World News in Brief: September 8

Wednesday, 2021-09-08 21:19:49
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On Wednesday, Singapore's health ministry reported the highest COVID-19 cases since early August 2020, with 347 new cases.
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The COVAX facility, backed by the World Health Organization and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), has delivered over 243 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to 139 countries, GAVI data shows, against a target to secure 2 billion doses for lower-income countries by the end of 2021.

* Japan's outgoing Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide will visit Washington later this month for a four-way meeting of leaders from the United States, Japan, Australia and India, Kyodo News reported on Wednesday.

* Philippine Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Wednesday there was a need for a comprehensive review of his country's alliance with the United States.

* Turkey and Egypt agreed on Wednesday to continue talks to repair and eventually normalise strained ties after wrapping up a second round of discussions meant to address differences, the two countries said in a joint statement.

* Russia has started military drills on the Kuril Islands which will include live firing exercises and involve more than 500 troops, Russia's defence ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

* Libyan interim Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibeh said on Wednesday he would visit Tunisia on Thursday and meet President Kais Saied after weeks of friction between the North African neighbours over security.

* Egypt's petroleum minister said on Wednesday he hoped to export Egyptian gas as soon as possible to Jordan to generate power that will supply Lebanon.

* World stocks edged away from the previous session's record highs and European stocks dropped on uncertainty over the pace of economic recovery, while the dollar hit one-week highs as investors reduced exposure to riskier assets.

* The US Federal Reserve should go forward with a plan to trim its massive pandemic stimulus programme despite a slowdown in US jobs growth last month, the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard said.

* Russia may borrow less than planned in the final part of this year thanks to higher-than-expected budget revenues, deputy finance minister said.

* The Asian Youth Games, due to be held in Shantou city in China's southern Guangdong province in November, have been postponed to December 2022.

* Switzerland will require people from Monday to show a COVID-status certificate to access indoor spaces like restaurants, the government said, while also previewing potential travel restrictions.

* A Ukrainian government commission will meet soon to decide whether to tighten lockdown restrictions, the prime minister told a televised government meeting.

* Germany could see a "massive momentum" in new cases in autumn if the vaccination rate does not increase, the head of the Robert Koch Institute said.

* Japan's government is firming up its intentions to extend the state of emergency in most areas where it is currently in effect, including the capital Tokyo, until Sept. 30, NHK reported.

* Three-quarters of people over the age of 16 in Australia's New South Wales have now had at least their first vaccination dose.

* Republic of Korea is drawing up a plan on how to live more normally with COVID-19, expecting 80% of adults to be fully vaccinated by late October.

* The US Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in person when it starts its next session in October.

* Canadian National Railway Co said all its employees in Canada must be fully vaccinated by Nov. 1.

* Abu Dhabi Investment Authority sees technology and climate change as key investment areas for its post-COVID-19 strategy, it said in its 2020 annual review.

* The International Monetary Fund's executive board on Tuesday approved US$567 million in emergency support for Tanzania to help it finance a vaccination campaign and meet the health and social costs of the pandemic.

* Vaccine developer Novavax Inc has initiated an early-stage study to test its combined flu and COVID-19 vaccine.

* Talks are underway with Johnson & Johnson about running a booster trial in South Africa after its vaccine was used in a mass trial of almost half a million health workers in the country, Bloomberg News reported.