World News in Brief: October 21

Dozens of Asian and Pacific countries agreed on Friday to adopt a six-point Jakarta Declaration to create an inclusive world for people with disabilities at a high-level intergovernmental meeting held in Jakarta on Oct. 19-21.
"The pandemic is not yet over," a World Health Organization (WHO) official warned on Friday, saying the continued emergence of subvariants "poses a risk of resurgence and overwhelming health systems."
"The pandemic is not yet over," a World Health Organization (WHO) official warned on Friday, saying the continued emergence of subvariants "poses a risk of resurgence and overwhelming health systems."

* The presidium of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) held its third meeting on Friday morning. Xi Jinping presided over the meeting.

* Italy's President Sergio Mattarella has summoned rightist leader Giorgia Meloni for talks later on Friday - a move widely expected to lead to her being given a mandate to form a new government.

* Giorgia Meloni has accepted a mandate to form Italy's next government, a presidential official said on Friday, paving the way for her to become the country's first woman prime minister.

* British minister Penny Mordaunt on Friday launched her bid to replace Liz Truss as prime minister, becoming the first Conservative lawmaker to formally announce they are running.

* Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has said he will meet Sweden's new prime minister, Ulf Kristersson, to discuss Stockholm's bid to join NATO as well as the extradition of people Ankara considers terrorists.

* Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Friday it was not right for the United States to pressure Saudi Arabia after OPEC+ oil producers announced production cuts despite U.S. objections.

* Sweden expects Hungary and Turkey to vote soon on Sweden's application to join the NATO alliance, Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom said in Helsinki after a meeting with his Finnish counterpart on Friday.

* Saudi Arabia's energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman and the director of China's National Energy Administration Zhang Jianhua on Friday said they would strengthen their ties in the energy sector, the Saudi state news agency SPA reported.

* Accession to NATO is a top priority for Sweden's newly-appointed government, Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom said in Helsinki on Friday after a meeting with his Finnish counterpart, Pekka Haavisto.

* Finland's Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said on Friday his country remains in regular contact with Turkey amid the Nordic nation's NATO membership bid and that he has been in dialogue with his Turkish counterpart during the past week.

* The Arab Parliament (AP) demanded on Friday an immediate intervention from the international community to end the strict siege imposed by Israel on the occupied Palestinian city of Nablus.

* A global gathering of mayors concerned about climate change kicked off Thursday in Argentina's capital Buenos Aires. Buenos Aires Mayor Horacio Rodriguez Larreta and his London counterpart Sadiq Khan opened the two-day C40 World Mayors Summit, which brings together 121 cities from around the world and 150 from Argentina to "agree" to new commitments to fight global warming, the host city's government said.

* Saudi Arabia's energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman on Friday said OPEC+ is doing the right job to ensure stable and sustainable oil markets.

* China's central bank Friday conducted a total of 2 billion yuan (about 280.95 million USD) of reverse repos to maintain liquidity in the banking system.

* The Lao government is scheduled to resume the annual That Luang Festival so as to boost economic recovery and preserve the country's cultural traditions, after it was canceled for the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

* Pakistani rupee, after going through a recent phase of decline, gained a marginal recovery as the greenback was being traded at 220.84 rupees in the interbank on Friday, according to the State Bank of Pakistan.

* India on Friday test-fired "Agni Prime", a new generation of ballistic missiles, from off the coast of the eastern state of Odisha, said media reports.

* The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved 1.5 billion USD in financing to help Pakistan provide social protection, promote food security and support employment for its people amid devastating floods, the ADB said on Friday.

* Surging inflation caused ordinary American households to fork out 445 USD more than a year ago, according to a recent analysis by the Moody's Analytics.

* Ukraine's economy is expected to contract by 32 percent this year, a shallower decline from 37.5 percent expected previously, the country's central bank said on Thursday.

* Portugal began on Thursday to pay financial aid of 125 euros (122 USD) to each worker in the country to minimize the impact caused strong domestic inflation.

* A gas pipeline is to be built connecting Iberia to France and the rest of Europe, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez confirmed on Thursday. Spain, France and Portugal have agreed to cooperate on the project, Sanchez said.

* French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire aims to bring down the country's annual inflation rate to 5 percent by the beginning of 2023, the daily Le Figaro reported on Thursday.

* Nepal's annual inflation surged to 8.64% for the month that ended in mid-September compared with 3.49% a year earlier, central bank data showed on Friday, presenting a challenge for the ruling alliance ahead of a general election.

* Indonesia's health minister said on Friday that the number of children who had died from acute kidney injury (AKI) rose to 133 from the previously reported 99.

* Two loud explosions ripped through a key government-controlled oil port in Yemen's southeastern province of Hadramout on Friday, a security official told Xinhua.

* An Ebola outbreak in Uganda that has infected 65 people and killed 27 is coming under control and should be over by the end of the year, the country's information ministry said on Friday.

VNA, Reuters, Xinhua