World News in Brief: August 29

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday called on the world to bring into force a treaty to ban all nuclear tests. Guterres made the appeal in his message to mark International Day against Nuclear Tests, which falls on Monday.
The initial economic losses from floods in Pakistan could be at least 10 billion USD, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal told Reuters in an interview on Monday.
The initial economic losses from floods in Pakistan could be at least 10 billion USD, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal told Reuters in an interview on Monday.

* Angola's electoral commission on Monday declared the ruling MPLA, which has been in power for nearly five decades, the winner of last week's national election, handing President Joao Lourenco a second term.

* Iraq's Joint Operations Command has set a full curfew in the capital of Baghdad, which will begin at 15:30 local time, state news agency INA reported on Monday.

* Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has promised a "cultural change" to improve conditions for women in the workplace.

* A senior Iranian diplomat said that enhancing multilateral and regional cooperation is the country's second step in implementing its policy of expanding relations with neighbors, the Foreign Ministry's website reported on Sunday.

* Indonesia has extended its zero-levy policy for palm oil exports until October 31, the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs said on Monday.

* The Czech Republic will convene an emergency meeting of European Union energy ministers on Sept. 9 to find a bloc-wide agreement on tackling surging power costs, potentially through capping the price of gas used in electricity production.

* Hungary will continue talks with Russia on additional gas supplies and expects to reach a deal with Gazprom GAZP.MM to boost supplies further from next month, Hungary's Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Monday.

* Nations that are members of the International Energy Agency could release more oil from strategic petroleum reserves (SPR) if they find it necessary when the current scheme expires, the head of the agency said on Monday.

* Asian shares slid on Monday as the mounting risk of more aggressive rate hikes in the United States and Europe shoved bond yields and the dollar sharply higher, and tested equity and earnings valuations.

* Central banks will fail to control inflation and could even push price growth higher unless governments start playing their part with more prudent budget policies, according to a study presented to policymakers at the Jackson Hole conference in the United States on Friday.

* France's Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said on Monday each company in the country should draw up its own energy sobriety plan next month amid concerns about power shortages and spiraling prices as the conflict in Ukraine grinds on.

* The Taliban administration is in the final stages of talks in Moscow over the terms of a contract for Afghanistan to purchase gasoline and benzene from Russia, Afghan commerce ministry officials told Reuters.

* Denmark will expand the capacity of a renewable energy island in the Baltic Sea to secure more power links to Germany and the rest of Europe, the Danish energy ministry said on Monday.

* Austria said on Monday it is preparing to pump billions of euros into the electricity company that supplies much of Vienna after a price surge on power markets left it unable to afford the guarantees needed to cover market transactions.

* An engine problem forced NASA on Monday to postpone for at least four days the debut launch of the colossal rocketship it hopes will one day fly astronauts back to the moon, more than a half-century after Apollo's last lunar mission.

* Hungarian consumer and business confidence both deteriorated further in August, a survey by think tank GKI showed, with households' confidence plunging to its lowest since April 2020, the first wave of the COVID pandemic.

* More than 90 countries where monkeypox is not endemic have reported outbreaks of the viral disease, which the World Health Organization has declared a global health emergency, as confirmed cases crossed 47,600 and non-endemic countries reported their first related deaths.

* China reported 1,696 new COVID-19 infections on Aug. 28, of which 352 were symptomatic and 1,344 were asymptomatic, the National Health Commission said on Monday.

* Despite cost-of-living fears, heatwaves and wildfires, France's tourism industry rebounded in a big way this summeras local and foreign holidaymakers poured in after a two-year slump caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

* Moderna sued Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech on Friday for patent infringement in the development of the first COVID-19 vaccine approved in the United States, alleging they copied technology that Moderna developed years before the pandemic.

* Japan's health ministry said on Monday that its panel of experts had agreed to approve manufacturing and sales of AstraZeneca's AZN.L COVID-19 preventive treatment Evusheld.

* European Medicines Agency published clinical data on use of a booster dose of Moderna's MRNA.O Spikevax in adolescents aged 12 to 18.

VNA, Reuters, Xinhua