In Brief: S. Korea plans stimulus, cuts growth forecast

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (right) meets Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness at Hillsborough Castle in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Britain, on June 27, 2016.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (right) meets Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness at Hillsborough Castle in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Britain, on June 27, 2016. PHOTO: EPA

S. Korea plans stimulus, cuts growth forecast

SEOUL • South Korea yesterday announced an economic stimulus package of 20 trillion won (S$23.2 billion) as it cut its 2016 growth forecast due to slowing global demand and the fallout from Britain's shock decision to leave the European Union.

The Finance Ministry revised its growth target for the year to 2.8 per cent from 3.1 per cent, and said it would provide a supplementary budget of 10 trillion won to create jobs and cushion the impact of ongoing state-run corporate restructuring on ailing industries.

Another 10 trillion won will be provided by public funds and investments from state-owned institutions, the ministry said.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


I'm still alive, says the Queen

LONDON • "I'm still alive," quipped the British monarch, Queen Elizabeth, on Monday when asked about her health, in her first round of public engagements since Britain voted to leave the European Union.

The dry remark came during a meeting with Mr Martin McGuinness, a former Irish Republican Army paramilitary soldier who now serves as Deputy First Minister of the British-ruled province, during the Queen's two-day trip to Northern Ireland.

"Hello, are you well?" Mr McGuinness asked as he extended his hand in greeting to the monarch in a televised meeting.

"I'm still alive anyway. Ha," Queen Elizabeth laughed, shaking his hand. "We've been quite busy. There's been quite a lot going on."'

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Rush to apply for Irish passports

LONDON • Britain's vote to leave the European Union (EU) has triggered a surge in applications for Irish passports, which would allow their holders to remain EU citizens, officials say.

A spokesman for the United Kingdom Post Office, which handles passport applications, said: "We have seen an unusually high number of people in Northern Ireland seeking Irish passport applications, though we do not have exact numbers or a breakdown by branch."

Google searches for the words "Irish passport" spiked as soon as the Brexit result began to emerge in the early hours following the vote, according to data from Google Trends.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 29, 2016, with the headline 'In Brief'. Print Edition | Subscribe