Weekly top 10 hot news (Oct 08- Oct 14)



Every weekend, Asia Pacific Daily will provide you with a run-down of the latest hot news.

This week, the following hot news you should know:

Top 1 | IMF urges policymakers to keep tight fiscal stance to fight inflation

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday urged policymakers to prioritize protecting the vulnerable through targeted support, while keeping a tight fiscal stance to help fight inflation.

Policymakers must protect low-income families from large real income losses and ensure their access to food and energy, the blog noted.

Higher prices threaten people's standard of living everywhere, prompting governments to introduce various fiscal measures, including price subsidies, tax cuts, and cash transfers, the median fiscal cost of which is estimated to account for 0.6 percent of national gross domestic product.

Top 2 | More missiles hit Ukraine, Zelenskyy to ask G7 for aid

Ukrainian officials reported more strikes on Tuesday, including one on the southeastern town of Zaporizhzhia that killed at least one person, a day after Russia's missile strikes on Kyiv and other regions.

The State Emergency Service of Ukraine said 19 people died and 105 people were wounded in Monday's missile strikes. Around 300 settlements in the regions of Kyiv, Lviv, Sumy, Ternopil and Khmelnytsky remained without electricity on Tuesday morning, according to Ukrainian First Deputy Interior Minister Yevhen Yenin.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is expected to attend an emergency G7 meeting on Tuesday to push the case for more military assistance, especially for more air defense systems in light of this week's missile and drone strikes, BBC reported.

Top 3 | Four African countries among 14 elected to Human Rights Council

Four African countries were on Tuesday elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council for the period 2023-2025 during a vote at the 77th United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.

The four – Algeria, Morocco, South Africa and Sudan – were among 14 countries elected to the Council.

Other countries elected include Bangladesh, Belgium, Chile, Costa Rica, Georgia, Germany, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Romania, and Vietnam.

The Human Rights Council consists of 47 UN member states elected directly and individually by secret ballot by the majority of the members of the General Assembly.

Top 4 | Thai PM orders tighter gun control, drugs crackdown after mass killing

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha on Monday ordered law enforcement agencies to tighten gun ownership rules and crack down on drug use following a mass killing by an ex-policeman at a daycare center that has left the nation in shock.

A total of 36 people including 24 children were killed in a knife and gun rampage last week by an ex-cop who later killed himself in Uthai Sawan, a town 500 kilometers northeast of Bangkok. It was one of the worst child death tolls in a massacre by a single killer in recent history.

Prayuth has instructed authorities to proactively search and test for the use of illicit drugs among officials and communities, and step up treatment for addicts, government spokesperson Anucha Burapachaisri said in a statement.

Top 5 | Sweden rejects Russian demand to share Nord Stream leaks probe findings

Sweden will not share the findings of the crime scene investigation with Russia following the blasts that damaged the Nord Stream gas pipes two weeks ago, Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said on Monday, citing confidentiality.

Last week, the Coast Guard cordoned off an area surrounding two of the leaks for a crime scene investigation and the Navy dispatched at least one vessel capable of conducting underwater probes.

The four leaks – two in Sweden's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and two in the Denmark's EEZ – had occurred within a short distance from each other and within a short time, sparking suspicions of sabotage.

Top 6 | Austrian president secures re-election with clear win, avoiding runoff

Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen secured a second six-year term in office on Sunday by winning a clear majority of votes in an election to avoid a runoff, according to projections based on almost all votes cast except postal ballots.

The 78-year-old former leader of the Greens has garnered broad popularity by projecting calm during times of national crisis, including the collapse of the government in 2019 and the resignation of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz a year ago over corruption allegations that Kurz denies.

The far-right Freedom Party (FPO) was the only party in parliament to field a candidate against Van der Bellen, who won a much tighter race against an FPO opponent in 2016. Grandees from all other parties in parliament backed the president.

Top 7 | PLA Navy hospital ship completes first medical mission in South China Sea

A Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy hospital ship recently completed its first medical mission after its medical crew treated thousands of officers and soldiers stationed on 13 Xisha and Nansha islands and reefs in the South China Sea.

Named Youhao, which means "friendship" in English, the hospital ship returned to Zhanjiang Port in south China's Guangdong Province after completing an 18-day voyage covering 4,000 nautical miles.

The 40-member medical team, comprising experts from the First Naval Hospital of the Southern Theater Command, provided medical services to more than 5,000 people and carried out more than 60 surgeries during the mission.

Top 8 | Putin says Ukraine planned Crimean Bridge explosion, no response from Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday that the explosion on the Crimean Bridge on Saturday was an "act of terrorism," according to a statement from the Kremlin.

Putin accused Ukraine of orchestrating the explosion, saying during a meeting with Alexander Bastrykin, chairman of the Investigative Committee of Russia, that Ukraine's special services were the "initiators, performers and masterminds."

Bastrykin said Federal Security Service field agents helped to identify suspects, including those active within the Russian Federation. He added that Ukraine's special services and citizens of Russia and foreign countries assisted in the attack.

Top 9 | EU leaders reaffirm support for Ukraine, squabble over gas price cap

European Union leaders on Friday agreed to give more financial and military aid to Ukraine, but a full day of talks in Prague's ornate royal castle seemed to bring them no closer to deciding on whether or how to cap gas prices.

Most of the EU's 27 countries want a cap on gas prices, but disagree on the details, with options including a cap on all gas, a "dynamic corridor", a price ceiling on gas used for power generation specifically or on Russian gas only.

The EU has been discussing the matter for weeks, so far without result, although the 27 have agreed other joint steps to help them weather an acute energy crunch as runaway prices threaten to bring about a recession in the bloc.

Top 10 | France's Emmanuel Macron to up Ukraine weapons deliveries after public criticism

French President Emmanuel Macron has announced that he will step up arms supplies to Ukraine in the wake of criticism that Paris wasn't doing enough to help the war effort since Russia's launched its attack on its neighbor eight months ago.

That pledge came on Thursday from Prague, as Macron attended a summit made up of 44 state leaders for the inaugural meeting of the European Political Community.

World leaders in attendance discussed ways of moving forward while providing support to Kyiv in a unified position.