World News in Brief: December 5

Russia said on Monday that a Western price cap on its oil would destabilise global energy markets but would not affect its ability to sustain what it calls its "special military operation" in Ukraine.
The Philippine government economic team on Monday retained its 2022 gross domestic product (GDP) target of between 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent. It in the meantime cut the forecast for 2023 to 6 percent to 7 percent from earlier 6.5 percent to 8 percent amid external headwinds.
The Philippine government economic team on Monday retained its 2022 gross domestic product (GDP) target of between 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent. It in the meantime cut the forecast for 2023 to 6 percent to 7 percent from earlier 6.5 percent to 8 percent amid external headwinds.

* German Chancellor Olaf Scholz warned against creating a new Cold War by dividing the world into blocs and called for every effort to be made to build new partnerships, writing in an opinion piece for Foreign Affairs magazine published online on Monday.

* President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron agreed during a state visit earlier this week to "fix" issues arising from US legislation that includes subsidies for American-made products, Macron said in a bid to assuage European concerns.

* Finland's government said on Monday it had asked parliament to formally adopt NATO's founding treaty, thus preparing the country for membership of the military alliance once hold-outs Hungary and Turkey approve the application.

* Bulgarian Prime Minister Galab Donev on Monday said the Netherlands was opposing Bulgaria's bid to join the EU's passport-free Schengen travel region, ahead of a meeting of Europe's home affairs ministers this week to discuss the matter.

* The United Arab Emirates and Ukraine agreed on Monday to begin talks on a bilateral trade deal, expected to conclude by the middle of next year, the UAE's economy ministry said.

* Sweden's extradition to Turkey last week of a Kurdish man with alleged terrorism links is a "good start", but Stockholm needs to do more before Ankara can approve its NATO membership, Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said on Monday.

* The acting defence minister of the Afghan Taliban has met the president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, for talks in Abu Dhabi on strengthening relations, his ministry and UAE state media reported on Monday.

* The United Arab Emirates (UAE) president held talks in Qatar on Monday on the first such visit since Saudi Arabia and three allies ended a boycott of Doha nearly two years ago, lauding Doha's hosting of the World Cup as a "success" for all Arabs.

* Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kanaani said Monday that Iran will not negotiate under pressure and threats over the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal.

* Sudan's military and civilian leaders on Monday signed a political framework agreement to end the political impasse and institute a two-year transitional civilian authority.

* Iran's Foreign Ministry on Monday denied US claims that it had sent weapons to Yemen.

* Inflation in Laos increased to 38.46 percent year-on-year in November from 36.75 percent in October, according to a report issued by the Lao Statistics Bureau on Monday.

* Malaysia will work towards ensuring that trade remains a key growth driver as the Southeast Asian country seeks to boost its economic performance, a Malaysian official said on Sunday.

* The Philippine Senate and House of Representatives on Monday ratified the proposed 5.268 trillion pesos (about 94 billion USD) national budget for 2023, 4.9 percent higher than the 2022 budget.

* Pakistan has suffered over 30 billion USD loss to economy due to this year's catastrophic floods, which amounts to 10 percent of its gross domestic product, Pakistani Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal said on Monday.

* Bangladesh's inflation decreased to 8.85 percent in November from 8.91 percent in October.

* Annual inflation rate in Türkiye slightly eased in November for the first time in 18 months, dropping to 84.39 percent from 85.51 percent in October, official data showed on Monday.

* Italy's population has dropped below 59 million and the country is ageing at a much faster rate than its European Union peers, national statistical agency Istat said on Monday.

* Exposure to high level of air pollution significantly raises risks of breathing difficulties, cough, lower respiratory tract infections, as well as depression and other health conditions, says a new World Bank report launched Sunday.

* Japan on Monday lifted a ban on urban drone flights outside visible range over residential areas, local media reported.

* Australia is expected to produce a bumper year of crops including record wheat production in the current financial year, the government said on Tuesday, despite the impact of widespread flooding in the the country's eastern region.

* The New Zealand government said on Monday it would launch an inquiry into the country's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic so future governments could learn from the experience.

* A magnitude 6.9 earthquake struck around 220 km (150 miles) north-northeast of Apia, Samoa, on Sunday, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said. The quake was at a dept of about 33 km, USGS added.

* At least 12 people died when a landslide buried a bus in Colombia's northwest on Sunday, authorities and rescue agencies said.

VNA, Reuters, Xinhua