Sri Lankans queue up to buy petrol in the capital Colombo on May 16 – Photo: REUTERS
* New Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe of Sri Lanka said the country had used up every last drop of petrol and urged people not to wait in line to buy fuel.
“We currently have only one day of fuel left. The coming months will be the most difficult for us. We must prepare to make sacrifices and face challenges during this time,” the Reuters news agency quoted Wickremesinghe as saying.
Some diesel and petrol bought on Indian loans are expected to arrive in Sri Lanka in the next few days.
However, Mr Wickremesinghe said the country was still short of 14 key medicines. Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister said USD 75 million was urgently needed to import essential goods.
* The head of European foreign policy, Mr Josep Borrell, said European Union (EU) foreign ministers failed to persuade Hungary to join the Russian oil embargo May 16th.
According to the Reuters news agency, Hungary wants hundreds of millions of dollars in support from the EU to compensate for the freeze on oil imports from Russia. The bloc countries are expected to discuss the issue further at a summit on May 30, which will include a proposal to extend the transition period for Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. The EU sanctions measure will require the consensus of all 27 members of the bloc.
US stocks fluctuate exposed to the risk that the world’s largest economy slips into recession. On May 16, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.08%, while the S&P 500 Index fell 0.39% and the Nasdaq Composite Index fell 1.2%. In Europe, the STOXX 600 index was broadly flat, up 0.04%.
Gold prices edged up 0.3% in the US marketand reached 1,814 USD/ounce. Meanwhile, crude oil prices also rose as the EU discussed banning Russian crude oil imports and the risk of a COVID-19 epidemic in China diminished. The price of oil in the US market rose by USD 3.71 to USD 114.2/barrel, while the price of Brent oil rose by USD 2.69 to USD 114.24/barrel. The price of the virtual currency Bitcoin fell by 5.21% to $29,664/bitcoin, according to Reuters.
Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson announced her decision to join NATO at a press conference on May 16 – Photo: REUTERS
* Government Sweden has officially decided to apply to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). follow in the footsteps of neighboring Finland in the next few days. Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson announced after the security policy debate: “There is a majority (of deputies) in parliament for joining NATO”.
Earlier on May 15, Finland officially announced its intention to join NATO. Finland and Sweden are reportedly preparing to submit an application to join the NATO military alliance this week. On May 16, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Finland and Sweden’s decision to join NATO did not pose a direct threat to Russia, but warned that the expansion of the bloc’s military infrastructure on the territory of the two countries would lead to a reaction from Moscow will force.
In the reaction that followed, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he did not support Finland and Sweden joining NATO, while France, Britain and Canada announced their support for these two Nordic countries.
* Appointed by French President Emmanuel Macron Labor Minister Elisabeth Borne is the country’s new prime minister, the first woman to hold office since 1992..
New French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne waves after her appointment at the handover ceremony in Paris – Photo: REUTERS
In her post-appointment speech, Borne mentioned a number of upcoming political priorities such as trade or climate change. In addition, she also wants to inspire all girls to live their dreams.
Earlier, French Prime Minister Jean Castex handed in his resignation to President Emmanuel Macron. Mr Castex’s move paved the way for a long-awaited cabinet reshuffle by President Macron, who after being re-elected in April 2022 said the new government should be “more centralised” and have fewer ministers.
* More than 260 Ukrainian soldiers, including 53 wounded, were evacuated from the underground area of the Azovstal steel factory complex.According to the Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Ms. Ganna Malyar.
On May 16, 53 seriously wounded soldiers were taken from the last point of resistance in the city of Mariupol to Novoazovsk for medical care, and another 211 soldiers were taken to Olenivka through the humanitarian corridor.
In a video statement broadcast on social media, Malyar said the above two locations are the areas currently controlled by Russian and pro-Russian forces, so they can be considered prisoners and pending changes are handed over.
* 17th of May North Korea says 6 more people have died and 270,000 have ‘fever’ amid the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country. The total number of deaths in this country is 56 as of the evening of May 16, while the total number of fever cases is 1.48 million.
According to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the North Korean military “suddenly dispatched powerful forces to all pharmacies in Pyongyang and began distributing drugs.” Earlier, leader Kim Jong Un urged officials to stabilize drug supplies and mobilize the army to participate in drug stabilization.
Actions against the LGBT community mainly take place in urban areas – Photo: INGRAM
* Complaints of criminal assaults and crimes against LGBT+ people up 28% in France in 2021 compared to the previous year, according to new data published on May 16 by the Ministry of the Interior. LGBT is a community of people with sexual orientations and gender identities that differ from normal sexual orientation and gender identity.
In 2021, a total of 2,170 cases were officially recorded. Compared to 2019 (i.e. before the COVID-19 pandemic), the increase is only 12%. In 5 years (2016-2021), the number of inhuman acts by the LGBT+ community has doubled.