World News in Brief: January 12

The Indian government has banned six YouTube channels allegedly involved in peddling fake news about the government, the elections, proceedings in the Supreme Court and the parliament, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said on Thursday.
The value of imports and exports of Laos in December 2022 was 1.08 billion USD, according to the latest figures from the Lao Trade Portal website. (Illustrative image. Source: AFP/VNA)
The value of imports and exports of Laos in December 2022 was 1.08 billion USD, according to the latest figures from the Lao Trade Portal website. (Illustrative image. Source: AFP/VNA)

* Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday put forward six proposals before the Group of 20 (G20) nations, saying these are needed to be addressed collectively for a sustained global economic growth and development of the "Global South."

* Australia and Papua New Guinea agreed to conclude negotiations over a comprehensive security agreement by April with hopes of a treaty signing by June following a meeting between the leaders of both countries in Port Moresby on Thursday.

* Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov has been appointed the new commander of Russia's integrated group of forces in Ukraine, the Defense Ministry said Wednesday.

* The Estonian authorities on Wednesday gave the Russian Embassy here until Feb. 1 to reduce its staff to eight diplomats and 15 administrative and technical employees.

* Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi discussed bilateral cooperation and the situation in Syria in a phone call Wednesday.

* Poland has decided to send German-made Leopard tanks to Ukraine, the country's President, Andrzej Duda, said on Wednesday.

* The European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) have agreed to set up a task force to better protect critical infrastructure and increase resilience, their top officials announced on Wednesday.

* Iran's Foreign Ministry on Wednesday summoned the Swedish ambassador to Iran to protest "meddlesome" remarks by certain European officials, according to the ministry's website.

* The Security Council on Wednesday adopted a resolution to expand the mandate of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia to include monitoring the implementation of the 2016 peace agreement's comprehensive rural reform and ethnic chapters.

* New border enforcement measures announced by the US could undermine the foundations of international human rights and refugee law, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk said Wednesday.

* Britain's Northern Ireland Minister said on Thursday that he would take time to decide whether to call fresh elections as talks continue between London and Brussels on revising post-Brexit trade rules for the region.

* Issues between British and European Union negotiators on seeking to revise post-Brexit trade rules for Northern Ireland remain very challenging and complex despite recent progress, Irish Foreign Minister Michéal Martin said on Thursday.

* China's automobile exports soared 54.4 percent in 2022, effectively promoting the overall growth of the sector, industry data shows.

* Cambodia's economy is projected to grow around 6 percent in 2023, up from 5.1 percent in 2022, driven by garment exports, tourism, agriculture, and construction and real estate, according to a National Bank of Cambodia's outlook on Thursday.

* US consumer prices fell for the first time in more than 2-1/2 years in December amid declining prices for gasoline and motor vehicles, offering hope that inflation was now on a sustained downward trend, though the labor market remains tight.

* The Republic of Korean finance minister on Thursday warned of economic difficulties this year due to the so-called three-high phenomenon, including high inflation, high interest rates and high debts.

* Russia's annual inflation rate was 11.9 percent by the end of 2022, Economic Development Minister Maxim Reshetnikov said Wednesday.

* Indonesia expects significant tourism recovery in 2023, setting an ambitious goal of attracting up to 7.4 million foreign tourists.

* Malaysia said on Thursday it could stop exporting palm oil to the European Union in response to a new EU law aimed at protecting forests by strictly regulating sale of the product.

* Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will seek a fresh economic package for his country from the United Arab Emirates during his two-day visit there, broadcaster ARY News reported on Thursday, citing sources.

* Russia's Gazprom GAZP.MM said it would ship 35.5 million cubic metres (mcm) of gas to Europe via Ukraine on Thursday, in line with similar levels reported in January 2023, but around 15% down on daily shipments seen in the final months of 2022.

* A Palestinian man was killed early on Thursday during an Israeli raid at the Qalandia refugee camp north of Jerusalem, the Palestinian health ministry said in a statement.

* Iraqi oil minister said on Wednesday that investment opportunities would soon be offered to increase the output capacities of some Iraqi refineries.

* The Egyptian pound further declined against the USD on Wednesday, plunging to below 31 pounds to the dollar before settling at 29.7 in the afternoon.

* The consumer price index (CPI) registered an average annual variation of 7.8 percent in 2022 in Portugal, the highest since 1992, the country's National Institute of Statistics (INE) announced on Wednesday.

* Greece's annual consumer inflation slowed to 7.2% in December from 8.5% the previous month, easing to its lowest level since January, data showed on Thursday.

* The German government's net borrowing amounted to 115.4 billion euros ($124.48 billion) in 2022, finance ministry sources said on Thursday, as the COVID-19 pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine led to a rise in debt.

* Bulgaria's lawmakers on Thursday backed a resolution aimed at avoiding an early phase-out of coal-fired power plants as more than 1,500 miners and utility workers demonstrated in front of the parliament in support of the coal industry.

* An attempt by school teachers belonging to the NASUWT trade union in England and Wales to carry out strikes over pay failed as the turnout of voters in a ballot fell short of the required level.

* Last year was the world's joint-fifth warmest year on record and the last nine years were the nine warmest since pre-industrial times, as climate change continued to raise temperatures and fuel extreme weather, US scientists said on Thursday.

* An Australian report has warned that global warming is changing the global water cycle.

* China's meteorological authority on Thursday issued a yellow alert for a cold wave, forecasting big temperature drops and gales in vast regions of the country.

* Unusually large waves along Peru's coast have claimed at least one life and forced some 85 ports to close, the National Institute of Civil Defense (Indeci) said Wednesday.