FE Today Logo

News in Brief (13-09-2018)

September 13, 2018 00:00:00

US general urges Gulf Arab unity to counter Iran

KUWAIT CITY, Sept 12: US Central Command chief General Joseph Votel urged feuding Gulf Arab states on Wednesday to put aside their differences and unite against Iranian efforts to "destabilise" the region. "Two of our enduring security threats are present in this region-the destabilising actions of Iran and violent extremist organisations," said Votel, who heads US forces in the Middle East, ahead of a military conference in Kuwait on Wednesday which is to be attended by Saudi Arabia and its allies, and their bitter rival Qatar. — AFP

Pope Francis to visit Japan next year

VATICAN CITY, Sept 12: Pope Francis announced on Wednesday he intends to visit Japan in 2019, becoming the first pontiff to do so since John Paul II nearly 40 years ago. "I would like to communicate my intention to visit Japan next year," the pope told a group of Japanese visitors at the Vatican. "I hope to be able to fulfil this wish." The pope had received the delegates from the charitable Tensho Kenoho Shisetsu Kenshokai Association in audience, commemorating a visit in 1585 of four young Japanese men accompanied by Jesuit missionaries. The Argentine pontiff has repeatedly voiced a desire to visit Japan, home to some 450,000 Roman Catholics. Another 510,000 Protestants live in the largely Shinto Buddhist country, according to Japan's Agency for Cultural Affairs. — AFP

EU votes for disciplinary action against Hungary

The European Parliament has voted to pursue unprecedented disciplinary action against Hungary over alleged breaches of the European Unions (EU's) core values. Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government has been accused of attacks on the media, minorities, and the rule of law - charges which he denies. MEPs backed the vote by 448 to 197, giving it the two-thirds required for proceedings to go ahead. If also approved by national leaders, Hungary could face disciplinary action. Wednesday's vote is the first time the European Parliament has voted to take such action against a member state under EU rules. — BBC

Suu Kyi won't attend UN General Assembly

YANGON, Sept 12: Myanmar government leader Aung San Suu Kyi will not attend the UN General Assembly in New York next week, media reported on Wednesday, amid growing calls for Myanmar's security forces to be held accountable for alleged crimes against Rohingya Muslims. Nobel Peace Prize winner Suu Kyi heads the civilian government in the specially created role of state counsellor, but also serves as minister of foreign affairs. She would not attend the upcoming General Assembly session, the 7Day Daily, a leading newspaper, reported, citing a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official. Instead, two senior ministers in her government, Kyaw Tint Swe and Kyaw Tin- both seasoned diplomats who in the past defended Myanmar's former military regime on the global stage- would attend and "explain current developments on repatriation and cooperation with international organisations", the official, permanent secretary Myint Thu, was paraphrased as saying. — Reuters

Share if you like