World news in Brief: December 1

The world must cooperate to tackle the greatest challenges of climate change, terrorism, and pandemics, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday as India began its year-long presidency of the Group of 20 (G20).
India's economy grew by 6.3 percent in the second quarter (July-September) of the current fiscal year (April 2022-March 2023), official data released by the National Statistical Office (NSO) on Wednesday showed.
India's economy grew by 6.3 percent in the second quarter (July-September) of the current fiscal year (April 2022-March 2023), official data released by the National Statistical Office (NSO) on Wednesday showed.

* Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez's office received on November 24 a letter containing an explosive device "similar" to the ones received by the Ukrainian embassy, a Spanish weapons manufacturer on Wednesday and an air force base on Thursday, the Interior Ministry said.

* Chinese Vice Premier Sun Chunlan on Wednesday underlined the importance of constantly optimizing the country's COVID-19 response. Sun made the remarks at the National Health Commission when listening to experts' opinions and suggestions on improving epidemic containment measures.

* Ninety-nine percent of the registered HIV-positive patients in Cambodia have received free antiretroviral drugs, Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen said in a message marking World AIDS Day on Thursday.

* Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday that the United States and NATO were participants in the Ukraine war because of the support they were providing to Kyiv.

* Brazil's President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is likely to meet US president Joe Biden before his government inauguration in January next year, his close aide and former Sao Paulo mayor Fernando Haddad said on Wednesday.

* The UN General Assembly on Wednesday adopted a resolution to call for efforts to solve the question of Palestine.

* The General Assembly on Wednesday adopted a resolution declaring that Israel has failed to comply with Security Council Resolution 497 of 1981, which demands Israel rescind its decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights.

* UN General Assembly President Csaba Korosi on Wednesday called for action as the goal to end AIDS by 2030 is "badly off track."

* Russia's Gazprom GAZP.MM said it would ship 42.4 million cubic metres of gas to Europe via Ukraine on Thursday, a volume similar to those of recent days.

* Australia is on track to meet recently beefed up climate action targets once a raft of new measures, including a A$15 billion ($10.20 billion) national reconstruction fund, is implemented, the government said on Thursday.

* The Iranian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday summoned Nicolas Roche, the French ambassador to Tehran, over the French foreign minister's "unacceptable" remarks in France's National Assembly.

* Israel said on Wednesday that it completed large-scale exercises with the US Armed Forces that simulated strikes on the Iranian nuclear program.

* The Iranian foreign minister said that Tehran understands Türkiye's security concerns along the common border with Syria and is ready to provide any assistance to help "politically" resolve the problems between the two sides.

* Tunisian Prime Minister Najla Bouden Romdhane met in Tunis on Wednesday with her Libyan counterpart Abdul-Hamed Dbeibah to discuss ways to strengthen bilateral ties, according to a statement released by the Tunisian government.

* Libyan Prime Minister Abdul-Hamed Dbeibah on Tuesday expressed his government's readiness to hold general elections in the country, calling for local and international pressure to complete the laws regulating the elections.

* US crude oil imports decreased and exports increased during the week ending Nov. 25, the US Energy Information Administration said Wednesday.

* Republic of Korea's gross domestic product (GDP) growth slowed in the third quarter compared to the previous quarter amid the faster increase in import than export, central bank data showed Thursday.

* Indonesia's inflation eased in November, reached 5.42 percent year-on-year, lower than the previous month's 5.71 percent, Statistics Indonesia (BPS) said on Thursday.

* The European Commission on Wednesday proposed a raft of measures aimed at reducing unnecessary and wasteful packaging. These include a 15 percent reduction in unnecessary packaging by 2040.

* Investments into protecting and better managing the world's ecosystems need to reach $384 billion a year by 2025, more than double their current levels, to guard against the threats of climate change and loss of natural resources, the U.N.'s environment watchdog said on Thursday.

* The risk of short power outages has increased in Finland due to uncertainty in domestic production and foreign imports, the Finnish energy authority said on Thursday.

* Sri Lanka hopes to double tourist arrivals to 1.5 million next year and bring in $5 billion in vital foreign exchange, the tourism minister said on Thursday, as the island nation seeks ways to tackle its worst financial crisis in seven decades.

* The Slovak government will cap energy prices for households next year at a cost of 6 billion euros ($6.25 billion) through subsidies and a contract with the country's main electricity supplier, government officials said on Thursday.

* Iran has signed with Iraq a contract worth 4 billion USD to provide technological and engineering services to the Arab country, semi-official Tasnim news agency reported on Wednesday.

* Saudi Arabia called on Wednesday for collaboration among like-minded leading tourism organizations worldwide to create a new Tourism Innovation Index (TII).

* Sudan on Wednesday pledged to strengthen solidarity among member states of the trade bloc Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in eastern Africa and promote economic integration in the region.

* The African Union (AU) said it has deployed a Special Pre-electoral Political Mission to monitor the ongoing preparation for the upcoming general elections in Nigeria.

* Creation of an adequately funded, trained and motivated community healthcare workforce is urgent to help African countries deal with a rising burden of diseases, a senior official from the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said on Wednesday.

* Latin America and the Caribbean received 142.79 billion USD in foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2021, 40.7 percent more than 2020, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) said Tuesday.

* The BQ.1.1 subvariant of COVID-19 is currently taking precedence over the BA.5 subvariant in France, immunologist Brigitte Autran, president of the Committee for Monitoring and Anticipating Health Risks (COVARS), told the news channel BFMTV on Wednesday.

* The Ecuadorian government declared an animal health emergency on Wednesday due to an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu, its Agriculture Ministry said.

* Islamic State (IS) militant leader Abu al-Hassan al-Hashemi al-Quraishi was killed in an operation carried out by the rebel Free Syrian Army in mid-October in Syria's Daraa province, the US military said on Wednesday, another heavy blow to a group that once struck fear across the Middle East.

VNA, Reuters, Xinhua