World News in Brief: August 20

Philippine President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos is scheduled to visit Indonesia and Singapore next month in his first overseas trips since taking office on June 30, Press Secretary Rose Beatrix Cruz-Angeles said on Friday.

Producer prices in Germany rose at a record pace in July, with industrial products 37.2 percent more expensive year on year, the country's Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) said on Friday.
Producer prices in Germany rose at a record pace in July, with industrial products 37.2 percent more expensive year on year, the country's Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) said on Friday.

* A State Council executive meeting chaired by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Thursday specified measures to lower financing costs for businesses and consumption credit costs for individuals, so as to step up financial support for the real economy.

* Cuba will send nearly 500 doctors to the Calabria region of southern Italy, Cuban state media reported this week, part of a broader program that sends surplus medics from the Caribean island to countries in need.

* Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron held a phone conversation on Friday to discuss the situation in Ukraine, the Kremlin said in a statement.

* Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks with visiting Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in Russia's Black Sea resort of Sochi on Friday.

* The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Friday that it is actively consulting with all parties on sending a mission to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine as soon as possible.

* Two more ships carrying grain have left Ukraine's Chornomorsk port, Turkey's Defence Ministry said, bringing the total number of vessels to leave Ukraine's Black Sea ports under a U.N.-brokered grain export deal to 27.

* Russia will halt natural gas supplies to Europe for three days at the end of the month via its main pipeline into the region, state energy giant Gazprom GAZP.MM said on Friday, piling pressure on the region as it seeks to refuel ahead of winter.

* Portuguese Minister of Economy and the Sea Antonio Costa Silva said Friday that the government will take measures to facilitate the immigration to Portugal and ease the shortage of workers, which he described as "the heart of the government's concerns."

* Chile's economy is "adjusting" to reduce inflationary pressures, Finance Minister Mario Marcel said Friday, following lower than expected growth in the second quarter of 2022.

* Producer prices in Latvia's industrial sector soared 30.2 percent in July 2022 compared to the same period a year ago, the national statistics office announced Friday.

* The Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) has approved $665 million in loans for Argentina, the government confirmed on Friday, as the country navigates a severe shortage of foreign currency.

* NASA announced Friday that it has selected 13 possible regions at the South Pole of the Moon as potential future landing sites for its Artemis III mission, a project aiming to send astronauts back to the Moon in 2025.

* Chinese Vice Premier Sun Chunlan has stressed efforts to consolidate and expand the achievements in containing COVID-19 in Hainan Province.

* India reported 13,272 new cases of COVID-19 during the past 24 hours, taking the total tally to 44,327,890, according to federal health ministry data released on Saturday morning,

* Malaysia reported 3,490 new COVID-19 infections, as of midnight Friday, bringing the national total to 4,752,490, according to the health ministry.

* The Republic of Korea reported 129,411 new COVID-19 cases as of midnight Friday compared to 24 hours ago, raising the total number of infections to 22,129,387, the health authorities said Saturday.

* The number of daily COVID-19 infections in Germany continues to fall, but the infection risk remains high, the country's Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases said on Friday.

* Canada's drug regulator announced Friday it has authorized Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine for use as a booster dose in children aged 5 to 11 years.

* European countries could stretch out limited supplies of the monkeypox vaccine by administering smaller doses of the shot, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said on Friday.

* India's first indigenously developed RT-PCR kit for testing Monkeypox was launched in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, local daily The Times of India reported on Friday.

* Denmark has reported its first female case of monkeypox, the country's Ministry of Health announced on Friday afternoon. The woman is one of five new cases of the disease in Denmark in the last 24 hours.

* Up to 291 Syrian soldiers and Islamic State (IS) militants have been killed in confrontations between the two sides since the beginning of this year, a war monitor reported on Friday night.

* Hezbollah will insist on protecting its maritime rights regardless of the results of the Vienna talks, said Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Friday.

* At least 12 people have been killed in Somalia's capital Mogadishu after al Qaeda-linked militants attacked a hotel, seizing control in a siege that authorities are still battling to end, an intelligence officer told Reuters on Saturday.