World News in Brief: November 19

Thailand's Prime Minister and outgoing APEC chair Prayuth Chan-ocha said on Saturday that the 21-member bloc was in the midst of a period of transition and needed to maintain a sense of unity.
Leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies issued a declaration and endorsed an outcome document on Bio-Circular-Green Economy on Saturday.
Leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies issued a declaration and endorsed an outcome document on Bio-Circular-Green Economy on Saturday.

* Malaysia kicked off its national polls on Saturday, with voters streaming to voting centers to elect representatives who will form the next government.

* Sameh Shoukry, president of the COP27 climate summit, told the nearly 200 nations gathered in Egypt to "rise to the occasion" on Saturday as the success of the conference hung in the balance.

* The European Union warned it was prepared to walk away from climate negotiations if a satisfactory outcome could not be reached, but said it still believed a deal could be struck on Saturday between negotiators at the COP27 summit in Egypt.

* The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) test-fired a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) toward eastern waters on Friday, under the inspection of its top leader Kim Jong Un, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported Saturday.

* The Republic of Korea and the United States on Saturday conducted joint air drills near the Korean Peninsula, involving two US strategic bombers, Yonhap news agency reported citing the RoK Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).

* Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev hailed the bilateral trade with Russia on Friday, saying it is close to what the two countries had before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

* Thailand's prime minister met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Friday in Bangkok, signing agreements to expand diplomatic relations restored this year more than three decades after Saudi Arabia downgraded ties over a jewellery theft.

* Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky discussed a deal of exporting grain from Ukraine, Türkiye's presidential office said in a statement on Friday.

* Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a phone conversation on Friday to discuss the prospects of creating a gas hub in Türkiye and the extension of the Black Sea grain export deal.

* France, Germany and Spain have reached agreement on starting the next phase of development of a new fighter jet dubbed FCAS, Europe's largest defence project at an estimated cost of more than 100 billion euros($103.4 billion), the German government said on Friday.

* Australia's Immigration Minister Andrew Giles has announced a major change that will allow refugees to travel overseas and return to the country.

* The Finnish government has proposed 139 million euros (452 million USD) in funding for the first phase of building a fence on Finland's eastern border, the Finnish Border Guard announced on Friday.

* Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that his country needs to review its internal security policies to curb terrorism.

* China's raw coal output posted stable expansion in October, official data showed. The country produced 370 million tonnes of raw coal last month, up 1.2 percent year on year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

* The Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC) of India on Saturday welcomed the federal government's decision to withdraw the 15 percent export duty imposed on iron ore and steel products, saying it will boost engineering goods exports.

* Cambodia exported 7.62 million tons of agricultural products in the first 10 months of 2022, earning 3.07 billion USD in revenue, according to a report released by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) on Saturday.

* Fitch Ratings on Friday affirmed Mexico's sovereign credit rating at BBB-, with a Stable Rating Outlook, citing the country's macroeconomic prudence, robust external finances and stable government debt/GDP ratio.

* Almost nine out of ten Finns have begun to save energy, and many have changed their consumption habits, due to rising energy prices, showed the latest survey commissioned by the Finnish government.

* NASA's Orion spacecraft is expected to fly by the moon next Monday, Nov. 21, performing a close approach of the lunar surface on its way to a distant retrograde orbit, according to NASA.

* The municipality of the Afghan capital Kabul has decided to subsidize coal for residents as the winter cold sets in, a local official said Saturday.

* Four Syrian soldiers were killed and one wounded in Israeli "air aggression" on some posts in the coastal and central regions of Syria on Saturday morning, Syrian state news agency SANA reported.

VNA, Reuters, Xinhua