World News in Brief: December 28

Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio on Tuesday floated the possibility of calling a snap election before a tax increase aimed at funding the country's defence budget comes into place "sometime after 2024".
This year will go down as the hottest in Italy since records began in 1800, according to data from the Institute for Atmospheric Science at the country's National Research Council (NRC).
This year will go down as the hottest in Italy since records began in 1800, according to data from the Institute for Atmospheric Science at the country's National Research Council (NRC).

* Russia and China have completed naval drills in the East China Sea, after a week of joint exercises which included practising how to capture an enemy submarine with depth charges and firing artillery at a warship, Russia's defence ministry said.

* Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday signed a decree that bans the supply of oil and oil products to nations that imposed a price cap on Russian oil, coming into force on Feb. 1, 2023, and lasting for five months until July 1.

* Russia did not consult with OPEC+ on its response to a Western price cap on Russian oil, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday, stating that it was Russia's sovereign right to respond as it sees fit to such "illegal measures".

* Italy's defence minister struck a cautious tone on whether Italy would be able to supply Ukraine with air defence systems, as requested by President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

* China has announced that it will be downgrading its management of COVID-19 as of Jan. 8, treating it as a Class B infection, rather than a more serious Class A infection.

* The Cuban Red Cross is aiding 253 Haitian migrants who landed at a port on central Cuba's north coast, state daily Granma said on Tuesday.

* US Southwest Airlines accounted for 86 percent of canceled domestic flights in the country on Tuesday, drawing the attention of regulators amid a days-long meltdown of holiday air travel that began with a winter storm late last week, reported The Washington Post on Tuesday.

* Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu finalised coalition deals with allied parties, their spokespeople said on Wednesday, in final steps toward his political comeback at the head of one of the most right-wing governments in Israel's history.

* Rescue teams across nine provinces in the Philippines raced on Wednesday to try to locate 26 people missing after weekend rains, floods and landslides that have killed at least 25 people, in one of its deadliest weather events this year.

* The U.N. Security Council on Tuesday called for the full, equal and meaningful participation of women and girls in Afghanistan, denouncing a ban by the Taliban-led administration on women attending universities or working for humanitarian aid groups.

* Tunisia has foiled eleven attempts by illegal migrants to cross the Mediterranean toward the Italian coast, National Guard Spokesman Houcemeddine Jbabli said Tuesday.

* Lebanon's Armed Forces Commander Joseph Aoun on Tuesday reaffirmed the army's continuous cooperation with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) to preserve peace in southern Lebanon.

* Ethiopian Airlines on Tuesday announced the decision to resume its flights to Mekele, the rebel-held capital of the country's Tigray region.

* US home prices continued to decline, according to data released Tuesday. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index dropped 0.5 percent for October, marking its fourth monthly fall.

* Japan's industrial output edged down in November from a month earlier, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said in a report on Wednesday.

* Sentiment among the Republic of Korean businesses over economic situations kept falling for the fourth consecutive month due to lingering worry about economic uncertainty, central bank data showed Wednesday.

* Spain on Tuesday announced 10 billion euros ($10.65 billion) worth of measures to ease the pain of inflation in the third major package this year, bringing total aid to 45 billion euros since early 2022.

* Ukraine's agricultural export earnings will decrease by 16 percent this year to 23.3 billion USD, the Interfax-Ukraine news agency reported Tuesday, citing an industry body.

* Jordan's cabinet on Tuesday endorsed a 2.3 billion Jordanian dinars (around 3.2 billion USD) economic modernization plan to help drive economic growth, the state-run Petra news agency reported.

* Twenty-one people were killed in two road accidents in Nigeria on Monday and Tuesday, traffic police said.