World News in Brief: June 21

Tuesday, 2022-06-21 17:31:50
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Global airlines hit out at governments for what the industry's leading ambassador termed their "shambolic" handling of the COVID-19 crisis, and urged nations to rip up the playbook of widespread border closures for any future pandemics.
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Indonesian President and current chair of the G20 Joko Widodo is due to visit Moscow later this month to hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indonesia's state news agency cited the country's security minister as saying.

* French President Emmanuel Macron rejected Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne's offer to resign in the wake of this weekend's parliament election result, said Macron's Elysee office.

* The Republic of Korea successfully launched its homegrown space rocket on Tuesday, putting multiple satellites into the low-Earth orbit.

* Russia has called on Lithuania to immediately lift its ban on the transit of a large number of goods through its territory to Russia's Kaliningrad region, Russian foreign ministry said Monday. The ministry summoned the Lithuanian charge d'affaires earlier in the day.

* Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said on Tuesday that his country is committed to joining NATO, but must solve its territorial problems with Russia before that. He made the statement while attending an economic conference in Qatar.

* The European Union is insisting on a ceasefire in Ukraine to allow millions of tons of grain to be exported, the EU's foreign policy chief said on Monday.

* The influx of Ukrainians fleeing the Russia-Ukraine conflict could slightly ease the tightness observed in the euro area labor market., according to a monthly report published by the European Central Bank (ECB) on Monday.

* Egypt on Monday welcomed Libyan parties' agreement on the majority of articles of a draft constitution reached in Cairo.

* Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday discussed grain exports from Ukraine's ports over the phone.

* Governor of Australia's central bank, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), Philip Lowe has pushed back against fears that Australia is headed for a recession due to rising inflation and cost of living pressures.

* Germany faces certain recession if already faltering Russian gas supplies completely stop, an industry body warned on Tuesday, as Sweden joined a growing list of European nations rolling out emergency plans to cope with a deepening energy supply crisis.

* Lebanon, Syria and Egypt on Tuesday signed an agreement to transfer 650 million cubic metres of gas per year from Egypt to Lebanon via Syria at a ceremony at the Lebanese energy ministry in Beirut.

* Poland's ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party leader and deputy prime minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski has resigned from his position in government, PAP news agency said on Tuesday.

* The Republic of Korea's headline inflation is expected to hit a 14-year high this year on growing inflationary pressures both from the demand and the supply sides, a central bank report said Tuesday.

* The Baltic states on Tuesday asked for more financial support from the EU to handle Ukrainian refugees, the Lithuanian president's office said. * Uganda's coffee exports fell by 7.8% in May from a year earlier, hurt by a drought that squeezed yields in some parts of the country, a report by a state-run industry regulator showed.

* Britain's biggest rail strike in 30 years kicked off on Tuesday as tens of thousands of staff walked out in a dispute over pay and jobs that could pave the way for widespread industrial action across the economy in coming months.

* Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani said on Tuesday the country's economy is expected to grow 4.9% this year due to high oil prices.

* Egypt's central bank will raise its overnight deposit rate by 50 basis points (bps) on Thursday as it seeks to dampen surging inflation, a Reuters poll forecast.

* An estimated 80,000 people marched through the capital of Belgium on Monday in a national demonstration against the cost-of-living crisis and the loss of purchasing power, the organizer FGTB (General Labor Federation of Belgium) said.

* The number of refugees living in Germany reached 3.3 million in 2021, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) said on Monday on the occasion of World Refugee Day.

* UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday welcomed the peaceful holding of presidential elections in Colombia.

* The President of Italy's Lazio region said Monday he will shortly declare a state of emergency to a lack of rainfall. This makes Lazio, the seat of the Italian capital, the southernmost region in the country to take the step during a prolonged drought.

* Floodwaters inundated more of Bangladesh and northeast India on Tuesday, officials said, as authorities struggled to reach more than 9.5 million people stranded with little food and drinking water after days of intense rain.

* Turkey's government has submitted a proposal to parliament for a supplementary budget of some 1 trillion lira ($57.74 billion) to cover rising costs of tackling a currency slide, soaring energy prices and rampant inflation, the state-run Anadolu news agency said on Monday.

* Jihadists killed 132 civilians in multiple attacks on villages in central Mali over the weekend, the government said on Monday, in the latest major incident in a worsening security situation.

* The Port of Piraeus in Greece on Monday welcomed the first passenger ferry on the newly inaugurated line between Cyprus and Greece. The route last operated 21 years ago, the Greek national news agency AMNA reported.

* Canada will spend 3.8 billion USD over six years to modernize its continental defense as part of its alliance with the United States through the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and "to protect Canadians from new and emerging threats," Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand announced on Monday.

* The United States is expected to start COVID-19 vaccination this week for children as young as 6 months old.

* The Iraqi Health Ministry on Monday declared a new wave of COVID-19 infections in the country, with 515 new cases reported in the past 24 hours.

* Japan forecast a slight change in sea level on Tuesday after a magnitude 6 earthquake struck the Bonin Islands, far to the southeast of the country's main islands. The quake was at a depth of 40 km (25 miles), the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre said.