Xi, Kim hold talks in Pyongyang

General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and Chinese President Xi Jinping sat down here Thursday for talks with Kim Jong Un, top leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

Xi is paying a two-day state visit to the neighboring country at the invitation of Kim, chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea and chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK. Source, People’s Daily

Dutch PM says Dr M’s MH17 comment ‘sows confusion’

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte today slammed his Malaysian counterpart for creating “confusion” by criticising a decision to charge four people over the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had called the move by Dutch-led investigators to charge three Russians and a Ukrainian with murder for the 2014 disaster “ridiculous” and “politically motivated” against Moscow. Source Malay Mail

Blaming Russians for MH17 is ‘politically motivated’, says the Malaysian prime minister

Dr Mahathir Mohamad has slammed the findings of the team probing the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 tragedy, saying investigators had all along wanted to accuse Russia as the culprit who shot down the plane killing all 298 on board.

“And now they said they have proof who the person is. This is ridiculous,” the prime minister told reporters at a Hari Raya open house hosted by the Prime Minister’s Department today. Source Free Malaysia Today

UN Predicts Russia’s Population Could Halve By 2100

Russia’s population could decrease by half by the end of this century, a new United Nations demographic report has said.

Russia has grappled with stagnating population growth in recent years despite the government’s efforts to reverse the trend as the country’s population ages and fewer people have children. In 2018, Russia’s population declined for the first time in a decade to 146.8 million, while its migration numbers hit a record low. Source The Moskow Times

Russia ‘ready to respond’ if U.S. opens military bases near its border, official warns

Russian official has warned that the country’s armed forces are prepared to respond to any new U.S. military bases close to its borders, amid concerns in Moscow over intensified American activity in Eastern Europe.

Leonid Slutsky, the chairman of the Russian State Duma’s International Affairs Committee, told the Rossiya-24 TV channel that the country’s armed forces are stronger than they have ever been and ready to respond to American deployments perceived to threaten Russia. Source NewsWeek