World News in Brief: October 18

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday called for urgent global action to reverse the negative trend in poverty eradication.
Thailand's Meteorological Department on Monday issued a warning of heavy rainfall and potential flash floods in the country's southern region.
Thailand's Meteorological Department on Monday issued a warning of heavy rainfall and potential flash floods in the country's southern region.

* China will unswervingly expand all-around opening up and push economic globalization toward being more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all, an official with the country's top economic planner said Monday.

* Ulf Kristersson, leader of the Moderate Party, was on Monday voted by the parliament to be Sweden's new prime minister. Kristersson got 176 yes votes in the 349-seat Parliament, while 173 voted no. There were no abstentions.

* Giorgia Meloni, expected to be named Italian prime minister, and her coalition partner Silvio Berlusconi had a cordial meeting on Monday and aim to quickly form a "cohesive" government, their parties said.

* Iraq's newly-elected President Abdul Latif Rashid assumed office on Monday, expressing his hope for a quick formation of the new government.

* FIFA head Gianni Infantino and Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Tuesday agreed to re-evaluate safety measures at stadiums across the country, after more than 130 people were killed in a crowd stampede at a match this month.

* Japan is already seeing an increase in inbound travellers since relaxing its COVID-19 border controls last week, but a full recovery will remain elusive until China opens up, said the head of the country's biggest international airport.

* Prime Minister Liz Truss has apologised for threatening Britain's economic stability after she was forced to scrap her vast tax-cutting plans and embark on a programme of "eye-watering" public spending cuts instead.

* Russia and Ukraine on Monday carried out one of the biggest prisoner swaps of the war so far, exchanging a total of 218 detainees, officials from both sides said.

* A majority of American voters are convinced this November's midterm elections will significantly impact the country, according to a new poll released on Monday.

* Australia on Tuesday reversed a decision of the previous government to recognise west Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, saying the status of the city should be resolved through peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian people.

* Australia and Singapore agreed on Tuesday on a "green economy" deal to boost cooperation on climate investment, financing and technology.

* Hungary was the only European Union (EU) member state not to back the proposal for the European Union (EU) to start a training mission for Ukrainian military personnel, the country's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto said on Monday.

* Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin discussed the UN-brokered food deal with UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths on Monday in Moscow, the Defense Ministry said.

* A preliminary investigation of damages on the two Nord Stream gas pipelines in the Danish part of the Baltic Sea show that the leaks were caused by "powerful explosions", Copenhagen Police said in a statement on Tuesday.

* The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) on Monday vowed to reach a prisoners' swap deal with Israel to release the Palestinians imprisoned in Israeli jails.

* The United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Monday said it fully stands with Saudi Arabia in its efforts to support energy stability and security, UAE state news agency (WAM) reported, citing a foreign ministry statement.

* Indonesia recorded a trade surplus of 4.99 billion USD in September, with an export value of 24.80 billion dollars and an import value of 19.81 billion dollars, Statistics Indonesia (BPS) reported on Monday.

* Brazil's financial market lowered its 2022 inflation forecast from 5.71 percent to 5.62 percent, marking the 16th time in a row economists have reduced expected inflation, the Central Bank of Brazil said on Monday.

* The annual growth of New Zealand's consumer price index fell slightly to 7.2 percent in the September 2022 quarter, the statistics department Stats NZ said on Tuesday.

* The ongoing conflict in Ukraine is expected to restrict the gross domestic product (GDP) of Cyprus to 2.4 percent in 2023, compared to a projected growth of 4.9 percent this year, the Economics Research Center of the University of Cyprus (CypERC) said on Monday.

* French trade unions began a nationwide strike on Tuesday, asking for higher salaries amid decades-high inflation and posing President Emmanuel Macron one of his stiffest challenges since his reelection in May.

* Spain's national gas grid operator Enagas said on Monday it may have to reject unloads of liquefied natural gas (LNG) due to overcapacity at its terminals.

* About 1.4 million Canadian adults indicated they had symptoms at least three months after a positive COVID-19 test or suspected infection, Statistics Canada said on Monday.

* The US government on Monday imposed sanctions on 14 men, including six it said were part of a network that has engaged in weapons procurement, financial facilitation and recruitment for the al Shabaab militant Islamist group.

* A new comprehensive review of global ocean temperature data has allowed researchers to paint a clear picture of ocean warming since the 1950s, and predict future warming scenarios.

* Thousands of residents across southeast Australia braced for renewed flooding on Tuesday as weather forecasters warned of more downpours later this week, while swollen rivers continued to roll downstream inundating farms, towns and homes.

* The Yemeni internationally-recognized government on Monday ordered its armed forces to raise combat readiness for the major changes in the war-torn Arab country in the upcoming days.

* The visiting UN special envoy to Syria, Geir Pedersen, on Monday called for progress on the political front to resolve the Syrian crisis.

* The UN Security Council on Monday strongly condemned an attack on UN peacekeepers in Mali, which killed three peacekeepers from Chad and injured three others.

* The United Nations on Monday backed an immediate end to hostilities in Ethiopia's Tigray region and a return to peace talks, calling for all sides to protect civilians and adhere to international law as fighting continued.

* Clean water and fuel are in demand to fight the cholera outbreak in Haiti as humanitarian agencies scale up support, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday.

* South African state-owned logistics firm Transnet said on Monday it had agreed a three-year wage deal with the union representing the majority of its workers, ending a two-week strike that had hit commodities exports and piled up millions in losses.

* International Monetary Fund staff on Monday reached a staff-level agreement with Somalia that will allow the release of about $10 million to the East African country, once approved by the board, the head of the IMF mission told Reuters.

* Six people were killed after a helicopter carrying pilgrims crashed in Kedarnath in northern India on Tuesday, a state police official told Reuters.

VNA, Reuters, Xinhua