World News in Brief:October 12

Tuesday, 2021-10-12 20:16:59
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Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Russia needed to speed up its vaccination campaign against COVID-19 as the country recorded its highest single-day death toll since the start of the pandemic.
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Persistent supply chain disruptions and pricing pressures are constraining the global economy's recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday as it cut growth outlooks for the United States and other major industrial powers.

* The Japanese government is working on starting booster shots by year-end, deputy chief cabinet secretary Isozaki Yoshihiko said.

* India recommended emergency use of Bharat Biotech's COVID-19 shot in the 2 to 18 age-group, as the world's second-most populous nation expands its vaccination drive to include children.

* Russia and the United States failed to make any major progress in a row over the functioning of their embassies at talks in Moscow on Tuesday and there is a risk that relations could worsen further, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said.

* The European Central Bank should keep some of the flexibility offered under its pandemic asset purchase programme when it returns to more conventional policy, ECB policymaker Francois Villeroy de Galhau said.

* The Czech ruling ANO party expects to end up in opposition after two rival coalitions won a combined majority in parliament in last weekend's election, a senior lawmaker from the party said on Tuesday.

* Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi hosted a special summit of the Group of 20 major economies on Tuesday to discuss Afghanistan, as worries grow about a looming humanitarian disaster following the Taliban's return to power.

* The European Union will give an additional EUR700 million (US$809.2 million) in emergency aid to Afghanistan and its neighbouring countries, the European Commission said ahead of Tuesday's Group of 20 Afghan summit.

* Russian President Vladimir Putin will host Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett for talks on Iran's nuclear programme and other regional security issues, Bennett's office said on Tuesday.

* Britain will be among the first countries to apply corporate sustainability disclosure standards from a new global board to be unveiled soon, a government minister said on Tuesday.

* More than three thousand residents of La Palma were allowed to leave their homes on Tuesday when authorities ended a lockdown ordered after a thick cloud of smoke erupted from a volcano that has devastated the Spanish Canary island.

* Qatar believes that recognising the Taliban government in Afghanistan is not a priority now, and that the focus should be on engaging with the new administration and addressing humanitarian issues, a senior Qatari official said on Tuesday.

* New Zealand expects to administer a record 100,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses in a single day during a mass immunisation drive on Oct. 16, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, as she seeks to accelerate inoculations before easing curbs in Auckland.

* Sydney's COVID-19 cases fell to the lowest in two months on Tuesday as authorities rolled out support measures for businesses, shifting their focus to rejuvenating the economy after the city exited a nearly four-month lockdown a day earlier.

* Asian shares dropped and Treasury yields held firm on Tuesday, as a global energy crunch fuelled inflation fears and concerns about Evergrande's debt problems intensified, clouding investor sentiment before the US corporate earnings season.

* British employers took their payrolls to a record high in September, shortly before the end of the government's wage subsidies programme, potentially encouraging the Bank of England's progress towards a first post-pandemic interest rate hike.

* Norway should sharply cut spending from its US$1.3 trillion sovereign wealth fund in 2022 as the economy rebounds from the pandemic, the outgoing centre-right minority government told parliament.

* The World Health Organization on Monday recommended that immunocompromised people be given an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine, due to their higher risk of breakthrough infections after standard immunisation.

* Moderna Inc on Tuesday said the US Food and Drug Administration should authorize booster doses of its COVID-19 vaccine in fully vaccinated older adults and high-risk individuals.

* AstraZeneca's antibody cocktail against COVID-19, which has proven to work as a preventative shot in the non-infected, was also shown to save lives and prevent severe disease when given as treatment within a week of first symptoms.

* CureVac will withdraw its first-generation vaccine candidate and focus on collaborating with GSK to develop second-generation mRNA vaccine technology instead, the Germany-based biotechnology company said.