World News in Brief:October 17

Sunday, 2021-10-17 22:30:44
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The plan to roll out Merck & Co's promising antiviral pill to treat COVID-19 risks repeating the inequities of vaccine distribution, potentially leaving the nations with the greatest need once again at the back of the line, international health groups say.
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Russia reported 34,303 cases of new coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours, a record-high number since the start of the pandemic, data from the state coronavirus task force showed on Sunday. It also reported 997 deaths from the disease, five fewer than the daily record-high of 1,002 reported the previous day.

* Brazil registered 11,250 new coronavirus cases and 483 COVID-19 deaths in the last 24 hours, the country's Health Ministry said on Saturday.

* A Beijing bakery has introduced a Squid Game-themed confection-making challenge in its store as it seeks to cash in on the massive popularity of the Republic of Korean Netflix show.

* The British authorities are considering more safety measures for parliamentarians after a lawmaker was stabbed to death, interior minister Priti Patel told Sky News on Sunday.

* President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that the United States had proposed the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey in return for its investment in the F-35 programme, from which Ankara was removed after purchasing missile defence systems from Russia.

* Emmanuel Macron on Saturday denounced as an "unforgivable crime" a bloody crackdown on Algerian protesters by police in Paris 60 years ago, the strongest recognition by a French president of a massacre in which many bodies were thrown into the River Seine.

* Czech opposition parties seeking to form a new government will aim to rework the 2022 budget to cut the planned deficit to below CZK300 billion (US$13.72 billion), a top party leader said on Sunday.

* The Organization for Security and Cooperation on Europe has suspended its monitoring mission in eastern Ukraine following protests near its headquarters in separatist-controlled Donetsk, the chief monitor said on Sunday.

* Australia’s Melbourne, which has spent more time under COVID-19 lockdowns than any other city in the world, is set to lift its stay-at-home orders this week, officials said on Sunday.

* Italy reported 24 coronavirus-related deaths on Sunday, up from 14 the previous day, the health ministry said, while the daily tally of new infections fell to 2,437 from 2,983.

* Britain on Sunday reported 45,140 new cases of COVID-19, the highest daily number since the middle of July, and 57 new deaths within 28 days of a positive test, according to official data.

* New Zealand, which is learning to live with COVID-19 by accelerating inoculations, reported 51 new cases on Sunday, 47 of them in the largest city Auckland, which has been in a lockdown since mid-August.

* The United Arab Emirates on Sunday recorded a drop in daily COVID-19 cases to below 100 for the first time since the start of the outbreak last year as it hosts a huge world fair to which it hopes to attract millions of visits.

* There's no immediate end in sight to the volcanic eruption that has caused chaos on the Spanish isle of La Palma since it began about a month ago, the president of the Canary Islands said on Sunday.

Reuters