World News in Brief: September 3

Friday, 2021-09-03 15:06:49
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The United States shipped more than 2 million doses of Moderna's vaccine to Kenya and Ghana through the COVAX global distribution program.
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As the the world battles the impact of the highly infections Delta variant of the coronavirus, countries are striking swap deals and increasing supplies to poorer nations in a bid to contain outbreaks at home and elsewhere.

* China administered about 8.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines on Sept. 2, bringing the total number of doses administered to 2.085 billion, data from the National Health Commission showed on Friday.

* India's dominant services industry returned to growth in August, expanding at its fastest pace since the pandemic began, as businesses reopened amid improved vaccination rates, a survey showed on Friday.

* US President Joe Biden travels to Louisiana on Friday to get a first-hand look at the destruction wrought by Hurricane Ida, the monster storm that devastated the southern portion of the state and left 1 million people statewide without power.

* A relaxation of banking rules that make it easier for Indonesian borrowers hurt by the pandemic to restructure their loans will be extended until March 2023, the country's Financial Services Authority (OJK) said.

* The Philippines' Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday approved the emergency use of Moderna's COVID-19 doses for children ages 12 to 17.

* Thailand's central bank and its bankers' association said they would offer more support measures for debtors affected by the pandemic.

* Italy still hopes to hold an ad hoc summit of the Group of 20 major economies on Afghanistan, Prime Minister Mario Draghi said on Thursday, adding no nation had yet laid out a strategy on how to deal with the Taliban.

* New Zealand police on Friday shot and killed a knife-wielding "extremist" who was known to authorities, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, after he stabbed and wounded at least six people in a supermarket.

* Poland declared a state of emergency in two regions bordering Belarus on Thursday following a surge of illegal migration that Warsaw has blamed on its neighbour.

* Record-setting world stocks moved higher after jobless claims data suggested the US labor market was charging ahead even as new COVID-19 infections surge, while the risk of a upcoming sub-par US payrolls report weighed on the dollar.

* Israel's parliament gave preliminary approval on Thursday to a 2021-2022 state budget, the country's first ratified spending package in more than three years.

* Taliban forces and fighters loyal to local leader Ahmad Massoud battled in Afghanistan's Panjshir Valley on Thursday, more than two weeks after the Islamist militia seized power, as Taliban leaders in the capital, Kabul, worked to form a government.

* Israel carried out air strikes on targets near Damascus early on Friday, triggering Syrian air defences but causing no casualties, Syrian state media reported, the second such attack in just over two weeks. The Israeli military declined to comment on the report.

* Republic of Korea on Friday extended social distancing curbs for several weeks to rein in COVID-19 outbreaks nationwide as the country supercharges its vaccination campaign ahead of a thanksgiving holiday later this month.

* New Zealand reported 28 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, a big drop compared to the last few days, as authorities said the country was breaking the chain of transmission of the highly infectious Delta variant of coronavirus.

* Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro signed off on a law allowing for vaccine and medication patents to be broken in a public emergency, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

* Twelve million French children, who returned to school from their summer break, wearing masks, were told by head teachers and President Emmanuel Macron that they should get vaccinated.

* Greece offered unvaccinated health care workers a second chance to get a shot against COVID-19 and allow those who have been already suspended to return to work as hundreds of them protested against mandatory vaccination.

* Australia has secured 4 million doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines in a swap deal with Britain, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, as he looks to convince states and territories to stick to a national COVID-19 reopening plan.

* Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei announced new national transport curbs and social restrictions on Thursday in an effort to contain a surge of coronavirus infections and relieve pressure on hospitals.

* Abu Dhabi will remove the need to quarantine for all vaccinated travellers arriving from international destinations starting Sunday.

* Aspen Pharmacare said it was in talks to make J&J's shot under licence in South Africa, at what would be the continent's first major independent distribution base for a global vaccine against COVID-19.

* Twelve people died and 4,400 fell sick in southern Democratic Republic of Congo following a tailings leak from the Catoca diamond mine in Angola in July, Congo's environment minister said on Thursday.