World News in Brief: May 13

Friday, 2022-05-13 22:31:28
 Font Size:     |        Print

Malaysia reported 3,410 new COVID-19 infections as of midnight Thursday, bringing the national total to 4,470,471, according to the Health Ministry.
 Font Size:     |  

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on Thursday revised down its forecasts for this year's global economic growth and oil demand, citing COVID-19-induced restrictions and geopolitical tensions.

* Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday discussed Finland's and Sweden's potential NATO membership with his Security Council, the RIA news agency reported.

* The Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday that Finland's possible accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) would force Moscow to take "military-technical" retaliatory measures.

* A Chinese envoy said Thursday that achieving peace is the best protection for children in Ukraine.

* President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday it was not possible for NATO-member Turkey to support plans by Sweden and Finland to join the pact given that the Nordic countries were "home to many terrorist organisations".

* US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin held a call with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Friday in which he called for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine and stressed the importance of maintaining lines of communication, the Pentagon said.

* Local elections were held on Friday in Nepal largely peacefully, despite clashes and tension at some polling stations. More than 17 million voters were eligible to cast their votes in the polls held to elect 35,221 representatives to 753 local units from some 145,000 candidates.

* China's central bank on Friday said that it would leverage various monetary tools to keep liquidity at an ample level while ensuring stable credit growth.

* Bank of Japan Governor Kuroda Haruhiko reiterated on Friday the bank's resolve to keep monetary policy ultra-loose to support an economy that has yet to emerge from the pain inflicted by the pandemic.

* Calling stable prices the "bedrock" of the economy, US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank's battle to control inflation would "include some pain" as the impact of higher interest rates is felt, but that the worse outcome would be for prices to continue speeding ahead.

* Malaysia's economic growth picked up pace in the first quarter on recovering demand and a stronger labour market as the global economy rebounds from the pandemic, the central bank said.

* Sri Lanka's stock market gained on Friday following the appointment of United National Party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe as the country's new prime minister on Thursday.

* Germany is planning to provide an additional 430 million euros (446.5 million USD) in aid to fight world hunger, the Development Ministry said on Friday, confirming an earlier report by Spiegel magazine.

* The average prices of goods and services in Ireland, as measured by consumer price index (CPI), were 7 percent higher in April when compared with a year ago, said the country's Central Statistics Office (CSO) on Thursday.

* The Libyan security arrested 300 illegal migrants in the western cities of Zuwara and Surman, a security official said Friday.

* The World Health Organization said COVID-19 deaths have exceeded the 2 million mark for countries in the WHO European Region.

* China’s Shanghai is aiming to reach zero-COVID at the community level in the next few days and will then start to steadily ease traffic restrictions and open shops, the city's deputy mayor Wu Qing said.

* The United States is still in a pandemic state and continues to reckon with an ever-evolving coronavirus despite making strides over the past two years, White House COVID-19 response coordinator Ashish Jha said.

* Indonesia has been monitoring the increase in COVID-19 cases after this year's Eid al-Fitr holiday, when a massive exodus occurred.

* Mongolian President Ukhnaa Khurelsukh on Friday called for efforts to ensure national food supply and security as the country's food production and supply becomes more vulnerable due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

* The number of COVID-19 recoveries in Bulgaria has exceeded 1 million amid a steady decline in the spread of the disease, the country's Health Ministry said on Friday.