* The Philippines' total external trade in goods rose by 18.6 percent in March to 19.35 billion USD with China remaining its biggest trading partner, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said on Friday.
* UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on Thursday to end the "cycle of death and destruction" in Ukraine.
* Russian President Vladimir Putin held a telephone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Thursday to discuss the Ukrainian situation.
* US President Joe Biden and other G7 leaders will hold talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in a virtual meeting on Sunday, a spokesperson for the White House's National Security Council said on Friday.
* Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Thursday that he had separate conversations with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
* Belarus will not participate in Russia's special military operation in Ukraine, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said Thursday in an interview with The Associated Press.
* Australia's central bank drastically revised up forecasts for inflation, foreshadowing how far interest rates might have to rise to bring the country's cost of living crisis under control.
* Chile's central bank hiked the country's benchmark interest rate to 8.25% on Thursday, above expectations, from 7.0% previously, as authorities worldwide tighten monetary policy to keep a lid on stubbornly high inflation.
* Austria is looking to address the fact that even utilities that generate much of their electricity from renewables are profiting from surging gas prices that are coupled to power prices, the Finance Ministry said in a statement on Friday.
* Saudi Arabia's minister of industry and mineral resources said the ministry has a goal to attract investments worth $32 billion to its mining and minerals sector through nine new projects, state news agency SPA reported.
* The number of unemployed people in Slovenia fell to 58,081 in April, the lowest level since the country's independence in 1991, the Employment Service of Slovenia (ZRSZ) said on Thursday. It said the figure fell 4.1 percent from March and 26.7 percent from April 2021.
* More than 1.25 billion Chinese have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of Thursday, accounting for 88.74 percent of the country's total population, a Chinese health official said Friday.
* India's COVID-19 tally rose to 43,094,938 on Friday, with 3,545 new cases registered during the past 24 hours across the country, showed the federal health ministry's latest data.
* The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday announced that it has limited the authorized use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine (Janssen vaccine) to individuals 18 years of age and older who cannot or will not get other COVID-19 vaccines, citing the risk of rare blood clots.
* As the death toll from COVID-19 in the United States nears the 1 million mark, members of the Native American tribe, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, are trying to cope with the devastation caused by the virus.
* The Republic of Korea reported 26,714 new COVID-19 cases as of midnight Thursday compared to 24 hours ago, raising the total number of infections to 17,464,782, the health authorities said Friday.
* Major US airlines, business and travel groups and other companies have urged the White House to abandon COVID-19 pre-departure testing requirements for vaccinated international passengers travelling to the United States.
* The European Union's drug regulator said it hoped to have vaccines adapted to address coronavirus variants, such as Omicron, approved by September.
* Sri Lankan Health Minister Channa Jayasumana on Friday said that health authorities decided to roll out the fourth dose COVID-19 vaccination for those above the age of 60.