Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (R) meets with visiting Secretary General of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad resistance movement, Ziad al-Nakhala, in Tehran, Iran, on January 1, 2019. (Photo by

Here is a brief look at Press TV newsroom's headlines from 1800 GMT, January 1, 2019 to 0800 GMT, January 2, 2019.


Palestinian resistance

Iran’s president says Palestinians can defend their rights only through resistance and struggle against Israel. Hassan Rouhani made the statement in a meeting with the secretary-general of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad resistance movement. The Iranian president stressed Palestinians must continue their resistance and bring the Israelis to their knees. He said all Muslims must support the Palestinians’ right of return to their homeland and their efforts to establish Jerusalem al-Quds as the permanent capital of Palestine. Rouhani also reiterated that Iran would undoubtedly win the economic war waged by the enemies of the Islamic Republic. For his part, Ziad al-Nakhala said Palestinians would continue their resistance despite threats and pressure by Israel and the United States.

Violence against migrants

US security forces have engaged with migrants at the country’s southern border with Mexico. US border patrol agents used tear gas to keep the group from approaching the crossing line. The recent deaths of two immigrant children in US custody have piled pressure on President Donald Trump for his tough immigration policies. The US president blamed the Democrats and ”their pathetic policies” for the tragedy. Democrats, on the other hand, accuse Trump of demonizing migrants for political gain. The US government has been on a partial shutdown over a standoff between the White House and the Congress over funding for a border wall since December 22 last year.

Brazil's new president

Brazil’s right-wing president-elect Jair Bolsonaro takes the oath of office. Bolsonaro made the comments during his swearing-in ceremony at Brazil’s National Congress in the capital Brasilia. He also said the country will start to “free itself of socialism and political correctness, breaking with policies brought in under decades of leftist rule”. Bolsonaro pledged to fight political corruption and organized crime. The former army captain plans to forge closer ties with the United States. Bolsonaro’s US counterpart, Donald Trump, has congratulated him on his inauguration. Bolsonaro clinched more than 55 percent of the vote in Brazil’s presidential election in October last year.

US's & Israel's UNESCO exit

Iran’s foreign minister has censured the US and Israel for their disregard for international conventions. Mohammad Javad Zarif made the criticism in a tweet, following the withdrawal of the US and the Israeli regime from the United Nations’ cultural agency. The US filed its notice to withdraw from the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in October 2017. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also followed suit, accusing the UN agency of anti-Israel bias. UNESCO infuriated Tel Aviv by slamming Israel's occupation of East Jerusalem al-Quds and granting full membership to Palestine in 2011. Washington responded by halting the payment of annual dues, which amount to about 22 percent of the organization's total budget.

US's Syria pullout

The US secretary of state says President Donald Trump's decision to pull American troops out of Syria changes nothing in Washington's support for Israel. Pompeo was speaking ahead of talks with the Israeli prime minister on the sidelines of the Brazilian president's inauguration ceremony. Netanyahu said he and Pompeo will discuss how to intensify intelligence cooperation in Syria following the US announcement. The Israeli premier added that Washington and Tel Aviv will be looking to block what he called Iranian aggression elsewhere in the Middle East. Trump's abrupt decision to withdraw US forces from Syria has taken many by surprise.

Pakistan militant attacks

Pakistan has seen a significant decline in the number of terrorist attacks in 2018. A study by an Islamabad think tank shows that the number of militant attacks has dropped by nearly half.

US government shutdown

US President Donald Trump has called for a meeting with Congress leaders to seek an end to the federal government's partial shutdown. The meeting is due on Wednesday, a day before Democrats plan to approve a spending package meant to end the shutdown, now in its second week. They’re at odds with Trump over the money he wants for the construction of a wall at the Mexico border. Trump wants five-billion dollars to build the wall, which he says is needed to curb illegal immigration to the United States. Democrats have not contained the funding demanded by him in the spending package. They’re critical of the president’s tough immigration policies. The dispute has caused a quarter of the federal government to shut down, affecting nearly 800,000 workers.

China-Taiwan reunification   

Chinese President Xi Jinping has warned that the use of military force remains as an option for China to retain control of Taiwan. Xi says Beijing will take all necessary measures against separatist activities and other countries that interfere with peaceful reunification of Taiwan. He says nobody can change the fact that the self-ruled island is part of China and that it would ultimately be reunified with the mainland. China sees Taiwan as part of its territory, but the island considers itself a sovereign state. It has its own currency, political and judicial systems, but has never declared independence since the end of a civil war in China in 1949.

Indonesia landslides

Landslides, triggered by torrential rain, have left at least 15 people dead and 25 others missing in western Indonesia. Rescuers are searching for survivors in West Java province but heavy downpours, power cuts and rough roads are hampering their efforts. The landslide buried 30 houses after hitting a small village on Monday. Dozens of people have been evacuated from the disaster-stricken area. Indonesia, a vast tropical archipelago, is prone to natural disasters like landslides.

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