World News in Brief: January 26

The Philippine economy expanded by 7.6 percent in 2022 after logging 7.2 percent in the fourth quarter, the fastest among the emerging economies in the ASEAN region, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said Thursday.
World output growth is projected to decelerate from an estimated 3.0 percent in 2022 to 1.9 percent in 2023, marking one of the lowest growth rates in recent decades, according to a UN report launched on Wednesday.
World output growth is projected to decelerate from an estimated 3.0 percent in 2022 to 1.9 percent in 2023, marking one of the lowest growth rates in recent decades, according to a UN report launched on Wednesday.

* Japan, this year's chair of the Group of Seven (G7), expects Russia-Ukraine crisis to dominate talks among the world's major advanced economies, its top finance diplomat, Masato Kanda, told Reuters.

* The secretary of Russia's powerful Security Council said on Thursday that the United States and NATO were parties to the conflict in Ukraine and were seeking to drag out the fighting, the TASS news agency reported.

* US President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that his administration will provide Ukraine with 31 US-made M1 Abrams tanks, which Russia has said will be its target if they were to be used in the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev.

* There are currently no prospects of a diplomatic solution to the Ukrainian crisis, local media reported, citing Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Wednesday.

* The Russia-Ukraine conflict has caused 137.8 billion USD in documented damage to Ukraine's infrastructure as of December 2022, the government-run Ukrinform news agency reported Wednesday, citing a recent study.

* The International Olympic Committee (IOC), accompanied with International Federations (IFs) and National Olympic Committees (NOCs), are seeking for ways to bring athletes of Russia and Belarus back to the international competitions, according to a statement released by the IOC on Wednesday.

* Pakistan and Russia reaffirmed their commitment to continuing practical engagement with the Afghan authorities to ensure stability and peace in the war-torn country, the Pakistani Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

* The Iranian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday imposed new sanctions on a number of individuals and entities of the European Union (EU) and Britain for "supporting terrorism and inciting violence and unrest" in Iran.

* The Iranian nuclear chief said on Wednesday that interaction still exists between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with no dead end in the two sides' cooperation, Iranian Students' News Agency reported.

* The resignation of Kuwait's government was accepted on Thursday in an Emiri decree, state news agency KUNA reported.

* Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday it was "meaningless" to hold a trilateral meeting with Sweden and Finland to discuss their NATO bids after protests this month in Stockholm.

* European Union ministers on Thursday sought ways to curb irregular immigration and send more people away as arrivals rose from pandemic lows, reviving controversial ideas for border fences and asylum centres outside of Europe.

* The French foreign ministry said on Thursday it was recalling its ambassador to Burkina Faso, citing "the context of recent developments", a day after Paris announced it would withdraw its troops from the African country.

* Data-driven tools and strategies must lead counter-terrorism efforts and be at the heart of building peace and security, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Wednesday.

* Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Wednesday discussed ways to further strengthen bilateral relations in a meeting with Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

* A Libyan official on Wednesday urged Switzerland to reopen its consulate in the coastal city of Benghazi and facilitate procedures for Libyan nationals to visit the European country.

* The Russian frigate Admiral Gorshkov successfully conducted exercises with Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missiles in the western part of the Atlantic Ocean, the Russian Defense Ministry said Wednesday.

* China saw a 73-percent year-on-year increase in passenger trips made Wednesday, the fifth day of the seven-day Spring Festival holiday, the Ministry of Transport said Thursday.

* Japan is set to downgrade its classification of COVID-19 to that of a less serious disease on May 8, revising its measures against the coronavirus such as relaxing guidance that people wear masks in public indoor places, NHK public broadcaster said.

* Thailand's central bank on Wednesday decided to raise its key policy rate for the fourth consecutive time by 25 basis points in an effort to curb high inflation and support economic recovery.

* Pakistan has sought support from Washington to unlock a stalled International Monetary Fund programme that would release $1.1 billion to its strained economy as the country rebuilds after last year's devastating floods, Dawn newspaper said on Thursday.

* Despite the ongoing challenge of the energy crisis, the German government expects that a recession in 2023 will be avoided, raising its forecast for the country's gross domestic product (GDP) from minus 0.4 percent to plus 0.2 percent.

* President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Akinwumi Adesina, on Wednesday in Dakar, the Senegalese capital, announced that the bank would devote up to 10 billion USD to agricultural development and food sovereignty on the African continent.

* Russia's Gazprom GAZP.MM said it will ship 24.2 million cubic metres of gas to Europe via Ukraine on Thursday.

* Uzbekistan's central bank on Thursday decided to keep the key interest rate unchanged at 15 percent annually as high economic growth rates were observed over recent months.

* Tunisia foiled four illegal migration attempts to cross the Mediterranean toward the Italian coast on Tuesday, National Guard Spokesman Houcemeddine Jbabli said on Wednesday.

* At least nine Palestinians were killed and dozens injured on Thursday during a raid by Israeli army forces in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian medics said.

* At least 27 people were killed in an explosion in the central Nigerian state of Nasarawa on Tuesday night, local police confirmed on Thursday.

* A heavy snow advisory was issued on Thursday across the central regions of the Republic of Korea, leading to flight cancellations and frozen water meters, according to Yonhap news agency.

* An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.0 jolted Kermadec Islands, New Zealand at 10:45:53 GMT on Thursday, the US Geological Survey said. The epicenter, with a depth of 135.699 km, was initially determined to be at 30.254 degrees south latitude and 178.6685 degrees west longitude.