World News in Brief: January 17

China welcomes a visit by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to the country, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said at a regular news briefing on Tuesday.
Singapore's international arrivals beat forecasts in 2022, paving the way for its tourism sector to recover to pre-pandemic levels by 2024, its tourism authority said on Tuesday.
Singapore's international arrivals beat forecasts in 2022, paving the way for its tourism sector to recover to pre-pandemic levels by 2024, its tourism authority said on Tuesday.

* Searchers used drones and rappelled down a 200 metres (656 feet) deep gorge in Nepal's second-biggest city on Tuesday to search for two people unaccounted for after the country's deadliest plane crash in 30 years killed at least 70 people.

* Countries that tackle the food crisis can boost jobs, health and nature and meet net-zero goals, a new report released at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting on Monday has revealed.

* UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is expected to deliver a special address on the state of the world at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Wednesday, a UN spokesperson said on Tuesday.

* Russia said on Tuesday that it would make "major changes" to its armed forces from 2023 to 2026, promising to shake up its military structure after months of setbacks on the battlefield in Ukraine.

* Croatian President Zoran Milanovic has said that the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) are engaged in a proxy war against Russia through Ukraine, Croatian media reported on Monday.

* Kremlin-controlled energy giant Gazprom GAZP.MM will ship 32.6 million cubic metres (mcm) of gas to Europe via Ukraine on Tuesday, the company said in its daily update, down almost 8% from the previous several days.

* Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has offered his Indian counterpart talks over all outstanding issues, including disputed Kashmir, which he believes could be facilitated by the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

* Ukraine is set to receive 3 billion euros (about 3.25 billion USD) from the European Union (EU) this week as a part of fresh financial aid, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said Monday.

* French Transport Minister Clement Beaune said on Tuesday there was sufficient supply of petrol in the country, as a national strike loomed this week.

* The electoral campaign for the second round of Tunisia's legislative elections kicked off on Monday and will continue until Jan. 27.

* Yemen's warring parties should take advantage of the current absence of major fighting to advance peace talks, the top UN official in Yemen told the Security Council on Monday.

* The European Central Bank must raise interest rates to a level that starts to restrict growth and their peak will depend on how the economy responds to the most rapid policy tightening cycle on record, ECB chief economist Philip Lane told the Financial Times.

* China will continue to support the role of the World Health Organization (WHO) in uniting and rallying the international community to fight the pandemic, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said Monday at a regular press briefing.

* The Kremlin said on Tuesday that any possible meeting between Russia's foreign intelligence chief, Sergei Naryshkin, and US Central Intelligence Agency Director William Burns would "make sense".

* Further strikes were announced by teachers and nurses in the United Kingdom (UK) on Monday, amid the continued cost-of-living crisis and lengthy disputes over pay.

* Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Monday called on the United States to strike a balance in its relations with Türkiye and Greece.

* An overwhelming majority (73 percent) of chief executive officers (CEOs) surveyed expect global economic growth to decline over the next 12 months, a new PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) survey launched at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos showed on Monday.

* China's job market remained generally stable in 2022, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed Tuesday. A total of 12.06 million new urban jobs were created last year, exceeding the annual target of 11 million, the NBS said.

* India's overall exports (Merchandise & Services combined) in December 2022 declined by 5.25 percent year on year to 61.82 billion US dollars, showed the Ministry of Commerce and Industry data on Monday.

* Global cooperation should be accelerated as the world economy slows down sharply, said attendees at the World Economic Forum (WEF)'s annual meeting kicking off Monday in Davos, Switzerland.

* Britain's unemployment rate held at 3.7% in the three months to November, the Office for National Statistics said on Tuesday.

* Mongolia's foreign trade turnover rose to 21.2 billion USD in 2022, up 32.1 percent from the previous year, official data showed.

* The Fijian government will aim to reduce its debt which stood at 91.1 percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

* Singapore's non-oil domestic exports (NODX) declined by 20.6 percent year on year in December 2022, following the revised 14.7 percent decline in November, Enterprise Singapore, a government agency, announced on Tuesday.

* Myanmar had vaccinated more than 37.67 million people for COVID-19 as of Saturday, the ministry of health's latest data showed.

* Consumer prices rose by an average of 8.6 percent in Austria last year, more than three times the inflation rate in 2021 and the highest annual increase since 1975, Statistics Austria said on Monday.

* The unemployment rate of Israel hit 4.3 percent in December last year, up from 4.1 percent recorded the month before, according to figures released by the Central Bureau of Statistics on Monday.

* The Brazilian financial market raised the inflation forecast for the end of this year from 5.36 percent to 5.39 percent and kept it at 3.7 percent for next year, the Central Bank of Brazil said Monday.

* An oil tanker explosion in central Thailand's Samut Songkhram province on Tuesday injured dozens of people, local media reported.

* The parade of atmospheric rivers that pounded California for three weeks finally faded on Monday, enabling the state to begin lengthy repairs to roads and levees as the White House announced President Joe Biden planned to survey the damage.

* Islamist fighters from al Shabaab on Tuesday stormed a military base in a part of central Somalia they were forced from last year, killing at least seven soldiers, including the base commander, an officer said.