World News in Brief: September 24

Cuba was elected Friday to chair the Group of 77 (G77) and China in 2023 at a meeting on the sidelines of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday called for efforts to close three major gaps to end the COVID-19 pandemic
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday called for efforts to close three major gaps to end the COVID-19 pandemic

* The COVID-19 pandemic and an unequal recovery have cost the world three years of development progress, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Friday at the 46th Annual Meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Group of 77 and China.

* The leaders of the United States, United Kingdom and Australia said in a statement on Friday marking the one-year anniversary of the AUKUS security pact that they have made "significant progress" towards Australia acquiring a nuclear-powered submarine.

* Young activists rallied for climate action on Friday, staging protests from New Zealand and Japan to Germany and the Democratic Republic of Congo to demand that rich countries pay for the damage global warming is inflicting upon the poor.

* Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Republic of Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol on Friday agreed to deepen cooperation on critical minerals used in electric vehicles (EVs) batteries as both countries seek to cut emissions to fight climate change.

* US President Joe Biden on Friday directed his economic team to press the energy industry to ensure the drop in global oil prices is passed along to consumers buying gasoline, the White House said.

* Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met on Friday with US Senior Advisor for Energy Security Amos Hochstein and the White House National Security Council's Middle East policy coordinator Brett McGurk in Jeddah, the Saudi state news agency SPA reported.

* Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis accused Turkey's leadership of undermining peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean region at time of war but assured Turkish people that Greece is not a threat to their country.

* Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanani on Saturday expressed regret for the decision of the Ukrainian government to downgrade diplomatic relations with the Islamic republic.

* Nayef bin Falah Al-Hajraf, Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), has reaffirmed the GCC's support for Yemen's Presidential Leadership Council (PLC) and the internationally-recognized government, the national Yemen TV reported Saturday.

* China's installed capacity of renewable energy notched up rapid growth in the first eight months of the year amid the country's pursuit of green development.

* The United Kingdom's (UK) business activity fell in September at the fastest rate since January 2021, as cost pressures remain high and demand wanes, a survey showed Friday.

* About 86 percent of New Zealanders are overconfident with their money, according to New Zealand Financial Services Council's (FSC's) latest research report "Financial resilience trends in New Zealand: Overconfidence and a perfect (savings) storm."

* Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on Friday that his country has attracted 11 billion USD from its partners via the World Bank (WB) since the start of the military conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

* Iraq still needs international support in reconstruction and to tackle the adverse effects of climate change, said Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi on Friday.

* Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Friday that Israel has decided not to be a partner of Palestine in the peace process and that it will be treated as such.

* Tanzania's central bank will reduce liquidity in the economy in September and October to slow rising inflation in the east African country, a statement from the bank's monetary policy committee (MPC) published on Saturday said.

* Forty-eight people have been shot dead so far in Sweden this year, making 2022 the deadliest year the country has seen since 2016, the Swedish Police Authority said on Friday. The previous annual record was set in 2020, when 47 people died of gun-related injuries.

* The death toll from a migrant boat that sank off the Syrian coast after sailing from Lebanon earlier this week has risen to 86, Syrian state TV said on Saturday.

* India's daily COVID-19 caseload Saturday fell to 4,912, officials said. According to federal health ministry data released on Saturday morning, 4,912 new cases of COVID-19 were reported during the past 24 hours, taking the total tally to 44,563,337 in the country.

* Russia has registered 51,269 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, taking the nationwide tally to 20,746,163, the official monitoring and response center said Saturday.

* A 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck off Indonesia's western province of Aceh on Saturday morning, but did not leave casualties or damages, an agency and an official said. The country's meteorology and geophysics agency did not issue a tsunami warning.

* Pakistan's Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Friday called for international support to deal with the consequences of a flooding crisis, the likes of which his country has never experienced.

* A typhoon lashed central Japan on Saturday with torrential rain and fierce winds, killing two and leaving tens of thousands of households without power, the Kyodo news agency reported.

VNA, Reuters, Xinhua