World News in Brief: September 4

Saturday, 2021-09-04 16:18:21
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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is lifting a coronavirus ban on travelers from 10 countries including India, the United Arab Emirates and Indonesia, the presidential spokesperson said on Saturday. (Representative Image/Photo: Reuters)
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Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and five cabinet ministers comfortably survived a vote of no confidence in parliament on Saturday. Prayuth received 264 votes in favour and 208 against. Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul and four other cabinet ministers also survived the censure motion in similar fashion.

* Chinese Premier Li Keqiang urged major powers to "show responsibility" and play a leading role in improving global environmental governance and addressing such challenges as climate change.

* The US economy created the fewest jobs in seven months in August as hiring in the leisure and hospitality sector stalled amid a resurgence in COVID-19 infections, which weighed on demand at restaurants and hotels.

* The United Nations will convene an international aid conference in Geneva on Sept. 13 to help avert what U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres called a "looming humanitarian catastrophe".

* British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called on world soccer's governing body FIFA on Friday to take action over what he described as "disgraceful" racist abuse aimed at England players by Hungary fans during a World Cup qualifier.

* US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday he would travel to Qatar on Sunday to meet with the country's leaders and thank them for their help with evacuees from Afghanistan, and later go to Germany for a ministerial meeting.

* The Saudi-led coalition fighting Yemen's Houthi group said it intercepted an explosive-laden drone launched by the Iran-aligned group towards the Saudi city of Khamis Mushait, Saudi state media reported on Saturday.

* Iran on Saturday dismissed new US sanctions on four Iranians over an alleged plot to kidnap an Iranian-American journalist, saying the move reflects Washington’s "addiction to sanctions".

* A delegation from Lebanon's caretaker government will visit Syria on Saturday in the highest level visit in years, aiming to pave the way for a US-backed plan to ease a power crisis in Lebanon by transmitting electricity via the Syrian grid.

* New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Saturday that a total seven people were wounded in an attack by an Islamist militant in an Auckland shopping mall and three are in critical condition.

* France could ease health pass restrictions that are hurting the activity of large shopping malls if the COVID-19 epidemic situation keeps improving, Labour Minister Elisabeth Borne said on Saturday.

* Britain's vaccine advisers said they were not recommending the vaccination of all 12- to 15-year-olds against COVID-19, preferring a precautionary approach in healthy children due to a rare side effect of heart inflammation.

* AstraZeneca and the European Commission have reached a settlement on the delivery of pending vaccine doses by the drugmaker, ending a row about shortages.

* New modelling shows an "urgent need" to get more young adults in Canada vaccinated as the country fights a fourth wave of COVID-19 infections driven by the Delta variant, the public health agency said.

* Moderna Inc said it had asked the EU drugs regulator for conditional approval of a booster shot of its COVID-19 vaccine at a 50 microgram dose.

* Big tech shares edged higher, helping a benchmark world stock index post a sixth consecutive closing high, after a weak US jobs report likely pushed back the timetable for when the Federal Reserve reduces its massive support of the economy.

* China had administered a total of around 7.5 million COVID-19 vaccines on Friday Sept. 3, bringing the accumulated total to 2.092 billion doses, data from the National Health Commission showed on Saturday.

* Australia, struggling to quell its worst wave of COVID-19, reported 1,756 infections on Saturday, another record high, and officials warned that worse is yet to come, urging people to get vaccinated.

* New Zealand reported on Saturday the first death from the Delta variant of the new coronavirus and 20 further daily infections, all in Auckland, the epicentre of the outbreak.

* Brazil recorded 25,565 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the past 24 hours, along with 756 deaths from COVID-19, the Health Ministry said on Friday.

* Mexico's Health Ministry reported 17,409 new cases of COVID-19 and 725 more deaths on Friday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country since the pandemic began to 3,405,294 and the death toll to 262,221.

* Spain's two-week COVID-19 contagion rate fell below 200 cases per 100,000 inhabitants for the first time in over two months, according to health ministry data on Friday. The 14-day contagion rate was 198, the first time it has dipped below 200 cases since July 2, the health ministry said.

* Italy reported 58 coronavirus-related deaths on Friday, down from 62 the previous day, while the daily tally of new infections decreased to 6,735 from 6,761, the health ministry said.

* As tourism was beginning to show signs of recovery, the Caribbean has been hit by a new wave of cases causing lockdowns, flight cancellations and overwhelming hospitals.

* South Africa's health minister said scientists had told the government that at this stage the C.1.2 coronavirus variant detected locally was not a threat.