World News in Brief: January 27

Philippine President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Thursday ordered government agencies to work on the extension of e-visa for travelers from major tourism markets in Asia, including China, to boost the recovery of the sector.
New Zealanders have been suffering from egg supply shortage for more than a month, which has even affected Kiwis' Christmas and New Year celebrations on their dinner table.
New Zealanders have been suffering from egg supply shortage for more than a month, which has even affected Kiwis' Christmas and New Year celebrations on their dinner table.

* Development partners have committed $30 billion to boost food production in Africa over the next five years, said Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank, during closing remarks at a food security summit on Friday.

* Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen was sworn in on Thursday, inaugurating his second six-year term. Van der Bellen won the presidential election in October last year with 56.7 percent of the vote. He has served as Austrian president since 2017.

* Greece's conservative government on Friday survived a vote of no confidence put forward by the leftist opposition over a wiretapping scandal targeting politicians, army top brass and journalists.

* Nepal's Supreme Court ruled on Friday that deputy prime minister Rabi Lamichhane had stood for election with invalid citizenship papers, annulling his status as a lawmaker and effectively removing him from office.

* Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday that any attempt to squeeze Moscow out of international sport because of what it calls its special military operation in Ukraine was "doomed to fail."

* Russian Foreign Ministry said on Friday it had ordered Latvia's envoy to leave the country within two weeks following a similar decision by Riga earlier this week.

* Ukraine will need an additional $17 billion in financing this year for energy repairs, de-mining and to rebuild infrastructure, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on Friday.

* Hungary will veto any European Union sanctions against Russia affecting nuclear energy, Prime Minister Viktor Orban told state radio on Friday.

* Poland will send an additional 60 tanks to Ukraine on top of the 14 German-made Leopard 2 tanks it has already pledged, the Polish prime minister said in an interview with Canadian television on Thursday.

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

* Peru decided to withdraw its ambassador to Honduras, Jorge Alejandro Raffo, in response to Honduran President Xiomara Castro's support for Peru's embattled former president Pedro Castillo, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said Thursday.

* Sudan and Ethiopia on Thursday agreed to settle their border disputes as well as the issue of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) through joint mechanisms and direct dialogue.

* Thousands of Afghans held protests on Friday to express anger after a far-right politician publicly set fire to the Koran in Sweden last week.

* Turkey has summoned Denmark's ambassador to Ankara over a planned protest in the Danish capital on Friday that is expected to include the burning of a copy of the Koran, the Danish foreign ministry said on Friday.

* Iraq and France on Thursday inked a strategic partnership agreement to enhance bilateral cooperation in various areas including energy and security,according to Iraqi officials.

* The Palestinian Authority (PA) announced on Thursday the end of security coordination with Israel in response to the killing of nine Palestinians in the West Bank city of Jenin.

* Israeli forces went on high alert around the West Bank and the Gaza Strip on Thursday, after their killing of nine Palestinians, including an elderly woman, in a raid in the West Bank's Jenin refugee camp triggered threats of revenge from the Palestinian side.

* Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit on Thursday condemned in the strongest terms an Israeli raid on Jenin city and Jenin refugee camp that killed at least nine Palestinians.

* The Iranian foreign ministry condemned an armed attack on Azerbaijan's embassy in the Iranian capital Tehran, in which one was killed and two others injured.

* Japan has decided 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, Prime Minister Kishida Fumio said on Friday.

* The mandatory use of facemasks to protect from COVID-19 on public transport in Spain will end on Feb. 8, the country's Minister for Health Carolina Darias said on Thursday. However, facemasks will remain obligatory in hospitals, health centers and pharmacies.

* India's stock markets, Sensex and Nifty, crashed for the second day on Friday on account of a sharp decline in banking, financial, metal and oil and gas indexes, showed the data released by the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and the National Stock Exchange (NSE).

* Rice consumption in the Republic of Korea hit a record low last year due to the change in eating habits, statistical office data showed Friday. The per-capita rice consumption averaged 56.7 kg in 2022, down 0.4 percent from the previous year, according to Statistics Korea.

* Thailand's Ministry of Finance on Friday lowered its growth forecast for 2022 but maintained its projection for 2023 at 3.8 percent, helped by improving tourism sector and domestic demand.

* Uzbekistan's gross domestic product (GDP) increased 5.7 percent in 2022 compared with 2021, according to the latest data released by the state committee on statistics on Thursday.

* The number of job vacancies across all sectors in Canada decreased by 20,700 to 850,300 in November, down from the peak of more than 1 million recorded in May 2022, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.

* Ukraine's National Bank (NBU) on Thursday downgraded the gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast for 2023 from 4 percent to 0.3 percent, citing security risks.

* The Pakistani rupee's two-day decline slowed on Friday on news that an IMF team was visiting Islamabad next week to discuss unlocking a suspended bailout package, though the currency still closed at a record low against the USD.

* The Turkish Central Bank governor announced on Thursday that the country's year-end annual inflation for 2023 and 2024 is forecast to drop to 22.3 percent and 8.8 percent respectively.

* Malaysia has kept its crude palm oil (CPO) export duty 8 percent in February, and raised its reference price, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board circular showed on Thursday.

* Sri Lanka has saved 2.5 billion USD since import restrictions were imposed in 2022, State Minister of Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said on Thursday.

* Tourism Fiji, a tourism marketing arm of the Fijian government, has launched a new brand campaign to attract more foreign visitors this year.

* The World Food Programme (WFP) said Thursday it has received a 71.44-million-USD donation from the European Union to tackle the food crisis in 11 countries in eastern and southern Africa.

* The economic growth in Western Asia is projected to slow down in 2023 and 2024, according to a press release issued by the United Nations Information Centre in Beirut on Thursday.

* The East African business body has urged member states of the East African Community (EAC) to have a Single Air Transport Services Agreement aimed at lowering the cost of air tickets for both passengers and cargo in the region.

* Some 75 people in Mozambique have lost their lives due to the extreme weather events and natural disasters in the country's current rainy season starting from last October, local daily newspaper Jornal Noticias reported on Friday.

* One people died after floods 80 to 300 cm high destroyed dozens of homes in Indonesia's North Sulawesi on Friday.

* South Africa has reported an outbreak of African swine fever in a farm in Gauteng Province, the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development said Friday.