World News in Brief: October 7

Thai government buildings flew flags at half mast on Friday to mourn the death of more than 30 people, including 23 children, after an ex-policeman burst into a daycare centre in a knife and gun rampage that left the nation shocked and seeking answers.
Malaysia on Friday unveiled a smaller budget for 2023 and warned of an economic slowdown but, with a possible national election in the offing, also announced cash aid and tax cuts.
Malaysia on Friday unveiled a smaller budget for 2023 and warned of an economic slowdown but, with a possible national election in the offing, also announced cash aid and tax cuts.

* French writer Annie Ernaux won the 2022 Nobel Prize in Literature, the Swedish Academy announced in Stockholm on Thursday, "for the courage and clinical acuity with which she uncovers the roots, estrangements and collective restraints of personal memory."

* Belarusian human rights activist Ales Byalyatski, Russian human rights organisation Memorial and Ukrainian human rights organisation Center for Civil Liberties won the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday.

* Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Thursday asked the parliaments of the Group of Twenty (G20) countries to strengthen cooperation to overcome the global crisis and promote world economic recovery amid geopolitical conflicts.

* The European Union (EU) on Thursday adopted a new package of sanctions aimed at stepping up and reinforcing restrictive measures against Russia, the Council of the EU said in a statement.

* Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday demanded economic measures in response to Western sanctions, which are expected to intensify.

* The European Council on Friday said Armenia and Azerbaijan have agreed to a civilian EU mission alongside the countries' border, where the worst fighting between the two ex-Soviet states since 2020 killed more than 200 people late last month.

* Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday met with visiting International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi to discuss the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (NPP), the presidential press service reported.

* Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan spoke by phone with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin about improving bilateral ties and he repeated Ankara's willingness to do its part to peacefully resolve the war in Ukraine, Erdogan's office said on Friday.

* The first plenary sessions of the 52nd General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) began Thursday at the Lima Convention Center, with a view to reaching agreements to combat inequality and discrimination in the region.

* A four-member team of IAEA experts is due to arrive at Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant on Friday to replace the previous team of two specialists from the agency, Interfax reported on Friday citing Russian-installed authorities.

* Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtaye called on Britain to recognize the State of Palestine on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital and take serious measures against settlements on Thursday.

* The United Nations on Thursday called for the creation of a "humanitarian corridor" in Haiti that would allow the distribution of fuel amid dire shortages created by a gang blockade of the country's principal fuel terminal.

* The World Bank on Thursday downgraded India's economic growth forecast to 6.5 percent for the current fiscal year (2022-23) from its earlier estimate of 7.5 percent announced in June.

* US job growth likely slowed in September as rapidly rising interest rates leave businesses more cautious about the economic outlook, but overall labor market conditions remain tight, providing the Federal Reserve with cover to maintain its aggressive monetary policy tightening campaign for a while.

* US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Thursday urged the World Bank Group and other multilateral development banks to revamp their business models and dramatically boost lending to address pressing global needs such as climate change.

* Spare oil production capacity freed up by the latest OPEC+ cuts to output targets could allow the alliance to intervene in the event of any crises in oil markets, OPEC Secretary General Haitham al-Ghais told Al Arabiya TV on Friday.

* Top US senators from both parties on Thursday gave momentum to a bill pressuring OPEC+ after the group this week announced a deep cut in oil production despite lobbying by President Joe Biden's administration to keep the taps open.

* Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Thursday said that her country will overcome the economic crisis by 2026.

* The Portuguese economy is expected to grow 6.7 percent in 2022, recovering its pre-pandemic performance, the Portuguese Central Bank, Bank of Portugal (BdP), announced Thursday.

* Inflation in Belarus amounted to 13.8 percent for the first eight months this year and will soar to 19 percent by the end of the year, President Alexander Lukashenko said at a government meeting Thursday.

* European Union leaders will lock horns on Friday over whether and how to cap gas prices, as they attempt to curb a surge in energy prices that threatens to push the 27-nation bloc into recession and disrupt the EU's cherished single market.

* Against the background of the energy crisis, Germany's industrial economy was showing "clear signs of braking," the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) said on Thursday in a release.

* Around 10% of petrol stations in the Paris region are having problems getting enough fuel supplies, French government spokesman Olivier Veran said on Friday, as strikes at four TotalEnergies TTEF.PA refineries continue for a tenth day.

* Britain is not asking people to use less energy, climate minister Graham Stuart said on Friday, despite a warning from the National Grid that homes and businesses could face three-hour planned blackouts this winter.

* Peru's central bank increased its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 7.0% on Thursday, the 15th consecutive hike, as monetary policymakers in the copper-producing Andean nation battle stubbornly high inflation.

* The United States will provide $240 million in new humanitarian assistance to help meet the needs of refugees and migrants across the Western Hemisphere, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday.

* Italy appears to be heading for a new coronavirus wave, with surging infections and hospitalizations in the last week, according to data released Thursday by the Italian Ministry of Health.

* Germany's passenger car market saw the strongest growth in more than a year in September, with registrations of new passenger cars increasing by 14 percent year-on-year to almost 225,000 units, to the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) said on Thursday.

* Australia's peak medical body has pushed back against the decision to end COVID-19 mandatory isolation periods. The Australian Medical Association (AMA) on Friday said it was "too early" to make the move, warning it would trigger another wave of coronavirus infections.

* A rebound of COVID-19 symptoms in some patients after taking Pfizer's PFE.N antiviral Paxlovid may be related to a robust immune response rather than a weak one, US government researchers reported on Thursday.

* The death toll from this season's monsoon rain and flood since mid-June has risen to 1,700 along with 12,867 injured in Pakistan, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said on Thursday night.

* Australia's two most populous states are preparing for heavy rains over the weekend as authorities on Friday urged residents in flood-prone regions to avoid unnecessary travel.

* The aviation alert level for Tonga's Home Reef volcanic activity has increased to orange as the volcanic activity continued over the past two days.

* Fijians living along coastal areas should expect flooding as a coastal inundation alert is still in force for parts of Fiji, according to the Fiji Meteorological Office on Friday.

VNA, Reuters, Xinhua