Saudi Arabia boosts troop levels in south Yemen

Saudi Arabia has deployed more troops in southern Yemen to try to contain clashes between nominal allies in the Saudi-led military coalition fighting the Houthis that risks further fragmenting the country.

The fight for the south of the country has opened a new conflict, focused around the port of Aden, in a multifaceted war that has killed tens of thousands and pushed the long-impoverished Arabian Peninsula nation to the brink of famine.

Blast destroys houses in Belgium’s Antwerp

An explosion destroyed a number of houses on the outskirts of the Belgian port city of Antwerp on Tuesday, emergency services said.

Emergency crews freed one person from the debris, but others might still be trapped in the southern suburb of Wilrijk, the city’s fire service said.

American worker for de-mining group dies in Iraq

An American working for an international de-mining group died during an operation to clear mines and unexploded ordnance near the northern city of Mosul on Tuesday, police and security officials said.

Police and security sources said he was part of a team working for the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD). The team was clearing mines left from the war with Islamic States militants in a village near Qayyara, some 38 miles south of Mosul.

Australia says asylum seekers from Sri Lanka rising

The number of Sri Lankans trying to enter Australia illegally by sea is rising, an Australian general said on Tuesday, a day after Canberra said it had intercepted a 13th boat carrying asylum seekers from the Indian Ocean island. The increase could be linked to the Easter bombings on hotels and churches in Sri Lanka, said Craig Furini, the chief of Operation Sovereign Borders, that killed hundreds of people and sowed fear on the island.

France pushes $15 billion credit line plan for Iran, if U.S. allows it

France has proposed offering Iran about $15 billion in credit lines until year-end if Tehran comes fully back into compliance with its 2015 nuclear deal, a move that hinges on Washington not blocking it, Western and Iranian sources said. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves le Drian said talks on the credit arrangement, which would be guaranteed by Iranian oil revenues, were continuing, but U.S. approval would be crucial.

China opposes trade war, not good for it, U.S. and the world: Xinhua

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He said on Tuesday that China firmly opposes a trade war as it is not good for it, the United States and the world, the state news agency Xinhua reported. Liu, China’s top trade negotiator, made his comment when he met U.S. Senator Steve Daines, co-chairman of the U.S. House of Senate U.S.-China Working Group, and Senator David Perdue.

—From Wire Reports

Thursday, February 20, 2020
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