World News in Brief: June 29

Cambodia sets July 23, 2023 as the date for the seventh National Assembly election, according to a decision signed by Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen on Wednesday.

With major Asian countries easing COVID-19 restrictions, data is likely to point to a recovery in their economies, while vaccine makers elsewhere are seeking to tweak their shots to combat new variants of the novel coronavirus.
With major Asian countries easing COVID-19 restrictions, data is likely to point to a recovery in their economies, while vaccine makers elsewhere are seeking to tweak their shots to combat new variants of the novel coronavirus.

* Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has called for stronger efforts to accelerate economic recovery to shore up market entities, ensure employment stability and safeguard people's livelihoods.

* Japanese retail sales rose for a third month in May, reinforcing views that strong consumption will lead an economic rebound this quarter, although rising inflation poses a risk to household spending for the rest of 2022.

* The Republic of Korea's inflation expectations hit the highest in over 10 years this month, fueling worry about faster-than-expected interest rate hikes, central bank data showed Wednesday.

* German inflation dipped against expectations in June, data showed on Wednesday, but economists said one-off effects were largely behind the fall and warned against seeing it as an early end to price pressures.

* Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal on Tuesday laid out eight priorities for Ukraine's cooperation with the European Union (EU), the presidential press service said.

* Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Wednesday that there was a stronger mandate for a Scottish independence referendum than there ever was for Britain's 2016 vote on whether to leave the EU.

* Indirect talks between Iran and the United States in Qatar's capital to narrow remaining gaps for revival of a 2015 nuclear agreement have ended without result, Iran's Tasnim news agency said on Wednesday.

* Turkey will renew requests for Sweden and Finland to extradite individuals it considers terrorists after the countries reached a deal over the Nordic nations' NATO membership bids, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said on Wednesday.

* The European Commission is willing to negotiate trading arrangements for Northern Ireland with Britain, but only if talks are constructive and do not restart with an outcome set by London, a top EU official said on Wednesday.

* Britain on Thursday extended a package of tariffs and quotas on five steel products by two years to protect local steelmakers, in a move that will breach international trade rules.

* Flows of Russian gas to Europe via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline and through Ukraine were little changed over the previous day early on Wednesday, operator data showed.

* The next petrol shipment will arrive in Sri Lanka on July 22 as the country faces a severe shortage of fuel, an official said in Colombo on Wednesday.

* The World Bank said on Wednesday it had approved a $130 million loan to Tunisia to finance vital soft wheat imports and provide emergency support to cover barley imports for dairy production.

* Poland has reached an agreement with air traffic controllers in a dispute over pay and conditions, the head of the Polish Air Navigation Services Agency (PANSA) said on Wednesday, in a welcome relief for holidaymakers fearing flight cancellations.

* Restaurants and eateries in China's largest city Shanghai begun reopening their doors to diners on Wednesday, bringing widespread relief to an industry that was badly hit by the city's two month COVID-19 lockdown.

* The Republic of Korea approved its first domestically developed COVID-19 vaccine, manufactured by SK bioscience Co Ltd 302440.KS, for general public use following positive clinical data, authorities said on Wednesday.

* Ireland agreed to put the army on standby to help with security at Dublin airport should staffing be hit by a resurgence of COVID-19 during the rest of the busy summer travel period.

* Advisers to the US Food and Drug Administration recommended a change in the design of COVID-19 booster shots this fall to combat more recently circulating variants of the coronavirus.

* The fast-spreading BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants of Omicron are estimated to make up a combined 52% of the coronavirus cases in the United States as of June 25, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.

* Pfizer and Moderna said they will be ready with COVID-19 vaccines designed to combat the BA.1 Omicron variant that was dominant last winter earlier than those designed to target currently dominant subvariants.

* The bodies of 20 migrants who got lost in the Libyan desert near Chad have been found, the ambulance service said on Wednesday, showing pictures of them lying around a black pick up truck on the sand.

* Guinea has culled around 200,000 poultry at risk of being contaminated with the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza, commonly known as bird flu, Minister of Agriculture Mamoudou Nagalen Barry said on Wednesday.

* Latest data released Tuesday by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) showed the number of confirmed monkeypox cases in Britain has reached 1,076.

* The White House said Tuesday it will start distributing the monkeypox vaccines across the country to address the spread of the virus, focusing on people most at risk and communities with the highest numbers of cases.

* A first batch of 5,300 vaccine doses against monkeypox purchased by the European Commission's Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA) was delivered to Spain on Tuesday, a Commission spokesperson has said.