World News in Brief: August 30

The Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee on Tuesday held a meeting on the preparatory work for the seventh plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Committee, and the 20th CPC National Congress. Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, presided over the meeting.
Using a face mask became optional on Monday for schoolchildren in Peru, for the first time since in-person classes resumed in late March.
Using a face mask became optional on Monday for schoolchildren in Peru, for the first time since in-person classes resumed in late March.

* The Kremlin said on Tuesday that it hoped that a planned visit to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant by the International Atomic Energy Agency goes ahead, and that the visit is in Russia's interests.

* Iran will not accept the U.N. nuclear watchdog's "excessive" demands, the spokesperson of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation was cited as saying by the semi-official Tasnim news agency on Tuesday.

* The United Nations issued a flash appeal on Tuesday for 160 million USD to help Pakistan as army helicopters rescued stranded families and dropped food packages into inaccessible areas of the South Asian nationfollowing "epochal" rains and flooding.

* Iran reopened its border with Iraq to travellers on Tuesday shortly after Iraqi Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called on his supporters to withdraw from the streets, state media reported.

* Germany and France warned on Tuesday against a European Union ban on tourist visas for Russians, saying it would be counter-productive, highlighting divisions within the 27-nation bloc as foreign ministers prepared to discuss the measure.

* China's national observatory on Tuesday reissued an orange alert for drought as heatwaves persist in multiple regions.

* Forests currently covered approximately 8.5 million hectares, or 46.86 percent of Cambodia's land area, Ministry of Environment's secretary of state and spokesman Neth Pheaktra said on Tuesday.

* Thailand aims to generate 400 billion baht (11 billion USD) in tourism revenue in the second half of the year, the government said on Tuesday, as the tropical holiday destination welcomes back more visitors after pandemic-induced border controls.

* The US government will end its distribution of free COVID-19 testing kits to Americans on Friday due to lack of funding, US media reported, citing senior Biden administration officials.

* The Republic of Korea's construction orders rose in single digits last year due to economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, statistical office data showed Tuesday.

* A ship chartered by the World Food Programme (WFP) carrying 37,000 metric tonnes of wheat left the Ukrainian Black Sea Port of Yuznhy for Yemen on Tuesday, the UN agency said in a statement.

* Russia's Gazprom GAZP.MM will further squeeze gas deliveries to Engie ENGIE.PA, one its main European utilities, from Tuesday in a dispute over contracts, deepening concerns about Europe's winter energy supply.

* French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne on Monday called for companies in France to prepare an energy plan by September. The call comes amid a Europe-wide energy crisis due to climate change and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

* The European Union is drafting emergency plans to intervene in its energy market, as pressure grows from member states to put a lid on the surging price of electricity.

* Crisis-hit Sri Lanka unveiled fresh measures on Tuesday in an interim budget aimed at clinching a bailout package from the International Monetary Fund, talks for which, the president said, had reached the "final stage".

* Four rockets were fired on the heavily fortified Green Zone overnight and in the morning after Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr resigned from politics, sparking protests by his supporters in which up to 22 people were killed and more than 200 were injured, according to the Iraqi military on Tuesday.

* Jordan's Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi and his visiting Norwegian counterpart Anniken Huitfeldt on Monday vowed to expand bilateral cooperation in various fields.

* Canada's wheat production in 2022 is projected to increase by 55.1 percent year over year to 34.6 million tonnes, largely attributable to better anticipated yields and higher harvest area, Statistics Canada said on Monday.

* Afghanistan received another fresh batch of 40 million USD in cash as humanitarian aid late on Monday, the country's central bank, Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB), said in a statement released here Tuesday.

* A rescue operation of around 300 people from a Swedish passenger ferry was underway on Monday evening, after a blaze onboard. However, the operation was hampered by rough weather in the Baltic Sea.

* It is possible to eliminate the monkeypox outbreak in Europe, World Health Organization officials said on Tuesday, highlighting evidence that case counts are slowing in a handful of countries.

VNA, Reuters, Xinhua