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Wuhan hospital director dies of coronavirus

Beijing, Feb 18 (AFP/PTI) A hospital director at the epicentre of China's virus epidemic died Tuesday, state media said, the latest medical worker to fall victim to the coronavirus which has spread across the country.

The COVID-19 virus, which is believed to have originated in Wuhan late last year, has spread to more than 72,000 people and killed 1,900 in China.

Kazakhstan to continue talks with Russia on Power of Siberia 2 gas pipeline

NUR-SULTAN, February 18. /TASS/: Negotiations between Moscow and Nur-Sultan on possible Power of Siberia-2 gas pipeline route through Kazakhstan will continue, says Minister of Energy of Kazakhstan Nurlan Nogayev.

"Implementation of this project is still a plan at this point; no concrete parameters have been outlined yet. There are various options of delivering Russian gas to China. We offered to build this pipeline through Kazakhstan, if possible," Nogayev said.

Malaysia: Minister to sue portal for defamation

KOTA KINABALU, Feb 17 (NNN-BERNAMA) — Sabah Infrastructure Development Minister Datuk Peter Anthony will take legal action against a local portal over allegations that several Sabah Public Works Department (JKR) contracts had been awarded without any tenders.

He said his ministry has lodged a police report and is calling on the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to take action against the portal as well.

The state government is always open to criticisms by any parties but these should be constructive and not just wild accusations, he said.

Malaysia: Stimulus package to mitigate Covid-19 impact, assist industries

CYBERJAYA, Feb 17 (NNN-BERNAMA) — Malaysia’s upcoming economic stimulus package, which would be announced next week, would serve to mitigate the financial impact of Covid-19 and help industries rebound when the outbreak is contained.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said Malaysia is among the earliest to launch the package even though the impact of the outbreak has yet to be ascertained.

“The announcement which would be made by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad showed that the government places emphasis and priorities on the challenges posed by the outbreak.

S. Korean presidential jet to evacuate 5 people from quarantined cruise ship in Japan

SEOUL, Feb 18 (NNN-YONHAP) — A South Korean presidential aircraft headed to Japan on Tuesday to evacuate four nationals and a Japanese spouse from a quarantined cruise ship docked near Tokyo, officials said, after a rapid increase in onboard infections of the new coronavirus.

The VCN-235 of the Air Force took off at Seoul Air Base in Seongnam, south of the capital, at around noon, bound for Japan’s Haneda Airport. The plane plans to return to Gimpo International Airport in western Seoul on Wednesday morning.

South Korea's Moon flags steps for virus-hit economy, boosting rate cut expectations

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea President Moon Jae-in said on Tuesday the government should make an all-out effort to cushion the economic impact from China’s coronavrius outbreak, boosting expectations of further monetary easing.

“(The government) shouldn’t quibble over whether anything is unprecedented or not, rather, we should take every possible measure we can think of on the table to deploy them,” Moon said in a cabinet meeting.

China opposes U.S. "long-arm jurisdiction": FM spokesperson

BEIJING, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- China firmly opposes unilateral sanctions and "long-arm jurisdiction" imposed by the United States citing its domestic law, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Monday.

According to the Federal Register, the United States has decided to impose sanctions on six Chinese enterprises, three Russian enterprises, one Iraqi enterprise and one Turkish enterprise in accordance with its Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act.

1,000 passengers, crew members disembark from Westerdam cruise ship: Cambodian authorities

PHNOM PENH, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- The Cambodian Ministry of Health said in a statement late on Monday that 1,010 out of the 2,257 people onboard the Westerdam cruise ship had been allowed to disembark from the ship in the last three days.

The statement said the first batch of 409 people left the ship on Friday, flying from the Sihanoukville International Airport, the third largest airport of the country, to the Phnom Penh International Airport in the capital before taking flights to their home countries.

U.S. largest state actor of spying in cyberspace: FM spokesperson

BEIJING, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- Facts have proven once again that the United States is the largest state actor of spying in cyberspace, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said Monday, urging the United States to clarify to the international community on relevant affairs.

Reports have emerged that from the Cold War into the 2000s, the U.S. intelligence used the Swiss company Crypto AG's encoding devices to spy on other countries while pocketing millions of dollars.

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