World News in Brief: August 17

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in Ukraine on Thursday, a U.N. spokesman said, and on Friday visit the Black Sea port of Odesa, where grain exports have resumed under a U.N.-brokered deal.

The record-breaking downpours and flash floods that plagued Australia's eastern states in recent years are predicted to return largely due to another La Nina weather event.
The record-breaking downpours and flash floods that plagued Australia's eastern states in recent years are predicted to return largely due to another La Nina weather event.

* The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) fired two cruise missiles toward the western waters, the Republic of Korea (RoK)'s defense ministry said Wednesday.

* Iraqi caretaker Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi on Tuesday invited rival political parties to a Wednesday meeting to seek a solution to the political deadlock through a national dialogue.

* The European Union and United States said on Tuesday they were studying Iran's response to what the EU has called its "final" proposal to save a 2015 nuclear deal after Tehran called on Washington to show flexibility.

* A top Iranian security official reaffirmed on Tuesday that Iran did not and will not back down from any of its red lines during the talks on the revival of a 2015 nuclear deal, semi-official agency Nour News reported.

* Britain has launched dispute resolution proceedings with the European Union to try to gain access to the bloc's scientific research programmes, including Horizon Europe, the government said on Tuesday, in the latest post-Brexit row.

* The rotation of peacekeeping troops in and out of Mali has resumed after a month's suspension by the Malian government, a UN spokesman said on Tuesday.

* The Syrian army said in a statement late Tuesday that it would immediately and directly retaliate against any Turkish attack on Syrian military bases. The statement came in the wake of a Turkish attack against Syrian military bases in northern Syria on Tuesday, which led to the killing of three soldiers.

* British consumer price inflation jumped to 10.1% in July, its highest since February 1982, up from an annual rate of 9.4% in June, intensifying the squeeze on households, official figures showed on Wednesday.

* Mexico's economy will face a "highly uncertain and complicated" outlook in 2023, amid geopolitical challenges and high global inflation, the Mexican Institute of Finance Executives (IMEF) said on Tuesday.

* Norway's sovereign wealth fund, the world's largest, made a loss of 1.68 trillion Norwegian crowns (174 billion USD) in the first half of 2022, it said on Wednesday, as stocks and bonds were hit by global recession fears and rampant price inflation.

* Economic growth in the Netherlands surprisingly jumped to 2.6% in the second quarter compared with the previous three months, as household spending boomed despite soaring inflation and companies increased their investments.

* Malaysia, the world's second-largest palm oil producer, has maintained its September crude palm oil (CPO) export duty at 8 percent, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board circular showed on Wednesday.

* Data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on Wednesday showed Australia's Wage Price Index rising 2.6 percent in the year to June but it still lagged behind inflation.

* Pakistani Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal said on Tuesday that export-led growth holds the key to the country's national development.

* Pushed by a weaker euro and higher prices, Italy's public debt reached an all-time high at mid-year, the Bank of Italy announced Tuesday.

* China reported 3,036 new coronavirus cases for Aug. 16, of which 637 were symptomatic and 2,399 were asymptomatic, the National Health Commission said on Wednesday.

* India recorded 9,062 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, taking the total tally to 44,286,256, showed federal health ministry data released on Wednesday.

* Russia reported 33,106 new daily coronavirus cases on Wednesday, authorities said, the highest figure since mid-March this year.

* Britain recorded its biggest rise in foreign workers since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the year to June, driven overwhelmingly by workers from outside the EU, official figures showed on Tuesday.

* The operator of Dubai International Airport said on Wednesday said the Middle East hub could see monthly passenger traffic return to pre-pandemic levels in the latter half of next year.

* A wildfire in the Alicante Province of Spain's Valencian Community continued to rage on Monday, after burning over 9,500 hectares of land and evacuating almost 2,000 people from their homes, civil protection agencies said.

* British pharmaceutical company GSK has been awarded a contract to produce the world's first malaria vaccine so that millions more children will be protected against the killer disease, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) announced on Tuesday.

* Malta has received its first consignment of the monkeypox vaccine through a joint procurement mechanism of the European Union (EU), Health Minister Chris Fearne said on Tuesday.

* Ecuador has detected three new cases of monkeypox, bringing the total number of national cases to 19, Minister of Public Health Jose Ruales said Tuesday.

* Iran has reported its first monkeypox case, official news agency IRNA quoted a health official as saying on Tuesday.