World News in Brief: September 19

Sunday, 2021-09-19 16:45:51
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Divers in the Philippines pulled plastic bags, drinks bottles and fishing nets from a coral reef on Saturday, joining an annual cleanup that aims to highlight the impact of garbage on the world's oceans. (Photo: Reuters)
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World leaders are returning to the United Nations in New York this week with a focus on boosting efforts to fight both climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, which last year forced them to send video statements for the annual gathering.

* Singapore's health ministry reported 1,009 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, the highest since April last year.

* Indonesian security forces have killed the leader of militant group East Indonesia Mujahideen (MIT), which has ties with Islamic State, police said on Sunday.

* Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that he would meet Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly next week in New York.

* Britain's new security pact with Australia and the United States shows its readiness to be "hard-headed" in defending its own interests, newly appointed Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said in an article published on Sunday.

* Australia defended its scrapping of a deal for French submarines on Sunday, saying the government had raised concerns to Paris for months, as a new deal with the United States and Britain continued to fuel a multinational diplomatic crisis.

* Bolivian President Luis Arce called on Saturday for a global agreement to lower debts for poor countries at a diplomatic summit in Mexico, as he and other heads of state seek to boost a new Latin American and Caribbean diplomatic block.

* India reported 30,773 new coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours, the federal health ministry said on Sunday, taking its COVID-19 tally to 33.4 million cases and 444,838 fatalities. The country has administered 804.3 million vaccine doses.

* Australia reported 1,607 new coronavirus cases on Sunday as states and territories gradually shift from trying to eliminate outbreaks to living with the virus.

* New Zealand reported 24 new locally acquired coronavirus cases on Sunday, up from 20 on Saturday, showing an upturn after several days of lower numbers, as the country's largest city Auckland awaits to hear if its lockdown restrictions will ease.

* Mexico reported 11,711 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 765 deaths on Saturday, bringing the total number of infections since the pandemic began to 3,564,694 and 271,303 fatalities, according to Health Ministry data.

* Italy reported 51 coronavirus-related deaths on Saturday against 66 the day before, the health ministry said, while the daily tally of new infections rose marginally to 4,578 from 4,552.

* Armin Laschet, the conservative candidate bidding to succeed German Chancellor Angela Merkel in this month's election, said he was confident the European Central Bank (ECB) would achieve price stability, as accelerating inflation hits savers.

* The British government is confident that the fallout from soaring gas prices will not result in a risk to the supply to consumers, minister Alok Sharma said on Sunday.

* The gas pipeline at the Deir Ali power station has returned to operation after completion of repairs, the Syrian Ministry of Oil announced, according to Syrian state TV.

* At least three people were killed and about 20 wounded in a series of blasts in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad on Saturday, two sources in the city said. Taliban spokesmen were not immediately reachable for comment.