World News in Brief: June 15

Cyril Ramaphosa, leader of South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC), was reelected by the National Assembly on Friday as the nation's president for the next five years.
The donation of safe blood should be intensified in Africa to help save individuals grappling with life-threatening health emergencies, including accidents, a World Health Organization (WHO) official said on Friday during World Blood Donor Day.
The donation of safe blood should be intensified in Africa to help save individuals grappling with life-threatening health emergencies, including accidents, a World Health Organization (WHO) official said on Friday during World Blood Donor Day.

* Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera has declared June 17 a public holiday to allow Malawians to attend, or follow, the funeral ceremony and burial of the country's Vice President Saulos Chilima who died in a plane crash on June 10.

* Italy will make a decision on whether to support a second term for European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen when it has assessed the distribution of other top EU jobs, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said on Saturday.

* Demonstrations were under way in Paris and cities across France on Saturday to protest against the National Rally (RN) ahead of upcoming elections to the French parliament.

* Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrived in Adelaide on Saturday for an official visit to Australia. During his stay, Li and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will co-chair the ninth China-Australia Annual Leaders' Meeting and jointly attend a China-Australia CEO Roundtable Meeting.

* Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is planning to make an official visit to China in the coming weeks, she said on Saturday.

* Cuba has strongly condemned the presence of a U.S. nuclear submarine at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, located in the southeastern part of the island, which Cuba considers illegally occupied territory.

* U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris pledged America's unwavering support for Ukraine and announced more than $1.5 billion in aid for the country's energy sector and its humanitarian situation as a result of Ukraine-Russia's 27-month crisis.

* Two warships of the Russian Pacific Fleet will participate in joint naval exercises with the Egyptian Navy in the Mediterranean Sea, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced on Saturday.

* Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Friday that Canada will host the next G7 leaders' summit in Kananaskis, Alberta, in 2025. This will be the seventh time for Canada to host the summit.

* The Belgian presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) announced on Friday that EU ambassadors agreed "in principle" on the negotiating frameworks for the accession talks of Ukraine and Moldova.

* Defense ministers of the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance (NATO) have adopted a plan that allows the alliance to lead the coordination of security assistance and military training for Ukraine, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Friday.

* Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has vowed to retaliate to a European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling imposing significant financial penalties on Hungary for not complying with European Union (EU) asylum policies.

* Sweden and Iran carried out a prisoner exchange on Saturday, officials said, with Sweden freeing a former Iranian official convicted for his role in a mass execution in the 1980s while Iran released two Swedes being held there.

* Bolivian President Luis Arce and his Paraguayan counterpart Santiago Pena on Thursday pledged to take joint positions at international organizations such as the United Nations (UN), the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Southern Common Market (Mercosur).

* The Afghan caretaker government's Supreme Leader Hibatullah Akhundzada on Friday said that Afghanistan seeks to establish political and economic relations with all countries across the world.

* The Sudanese government on Friday excluded the possibility of an imminent famine in the country.

* Tunisia on Friday allowed visa-free entry of Iranian and Iraqi tourists, effective from June 15.

* At least four people have been killed in unrest in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo's North Kivu province, local officials said on Saturday, after people took to the streets to protest against a surge in deadly attacks by suspected Islamist rebels.

* At least 37,296 Palestinians have been killed and 85,197 injured in Israel's military offensive on Gaza since Oct. 7, the Gaza health ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

* Twenty-one of the 22 Filipino seafarers on board a commercial ship attacked in the Red Sea earlier this week have been rescued and safe, the Philippines' Department of Migrant Workers chief said Saturday.

* Bilateral trade between Uzbekistan and South Korea amounted to 2.5 billion USD in 2023, according to a Friday report by the press service of the Uzbek president.

* Laos recorded a trade deficit of 151 million USD in May, marking the fifth straight month of trade deficit in 2024. Total value of trade in May amounted to over 1.1 billion USD, of which 483 million dollars was for exports and 634 million dollars for imports.

* The rate of wholesale inflation in India rose to 2.62 percent in May from 1.26 percent in April, according to data released by the federal Ministry of Commerce and Industry on Friday.

* The Cambodian government had a total public debt stock of 11.09 billion USD as of the first quarter (Q1) of 2024, according to the Cambodia Public Debt Statistical Bulletin released by the Ministry of Economy and Finance on Friday.

* Thailand is aiming to attract 21.7 million foreign tourists during June to December after receiving over 15 million in the first five months of this year, Tourism and Sports Minister Sermsak Pongpanich said on Friday, in an ambitious move to further spur the economy.

* Peru's gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 5.28% in April from a year earlier, the government's INEI statistics agency said on Saturday, reversing the contraction logged in the prior month.

* Afghanistan will harvest about 4.9 million tonnes of wheat during the current Persian calendar year 1403, which started on March 20, up 13 percent year on year, according to a report of the country's Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock on Thursday.

* The Ministry of Water Resources on Saturday announced that the Xijiang River in the Pearl River basin is experiencing its 2024 "No.1 Flood," a classification given to the first flood to reach a certain standard of severity in a single river each year.

* An elderly woman has died and several other people have been hospitalized with heatstroke symptoms as temperatures in Cyprus soared on Friday to an all-time June high of 45 degrees Celsius, the country's health authorities announced.