World News in Brief: October 19

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday sought India's support in mobilising G20 nations to help out developing countries saddled with debt, with three of India's neighbours already seeking IMF loans as their economies struggle.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday reported a decrease of 1.27 million barrels of crude oil in US inventories for the week ending Oct. 14. Analysts expected a surge of 1.551 million barrels for this week.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday reported a decrease of 1.27 million barrels of crude oil in US inventories for the week ending Oct. 14. Analysts expected a surge of 1.551 million barrels for this week.

* UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths on Tuesday called for global solidarity with Cuba as the island nation is dealing with the devastation of Hurricane Ian.

* China's nuclear strategy and policy have been long-standing and consistent with a high level of stability, continuity and predictability, Chinese Ambassador for Disarmament Affairs Li Song said Tuesday.

* Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio will visit Perth from Oct. 21-23 and will meet counterpart Anthony Albanese during his trip, Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno Hirokazu said on Wednesday.

* International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Rafael Grossi expects to return "soon" to Ukraine, he told Reuters on Tuesday, amid negotiations to establish a security protection zone around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

* India will examine the price cap on Russian oil proposed by the West, oil minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Wednesday.

* The situation in the zone of the special military operation can be described as tense, commander of Russia's joint group of forces in Ukraine Sergey Surovikin told media on Tuesday.

* Belarus said on Wednesday that it had begun summoning citizens to check their eligibility for military service but that it was not planning mobilisation.

* Poland is set to buy rocket artillery systems in its latest arms deal with the Republic of Korea, following shipments of tanks and howitzers, the RoK officials said on Wednesday.

* Iraq's foreign ministry said late on Tuesday that it refuses any threatening or pressuring policy, reiterating its support for OPEC+ and Saudi Arabia after the alliance's decision to cut oil production by 2 million barrels per day caused a rift between Washington and Riyadh.

* The United Arab Emirates believes OPEC+ made the correct technical choice when it agreed to cut production targets and the unanimous decision had nothing to do with politics, energy minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said on Tuesday.

* OPEC+ member Sudan said on Tuesday that the group's decision to cut production by 2 million barrels per day was unanimous and it supports Saudi Arabia's position that all OPEC+ decisions are purely economic, a statement by the country's foreign ministry said.

* The New Zealand government is strengthening counter-terrorism laws to make it harder for people who are known threats to undertake terrorist acts, Justice Minister Kiri Allan said on Wednesday.

* Turkish troops deployed on Tuesday in an area in northwestern Syria to try to halt fighting between rival rebel factions opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, witnesses and rebel forces said.

* The European Commission has proposed a new package of measures aimed at improving stability in European gas markets.

* A proposal to build a fence along parts of Finland's border with Russia received wide support from parties in the Finnish Parliament on Tuesday.

* Two Russian Tu-95MS strategic bombers performed a scheduled flight above the neutral waters of the Pacific Ocean, the Bering Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.

* US energy envoy Amos Hochstein will be in Beirut next week carrying a copy of the maritime agreement with Israel for Lebanese officials to sign, Lebanese negotiator Elias Bou Saab told Reuters on Wednesday.

* Strikes have affected work at 20 French nuclear power reactors, a union representative said on Wednesday, with 17 having maintenance blocked and three of the reactors lowering power production.

* German exports to Britain this year could grow for the first time since 2015 if the upward trend seen from January to August continues through 2022, statistics office data showed.

* The biggest jump in food prices since 1980 pushed British inflation back into double digits last month, matching a 40-year high hit in July in a new blow for households grappling with a cost-of-living crisis.

* There are signs of a general improvement in the supply of petrol to service stations in France, but the situation in the Paris/Ile-de-France area remains difficult, French Energy Transition Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher told French radio.

* Colombia's congress on Tuesday approved an $85.5 billion budget for 2023, increasing spending for education, health and agriculture amid promises by President Gustavo Petro to increase support for social programs.

* The Netherlands will follow Spain in pulling out of the Energy Charter Treaty protecting investments in the sector, its energy ministry said on Wednesday.

* Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said Tuesday that Iran is seeking a "logical" nuclear agreement which will secure the interests of the country.

* Argentina on Tuesday approved a series of bids to install solar energy equipment in 19 provinces, as part of a renewable energy push financed by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).

* The Ethiopian government on Tuesday said preparations are ongoing to resume humanitarian aid and services in recently captured areas in the conflict-hit northernmost Tigray region.

* Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on Tuesday launched the National Industry Strategy that aims to turn the kingdom into a leading industrial power.

* Residents in flood-hit Australian towns ramped up efforts to build levees and sandbag homes on Wednesday ahead of more rain, although authorities said the expected storms could be milder than last week's, bringing relief as recovery operations begin.

* The Republic of Korea on Wednesday confirmed the first case of bird flu at a duck farm in around six months, the agriculture ministry said.

* Australia's death rate remained low in 2021 amid coronavirus restrictions, data has revealed. According to figures published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on Wednesday, there were 171,469 deaths registered in Australia in 2021 at a rate of 507.2 deaths per 100,000 people.

* Over 14.8 million children in the United States have tested positive for COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic, according to the latest report by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Children's Hospital Association.

* A total of 900 people were diagnosed with dengue fever in Bangladesh in the past 24 hours on Tuesday, the highest number in a single day so far this year, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) said.

* More than 100 Haitian migrants have been found on an uninhabited island near Puerto Rico, US Customs and Border Protection said on Tuesday, as a gang blockade of a fuel terminal has caused a humanitarian crisis in Haiti.

* Uganda's coffee exports declined last month due to the impact of a drought affecting many growing areas across the country, the state-run sector regulator said.

* Gunmen have abducted at least 10 healthcare workers in Nigeria's Niger state and killed an unspecified number after bandits invaded a general hospital early on Tuesday, a hospital and military source said.