World News in Brief: June 9

New coronavirus cases had their biggest daily increase ever as the pandemic worsens globally and has yet to peak in central America, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday (June 8), urging countries to press on with efforts to contains the virus. More than 136,000 new cases were reported worldwide on June 7, the most in a single day so far. Nearly 75% of them were reported from 10 countries, mostly in the Americas and South Asia.

People stand in front of a shop amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil June 2, 2020. (File photo: Reuters)
People stand in front of a shop amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil June 2, 2020. (File photo: Reuters)

* The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday reported 1,938,823 cases of the new coronavirus, an increase of 17,919 cases from its previous count, and said that the number of deaths had risen by 474 to 110,375.

* Brazil reported 679 new COVID-19 deaths and 15,654 additional confirmed cases on Monday. The numbers the government issued on Monday were the same as those reported earlier by the National Council of Health Secretaries (Conass), which brings together the heads of Brazil's state health departments but is separate from the federal health ministry. According to Conass, Brazil's death toll now stands at 37,134, the world's third highest after the United States and Britain. There were 707,412 confirmed cases as of Monday, the second highest level after the United States.

* The Mexican government reported 2,999 new coronavirus cases on Monday, bringing total confirmed infections to 120,102, according to data from the health ministry. The country's official coronavirus death toll rose to 14,053, up from 13,699 on Sunday.

* Russia reported 8,595 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Tuesday (June 9), bringing the number of infections nationwide to 485,253. The authorities said that 171 people had died from the virus in the last 24 hours, pushing the total death toll to 6,142.

* The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 252 to 184,193, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Tuesday. The reported death toll rose by 16 to 8,674, the tally showed.

* Thailand on Tuesday reported two new coronavirus cases and no new deaths, bringing its total to 3,121 confirmed cases, of which 58 were fatalities. Thailand has recorded no new local transmissions for 15 days in a row, while 2,973 patients have recovered.

* An earthquake with a 6.0 magnitude struck south of Buru Island in the Moluccas Islands province in eastern Indonesia, the country's meteorology, climatology and geophysical agency (BMKG) said on Tuesday. The quake, which had a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), was not expected to trigger a tsunami, the agency added in a bulletin posted on Twitter.

* The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea said on Tuesday it will sever inter-Korean hotlines with Republic of Korea as the first step toward completely shutting down all means of contact with Seoul, state news agency KCNA reported.

* China said on Tuesday it hopes the two Koreas will cooperate through dialogue, amid renewed tensions after Pyongyang said it will cut hotlines with Seoul. Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying made the remarks during a daily briefing.

* US President Donald Trump plans to start holding campaign rallies again in the next two weeks, a Trump campaign official said on Monday, ending a three-month hiatus brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

* Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed the situation in conflict-wracked Libya with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the German governemnt said in a statement on Monday. Merkel told Sisi that United Nations-backed negotiations must remain the key aim of a peace process in Libya, where the internationally-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) is fighting General Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army in the east.

* The United States and Russia have agreed on a time and place for nuclear arms negotiations in June and invited China, US Special Envoy for Arms Control Marshall Billingslea wrote on Twitter on Monday.

* France launched what it said was a EUR15 billion (US$17 billion) rescue plan for its aerospace industry on Tuesday, warning 100,000 jobs were directly at stake due to the coronavirus crisis travel slump. France will also invest 1.5 billion euros over three years to support research into new environmentally friendly aviation technology, of which 300 million will be available this year.

* Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said he discussed the conflict in Libya with US President Donald Trump in a phone call on Monday and that the two leaders agreed on "some issues" related to developments there.

* Venezuela's government said on Monday that a flight carrying humanitarian aid for the COVID-19 epidemic had arrived from Iran, which has become a crucial ally to the South American nation amid US sanctions. Washington has created a broad sanctions program against the government of President Nicolas Maduro in efforts to force him from power. That has led Maduro to expand an alliance with Iran, which recently supplied gasoline to Venezuela.

* Switzerland's lower house of parliament gave a preliminary green light on Monday to contact tracing app SwissCovid, which should roll out this month to help contain the coronavirus pandemic. The upper chamber of parliament already approved the app last week, meaning it is likely to pass final formal votes in both chambers next week, allowing the government to adopt a decree implementing the scheme.

* Abu Dhabi will extend by one week a ban on movement in and out of the emirate and between its major cities introduced on June 2, the local government media office said on Monday. The ban applies to all residents of Abu Dhabi, the largest member of the United Arab Emirates federation, with exceptions made for those working in vital sectors.

* Honduras on Monday began gradually reopening its economy after almost three months of paralysis during the coronavirus pandemic, even as some doctors warned the healthcare system may be overloaded. The Central American nation imposed a nationwide curfew in mid-March, closing shops, industries and public offices. So far Honduras has registered 258 deaths caused by virus.

* Slovenia has opened its borders to citizens of 14 states, including Germany and Switzerland, who can now travel to and from Slovenia without any coronavirus restrictions, the government said on its website on Monday. The other countries are Greece, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Slovakia and Liechtenstein.

* Sudan has called for the resumption of talks with Egypt and Ethiopia on the giant Blue Nile hydropower dam after the failure of a U.S-led mediation effort earlier this year. The three countries have been at odds over the filling and operation of the US$4 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), under construction near Ethiopia's border with Sudan on the Blue Nile, which flows into the Nile river.

* Turkish authorities have ordered the detention of 191 military personnel over suspected links to the network Ankara says orchestrated a failed coup in 2016, state-owned Anadolu news agency reported on Tuesday. Authorities have carried out a sustained crackdown on alleged followers of US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen since the failed coup in July 2016, when 250 people were killed.