World News in Brief: October 17

Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on Monday called on all Chinese people to stay united as "a piece of hard steel" under the leadership of the CPC and pull together with one mind to power the giant ship of national rejuvenation through the wind and waves to reach its destination.
Thailand's health authorities said on Monday that the Southeast Asian country has confirmed its 11th case of monkeypox.
Thailand's health authorities said on Monday that the Southeast Asian country has confirmed its 11th case of monkeypox.

* The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is predicting that Laos will see economic growth of 2.2 percent in 2022 before rising 3.1 percent in 2023.

* Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen said on Monday that some 200,000 vehicles had traveled on the kingdom's first-ever expressway since it was open to the public for trial use for free on Oct. 1.

* Authorities in Thailand issued flash flood warnings for eight southern provinces on Monday ahead of more rain expected this week, with areas in nearly 40% of the country's provinces still inundated and dealing with flood waters.

* Personal remittances from overseas Filipinos reached 3.02 billion USD in August, an increase of 4.4 percent year-on-year, the Philippine central bank said on Monday.

* The Australian government has announced a national plan to end domestic violence within a generation.

* EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Monday he currently did not expect progress in negotiations over reviving a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.

* Saudi King Salman said on Sunday the kingdom was working hard to support stability and balance in oil markets, including by establishing and maintaining the agreement of the OPEC+ alliance.

* Saudi Arabia and South Africa has signed agreements and memorandums of understanding worth about $15 billion during a state visit by South Africa's president to Riyadh, Saudi state news agency SPA reported on Monday.

* Türkiye's endorsement of Russia's proposal to establish a natural gas distribution center in the country reflects its ambition to become an international energy hub, but the plan needs the participation of more producers than Russia to become practical, said experts.

* OPEC+ member states lined up on Sunday to endorse the steep cut to its output target agreed this month after the White House, stepping up a war of words with Saudi Arabia, accused Riyadh of coercing some other nations into supporting the move.

* Britain's finance ministry said on Monday that the government's 'Energy Markets Financing Scheme', a support package to help energy firms facing temporary short-term financing problems, was now open for applications.

* The European Union will not pay Poland the vast majority of 75 billion euros worth of development funds earmarked for it through 2027 unless it fixes its courts, a spokesman for the bloc's executive said on Monday.

* Iranian Petroleum Minister Javad Owji said on Sunday that Iran has started refining its crude oil in Venezuela, SHANA news agency affiliated to his ministry reported.

* The Belgian government ordered an inspection of its gas infrastructure in the North Sea at the beginning of October, Energy Minister Tinne Van der Straeten said on Monday.

* The European Commission is set to propose this week a last-resort "dynamic" price cap for natural gas in the European Union and mandatory limits on the degree to which traded prices can fluctuate in a single day, according to a draft proposal.

* An Iranian commander said on Sunday that Iran has increased the operational range of the Bavar-373 surface-to-air missile defense system to 300 km, Tasnim news agency reported.

* The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) affirmed working in partnership with national parliaments to push forward gender equality and responsive legislation.

* Ethiopia aims to take control of airports and other critical infrastructure in the north of country, in response to attacks by the Tigray regional forces, the government said on Monday.

* The death toll from this season's monsoon rain and floods since mid-June has risen to 1,719 along with 12,867 injuries in Pakistan, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has said.

* Thousands of homes may be inundated, and tens of thousands of homes may be either inundated or isolated as flood continues to wreak havoc in Australia's state of Victoria.

* Seven alleged terrorists were killed by security forces in two separate counter-terror operations in Pakistan during the last 24 hours, authorities said.

* State-run Tanzania Coffee Board (TCB) said Sunday that it would distribute 3 million Robusta coffee seedlings to farmers free of charge to boost production of the cash crop.

VNA, Reuters, Xinhua