APD | Weekly top 10 hot news (Apr.2- Apr.8)



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 |Ukraine calls for even stronger sanctions on Russia


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has pleaded for sanctions that are economically destructive enough for Moscow to end its "military operation" after accusing some countries of still prioritizing money over punishment for war crimes he accuses Russia of committing.

Countries supporting Ukraine must reject Russian oil and completely block Russian banks from the international finance system, Zelenskyy said in his daily video address early on Thursday.

After grisly images of dead civilians in the streets of Bucha sparked international condemnation, Zelenskyy said Russian forces were trying to cover up evidence of atrocities.

Top 2 |China to take strong measures if Pelosi visits Taiwan region


China would take strong measures if U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited China's Taiwan region, said the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Thursday.

China firmly opposed all forms of official interactions between the United States and Taiwan region, ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told reporters in Beijing.

Top 3 |Wang Yi: China-Canada ties suffer 'serious setback' due to Meng Wanzhou case


Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his Canadian counterpart Melanie Joly in a phone conversation on Tuesday that the relations between the two countries have suffered a "serious setback" due to the Meng Wanzhou case.

The essence of this case lies in the U.S. suppression of Chinese high-tech enterprises, Wang said, adding that no country should act as a facilitator of such unilateral bullying and all countries have the right to make necessary responses.

Wang also retraced long-term friendly exchanges the peoples of China and Canada enjoyed, noting that Canada is one of the first Western countries to establish diplomatic ties with the People's Republic of China.

Top 4 | Putin signs decree with visa restrictions against 'unfriendly countries'


Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday signed a decree with visa restrictions against "unfriendly countries" in response to sanctions over Ukraine.

The decree, which comes into force on Monday, suspends Russia's simplified visa process with some EU countries as well as Norway, Switzerland, Denmark and Iceland.

Moscow introduced an "unfriendly" list of countries and regions in early March.

In another blow to the 'unfriendly' countries, Russia has previously required them to open Russian bank accounts to pay for its gas, which has prompted swift protests from some countries.

Top 5 | Israel-China free trade deal to be accelerated after foreign ministers call


China and Israel have agreed to accelerate negotiations on a free-trade deal following a phone call between the Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Israeli alternate Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, on Wednesday.

During their conversation, Lapid said Israel and China are two ancient nations that have created great civilizations, and now both are committed to accelerating the modernization process and have strong innovative capacity, adding that the two sides understand and appreciate each other.

Noting that the Israeli side regards China as a friend and has always adhered to the one-China principle since the establishment of bilateral diplomatic ties, Lapid said the position has never changed a

Top 6 | Chinese FM holds talks with Philippine counterpart on bilateral ties


Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks on Sunday with visiting Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin in Tunxi, east China's Anhui Province.

Wang said China always takes the Philippines as a priority in its neighborhood diplomacy, and China's good-neighborly and friendly policy toward the Philippines has maintained continuity and stability.

The two sides should remove disturbances, calmly and properly manage differences and not let them affect the overall situation of China-Philippines relations, Wang said.

Top 7 | Pakistani PM protests to U.S. embassy over alleged interference


Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan said his government on Friday handed an official note to the U.S. embassy in Islamabad to protest over Washington's interference in the country's affairs.

Khan, who is faced with a tight no-confidence vote that could see him ousted after defections from his ruling coalition, had said on Thursday that a "foreign country" was conspiring against him.

In a nationally televised address on Thursday, Khan said a Western country had been unhappy about his Moscow visit. He reportedly mentioned the United States before correcting it to "a foreign country."

Top 8 | Oil price falls most in 2 years after oil stockpile release


Oil price settled lower on Friday as members of the International Energy Agency (IEA) agreed to join in the largest-ever U.S. oil reserves release.

Both Brent and U.S. crude benchmarks settled down around 13 percent in their biggest weekly falls in two years after U.S. President Joe Biden announced the release on Thursday.

Brent crude futures were down 32 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $104.39 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell $1.01, or 1 percent, at $99.27.

Biden announced a release of 1 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil for six months from May, which at 180 million barrels is the largest release ever from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).

Top 9 | Yemen's president sacks deputy, delegates presidential powers to council


Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has issued a decree sacking his deputy Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, local media reported on Thursday.

The president also delegated his own powers to a presidential council that will carry out leadership duties.

The new body will assume the duties of both the president and his deputy, said the announcement issued in the name of Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

The new council will carry out political, military and security duties for the Yemeni government during what it refers to as a "transitional period."

Top 10 | Hungary breaks ranks with EU by offering to purchase Russian energy in rubles


Hungary said it could pay rubles for Russian gas, breaking ranks with the European Union which has sought a united front in opposing Moscow's demand for payment in the currency.

Budapest will pay for shipments in rubles if Russia asks it to, Prime Minister Viktor Orban told a news conference on Wednesday. Despite backing Eu sanctions against Vladimir Putin's government Orban wanred sanctions on oil and gas were a "red line" that Hungary won't cross.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned Europe it risks having gas supplies cut unless it pays in rubles as he seeks retaliation over Western sanctions.

With weeks to go before bills are due, the European Commission has said that those with contracts requiring payment in euros or dollars should stick to that.