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Round Up World in brief: January 2 2018

The latest news stories from around the world

CHINA: A blanket ban on trading in ivory came into effect on Sunday, encouraging wildlife campaigners who estimate 30,000 African elephants are killed by poachers every year.

State media said there had already been a 65 per cent decline in the price of raw ivory over the past year.

There had also been an 80 per cent decline in seizures of ivory entering China, according to state news agency Xinhua.

 

PALESTINE: Palestine’s envoy to Washington, Husam Zomlot, has been temporarily recalled for consultations over future relations with the US, Foreign Minister Riad Malki said on Sunday.

Discussions would take place "to set the decisions needed by the Palestinian leadership in the coming period regarding our relations with the US,” Mr Malki explained.

The decision follows US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, which has spurred widespread unrest across the occupied territories.

 

ECUADOR: Embattled Vice-President Jorge Glas has requested the right to defend himself against corruption charges in front of a National Assembly plenary session.

Mr Glas wrote to assembly president Jose Serrano over the weekend denouncing the unconstitutionality of the procedure that the Legislative Administrative Council had initiated against him.

The vice-president’s letter was Tweeted by former president Rafael Correa, who said he believed Mr Glas is innocent of all charges in the Odebrecht construction bribery scandal.

 

AFGHANISTAN: At least 17 people were killed on Sunday when a funeral to mourn a former district official was targeted by a remotely detonated explosion in Nangarhar’s provincial capital Jalalabad.

Provincial government spokesman Noor Ahmad Habibi said that a rickshaw rigged with explosives went off, also wounding 13 other people.

No-one immediately claimed the attack, while the Taliban denied any involvement, casting suspicion on a local Islamic State affiliate.

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