World News in Brief: August 2

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday welcomed the first commercial vessel sailing from Ukraine's Odesa under the Black Sea Grain Initiative brokered by the United Nations and Türkiye.

As many as 900 firefighters are battling a blaze at the Bohemian Switzerland National Park in the Czech Republic, the local fire and rescue service said on Monday.
As many as 900 firefighters are battling a blaze at the Bohemian Switzerland National Park in the Czech Republic, the local fire and rescue service said on Monday.

* A new Global Alliance for Ending AIDS in Children by 2030 was announced Monday in Montreal, Canada, at the 24th International AIDS Conference to ensure that no child living with HIV is denied treatment by the end of the decade and to prevent new infant HIV infections.

* A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday.

* Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio on Monday urged all nuclear states to conduct themselves "responsibly" in non-proliferation efforts at a time when he said the road to a world without nuclear arms had become much more difficult.

* Bulgarian President Rumen Radev has signed a decree, setting the date of the new parliamentary election on Oct. 2, his press office said on Monday.

* Pakistan's Election Commission ruled on Tuesday that former Prime Minister Imran Khan's party had received illegal funds, his party spokesman and media said, which could result in the former cricket star and the party being banned from politics.

* China vowed to maintain sufficient liquidity and step up credit support to enterprises in the second half of the year, as part of efforts to consolidate the growth momentum of its economy, the country's central bank said.

* India reported 13,734 new cases of COVID-19 during the past 24 hours, taking the total tally to 44,050,009 in the country, according to federal health ministry data released on Tuesday morning.

* Cambodia has lowered its economic growth projection for 2022 to 5.4 percent, down from its earlier forecast of 5.6 percent, due to the impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, a senior official said on Tuesday.

* Indonesia's Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said on Monday that the country's second-quarter economic growth will be above 5 percent. In the first quarter, the country's GDP rose 5.01 percent year-on-year.

* The Republic of Korea's consumer price soared 6.3 percent in July from a year earlier, marking the highest rise in almost 24 years, statistical office data showed Tuesday.

* Thailand recorded 3.12 million foreign tourist arrivals from Jan. 1 to July 26, a government spokesman said, as the vital tourism sector picks up following an easing of pandemic restrictions.

* US manufacturing activity slowed less than expected in July and there were signs that supply constraints are easing, with a measure of prices paid for inputs by factories falling to a two-year low, suggesting inflation has probably peaked.

* Manufacturing activity across the euro zone contracted last month with factories forced to stockpile unsold goods due to weak demand, a survey showed on Monday, adding to concerns the bloc could fall into a recession.

* Indonesia's inflation accelerated to a seven-year high driven by soaring food prices, data showed on Monday, sparking calls for an interest rate hike, though the central bank governor signalled he was unperturbed as core inflation remained low.

* Australia's central bank raised its cash rate 50 basis points to 1.85% on Tuesday and flagged yet more tightening ahead, though it added that policy was not on a pre-set path.

* Colombia's central bank on Monday raised its inflation outlook for 2022 to 9.7%, as high consumer prices and global supply pressures persist. The projection, published in the bank technical team's quarterly monetary policy report, is an increase on a previous estimate of 7.1%.

* Germany's manufacturing sector contracted in July for the first time in over two years, hurt by a deepening slump in new orders that darkens the outlook for Europe's largest economy, a survey showed on Monday.

* Employment in Italy in June hit 18.1 million, the highest level since the late 1970s, according to provisional data released by the country's National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT) on Monday.

* In the Czech Republic, unemployment fell to 2.4 percent in June, according to Eurostat. This is well below the EU bloc's average of 6 percent. However, the country also saw a 7.7 percent youth unemployment rate (people under the age of 25).

* Spanish businesses, restaurants, museums and public transport will be required to adhere to strict temperature requirements under emergency measures the government announced on Monday to save energy.

* Al Qaeda's top leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed in a drone strike in Kabul on July 30, a senior Biden administration official confirmed on Monday, adding that there are no indications that anyone else was killed in the operation.

* Doctors across Sierra Leone began an indefinite strike on Monday to protest low pay and lack of benefits, leaving dozens of patients in hospital waiting rooms in need of care.

* Portugal's civil aviation workers on Monday threatened to go on a three-day strike in late August, accusing the conglomerate that operates the country's biggest airports of failing to increase wages and provide better working conditions.

* California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a monkeypox emergency in the most populous US state on Monday in a move aimed at bolstering vaccination efforts to control an outbreak that US health officials report has infected more than 5,800 Americans.

* Thailand's health ministry said Monday that it has planned to administer the monkeypox vaccines to high risk groups. The first batch of 1,000 doses of vaccine are expected to arrive in Thailand in the second half of this month, according to the ministry.

* Brazil plans to use the antiviral drug Tecovirimat to treat severe cases of monkeypox, which has already claimed one life in the country, Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga said Monday.

* High temperatures and low rainfall in Spain are likely to continue into the autumn, exacerbating wildfires and drought, according to a report published on Monday by the Spanish Meteorological Agency (AEMET).

* The highly pathogenic bird flu, or avian influenza, has been detected at a turkey farm in northern France, causing the cull of at least 8,000 turkeys, French daily news Le Figaro reported on Monday.