World News in Brief: December 9

India's main ruling party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) retained the western state of Gujarat in the state-level elections on Thursday.
World stocks rose on Friday on expectations China's economy would strengthen as COVID-19 curbs ease, but stocks were heading for a 2% weekly loss in nervy markets ahead of the Federal Reserve's policy meeting next week. (Representartive Image)
World stocks rose on Friday on expectations China's economy would strengthen as COVID-19 curbs ease, but stocks were heading for a 2% weekly loss in nervy markets ahead of the Federal Reserve's policy meeting next week. (Representartive Image)

* Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said Thursday that China firmly supports the WTO-centered multilateral trading system.

* Peru's new President Dina Boluarte on Thursday said she will seek to "redirect" the country in the wake of a political crisis that saw her predecessor Pedro Castillo impeached on Wednesday.

* Israeli former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday asked President Isaac Herzog for an extension of the mandate to form a new coalition government, his Likud party said in a statement.

* China and Saudi Arabia reaffirmed the significance of global oil market stability and Riyadh's role in maintaining it, a joint statement said on Friday during Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to the kingdom, the world's biggest oil exporter.

* Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that he will speak to Russia's Vladimir Putin on Sunday, and he will also speak to Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelenskiy in order to strengthen the U.N.-backed Black Sea grain deal.

* Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday said the West's desire to maintain its dominance on the world stage was increasing the risks of conflict.

* The Indian government Thursday said the remaining four units of 1,000 MW each of Kudankulam nuclear power plant in the southern Tamil Nadu state will be completed by 2027.

* Turkish and Finnish defense ministers met on Thursday as Türkiye urges the Nordic country to lift the embargo on its defense industries to pave the way for Finland's NATO membership.

* The United States attempts to obstruct any Kiev-Moscow talks and at the same time is making huge profits from the current crisis in Ukraine, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Thursday.

* Russian citizen Viktor Bout was exchanged for US basketball player Brittney Griner on Thursday at the Abu Dhabi airport, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced.

* Ministers from Japan and the Democratic Republic of Congo agreed on Friday to co-operate on efforts to ensure stable procurement of the rare metals in whose supply the African nation occupies a dominant role.

* The US House of Representatives backed legislation on Thursday paving the way for the defense budget to hit a record $858 billion next year, $45 billion more than proposed by President Joe Biden.

* German lawmakers are calling for a review of security arrangements at the Bundestag lower house of parliament after authorities detained members of a far-right group that they say were preparing a violent overthrow of the state.

* Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered beefing up of security for tourists as the number of foreign visitors into the Southeast Asian country continued to rise.

* Japan, Britain and Italy are merging their next-generation jet fighter projects in a ground-breaking partnership spanning Europe and Asia that is Japan's first major industrial defence collaboration beyond the United States since World War Two.

* Fifteen oil tankers were banned from passing through the Turkish Straits due to a lack of proper insurance amid the European sanctions on Russian oil, Türkiye's maritime authority said on Thursday.

* The United Nations Security Council on Thursday welcomed the signing of a framework deal in Sudan to end political stalemate, and called on key political forces in the country to join the political process.

* Health authorities of Australia's state of Queensland on Friday urged residents to get up to date with their vaccinations as the state is seeing an increasing number of COVID-19 infections.

* The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) of Pakistani police foiled a major terror bid in the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province and arrested four terrorists, the CTD said on Friday.

* The condition of kelp forests worldwide is deteriorating due to rising ocean temperatures, and a group of New Zealand researchers hope to help turn the tide and restore the valuable habitats.

* Schools were closed across Sri Lanka on Friday due to high air pollution levels as a cyclonic storm passed by its coast, raising strong winds and rain, with forecasts that it will make landfall on India's southeastern coast around midnight.

* China's auto sales in November dropped 7.9 percent year on year to 2.33 million units, data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers showed Friday. Auto sales in the January-November period totaled 24.3 million units, up 3.3 percent year on year, according to the data.

* Oil production at Iraq's Maysan fields has reached 300,000 barrels per day (bpd), the Iraq news agency (INA) said on Friday.

* Australia will cap coal and gas prices for a year in a bid to shave utility bills for households and businesses hit by soaring costs because of the Ukraine conflict, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on Friday.

* Revenue for the Republic of Korean transport industry logged a double-digit growth last year due to the improved economic condition and the higher delivery demand, statistical office data showed Friday.

* The French economy is on course to finish the year with slightly positive growth in the fourth quarter, the central bank said on Thursday in its monthly outlook.

* Mexico's annual inflation rate slowed to 7.8 percent through November year on year, due to a decrease in the price of some foods and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi) said Thursday.

* Poland will not see a recession, though economic growth may fall to zero, said governor of the National Bank of Poland (NBP) Adam Glapinski on Thursday.

* Driven mainly by soaring energy and food prices, Hungary's annual inflation rate climbed to 22.5 percent in November, the highest since August 1996, the country's Central Statistical Office (KSH) said here on Thursday.

* The Sri Lankan parliament on Thursday passed the 2023 budget with a majority of 43 votes. According to the 2023 budget, the total government expenditure for the year will be 5,819 billion rupees (16 billion USD) and the total revenue and grants will be 3,415 billion rupees.

* The European Union will invest 190 million euros (nearly 200 million USD) in renewable energy production projects in Mozambique over the next two years with a view to exploiting the vast potential existing in the country, reported the country's largest newspaper Noticias on Thursday.

* The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Union (EU) announced on Thursday a new program to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Lebanon.

* Egypt's annual urban consumer inflation rate rose from 16.2 percent in October to 18.7 percent in November, the country's Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics said Thursday.

* The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said Thursday it has scaled up emergency cash transfers to respond to the drought emergency in the most drought-affected rural areas of Somalia.

* The global number of malaria cases and deaths generally remained stable in 2021, thanks to redoubled efforts by affected countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.

* In the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) last week, M23 rebels killed at least 131 civilians, including 17 women and 12 children, a UN spokesman said on Thursday.