World News in Brief: May 12

Financial leaders from Japan, China and the Republic of Korea warned of risks to Asia's economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and committed themselves to backing market stability and sound fiscal policy.

Face masks will not have to be worn in airports and on flights in Europe from May 16, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said.
Face masks will not have to be worn in airports and on flights in Europe from May 16, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said.

* Kim Jong Un, the Chairman of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), on Thursday urged the public to implement "maximum emergency" prevention measures after the first-ever COVID-19 case in over two years was confirmed, the official Korean Central News Agency reported.

* The Kremlin said on Thursday that Finland's move to join NATO was "definitely" a threat to Russia and that the expansion of the military bloc would not make Europe or the world more stable.

* Newly-elected Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. will inherit an economy that has strongly bounced back from the COVID-19 pandemic when he takes office in June, but soaring food and fuel costs will need to be addressed quickly.

* A Chinese envoy on Wednesday warned against attempts to impose more sanctions on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

* Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted Wednesday that he had a conversation with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to discuss defensive aid for Ukraine.

* The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) fired three short-range ballistic missiles into its eastern waters, the Republic of Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said Thursday.

* Qatar’s ruler, Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, has arrived in Iran, Iranian state media reported on Thursday, as the Gulf state tries to help end a row between Tehran and Washington over revival of the 2015 nuclear deal.

* Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Thursday that Israeli authorities were "fully responsible" for the killing of a veteran Al Jazeera reporter during clashes in the occupied West Bank and called for an international investigation.

* Foreign direct investment (FDI) into the Chinese mainland, in actual use, expanded 20.5 percent year on year to 478.61 billion yuan in the first four months of the year, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said Thursday.

* The Philippine economy expanded 8.3 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2022, exceeding the pre-pandemic first-quarter level, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said on Thursday.

* Sweden's inflation has continued to rise in April after breaking its 30-year record a month ago, Statistics Sweden said on Thursday. The figure is 6.4 percent in April, up from 6.1 percent in March, when it surpassed the previous record set in December, 1991.

* US crude oil refinery inputs averaged 15.7 million barrels per day (b/d) during the week ending May 6, 230,000 b/d more than the previous week's average, according to the weekly report issued by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday.

* The Group of Seven (G7) nations will work more closely together to make digitization more sustainable, Germany's Minister for Digital and Transport Volker Wissing said on Wednesday.

* The United Nations believes the 33 million USD pledged on Wednesday for the 144-million-dollar plan to prevent a Red Sea eco-disaster from a derelict tanker is a good start, a spokesman said.

* Britain's economy unexpectedly shrank 0.1% in March after a slump in car sales due to ongoing supply-chain difficulties, marking a weak end to the first quarter of a year when the risk of recession is looming.

* Beijing reported 36 new domestically transmitted COVID-19 infections during the 24 hours to 3 p.m. local time (0700 GMT) on Thursday, a disease control official at the Chinese capital said.

* India's COVID-19 tally rose to 43,113,413 on Thursday, as 2,827 new cases were registered during the past 24 hours across the country, showed the federal health ministry's latest data.

* The Republic of Korea's new President Yoon Suk-yeol will attend a virtual global summit on the COVID-19 response on Thursday, his office said, in what will be his first attendance at a multilateral meeting of world leaders.

* The United States has now recorded more than 1 million COVID-19 deaths, according to a Reuters tally, crossing a once-unthinkable milestone about two years after the first cases upended everyday life and quickly transformed it.

* Malaysia reported 3,321 new COVID-19 infections as of midnight Wednesday, bringing the national total to 4,467,061, according to the health ministry. Eight more deaths have been reported, bringing the death toll to 35,598.

* South Africa's National Institute for Communicable Diseases reported 10,017 new COVID-19 cases, the first day since January the institute has reported more than 10,000 new infections.

* Sub-variants of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 and a relaxation of public health measures are driving a current surge in infections in southern Africa, a senior official from the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.