World News in Brief: October 8

Friday, 2021-10-08 17:46:33
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Pfizer will supply Japan with another 120 million vaccine doses and is in talks with Brazil to sell 150 million doses next year, as the drugmaker and German partner BioNTech seek US emergency use of their shot for children aged 5 to 11.
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Prime Minister Kishida Fumio said on Friday he would do his utmost to lead Japan out of the COVID-19 crisis while protecting its territory and people in an increasingly tough security environment.

* Ukraine's parliament on Friday voted to appoint Ruslan Stefanchuk, a lawmaker from the ruling Servant of the People party, as the new speaker to replace Dmytro Razumkov.

* Chinese officials have ordered the country's two top coal regions to act immediately to expand their annual production capacity by more than 160 million tonnes as China battles its worst power crunch and coal shortage in years.

* Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said he will address the country on Saturday noon regarding the local COVID-19 situation and the path to a new normal.

* Czechs begin voting on Friday in a tight parliamentary election in which Prime Minister Andrej Babis hopes to win a second term despite criticism that he mismanaged the pandemic, ran up heavy debts and mixed business interests with those of his country.

* The Republic of Korea's government on Friday said it would raise its greenhouse gas reduction goal from 26.3 percent to 40 percent by 2030, as part of efforts to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The revised nationally determined contribution (NDC) was proposed by the ruling party in June and will be officially introduced at the 26th U.N. Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November, with a government plan presented to the United Nations in December.

* Asian shares rose on Friday as Chinese shares returned from a one week holiday upbeat, tracking a global rally, while investors also eyed key US jobs data for any fresh insight into the timing of Federal Reserve tapering.

* China administered about 1.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines on Oct. 7, bringing the total number of doses administered to 2.218 billion, data from the National Health Commission showed on Friday.

* President Joe Biden on Thursday said more US businesses should obligate workers to receive COVID-19 vaccinations.

* Russia reported 936 coronavirus-related deaths on Friday, the largest single-day death toll it has recorded since the pandemic began.

* Malaysia has granted conditional approval for the vaccine made by Pfizer and BioNTech to be used as a booster shot.

* Germany's vaccine advisory committee recommends a booster mRNA vaccination shot for people who were inoculated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

* Spain's coronavirus incidence dropped below 50 cases per 100,000 people on Thursday, reaching the threshold considered "low risk" by the Health Ministry for the first time in over a year.

* Italy increased the maximum attendance capacity allowed at cultural and sporting venues on Thursday, continuing its progressive easing of curbs for those who can show documents of immunity from the disease.

* Australian doctors warned a too-rapid easing of restrictions in Sydney could put pressure on health systems and risk lives, as the country's biggest city prepares for an end to more than 100 days in lockdown next week.

* Denmark will still be offering Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine to people under the age of 18, the Danish Health Agency said on Friday, clarifying a statement from Wednesday saying it would pause giving the vaccine to young Danes.

* Britain's transport minister Grant Shapps said on Friday there was still no exact date for when the United States would open for travellers from the United Kingdom, beyond guidance of early November.

* Countries in the Middle East and North Africa are struggling to recover from the coronavirus crisis as underfunded public health systems exacerbate economic woes, the World Bank said.

* French healthcare company Sanofi said it had found positive results from the first study into a high-dose influenza vaccine with a COVID-19 mRNA booster.

* The European Medicines Agency has approved US drugmaker Merck & Co's manufacturing site in West Point, Pennsylvania, to make Johnson & Johnson's vaccine.

* Panama is purchasing 3 million additional doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines for its inoculation efforts next year.

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