
* Treaty was seen as key part in ending Cold War tension but the Trump administration says Putin is violating it with his new Novatar 9M729 missile
* Russians say the U.S. is looking for a pretext to leave the treaty; move will let U.S. develop new weapons systems and potentially station them in Europe

The United States will stop complying with a landmark nuclear pact with Russia as soon as this weekend after last-ditch talks with Moscow to save it fell flat, a senior U.S. arms control official said on Thursday.

Washington has long accused Russia of flouting the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), alleging that a new Russian missile, the Novator 9M729, called the SSC-8 by NATO, violates the pact, which bans either side from stationing short- and intermediate-range, land-based missiles in Europe.

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Bipartisan US senators press Trump for strategy to protect Syrian Kurds.

US wants three allies to help protect Kurds from Turkey - Report.

US lawmakers renew fight with Trump over Saudi Arabia, Yemen.

Six Arab foreign ministers meet in Jordan 'to align policy'.

Saudi Arabia: Corruption crackdown 'ends with $106bn recovered'. Saudi Arabia ends major anti-corruption campaign.

Netanyahu challenger leaps in polls after maiden speech.

Iran welcomes new EU trade entity as 'first step'.

Iran to mark 40th anniversary of revolution.


Afghan forces lose ground as peace efforts continue: Report.

Myanmar rebel groups consider alliance against government.

Getting warmer: Mike Pompeo says a Kim summit is on the books for late February - and it will take place somewhere in Asia.

A map showing Taiwan and China as separate countries rattled some nerves from behind China's Great Firewall.

China's factory activity shrinks as slowdown worries rise.

India unemployment rate highest in 45 years: Report.

437 Bangkok schools closed due to smog.


Sudan police fire tear gas as protesters launch new rallies.

Sudan's Omar al-Bashir mocks 'Facebook protesters'.

Sudan's army says it will 'not allow state to fall' amid protests.

'Raped by soldiers': Zimbabwean women live in fear.

UN sets course towards easing CAR arms embargo.

Detained Cameroon opposition head accused of rebellion.

Algeria PM's party backs Bouteflika for fifth term.

Death toll at 52 after migrant boats sink off Djibouti.


Russia says 'no progress' on nuclear treaty ahead of deadline.

Italy slides into recession as eurozone struggles. Italy in recession amid sluggish eurozone.

INSTEX: Europe sets up transactions channel with Iran. UK, France and Germany create payments system to trade with Iran.

EU parliament recognises Venezuela's Guaido as interim president.

French MPs condemn 'authoritarian' plans to curtail gilets jaunes protests.

'Trauma packs' being stockpiled in UK over fears of no-deal Brexit.


Pelosi: No wall money in U.S. border deal talks.

Trump: More troops going to border but wall would be 'much easier'.

Trump: China trade talks going well, will meet Xi in near future.

Venezuela's Guaidó urging west to keep up pressure, says Hunt.

Venezuela crisis: Juan Guaidó says family has been threatened.

Venezuela detains foreign journalists amid crackdown on protests.

Canada withdraws half of its embassy staff from Cuba after another mystery illness.

Polar vortex claims eight lives as US cold snap continues.


US military says airstrike kills 24 al-Shabab extremists in central Somalia.

In former IS bastion, displaced Syrians clamour to go home.

The story of a US raid on al-Qaeda in Yemen.


Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin upbeat after first day of US-China trade war talks in Washington.

US, China lead race for artificial intelligence patents: UN.

Oil prices extend rise as OPEC cuts tighten supply.

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