World News in Brief: August 10

More work needs to be done to reset relations between Canberra and Beijing, China's ambassador to Australia said on Wednesday, adding that the two nations had not yet reached the stage of resolving political and trade disputes.

The European Medicines Agency has started a rolling review of a variant-adapted vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech.
The European Medicines Agency has started a rolling review of a variant-adapted vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech.

* Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio reshuffled his cabinet and the executive lineup of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) on Wednesday as the administration faces slipping public support.

* Venezuela will seek to reestablish its military ties with neighbor Colombia, the country's defense minister said on Tuesday, after years of conflictive relations between the two nations.

* The Ukrainian government on Tuesday signed an agreement with the World Bank to receive 4.5 billion USD in grant funds from the United States, said the Ukrainian Finance Ministry.

* Botswanan President Mokgweetsi Masisi on Tuesday called for a peaceful solution to the Ukraine-Russia conflict.

* Chinese state councilor Wang Yong has stressed efforts to step up flood control and ensure workplace safety during the flood season.

* Thailand's central bank announced on Wednesday to raise the key policy rate by 0.25 percentage point, its first rate hike since late 2018, to contain the rising inflation.

* Malaysia, the world's second-largest palm oil producer, saw its July palm oil stocks rise 7.71 percent from the previous month to 1.77 million tonnes, official data showed Wednesday.

* Asian shares fell and the dollar steadied on Wednesday as investors waited for a key U.S. report on inflation to provide hints to the Federal Reserve's plans for future monetary tightening.

* Residence permits issued for the first time in the European Union climbed close to pre-pandemic levels last year, with Poland leading the bloc due mostly to work-related immigration while France largely attracted students, the bloc's statistics office said on Tuesday.

* Twelve ships carrying more than 370,000 tonnes of agricultural products to seven countries left Ukrainian ports during the nine days since the "grain corridor" started operating, the Ukrainian government-run Ukrinform news agency on Tuesday cited a Facebook post of the Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority as saying.

* Oil flows to central Europe via the Druzhba pipeline can resume within days as Hungarian energy group MOL MOLB.BU has transferred the transit fee for the use of the Ukrainian section of the pipeline, MOL said on Wednesday.

* The number of farms in Italy diminished by nearly a third in the decade ending in 2020, the Italian government's statistics office (ISTAT) reported Tuesday. However, farms grew dramatically in size and efficiency over the same time span.

* Hungary's annual inflation reached 13.7 percent in July, a level unseen since 1998, and up from 11.7 percent in June, the country's Central Statistical Office (KSH) said on Tuesday.

* Ukraine's grain, oilseed, vegetable oil exports rose 22.7% in July versus June to 2.66 million tonnes thanks to higher wheat and barley shipments, the agriculture ministry said on Wednesday.

* Iran plans to launch a carrier rocket capable of putting a satellite weighing up to 100 kg into orbit in a few weeks, semi-official Tasnim news agency reported on Wednesday.

* India will remove the fare caps it imposed on domestic airlines in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic from Aug. 31, the country's civil aviation ministry said on Wednesday, lifting restrictions on ticket prices.

* British workers are spending more time working from home compared with pre-pandemic times despite the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, according to official data released on Tuesday that offered a glimpse of what the 'new normal' looks like.

* Egypt's annual urban consumer inflation accelerated to a higher-than expected 13.6% year-on-year in July from 13.2% in June, data from the country's statistics agency CAPMAS showed on Wednesday.

* Romania has finished reaping its wheat crop for the year, and the harvest is 15% to 18% smaller than in 2021, Agriculture Minister Petre Daea said on Wednesday.

* Ghana's consumer inflation accelerated to 31.7% annually in July from 29.8% in June, its highest since late 2003, data showed on Wednesday, as the government's top statistician warned that it was not possible to say whether prices had peaked.

* Japan's population totaled 125.93 million as of Jan. 1, representing the largest drop in the overall number and by percentage since comparable data were recorded in 1950, according to government statistics.

* Dozens of people remained missing while 29 others were rescued after a boat carrying refugees and migrants sank off the island of Rhodes in the Aegean Sea during the night, Greece's coast guard said on Wednesday.

* Nine people have been confirmed dead and seven others went missing as the Republic of Korea's capital Seoul and its surrounding areas were battered by heavy rainfall that started on Monday, Yonhap news agency reported Wednesday citing the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters.

* China’s Shanghai reported zero new domestically transmitted coronavirus cases for Aug. 9, the same as a day earlier, the city government said on Wednesday.

* India recorded 16,047 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday morning, taking the total tally to 44,190,697, according to data from the country's health ministry.

* Authorities of the Australian state of Victoria have announced that free masks will be handed out to the community to curb the COVID-19 transmission.

* The persistent threat posed by the Islamic State (IS), also known as Da'esh, calls for non-military measures to counter terrorism, the United Nations counter-terrorism chief said on Tuesday.

* Terrorist attack on a military escort mission left 15 soldiers dead Tuesday in northern Burkina Faso, the army said in a statement.

* Wildfires were still rampaging across southeastern France on Tuesday, with several firefighters injured and thousands of residents evacuated.

* New data published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report and gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that 99 percent of monkeypox cases in the United States are in males.