World News in Brief: September 13

At least 49 Armenian soldiers and an undisclosed number of Azeris were killed on Tuesday in the deadliest fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia since a 2020 war, prompting Russian President Vladimir Putin to call for calm.
At least 17 million people in the World Health Organization (WHO) European Region experienced the post-COVID-19 condition, or long COVID, in the first two years of the pandemic, said a statement from the United Nations health agency on Tuesday.
At least 17 million people in the World Health Organization (WHO) European Region experienced the post-COVID-19 condition, or long COVID, in the first two years of the pandemic, said a statement from the United Nations health agency on Tuesday.

* The Thai cabinet on Tuesday approved a plan to raise the minimum wage by an average of 5 percent, the first hike since January 2020, in an effort to help workers cope with inflation that hovers at a 14-year high.

* The 12th edition of Cuba's international cuisine festival "Varadero Gourmet" kicked off in Matanzas on Monday after a two-year hiatus caused by the COVID, as the country strives to revive tourism.

* Asian stocks rose on Tuesday as traders in Korea returned from holidays in a mood to catch up on a global bounce, while other markets held steady ahead of US inflation data that will offer a crucial guide to the interest rate outlook.

* At least 10 Indian states have announced over 1 trillion rupees (12.6 billion USD), mainly in cash transfers and electricity subsidies, for households to combat inflation, according to government officials.

* British finance minister Kwasi Kwarteng still aims to make a fiscal statement before the end of the month but a date will not be set until after the funeral of Queen Elizabeth on Sept. 19, a spokesman for Prime Minister Liz Truss said on Tuesday.

* Brazilian financial analysts upgraded their gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast for 2022 from 2.26 percent to 2.39 percent, and for 2023 from 0.47 percent to 0.50 percent, the Central Bank of Brazil said Monday.

* European Union energy ministers will attempt to approve new bloc-wide measures to pull down soaring gas and power prices at an emergency summit on Sept. 30, after Brussels announces the proposals this week.

* Any damage inflicted on Ukraine's power and heating systems will seriously exacerbate living conditions this winter, especially for an estimated 6.9 million internally displaced people, the United Nations' migration agency said on Tuesday.

* A measure of Australian consumer sentiment bounced in September to break a nine-month losing streak, while concerns around rising interest rates and soaring inflation hit New Zealand house prices in August.

* US sales growth is expected to slow this holiday season as consumers facing decades-high inflation cut back on discretionary spending, according to the Mastercard MA.N SpendingPulse report released on Tuesday.

* Repair works on one of Sweden's six remaining nuclear reactors have been delayed by two months to Jan. 31, the plant's owner, energy company Vattenfall, said on Tuesday.

* The Czech government approved a price cap for electricity and gas after an extraordinary meeting on Monday evening.

* The Maltese government on Monday launched a 3-million-euro (3.04 million USD) scheme to help the country's 6,000 farmers cope with the rising cost of fertilizers.

* Tourism in Hungary has bounced back to the pre-pandemic level, with 16.4 million guest nights registered this summer, the Hungarian Tourism Agency (MTU) said Monday.

* Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi headed on Tuesday to Doha, the capital of Qatar, for a two-day visit, the first of its kind in four years, according to a statement by the Egyptian presidency office.

* An Iranian lawmaker said Tuesday that the country plans to construct overseas oil refineries in Venezuela and Uruguay as part of its plans to export oil and petroleum products under sanctions, according to the semi-official Tasnim news agency.

* China raised its emergency response to Level III on Tuesday as typhoon Muifa approaches the country's eastern coastal area.

* Mikizo Ueda, who was the oldest Japanese man, died at the age of 112 in the city of Nara recently, the local government said Tuesday.

* The total death toll in Pakistan from this season's monsoon rains and floods since mid-June has risen to around 1,427 along with 12,742 injured, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said late Monday night.

* China reported 1,048 new COVID-19 infections on Sept. 12, of which 242 were symptomatic and 806 were asymptomatic, the National Health Commission said on Tuesday.

* The World Health Organisation expects a rise in COVID-19 in Ukraine to peak in October, possibly bringing hospitals close to their capacity threshold, WHO's director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday.

* The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended a COVID-19 booster designed to combat the currently circulating Omicron BA.4/5 subvariants, days after endorsing a pair of boosters tailored to target the older BA.1 Omicron variant.

* New Zealand scrapped mask wearing rules and vaccine mandates on Monday, bringing an end to some of the toughest COVID-19 pandemic rules in the world about two years after they were put in place.

* Vaccines adapted to fighting the latest Omicron variants of COVID-19 are now available in Greece, it was announced on Monday.

* Iran on Tuesday brought under control a fire at its Shadegan oilfield which was caused by an apparent act of sabotage, a local oil company official told state television.

* Too many people will have already died in Somalia by the time a hunger emergency is declared, said Peter Maurer, the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

VNA, Reuters, Xinhua