World News in Brief: September 24

Friday, 2021-09-24 16:00:55
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A World Health Organization panel has recommended the use of Regeneron and Roche's COVID-19 antibody cocktail for patients at high risk of hospitalisations and those severely ill with no natural antibodies.
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Billions of people are overweight, millions are hungry, one third of food is wasted and the way the world produces, processes and consumes food generates one-third of greenhouse gas emissions, U.N. chief Antonio Guterres said on Thursday at the first global summit on the future of food.

* US Vice President Kamala Harris met India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday and stressed the importance of a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

* Japanese Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu met his Republic of Korean counterpart Chung Eui-yong on Thursday and the two restated positions in a dispute that has brought tit-for-tat trade restrictions, but agreed to accelerate consultations to resolve the issue, Japan's account of the meeting said.

* European Union countries are struggling to agree their negotiating position for the COP26 climate change conference, with rifts emerging over timeframes for emissions-cutting pledges, according to officials and documents seen by Reuters.

* Moscow is discussing a possible visit by a delegation of the Taliban-appointed government to Russia with Kabul, the RIA news agency cited a Russian foreign ministry source as saying on Friday.

* The European Union must respond urgently to Britain's demands for changes to the deal overseeing problematic post-Brexit trade involving Northern Ireland, British Brexit Minister David Frost said on Thursday.

* Many of the drivers of a recent spike in euro zone inflation are temporary and due to fade in the next year, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said in an interview aired on CNBC on Friday.

* French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian held "thorough and confident" talks with Iraq's President Barham Salih late on Thursday, wrote Le Drian on his Twitter page.

* China administered about 4.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines on Sept. 23, bringing the total number of doses administered to 2.191 billion, data from the National Health Commission showed on Friday.

* A US CDC advisory panel has recommended a booster shot of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine for Americans aged 65 and older and some adults with underlying medical conditions that put them at risk of severe disease.

* The European Medicines Agency aims to decide in early October whether to endorse a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to be given half a year after the initial two-shot course.

* More than half of Australia's adult population were fully vaccinated as of Friday, as authorities step up inoculations in hopes of easing restrictions, while daily cases linger close to record levels in Victoria.

* Novavax Inc and its partner Serum Institute of India have applied to the World Health Organization for an emergency use listing of Novavax's vaccine, potentially clearing the way for the shot to ship to many poorer countries.

* Asian shares were on edge on Friday hurt by persistent uncertainty around the fate of debt-ridden China Evergrande, even as more risk appetite drove gains for Wall Street and US benchmark Treasury yields.

* The US House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to give US$1 billion to Israel for its Iron Dome missile-defense system, two days after objections from the most liberal Democrats forced leaders to remove it from a broader spending bill.

* Japan's core consumer prices halted a 12-month run of declines in August, bolstered by higher energy costs and the impact of a tourism campaign.

* Republic of Korea's central bank warned on Thursday that the debt repayment burden among vulnerable households could increase sharply as interest rates rise.

* Five climbers died after they got caught in a sudden snowstorm on Russia's Mount Elbrus, the highest mountain in Europe, officials said.

* Portugal will lift almost all remaining restrictions, allowing full occupancy in restaurants and cultural venues from Oct. 1.

* Republic of Korea has set a record for daily COVID-19 cases at 2,434, breaking the previous record set last month, as the country grapples with a wave of infections that began in early July.

* US’s California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed a US$15 billion package that will fund programs to tackle drought and climate change in the state after a devastating wildfire season.

* Brazil has had 24,611 new cases of the novel coronavirus reported in the past 24 hours, and 648 deaths from COVID-19, the health ministry said on Thursday.

* The head of Libya's presidency council said on Thursday he will hold an international conference in October to garner support for the country's stability, warning that it faces "serious challenges" that could undermine planned December elections.

* Yemen received its third batch of COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX global vaccine-sharing scheme, the health ministry said.

* Panama is weeks away from achieving herd immunity against COVID-19 after vaccinating more than half its population of 4.2 million people, President Laurentino Cortizo said at the United Nations General Assembly.

Reuters