World News in Brief: September 23

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday called for international efforts to de-escalate the conflict in Ukraine.
Initial jobless claims in the United States last week rose for the first week after dropping for five straight weeks, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
Initial jobless claims in the United States last week rose for the first week after dropping for five straight weeks, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

* Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Thursday said China is ready to work with Japan to upgrade the all-round, wide-ranging and multi-level cooperation, noting that China welcomes the Japanese business community to continue seizing development opportunities and actively expand its presence in the Chinese market to achieve win-win results.

* Armenia and Azerbaijan accused each other opening fire overnight on Friday, breaking a fragile ceasefire agreement that had brought the worst fighting between the two ex-Soviet countries since 2020 to a close last week.

* Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman spoke on Thursday and praised efforts within the OPEC+ framework, confirming their intention to stick to existing agreements, the Kremlin said.

* Ukraine and Russia have carried out their largest prisoner exchange since the start of the conflict, in which 215 Ukrainians, including 124 officers, were released by Russia, the Coordinating Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War said Thursday.

* The Russian Foreign Ministry announced on Thursday that an additional 87 Canadian citizens have been indefinitely barred from entering the country in response to Ottawa's anti-Russian sanctions.

* Israel and the United States concluded Thursday a joint navy drill in the Red Sea to exercise the use of artificial intelligence during naval combat, Israel's military said in a statement.

* Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid pledged support for the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during his Thursday address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

* Yemeni President Rashad Mohammed Al-Alimi on Thursday told the general debate of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly that terrorist groups "remain a danger" in the country.

* Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness on Thursday stressed the need for climate action to ensure the survival of small island developing states.

* The Republic of Korea's intellectual property surplus hit a new record high in the first half of this year due to a lower deficit in industrial property rights, central bank data showed Friday.

* Britain's new economic agenda of tax cuts and high spending do not represent a gamble because improved economic growth will pay for it, cabinet minister Simon Clarke said ahead of a major fiscal announcement on Friday.

* The Swiss government on Friday approved plans for the construction of a temporary reserve power plant in Birr, which is due to be ready for operation in February next year.

* The New Zealand government announced Friday funding for projects that will cut plastic waste and reduce its impact on the environment.

* French President Emmanuel Macron inaugurated on Thursday the country's first offshore wind farm and called for a "massive acceleration" of renewable energy projects.

* Danish lawmakers on Friday agreed an economic aid package worth 5.05 billion Danish crowns ($664 million) to soften the blow from rocketing energy prices, going against a warning from the central bank.

* Cypriot economy is projected to grow by 5.5 percent this year despite adverse international economic conditions, the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) said here on Thursday.

* The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday warned again against complacency in fighting COVID-19, urging for coordinated action and political commitments to save lives and prevent economic and health damage from the ongoing pandemic.

* Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio said on Thursday his country will ease COVID-19 border control requirements next month, a key step in fostering a recovery in Japan's tourism sector, which is eager to take advantage of the yen's slide to a 24-year low.

* Twenty-three foreign visitors landed in Bhutan on Friday, the first to arrive as the Himalayan kingdom reopened its borders after more than two years following the COVID-19 pandemic, with officials looking to tourism to help revive the local economy.

* Syrian authorities have recovered the bodies of at least 61 people who were aboard a migrant boat that sank off the Syrian coast after sailing from Lebanon earlier this week, Lebanese transport minister Ali Hamiye said on Friday.

* Cambodian rescue teams searched on Friday for 23 Chinese nationals missing after their boat sank near islands off a coastal town popular with tourists and gamblers.

* Italy's population shrank below 60 million for the first time in years last year, and there is no indication of a rebound in the foreseeable future, Italy's National Statistics Institute (ISTAT) has said.

* Croatia's population has decreased by 413,056 persons or 9.64 percent over the past decade, the final results of the country's 2021 census showed on Thursday.

* At least 20 people were killed in monsoon rain-triggered flash floods during the last 24 hours in Pakistan, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said.

* Authorities in a suburb of the Indian capital where many companies have offices and executives have their homes, ordered schools to close and urged residents to work from home on Friday after heavy rain brought widespread flooding.

* Australian states of Queensland and New South Wales (NSW) have seen flash floods with severe weather warnings issued on Thursday, with emergency services conducting multiple rescues.

VNA, Reuters, Xinhua