News brief: Big stories of the day

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Jan 25, 2019, 09:00 AM IST
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Nicolas Maduro. Photograph:(Others)

Story highlights

Read top five stories of the morning here.

The US Senate on Thursday blocked dueling plans to reopen shuttered federal agencies, a fresh setback in efforts to end a month-long government shutdown, but President Donald Trump signalled he could back a new proposal if it includes border security.

Venezuela will close its embassy and all consulates in the United States, President Nicolas Maduro said on Thursday, one day after he broke off diplomatic relations in response to US recognition of an opposition leader as interim president.

A co-founder of the Taliban was appointed as the leader of its political office in Qatar on Thursday to strengthen its hand in peace talks with the United States as they try to establish a mechanism to end the 17-year Afghan war. 

Washington and Beijing are "miles and miles" from resolving their trade war, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Thursday.

A high-level Chinese delegation is due in Washington next week for talks to resolve the dispute by March 1, when US duty rates on Chinese imports are due to rise sharply, but Ross tried to tamp down expectations to those meetings.

Pakistan High Commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood on Thursday advocated talks and sustained engagement between the two countries to find common ground for improvement of bilateral relations.