World News in Brief: October 8

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro is not ruling out bringing forward the country's 2024 presidential election, his office said on Friday in a message published on Twitter.
Mayon volcano, the Philippines' most active volcano in Albay province on the island of Luzon, is showing signs of "increasing unrest" on Friday, prompting the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology to raise the alert status from one to two.
Mayon volcano, the Philippines' most active volcano in Albay province on the island of Luzon, is showing signs of "increasing unrest" on Friday, prompting the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology to raise the alert status from one to two.

* Candidates in Austria's presidential election began wrapping up their campaigns on Friday ahead of Sunday's vote in which the incumbent and clear favourite, Alexander Van der Bellen, hopes he can secure a majority to avoid a run-off.

* Japan and the United States are conducting a joint military drill involving US aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan in areas around Japan in light of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s repeated missile launches, the Japan's Defense Ministry said on Saturday.

* African Union-led peace talks proposed for this weekend to try to end a two-year-old conflict in northern Ethiopia's Tigray region have been delayed for logistical reasons, Tigray forces and two diplomatic sources said on Friday.

* China expects to handle a total of 255.54 million passenger trips during the weeklong (from Oct. 1 to 7) National Day holiday, the Ministry of Transport said on Friday.

* More than 80,000 vehicles had traveled on Cambodia's first-ever expressway in the first week of its trial operation, according to data released by the freeway operator on Saturday.

* UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday called for international support for Pakistan in the wake of devastating floods.

* World Bank President David Malpass said on Friday that he was keeping an "intense" focus on the bank's efforts to address climate change and was embracing the US Treasury's call to dramatically boost lending capacity to address this and other global problems.

* French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday that Nordic leaders had told their European partners it was still impossible to say at this stage who was behind attacks on the NordStream pipeline.

* Israeli forces killed two Palestinians on Saturday in clashes that erupted during an arrest raid in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian health officials said, the latest incident in recent months around the flashpoint city of Jenin.

* Malaysia's Finance Ministry forecast on Friday that the Southeast Asian country's economy would expand 4-5 percent in 2023.

* Japan's foreign currency reserves dropped by 54 billion USD to 1.238 trillion USD at the end of September, marking a record monthly decline, the government said in a report Friday.

* Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday outlined the key challenges for Ukraine amid its conflict with Russia, the presidential press service reported.

* European Union (EU) leaders said on Friday at an informal summit in Prague that they are still working on coordinated energy policies for the bloc's member states to address the energy crisis plaguing families and businesses.

* US employers added 263,000 jobs in September amid a still tight labor market, with the unemployment rate edging down to 3.5 percent, the Labor Department reported on Friday.

* Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Friday said inflation in Mexico has topped out and could begin to decline.

* Canada added 21,000 jobs in September with a high employment rate for core-aged parents, Statistics Canada said on Friday.

* Consumers in the euro area expect that inflation will remain unchanged for the next 12 months, according to a survey released by the European Central Bank (ECB) on Friday.

* Rail traffic in northern Germany was disrupted for three hours on Saturday due to sabotage, German news agency dpa cited state-owned rail operator Deutsche Bahn as saying.

* The French government will not ration petrol for drivers or restrict the use of service stations in response to supply problems linked to refinery strikes, Environment Minister Christophe Bechu said on Saturday.

* The International Monetary Fund said on Friday its executive board approved Ukraine's request for $1.3 billion in additional emergency funding to help sustain its economy as it battles Russia's conflict.

* The executive board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved the second review for Argentina's $44 billion extended fund facility program, the lender said on Friday, noting the country's efforts to meet the established targets.

* The White House expects the rate of vaccination in its fall booster campaign to pick up over the coming weeks, and its COVID response coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha on Friday characterized the initial pace as "a really good start."

* Several French politicians, including President Emmanuel Macron, called on Friday for dialogues and responsibility between TotalEnergies strikers and the company as strikes led to fuel-related panics.

* Brazil's vehicle production rose 19.3 percent in September compared to the same month last year, the National Association of Automotive Vehicle Manufacturers (Anfavea) said Friday.

* Import prices were 32.7 percent higher in Germany in August than in the same month a year earlier, which the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) described on Friday as the highest increase since the oil crisis in 1974.

* Haiti's Ministry of Public Health has sounded the alarm about the resurgence of cholera, which has claimed at least seven lives on the Caribbean island, raising concern among international organizations.

* 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.

VNA, Reuters, Xinhua