World News in Brief: September 9

Thursday, 2021-09-09 15:41:52
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Around a quarter of a million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine bought from Spain will arrive in New Zealand this week.
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Indonesia and Australia agreed to deepen security ties during a ministerial meeting on Thursday, with discussions underway towards enabling joint military training in Australia and participation in its defence academies.

* Uruguay's government is pushing ahead with free trade talks with China, hoping the small South American nation can became a "gateway" for the regional Mercosur bloc in negotiations with the Asian powerhouse.

* Mexican foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Wednesday that upcoming high-level economic talks with the United States will focus on infrastructure along the border to facilitate trade and movement of people, semiconductors and cybersecurity.

* Saudi Arabia welcomed on Wednesday the release of classified documents relating to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in the United States. Its US embassy said in a statement that "any allegation that Saudi Arabia is complicit in the September 11 attacks is categorically false".

* Asian shares dropped Thursday, while the dollar held firm, in line with a cautious global mood as investors worried about the combination of slowing global growth and the potential tapering of central bank stimulus.

* Several Federal Reserve policymakers have signalled that the US central bank remains on track to trim its massive asset purchases this year.

* British employers are facing the most severe shortage of job candidates on record due to the post-lockdown surge in the economy and Brexit, a recruiters' body said.

* Germany is extending its COVID-19 emergency aid for struggling companies by three months until the end of this year, the finance and economy ministries said.

* Britain has approved plans to turn away boats illegally carrying migrants to its shores, deepening a diplomatic rift with France over how to deal with a surge of people risking their lives by trying to cross the English Channel in small dinghies.

* Two hundred Americans and other foreigners who remain in Afghanistan are set to depart the war-ravaged country on charter flights from Kabul on Thursday after the new Taliban government agreed to their evacuation, a US official said.

* Morocco said turnout in Wednesday’s parliamentary election was just over 50%, higher than in 2016 after authorities combined it with local elections that traditionally draw better participation.

* Ecuador has reached a new staff-level agreement with the IMF that could result in US$1.5 billion in new disbursements this year following promises by President Guillermo Lasso's government to cut spending, the finance minister said on Wednesday.

* Algeria has detained 30 people, including seven members of a separatist group that the government has declared a terrorist organisation, for involvement in wildfires that killed at least 65 people, the paramilitary police said on Wednesday.

* About 2,000 Bulgarian restaurant and club owners, waiters, bartenders and gym instructors protested in the centre of the capital Sofia on Wednesday against newly imposed restrictions.

* Sydney's cafes, restaurants and pubs are set to reopen in the second half of October after months of strict lockdown.

* Countries in the Americas should prioritize pregnant and lactating women in the distribution of COVID-19 shots, the Pan American Health Organization said.

* South Africa has set a Nov. 1 date for municipal elections, after a court last week rejected a request to delay them until early next year to allow more time for COVID-19 vaccinations.

* The US Food and Drug Administration declined Humanigen's request for emergency use authorization of its lenzilumab drug to treat newly hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

* US’s Louisiana's death toll from Hurricane Ida rose to 26 on Wednesday after health officials reported 11 additional deaths in New Orleans. Ida, one of the most powerful hurricanes ever to strike the US Gulf Coast, hit Louisiana more than a week ago before moving northeast and causing intense flooding that killed dozens.

* Dozens of Honduran migrants received vaccines in the southern Mexican city of Tapachula on Wednesday.

* Somalia's two most powerful leaders were locked in a standoff on Wednesday after they named different men to head the intelligence service of the politically unstable nation in the Horn of Africa.