World News in Brief: December 19

A UN draft deal on biodiversity protection calls for increasing international financial aid from developed countries to developing countries to at least 20 billion USD per year by 2025, and to at least 30 billion dollars per year by 2030, according to documents released on Sunday.
Malaysia's exports rose by 15.6 percent year on year to 130.24 billion ringgit (29.46 billion USD) in November, official data showed Monday. (Photo for Illustration)
Malaysia's exports rose by 15.6 percent year on year to 130.24 billion ringgit (29.46 billion USD) in November, official data showed Monday. (Photo for Illustration)

* China-Africa Development Fund, an equity investment fund managed by China Development Bank, has invested more than 5 billion USD in African countries, the fund said.

* Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Monday apologised on behalf of the Dutch state for the role of the Netherlands in slavery. Rutte also said that slavery must be recognised in "the clearest terms" as "a crime against humanity".

* Japan will support the African Union's entry to the Group of 20 (G20) forum of the world's largest economies, Prime Minister Kishida Fumio said on Monday.

* The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has conducted a final-stage test for developing its first military reconnaissance satellite, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported Monday.

* Russian President Vladimir Putin landed in Minsk on Monday afternoon for talks with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, the Russian state-run TASS news agency reported.

* Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Monday asked Western leaders meeting in Latvia, including British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, to supply a wide range of weapons systems to help end Europe's deadliest conflict since World War Two sooner.

* Hungary's Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Monday that Budapest will not have to notify or consult with the European Commission if it wants to modify its long-term gas contract with Russia should an EU-wide gas price cap be approved.

* Indonesian President Joko Widodo said on Monday he supports plans to scale back the presence of troops in the eastern region of Papua, after appointing a new chief of armed forces.

* President Joe Biden will meet with Ecuador President Guillermo Lasso on Monday to discuss efforts to stem the flow of migrants to the United States as the White House faces increased pressure over its immigration policies.

* Norway and France have signed a letter of intent to promote cooperation on the development and deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS) as a way to help prevent global warming, the Norwegian energy ministry said on Monday.

* Pakistani authorities on Monday opened talks to try to resolve a stand-off with Islamist militants who were holding several security personnel hostage after seizing control of a counter-terrorism facility in the country's northwest a day earlier.

* European Union nations' energy ministers were struggling on Monday to agree a cap on gas prices, an emergency measure that has split opinion across the bloc as it seeks to tame the energy crisis.

* UN nuclear watchdog officials left Tehran on Monday after talks with the head of Iran's nuclear energy organisation, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported, without saying whether they addressed an impasse over uranium traces at undeclared sites.

* The Australian government has said the country will host a global nature summit in 2024.

* The Republic of Korea decided on Monday to extend fuel tax cut for four more months amid the still high energy prices, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

* The Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) said Monday that it expects Malaysia's air passenger traffic in 2023 to increase by between 40 percent and 52 percent year on year, which is translated into between 74.6 million and 80.8 million passengers.

* Jordan's Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources on Sunday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Arab Mining Company to explore lithium and gold in southern Jordan.

* Thai warships and helicopters had been working to rescue 31 missing sailors after a navy ship sank in the Gulf of Thailand, the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) said on Monday.

* Four members of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) were killed in a terrorist attack in the southeast border region of Saravan, Iran's official news agency IRNA reported on Monday.

* The death toll from a fire in Afghanistan's landmark alpine Salang tunnel rose to 31, a health ministry spokesman said on Monday.

* Five people were killed on Sunday in a shooting incident in a condo unit in Vaughan, north of Toronto, local authorities said.

* At least 20 people have been killed so far in an outbreak of cholera in Nigeria's southern Cross River state, a local official said on Sunday.

* Thirty-six people were injured Sunday after a Hawaiian Airlines flight hit severe turbulence before landing in Honolulu, the capital of the U.S. state of Hawaii, local media reported, citing officials.

VNA, Reuters, Xinhua