World News in Brief: September 10

Friday, 2021-09-10 16:31:03
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Los Angeles County school officials ordered vaccinations for all students aged 12 and over, the largest school district in the United States to take that step.
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Chinese Party General Secretary and State President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden spoke for 90 minutes on Thursday, in their first talks in seven months, discussing the need to ensure that competition between the world's two largest economies does not veer into conflict.

* Russian energy giant Gazprom said on Friday it had finished construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas subsea pipeline to Germany, completing Moscow's project to increase its gas exporting capability and bypass Ukraine.

* Officials from the United States, the Republic of Korea and Japan will hold a meeting on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea next week in Tokyo, the ROK's foreign ministry confirmed on Friday.

* The United States and Mexico on Thursday agreed to work on making shared supply chains, especially for semiconductors, more competitive and invest in social programs to tackle migration, said top Mexican officials after high-level economic talks in Washington.

* A new Lebanese government will be announced on Friday, the prime minister-designate was quoted as saying, after a year of political fighting that has exacerbated the country's devastating economic collapse.

* Italy's medicines agency AIFA said it had approved the use of a third dose of COVID-19 vaccines for vulnerable groups of the population, while the country's government ruled catering and cleaning staff in schools and nursing homes can only work if they have proof of COVID-19 immunity.

* Russia is to equip its military base in Tajikistan, which neighbours Afghanistan, with 30 new tanks by the end of the year, the Interfax news agency reported.

* Asian shares rallied on Friday after two days of losses, but were still in a nervous mood as global investors grapple with how best to interpret central banks' cautious moves to end stimulus, which also left currency markets quiet.

* The Bank of England will raise borrowing costs by end-2022, earlier than previously thought, and there is a chance it comes even sooner as a solid economic recovery from the pandemic and high inflation may tip its hand, a Reuters poll found.

* Police and intelligence services have disrupted 31 plots to attack Britain in the last four years, Ken McCallum, director general of the MI5 domestic intelligence agency, said on Friday.

* China reported 17 new COVID-19 cases on the mainland for Sept. 9, down from 28 a day earlier, the national health authority said on Friday. None of the new infections were locally transmitted, the National Health Commission said.

* US President Joe Biden took aim at vaccine resistance in America, announcing policies requiring most federal employees to get COVID-19 vaccinations and pushing large employers to have their workers inoculated or tested weekly.

* Brazil registered 753 COVID-19 deaths on Thursday and 30,891 additional cases, according to data released by the nation's Health Ministry.

* Singapore sees no need to tighten COVID-19 curbs for now despite a spike in infections over recent weeks, a top official said on Friday, but will not press ahead with more reopening moves as it monitors for severe cases.

* Mexico's health ministry on Thursday reported 14,828 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country and 730 more deaths, bringing the total number of official infections since the pandemic began to 3,479,999 and the death toll to 266,150.

* Spain's coronavirus incidence slipped below 150 cases per 100,000 people - a threshold the Health Ministry considers a "high risk" of contagion - for the first time in more than two months.

* Australia's daily cases topped 1,900 for the first time in the pandemic on Friday as a Delta outbreak continued to gain ground in Sydney and Melbourne.

* Auckland's cases dropped again as New Zealand pressed on with Delta curbs.

* The US Transportation Security Administration is doubling fines for first-time offenders who fail to wear masks, effective Friday, and said repeat offenders could face fines as high as US$3,000.

* Kenya's economic output contracted for the first time in nearly three decades last year, pummelled by the impact of the pandemic, official data showed.