World News in Brief: October 6

Wednesday, 2021-10-06 17:42:27
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The Czech Republic reported more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases in one day for first the time since May 18, data from the health ministry showed on Wednesday. (Representative Image/Photo: Reuters)
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Russia's economic recovery will be stronger than expected this year but US sanctions, a poor vaccination rate and the central bank's monetary tightening will all weigh on the growth outlook, the World Bank said on Wednesday.

* Germany's Greens said on Wednesday they wanted to move to three-way talks with the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) and liberal Free Democrats (FDP) on forming a new coalition government following a national election late last month.

* Google plans to invest US$1 billion in Africa over the next five years to ensure access to fast and cheaper internet and will back startups to support the continent's digital transformation, it said on Wednesday.

* Asian shares dropped on Wednesday and US benchmark yields rose to a three-and-a-half month top as investors stayed jittery about inflation with oil prices reaching new multi-year highs.

* New Zealand's central bank hiked interest rates for the first time in seven years and signalled further tightening to come, as it looks to get on top of inflationary pressures and cool a red-hot housing market.

* German industrial orders fell more than expected in August on weaker demand from abroad following two months of unusually strong gains due to major contracts.

* China reported 26 new COVID-19 cases on the mainland for Oct. 5, the same as a day earlier, the national health authority said on Wednesday. Two of the new infections were locally transmitted and the rest imported, the National Health Commission said.

* Russia reported 929 coronavirus-related deaths on Wednesday, the largest single-day death toll it has recorded since the pandemic began. The government coronavirus task force also said it had recorded 25,133 new cases in the last 24 hours, a slight increase from a day earlier.

* Brazil registered 20,528 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday and 677 COVID-19 deaths, according to data released by the Health Ministry. In total, Brazil has suffered 598,829 deaths due to COVID-19 - the world's second highest toll after the United States.

* Mexico's health ministry on Tuesday reported 7,682 new cases of COVID-19 in the country and 790 more deaths, bringing the overall number of infections since the pandemic began to 3,691,924 and the death toll to 279,894.

* AirAsia Group Bhd's Malaysian unit will only allow fully vaccinated adult passengers on its flights as it prepares to resume domestic and eventually international flight services, it said on Wednesday.

* Singapore's health ministry reported 3,486 new cases, the highest since the beginning of the pandemic.

* Merck said it had signed a supply and purchase agreement that will provide Singapore with access to its experimental oral COVID-19 antiviral drug, the latest Asian country to try to snap up supplies.

* The Republic of Korea has secured 20,000 courses of an experimental antiviral pill developed by Merck & Co for COVID-19 treatment, Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum said on Wednesday, joining other Asian nations rushing to snap up supplies.

* The benefit of a third covid-19 vaccine shot for immunocompromised and very old people is obvious but it not so clear for younger population, the head of Germany's vaccine advisory committee said on Wednesday.

* Australian diagnostic test maker Ellume said it has recalled certain lots of a COVID-19 home test as they may show false positive results due to a recently identified manufacturing issue.

* Recovery from the pandemic hit a bump in Sweden in August with the economy shrinking, businesses producing less and households cutting back on consumption, data showed on Wednesday.

* Poland's daily COVID-19 cases have risen by around 70% in the past week to over 2,000, a government official said, warning the country that a fourth wave of the outbreak is gathering pace.

* Slovakia reported 1,971 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, the highest daily tally since March 23, amid a surge of infections largely among unvaccinated people.

* El Salvador President Nayib Bukele said the country would facilitate a third dose of a vaccine against COVID-19 for those 18 years or older.

* Senegal on Monday logged only two new daily COVID-19 infections, the lowest number since the pandemic reached the country and two months after the rate of new cases hovered at record highs.

* Mali's foreign ministry summoned France's ambassador to Bamako on Tuesday over comments by President Emmanuel Macron that it said were unfriendly and disagreeable.

* A military helicopter crashed in Gabes, in south-eastern Tunisia, killing three soldiers, state radio said on Tuesday. The incident happened during a military exercise, it added.

* A magnitude 5.9 earthquake hit Aomori and Iwate prefecture in northern Japan early on Wednesday morning but did not cause a tsunami, Japan's Meteorological Agency said.