World News in Brief: January 16

Searchers found the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder on Monday from a passenger flight that crashed, killing at least 70 people in Nepal's worst plane accident for 30 years, officials said.
Latest economic data shows the European Union may avoid a recession that was expected earlier and have a more shallow contraction instead, European Economic Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said on Monday.
Latest economic data shows the European Union may avoid a recession that was expected earlier and have a more shallow contraction instead, European Economic Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said on Monday.

* Two-thirds of chief economists from private and public sectors expect a global recession in 2023, according to a survey released on Monday at the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) in Switzerland.

* Global employment growth is expected to slow down sharply to 1% this year compared to 2% in 2022, hit by the economic fallout of the conflict in Ukraine, high inflation and tighter monetary policy, the International Labour Organization (ILO) said on Monday.

* US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will meet Chinese Vice Premier Liu He in Switzerland on Wednesday to exchange views on economic developments and deepen communication between the world's two largest economies, a Treasury official said.

* China's finance ministry said on Monday it will boost funding for COVID-19 prevention and control, urging local fiscal departments to step up transfer payments to rural and poor areas, it said in a statement.

* The European Commission aims for EU countries to start jointly buying gas "well before summer", European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic said on Monday, an attempt to help countries refill storage and avoid a supply crunch next winter.

* Gaps remain between Britain and the European Union in talks to try to resolve a row over post-Brexit trade with Northern Ireland, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's spokesman said, as the two sides agreed to continue scoping work.

* President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke by phone about exchanging men wounded in Ukraine, the creation of a gas hub in Turkey and the export of grain from the Black Sea, the Kremlin said on Monday.

* India is hopeful of a rupee trade with Russia, a trade ministry official said on Monday, as government data showed a near 400% jump in Russian merchandise imports from April-December compared with a year ago.

* The Russian forces are preparing for a lasting conflict with Ukraine, the main intelligence directorate of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said Saturday on Facebook.

* Britain and the European Union have agreed that scoping work for resolving problems arising from post-Brexit trading rules in Northern Ireland should continue in a constructive spirit, the two sides said in a joint statement on Monday.

* Finland's stance on giving Leopard tanks to Ukraine depends on Germany's lead, Finnish defence minister Mikko Savola said on Monday, adding that exporting the German-made equipment would require a permit from Germany.

* A snap local election will be held in Pakistan's most populous province, officials said, after the provincial leader, an ally of ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan, triggered the poll, putting pressure on the government ahead a planned general election.

* France wants the European Union to adopt a "Made in Europe" industrial strategy in response to the US scheme of subsidies for green investment, to keep industrial firms from leaving Europe and reduce members' dependence on outside suppliers.

* Europe urgently needs a new attempt at a trade agreement with the United States, German Finance Minister Christian Lindner said in an op-ed piece for Die Welt newspaper published on Monday.

* Sweden is in a "good position" as regards the process to gain Turkish ratification of the Nordic country's membership in NATO, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said on Monday.

* Albania on Monday handed a note of protest to the British ambassador over comments by immigration minister Robert Jenrick about illegal Albanian immigrants that the foreign ministry said used the "language of hatred".

* Sweden and Finland must deport or extradite up to 130 "terrorists" to Turkey before the Turkish parliament will approve their bids to join NATO, President Tayyip Erdogan said.

* Somalia's government-led forces have captured an al Shabaab stronghold on the Indian Ocean, the defence minister said on Monday, in one of their most significant victories since launching an offensive against the Islamist group last year.

* The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Monday it is set to approve a 4.5-billion-USD loan later this month to support Bangladesh's reform agenda.

* China has ordered all-out search and rescue efforts following a chemical plant explosion in the northeastern Liaoning Province on Sunday. Five people have been reported dead and eight are missing.

* India's Wholesale Price Index (WPI) inflation in December 2022 eased to a 22-month low at 4.95 percent, from 5.8 percent in November, said data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry on Monday.

* Russia's budget revenues in 2022 from the oil and gas industry increased by 28 percent or by 2.5 trillion rubles (36.4 billion USD) from the previous year, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said Monday.

* Indonesia posted a trade balance surplus of 3.89 billion USD in December 2022, according to Statistics Indonesia (BPS).

* Sri Lanka will provide 10 kg of rice per month to 2 million low-income families for two months, the President's Media Division (PMD) said in a statement on Monday.

* The United Arab Emirates' energy minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said on Monday that oil markets were balanced.

* Russia's Gazprom said it will ship 35.4 million cubic metres of gas to Europe via Ukraine on Monday, a volume in line with recent days.

* Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's government will on Monday announce new proposals to clamp down on protests, broadening the range of situations in which police are able to act to prevent serious disruption.

* Tens of thousands of health workers protested in Madrid on Sunday over what they say is the destruction of the public health system by the conservative regional government.

* Bank of Israel policymakers expressed concern that the new government will boost spending too much and harm its ability to return inflation to its 1-3% annual target.

* Egypt's government will start selling discounted bread to people not enrolled in its bread subsidy programme as it battles accelerating inflation, the supply minister said on Monday.

* South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has canceled his trip to the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos to address the energy crisis in the country, the president's spokesperson said.

* Egypt's central bank said on Monday that the foreign exchange market had reacted positively to the latest depreciation of the pound, witnessing inflows from foreign investors of $925 million since Jan. 11.

* The Syrian Foreign Ministry on Monday agreed to resume imports from Saudi Arabia after years of stranded relations with the kingdom, according to the online newspaper al-Watan.

* Ghana has again extended the deadline to register for its domestic debt exchange, this time to Jan. 31, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta said on Monday.

* Sudan's annual inflation rate fell slightly to 87.32% in December from 88.83% in November, the Central Bureau of Statistics said late on Monday.

* Islamist militants kidnapped around 50 women searching for food in Burkina Faso's northern province of Soum, a hotbed of jihadist activity, on Jan. 12 and 13, the government said on Monday.

* Nineteen people were killed and over 20 others injured, some seriously, on Monday in a collision between a bus and a truck in northern Senegal, local media reported.