World News in Brief: July 26

Nikenike Vurobaravu has become the 12th President of Vanuatu. Vurobaravu has promised to encourage national unity and strengthen efforts on the issue of climate change.

Droupadi Murmu was sworn in as the 15th president of India on Monday. Murmu has thus become the first tribal woman to be elected to the country's top constitutional post. (Photo: ANI)
Droupadi Murmu was sworn in as the 15th president of India on Monday. Murmu has thus become the first tribal woman to be elected to the country's top constitutional post. (Photo: ANI)

* The Shiite political blocs in the Iraqi parliament on Monday nominated Mohammed Shia' al-Sudani for the post of prime minister, months after failing to form a government due to a political row.

* The Australian Parliament has officially returned two months after the federal election in May. New and returning Members of Parliament (MPs) and Senators gathered in Canberra on Tuesday to be officially sworn in to the 47th Parliament of Australia.

* Preliminary results show that the turnout for the referendum on a new constitution in Tunisia is around 27.54 percent, head of the Independent High Authority for Elections (ISIE) said on Monday evening.

* Bulgaria's UN Ambassador Lachezara Stoeva became the new president of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Monday, vowing to transform the world into "a better place for the people of today and tomorrow."

* The Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) said on Tuesday that the country's manufacturing output increased 2.2 percent year-on-year in June, compared to the revised 10.4 percent increase in May.

* The republic of Korea's real gross domestic product (GDP), adjusted for inflation, grew 0.7 percent in the second quarter this year compared to the previous quarter, central bank data showed on Tuesday.

* Ukraine is preparing to start grain exports via the Black Sea ports this week under the grain deal signed last week in Türkiye, Ukrainian officials said on Monday.

* Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro reiterated Monday his opposition to economic sanctions against Russia, in order to retain the supply of Russian fertilizer imports to Brazilian agribusiness.

* German gas supplies are solid again as the country's storage facilities are filled to almost two-thirds of capacity, Klaus Mueller, president of the country's Federal Network Agency (BNetzA), said on Monday.

* Russian energy giant Gazprom said on Monday it would halt the operation of another Siemens gas turbine at the Portovaya compressor station of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.

* The Ghanaian government revised its economic growth target to 3.7 percent from 5.8 percent to better reflect unfavourable economic realities.

* Over 2.5 million foreign nationals visited Albania in the first six months of 2022, 51.3 percent more than in the same period of 2021, the country's Institute of Statistics (INSTAT) said in a report on Monday.

* Firefighters reinforced by units from neighbouring Germany battled a wildfire in a Czech national park on Tuesday which has destroyed houses and forced authorities to evacuate villages.

* French Health Minister Francois Braun announced on Monday that a high-capacity monkeypox vaccination center will open to the public from Tuesday in Paris.

* Peru is experiencing "community transmission" of the monkeypox virus, with 203 cases detected so far, head of the National Health Institute Victor Suarez said on Monday.

* China's southern megacity of Shenzhen vowed to "mobilise all resources" to curb a slowly spreading COVID-19 outbreak, ordering strict implementation of testing and temperature checks, and lockdowns for COVID-affected buildings.

* Japan on Monday reported 126,575 new daily COVID-19 cases amid a seventh wave of infections linked to the spread of the BA.5 Omicron subvariant.

* Hospital admissions for COVID-19 in Australia have reached a new high for a second straight day, data showed on Tuesday, while the daily death toll rose to its second-highest as an outbreak fuelled by a coronavirus sub-variant sweeps the country.

* New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday there were early signs that new COVID-19 cases were falling, even as hospitalisations jumped to their highest level since March.

* Fiji's Permanent Secretary for Health James Fong said Tuesday that the BA.5 strain of Omicron was found in the Fijian community.

* China gave conditional approval to domestic firm Genuine Biotech's Azvudine pill to treat certain adult patients with COVID-19, adding another oral treatment option against the coronavirus.

* An experimental COVID-19 vaccine in the form of an oral tablet has shown promising immune responses in a small preliminary trial designed mainly to evaluate its safety, according to drug manufacturer Vaxart Inc.