China has banned some exports to North Korea in an attempt to bring the rogue nation into line over its defiance of UN sanctions.
Imports from North Korea, including gold and rare earth minerals, into China have also been banned.
International observers believe North Korea relies heavily on its mining sector to fund the huge military force that keeps dictator Kim Jong-un in power.
Although the export restrictions will apply only to products relating to North Korea’s nuclear program, including jet fuel and oil products, exceptions are made for goods intended for basic humanitarian needs, including civilian passenger jets.
Last month the the United Nations Security Council unanimously approved extended sanctions to counter North Korean military aggression. China has only recently agreed to start implementing such sanctions more vigorously.
Trump tells how he will force Mexico to pay for wall
United States presidential front-runner Donald Trump has explained how he expects to fund his plan to build a wall between Mexico and the US. The plan has been touted since Mr Trump first announced he would run for the presidency. Mr Trump issued a memo saying he would cut off Mexican residents’ ability to send money back home to family – totalling some $24 billion a year – unless the Mexican government agreed to a one-off payment of $5 to $10 billion to cover the cost of his proposed wall. The Mexican government has previously said it would not submit to Mr Trump’s demands.
Libya cedes power to UN-backed government
The Tripoli authorities have announced they will cede their powers to govern to a unity government established with UN backing in an attempt to end years of civil war. A prime-minister-designate, Fayez al-Sarraj, who is leading the push for peace conflict in the region. A statement from the justice ministry of the disputed Tripoli leadership read: “[We] are ceasing the activities entrusted to us as a legislative power, presidency, parliamentarians and ministers.”
Italy warns Egypt over student death investigation
Rome has demanded action from the Egyptian authorities over the murder of an Italian student. Giulio Regeni, a student at the University of Cambridge, disappeared in Cairo on January 25. His body was found some days showing signs of extensive torture. Italy was outraged when a meeting to discuss the murder was cancelled by Cairo. Italy’s foreign minister, Paolo Gentiloni, warned the Egyptian government there would be “immediate and proportionate” action unless Egypt immediately made progress with its investigation. Egypt has denied any government involvement in the murder and promised to work with Italy. – Compiled from web sources by Ben Rochlin
Photo of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un from Pyongyang’s Korean Central News Agency.