World News in Brief: March 1

High-level talks between Kyiv and Moscow on Monday ended with no agreement except to keep talking, but Asian markets stabilised on signs of no immediate escalation of sanctions.

Mainland China reported 200 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Feb. 28, the country's national health authority said on Tuesday, compared with 234 a day earlier. (File photo: Reuters)
Mainland China reported 200 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Feb. 28, the country's national health authority said on Tuesday, compared with 234 a day earlier. (File photo: Reuters)

* The next round of Russia-Ukraine peace talks will take place on the Belarusian-Polish border in the coming days, according to Vladimir Medinsky, head of the Russian delegation at the talks held in Belarus, Russia's RIA Novosti news agency reported Monday.

* The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies have boosted support to Ukraine with military equipment, financial assistance and humanitarian aid, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Monday via Twitter.

* Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's office said early on Tuesday that he held a phone call with his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko to discuss developments in Russia-Ukraine conflict.

* Turkey is calling on all sides in the Ukraine crisis to respect an international pact on passage through the Turkish straits to the Black Sea, Defence Minister Hulusi Akar was cited as saying on Tuesday after Ankara closed access.

* All eyes are on the annual meeting of China's top legislative body that begins on March 5, during which the government will unveil economic targets for the year and likely more stimulus measures.

* Thailand plans to facilitate the deployment of labour to Saudi Arabia for the first time in decades, its government said on Tuesday, part of the restoration of ties that were severed by the Gulf State over a multi-million dollar jewellery theft.

* An extraordinary ministerial meeting of member states in the International Energy Agency (IEA) on the impact of Russia-Ukraine conflict on the oil market will convene between 1300 and 1500 GMT on Tuesday, Japan's industry ministry said.

* The United States government on Monday proposed extending temporary waivers of international minimum flight requirements at some US airports through late October due to COVID-19.

* As talks on a new global pact to protect nature ramp up this month, international green groups have called on the world's richest nations to commit at least 60 billion USD a year to protect and restore biodiversity in developing countries.

* Retail sales of organic foods in Switzerland rose 17% to 3.24 billion Swiss francs (3.54 billion USD) in 2020, reaching a market share of around 11% as the COVID-19 pandemic boosted demand, a report by the Federal Office for Agriculture showed on Tuesday.

* Military helicopters airlifted stranded people from rooftops of flooded neighbourhoods in eastern Australia and a tenth victim was found on Tuesday following days of torrential rain as the wild weather slowly shifts south toward Sydney.

* The Taliban administration's announcement that it would restrict Afghans from leaving the country under certain circumstances drew concern from the United States and the United Kingdom this week amidst fears they could hamper ongoing evacuation efforts.

* Eleven people died in a fire that broke out in La Mirada mall in Damascus on Tuesday, the Syrian interior ministry said according to state news agency SANA. The fire caused significant damage and investigations to find out the cause are underway, the ministry added.

* Bahrain has granted emergency use authorisation to the COVID-19 vaccine developed by France's Valneva VLS.PA, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

* Novavax Inc said it would pursue full approval of its COVID-19 vaccine in the second half of this year.