World News in Brief: December 14

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has lowered its economic growth forecasts for developing Asia and the Pacific amid a worsened global outlook.
US prices rose less than analysts' expectations in November, signaling that surging inflation may be slightly tamping down.
US prices rose less than analysts' expectations in November, signaling that surging inflation may be slightly tamping down.

* China’s Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture and Tourism said Tuesday that group tours in and out of Beijing and flight and hotel businesses of travel agencies and online companies have resumed.

* Commenting on peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that it is impossible to move towards peace without taking into account the new realities in Ukraine that Russia has got new territories as a result of referendums.

* Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday proposed three steps to "accelerate the coming of peace" to Ukraine, said the presidential press service reported.

* The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will send permanent technical missions to all nuclear power plants (NNPs) in Ukraine, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal announced on Tuesday.

* Two Russian Tu-95MS long-range strategic bombers performed a flight over the neutral waters of the Sea of Japan, said the Russian Defense Ministry on Wednesday.

* Western countries attempted to destroy the Russian economy but they underestimated its resilience, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said on Tuesday.

* Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said Tuesday that Ukraine will get 1 billion USD from its partners to go through the winter cold season, the government press service reported.

* GERB-UDF coalition, the largest political force with 67 seats in the newly elected 240-member Bulgarian Parliament, failed to form a new government here on Wednesday.

* The US military on Wednesday launched a new space forces unit in the Republic of Korea, according to Yonhap news agency.

* Hungary has concluded a long-delayed deal with the European Union (EU) on several billion euros of frozen funds, according to the country's minister responsible for negotiations with the EU.

* Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) on Tuesday voted to strip the institution's Vice President Eva Kaili of her post citing her alleged involvement in a corruption scandal.

* Iran's foreign minister has reiterated Tehran's readiness for achieving a "good, lasting and robust" agreement in the talks on the revival of a 2015 nuclear deal, but stressed that the country will not cross its red lines to that end.

* President of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Mohammad Eslami said Wednesday that officials of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will visit Tehran in the coming days.

* Lebanese Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati on Tuesday said that as one of the countries suffering the most from terrorist acts, Lebanon called for collective cooperation and intensive coordination to fight terrorism.

* Peru's new President Dina Boluarte said Tuesday she plans to meet with the Congressional Constitution Committee to "shorten the timeframe" for holding early general elections she had proposed, amid heated protests around the country.

* The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on Tuesday appealed for 1.2 billion USD in 2023 to reach some 66 million women, girls and young people facing crisis in 65 countries.

* The wholesale inflation in India fell to 5.85 percent during the month of November from 8.39 percent in October, showed the official data released by the federal Ministry of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday.

* The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced in a report on Wednesday that economists and analysts polled in the Survey of Professional Forecasters expect Singapore's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to expand by 1.8 percent in 2023.

* Thailand's economy is expected to recover, but growth will be slower than anticipated next year due to global headwinds, the World Bank said Wednesday.

* European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen proposed to EU leaders on Wednesday a loosening of state aid rules in renewable energy and clean-tech as a response to high energy prices and a US subsidy law that threaten European industry.

* US prices rose less than analysts' expectations in November, signaling that surging inflation may be slightly tamping down.

* Hungary and Qatar have agreed that their state-owned energy companies will start talks about Hungary buying liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the Gulf Arab state, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said in a Facebook video on Wednesday.

* The European Union (EU) announced on Wednesday that it would provide Lebanon with 229 million euros (244 mln USD) over the course of a year beginning in December 2022 to support much-needed reforms and economic development.

* Iranian Defense Minister Mohammad Reza Ashtiani said that Ukraine has not presented any evidence for its claim that Russia has used Iranian military drones in the Ukraine conflict, Tasnim news agency reported on Tuesday.

* African countries need more investment to build stronger and more resilient health systems on the continent, a World Health Organization (WHO) official has told the opening of the 2nd International Conference on Public Health in Africa (CPHIA 2022) in Kigali, Rwanda's capital.

* Poland's prime minister on Wednesday called on lawmakers across the political spectrum to pass amendments to judiciary laws quickly to unblock European Union funds, something he said would boost the zloty currency and curb inflation.

* France's Finance Minister and a leading executive at the country's RTE grid system stepped up messages of reassurance on Wednesday that the country can avoid power cuts this winter, even as a spell of freezing cold weather swept across Europe.

* The European Union will raise an extra 20 billion euros from its carbon market for investments to help end more swiftly the bloc's reliance on Russian fossil fuels, under a political deal reached on Wednesday.

* Italy will bring the energy prices issue to the table at a coming European Union Dec. 15-16 summit, the country's Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said on Wednesday.

* Hungary's government extended existing price caps on basic foodstuffs until April 30, the farm ministry told state news agency MTI late on Tuesday.

* The United Kingdom's (UK) consumer prices index (CPI) rose by 10.7 percent in November, down from 11.1 percent in October, according to data released on Wednesday by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

* The Israeli Ministry of Energy on Tuesday launched a bid round to provide licenses for offshore natural gas explorations in northern Israel.

* The Iranian Space Agency (ISA) and Russia's state space corporation Roscosmos will start a new round of talks on cooperating in the space sector, the official IRNA news agency reported on Tuesday.

* Türkiye said Tuesday that it has cleared a queue of oil tankers waiting to pass the Bosphorus and Dardanelle straits as the insurance dispute related to a Western oil price cap on Russian crude is being solved.

* The Czech government will discuss later on Wednesday capping electricity and natural gas prices for large firms at the same level as prices for households and small firms that are already in place, Industry and Trade Minister Jozef Sikela said.

* Sri Lanka is expecting as much as $5 billion in loans next year from multilateral agencies besides an IMF deal, while the government is aiming to raise up to $3 billion via restructuring of state assets, its foreign minister told Reuters on Wednesday.

* A visiting team of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday announced a three-year preliminary agreement with the Ghanaian government to help the west African country revitalize its economy.

* At least 166 civilians have been killed and 237 others injured in the last four months in clashes in South Sudan's Upper Nile State, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk said on Wednesday.

* At least 141 people were killed following floods and landslides caused by heavy rains that hit several outlying districts of Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), from late Monday till early Tuesday, according to the latest assessment made public late Tuesday by local authorities.