World News in Brief: June 25

Saturday, 2022-06-25 22:17:46
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The Nepali government on Saturday decided to cut fuel prices substantially amid growing public pressure over rising prices of goods and services.
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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday stressed the importance of reintegrating the food and fertilizer products from Ukraine and Russia into world markets.

* The United States, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the United Kingdom launched an informal group aimed at boosting economic and diplomatic ties with Pacific island nations, the White House said on Friday.

* US President Joe Biden on Saturday signed into law the first major federal gun reform in three decades, days after a decision he condemned by the Supreme Court expanding firearm owners' rights.

* British Prime Minister Boris Johnson vowed on Saturday to lead his Conservative party into the next national election, which could be more than two years away, despite two bruising by-election defeats that have led to renewed calls for him to quit.

* Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko discussed the global fertiliser supply situation at a meeting on Saturday.

* Russia says EU candidacy decision amounted to EU "enslaving" neighbouring countries.

* The International Monetary Fund on Friday slashed its US economic growth forecast as aggressive Federal Reserve interest rate hikes cool demand but predicted that the United States would "narrowly" avoid a recession.

* The United States, France, Germany, Italy and Great Britain urge Libyan political leaders to negotiate constructively to end an impasse and agree on a pathway to elections, a joint statement released by the US State Department said on Friday.

* Iran's indirect talks with the United States on reviving the 2015 nuclear pact will resume soon, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian told a joint news conference with the EU's foreign policy chief in Tehran.

* China will provide humanitarian aid worth 50 million yuan ($7.5 million) to Afghanistan after it was hit by an earthquake that killed more than 1,000 people this week, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Saturday.

* Afghanistan's Taliban administration called on international governments on Saturday to roll back sanctions and lift a freeze on central bank assets following the earthquake that killed more than 1,000 people and left thousands homeless this week.

* Uzbekistan sent 74 tons of humanitarian aid to neighboring Afghanistan following a deadly earthquake and subsequent floods, the Uzbek Foreign Ministry press service said Saturday.

* Denmark will temporarily reduce tax on electricity starting from the fourth quarter of this year as a means of "compensation to citizens for its rising energy prices".

* Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said Friday that the European Union (EU) would hold an extraordinary energy summit if natural gas supplies to the bloc were further threatened.

* Beijing on Saturday said it would allow primary and secondary schools to resume in-person classes and Shanghai's top party boss declared victory over COVID-19 after the city reported zero new local cases for the first time in two months. The two major cities were among several places in China that implemented curbs to stop the spread of the Omicron wave during March to May.

* Death toll climbs to 18 in a stampede as more than 2,000 sub-Saharan migrants tried Friday to breach the border between Morocco and Melilla, a Spanish enclave city in Africa, Moroccan official news agency MAP reported.

* Thirty-three countries have reported 920 probable cases of severe acute hepatitis in children so far, a jump of 270 from May, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.

* More than 3.75 million residents have been affected by heavy downpours and flooding in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, local authorities said on Saturday.

* The International Monetary Fund executive board said Friday it had concluded its fourth and fifth reviews for Ecuador's 27-month Extended Fund Facility (EFF), allowing for the immediate disbursement of about $1 billion.

* Morocco said 18 migrants died trying to cross into Spain's North African enclave of Melilla on Friday, after a violent two-hour skirmish between migrants and border officers that also led to scores of injuries.

* Zimbabwean healthcare workers halted a five-day-old pay strike and returned to work on Saturday, but union leaders warned they would resume the walkout if the government failed to make an improved wage offer within two weeks.