Xinhua World News Roundup at 15:30 GMT, May 3

MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin urged Western countries to stop supplying weapons to Ukraine during a phone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday.

Putin told Macron about Russia’s efforts to evacuate civilians from Mariupol, the Kremlin said in a statement. (Russia-Ukraine-France)

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JERUSALEM – Israel’s military said Tuesday it has imposed a three-day closure on the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip ahead of Memorial Day and the country’s Independence Day.

All crossings between the West Bank, Gaza and Israel were closed at 3:00 p.m. (1200 GMT) on Tuesday, an Israeli military spokesman confirmed to Xinhua. The closure is scheduled to be lifted at midnight between Thursday and Friday (2100 GMT), “subject to the assessment of the situation,” the spokesperson added in a statement. (Israel-Closure-Palestinian Territories)

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SYDNEY — After cutting interest rates to historically low levels during the pandemic, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) raised interest rates by between 0.25 percent and 0.35 percent, the first increase since 2010, in an effort to quell rising inflation.

RBA Governor Philip Lowe said now was “the right time” to withdraw accommodative monetary support designed to help the Australian economy through the pandemic. (Australia-Interest Rate-Rise)

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LOS ANGELES – California’s population shrank for the second year in a row, bringing the Golden State total to 39,185,605 as of January 1, 2022, the local authority announced Monday.

The population of California, which remains the most populous state in the United States, fell slightly by 117,552 last year, according to new population and housing data released by the California Department of Finance. (United States-California-Population)

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