World News in Brief: September 25

China's broadcasting regulator said it will encourage online producers to create "healthy" cartoons and clamp down violent, vulgar or pornographic content, as Beijing steps up efforts to bring its thriving entertainment industry to heel.

Rivers of lava raced down the volcano and exploded high into the air overnight on the Spanish island of La Palma and the airport was closed as an eruption intensified and entered its most explosive phase so far.
Rivers of lava raced down the volcano and exploded high into the air overnight on the Spanish island of La Palma and the airport was closed as an eruption intensified and entered its most explosive phase so far.

* The United States, Japan, India and Australia will work to improve the security of supply chains for critical technologies such as clean energy and to ease a global semiconductor shortage, said Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

* Cuba is allowing a staggered opening from Friday of restaurants, shopping centres and beaches in provinces that have lowered coronavirus cases.

* Singapore will tighten curbs to limit social gatherings to two people and make working from home a default, to try to contain a spike in infections and reduce pressure on the healthcare system.

* China will take action to control emissions of HFC-23, a potent greenhouse gas created during the production of refrigerants, the environment ministry said on Saturday.

* Sri Lanka will cease building new coal-fired power plants and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said in an address to the United Nations International Energy Forum on Friday. Sri Lanka has set a target of achieving 70% of all its energy requirements from renewable sources by 2030.

* More than 100 prominent officials of Tunisia's Islamist Ennahda party, including lawmakers and former ministers, resigned on Saturday in protest at the leadership's performance, the biggest blow yet to the party which is facing a severe split.

* Ratings agency Moody's late on Friday raised Hungary's sovereign credit rating to 'Baa2' from 'Baa3' on the economy's strong rebound from the pandemic, which comes as a boon to Prime Minister Viktor Orban amid a campaign for early 2022 elections.

* Iran will return to talks on resuming compliance with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal "very soon," Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian told reporters on Friday, but gave no specific date.

* Booster shots to bolster immunity against the coronavirus would be free and accessible, US President Joe Biden said on Friday, a day after federal health agencies backed a booster rollout, and he pledged to get his own shot as soon as possible.

* Sinovac's vaccine is highly effective against serious illness, although rival shots from Pfizer/BioNTech and AstraZeneca showed better protection rates, a large real world study from Malaysia showed.

* Indian drugmaker Shilpa Medicare Limited has agreed to produce Cadila Healthcare Ltd's three-dose COVID-19 vaccine.

* England's COVID-19 weekly reproduction "R" number was estimated to have fallen to between 0.8 and 1.0, the government said, and the epidemic could be shrinking in the country.

* Norway will reopen society on Saturday, the government said, ending all remaining domestic restrictions that have limited social interaction and hobbled many businesses.

* The COVID-19 vaccine by Pfizer-BioNTech will be the only one used in Mexico for at-risk children aged 12-17, Mexico's deputy health minister said.

* More than half of Australia's adult population were fully vaccinated as of Friday, as authorities step up inoculations in the hope of easing restrictions with cases near daily record levels in Victoria.

* Protesters gathered to march against the introduction of a "corona pass" in the Netherlands on Saturday as proof of COVID-19 vaccination became compulsory to get into bars, restaurants, theatres and other venues.

* Brazil recorded 19,438 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the past 24 hours, along with 699 deaths from COVID-19, the Health Ministry said on Friday.

* Mexico's Health Ministry on Friday reported 10,139 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country and 564 additional deaths, bringing the total number of official infections since the pandemic began to 3,619,115 and the death toll to 274,703.

* Egypt has authorised Russia's single-dose Sputnik Light vaccine against COVID-19, said the Russian Direct Investment Fund which markets the shot abroad.

* El Salvador will begin administering a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine to various groups including the elderly, healthworkers and people with underlying health conditions, President Nayib Bukele said on Friday.

* Tunisia will entirely lift its nightly curfew against COVID-19 from Saturday, the presidency said, after about a year in force.