Weekly top 10 hot news (Nov. 11—Nov. 18)



Every Saturday, Asia Pacific Daily will provide you with a run-down of the latest hot news.

This week, the following hot news you should know:

TOP 1 | Powerful Iran-Iraq earthquake is deadliest of 2017, 452 dead

At least 452 people were killed and thousands injured after a powerful earthquake struck near the border of Iran and Iraq late Sunday.

The earthquake is the deadliest of the year, eclipsing the one that hit Mexico City in September, and was felt as far away as Turkey and Pakistan.

Around 100 of the dead are believed to be from one town in Iran's Kermanshah province, the country's semi-official Mehr news agency reported.

TOP 2 | Chinese President Xi urges 'open development' in APEC speech

President Xi Jinping once again highlighted the importance of open economies and inclusive development for a new round of global prosperity on Saturday, the second day of his attendance at APEC events.

Xi made the remark while speaking at the 25th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders' Meeting in the coastal Vietnamese city of Da Nang.

The 21 APEC members should promote innovation as a strong growth driver and open up their economies to create more space for development.

TOP 3 | Trump hails 'fantasic job' on Asia tour, but ends it abruptly

Donald Trump said he had done "a really fantastic job" on a five-nation tour of Asia in which he had made a lot of friends, but he ended it abruptly Tuesday by skipping most of a Philippine summit.

The US president, who began his journey in Japan 12 days ago, said his trip had seen progress in his goal of narrowing America's trade deficits.

"I've made a lot of friends at the highest level," Trump told reporters shortly before boarding Air Force One in Manila, adding the trip was "tremendously successful".

"I think the fruits of our labour are going to be incredible," he said, later predicting an already unveiled $300 billion worth of trade deals "is going to be quadrupled very quickly" to over a trillion dollars.

TOP 4 | Zimbabwe crisis: What is next for country at a crossroads?

A day after Zimbabwe’s military took control of key assets in the capital Harare and detained President Robert Mugabe, it remains unclear how the dust will settle.

Discussions are understood to be underway between the Zimbabwean Defence Force and the veteran leader over next steps, with speculation that an interim government led by former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa could be established.

TOP 5 | Hariri plans return to Lebanon amid Qatar-like blockade fears

Just as he stunned the world by his shock resignation as Lebanon’s prime minister in a broadcast from Saudi capital Riyadh, Saad al-Hariri made a surprise announcement on Tuesday declaring he will return to Beirut within two days.

Hariri’s abrupt resignation on November 4, in which he attacked Tehran and Hezbollah, sent Lebanon spinning into a political crisis pushing the country to the forefront of a Middle East power struggle between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran. Hariri’s move also led to speculation that he is being held against his will in Saudi Arabia under the assertive rule of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

TOP 6 | Kremlin: Putin, Trump agree to defeat ISIL in Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump, in a statement on Syria, agreed to continue joint efforts to fight ISIL until they are defeated, the Kremlin said on Saturday.

The two leaders also confirmed their commitment to Syria's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and called on all parties in the Syrian conflict to take an active part in the Geneva political process.

Moscow and Washington agree there is no military solution to the conflict, according to the text of the joint statement published on the Kremlin's website.

TOP 7 | Putin insulted by meddling claim - Trump

President Vladimir Putin feels insulted by allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 US election, Donald Trump has said after meeting him briefly at an Asia-Pacific summit in Vietnam.

"He said he absolutely did not meddle in our election," the US leader said.

Mr Trump, who defeated Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, said the allegations were a "Democratic hit job".

The US intelligence community concluded earlier that Russia had indeed tried to sway the poll in favour of Mr Trump.

**TOP 8 |

US House approves tax overall, fight shifts to Senate**

Republican US lawmakers on Thursday took an important step toward the biggest tax code overhaul since the 1980s as the House of Representatives approved a broad package of tax cuts sought by President Donald Trump.

The tax debate now moves to the US Senate, where that chamber’s separate plan has already encountered resistance from some Republicans. No decisive Senate action is expected until after next week’s Thanksgiving holiday.

Trump, who is looking for his first major legislative win since he took office in January, went to the US Capitol just before the vote to urge House Republicans to pass the tax bill, which Democrats call a give-away to the wealthy and businesses.

TOP 9 | Trump vows 'maximum pressure' on DPRK after Asia trip

US President Donald Trump hit back at critics of his recent Asia trip and vowed a global campaign of "maximum pressure" on the DPRK on Wednesday, warning Pyongyang will not subject the world to "nuclear blackmail."

Defending an almost two week trip to Asia that was long on pomp but – critics say – short on achievements, Trump said he had successfully galvanized opposition to the DPRK proliferation.

"I made clear that we will not allow this twisted dictatorship to hold the world hostage to nuclear blackmail," Trump said in a televised statement a day after returning from the marathon trip.

TOP 10 | Xi: Mutual trust key to improving China-Japan ties

Chinese President Xi Jinping said the key to improving China-Japan ties lies in mutual trust and urged Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to take more practical actions to improve relations with China.

Xi was speaking during a meeting with Abe Saturday on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting in Da Nang, Vietnam.

Xi said that China and Japan are close neighbors and also the major economies in Asia and the world. The steady development of China-Japan relations is in the interest of both sides and has a significant impact on the region and the world. He called for properly managing differences between China and Japan in a "constructive way."


Trump hails 'fantasic job' on Asia tour, but ends it abruptly

Xi: Mutual trust key to improving China-Japan ties

Hariri plans return to Lebanon amid Qatar-like blockade fears