* At least 20 people were killed and more than 50 others wounded as a 6.5 magnitude quake struck off Indonesia’s eastern Maluku province earlier Thursday, a senior disaster official said.
* China’s State Council Information Office on Friday (September 27) issued a white paper, titled “China and the World in the New Era.”
* Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent to leaders of European and Asian countries and international organizations a proposal not to deploy missiles, previously banned by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), the Kremlin said Thursday.
* US State Department on Thursday imposed a travel ban against Raul Castro Ruz, first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, and his children.
* Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday berated the United States for its Middle East policy, saying it dampens the hope for peace and jeopardizes the two-state solution.
* Islamic Hamas movement announced Thursday that it is ready to join general and comprehensive elections in the Palestinian territories.
* The United States will deploy about 200 support personnel and missile defense equipment to Saudi Arabia following the attacks on Saudi oil facilities, said US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper on Thursday.
* US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Thursday that the United States had imposed sanctions against Russian individuals and entities supporting the Syrian government.
* Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed and an official of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) on Thursday discussed the completion of Tunisia’s accession into the bloc, according to a statement by the Tunisian cabinet.
* Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to visit Budapest on October 30, according to official sources in Budapest on Thursday.
* Based on a recent agreement between the presidents of Poland and the United States, Polish authorities are now preparing to host an additional 1,000 US soldiers in the country, said Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak on Thursday.
* The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said on Thursday that 66 refugees were evacuated from Libya to Rwanda.
* Ukraine has signed a visa waiver agreement with Ecuador, bringing the number of Latin American countries where Ukrainians can travel without a visa to 21, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said on Twitter Thursday.
* Israel’s population is expected to reach 10 million by the end of 2024, the state’s Central Bureau of Statistics reported Thursday. The Israeli population has reached 9.092 million from 8.907 million a year ago, up by 2.1 percent, the bureau said in its annual report.
* Touring devastated areas of Queensland State on Friday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the AUD100 million (US$68 million) in funding is set to make it easier for drought-hit communities to get through this harrowing time.
* The European Investment Bank (EIB) signed an agreement with the Greek government here on Thursday, under which a 25-year EUR150 million (US$163.5 million) loan will be provided to Athens to boost protection from floods and climate change.
* The African Union (AU), the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) have reiterated commitment to addressing challenges facing stranded migrants and refugees in Libya.
* Iraqi security forces on Thursday seized large caches of ammunition belonging to the militant group Islamic State (IS) in the western Anbar province, the Iraqi military said.
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