World News in Brief: October 24

Sunday, 2021-10-24 16:42:20
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Moscow, the Russia's most populous city and capital, will next week shutdown all businesses except essential stores such as supermarkets and pharmacies to stem the spread of the disease.
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Myanmar's military rulers pledged on Sunday to cooperate "as much as possible" with a peace plan agreed with ASEAN. In an announcement in state media on Sunday, the junta said it upholds the principal of peaceful coexistence with other countries and would cooperate with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in following a five-point "consensus" agreed in April, a plan backed by the West and China.

* Russian and Chinese warships held their first joint patrols in the western Pacific Ocean over the past week, Russia's defence ministry said on Saturday, a move Japan said it was monitoring.

* Uzbekistan votes in a presidential election on Sunday in which incumbent President Shavkat Mirziyoyev faces no genuine opposition and is almost certain to win a second term.

* U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, in a phone call with Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz, welcomed initiatives announced by the kingdom on Saturday to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, the Saudi Press Agency said.

* British finance minister Rishi Sunak plans a GBP5 billion (US$6.9 billion) programme to fund health research and GBP3 billion of extra funding for further education in next week's budget, finance ministry officials said late on Saturday.

* China has given complete doses of COVID-19 vaccines to about 75.6% of its population as of Oct. 23, National Health Commission spokesperson Mi Feng said on Sunday.

* India reported 15,906 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, according to government data on Sunday. The nationwide tally of infections has reached 34.17 million since the start of the pandemic, according to the health ministry. The country reported 561 deaths overnight, taking the overall tally to 454,269 fatalities.

* Coronavirus cases in eastern Europe will soon surpass 20 million, according to a Reuters tally on Sunday, as the region grapples with its worst outbreak since the pandemic started and inoculation efforts lag.

* The European Commission will hold more talks with Britain over fishing licences on Monday to try to resolve a row involving French fishermen who were threatening protests from this weekend if progress was not made, Olivier Lepretre, chairman of the Regional Maritime Fisheries Committee in northern France, said on Saturday.

* Israel's deputy foreign minister said on Sunday that the Biden administration may shelve its plan to reopen a U.S diplomatic mission for Palestinians in Jerusalem after Israel voiced opposition to such a move.

* The junior partner in Australia's coalition government said on Sunday it will provisionally support a net zero emissions target by 2050, giving Prime Minister Scott Morrison a green light to take the country's updated climate ambitions to Glasgow talks.

* Melbourne, the world's most locked-down city that emerged from its latest spate of COVID-19 restrictions on Friday, will see more curbs eased next week when Victoria state reaches an 80% full vaccination rate, officials said on Sunday.

* Brazil registered 318 new deaths due to COVID-19 and 11,716 confirmed cases of the virus, according to data released on Saturday by the Health Ministry. Brazil has now reported 605,457 COVID-19 deaths, the second highest in the world after the United States.

* Mexico's health ministry on Saturday reported 306 more fatalities due to COVID-19 in the country, bringing the death toll since the pandemic began to 286,259.

* The Romanian government will reintroduce a night curfew and make health passes mandatory for entry to most public venues from Monday, as well as sending school children on vacation for two weeks, as it seeks to stem a surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths.

* Gunmen attacked a jail in Nigeria's Oyo State late on Friday and freed over 800 inmates by force, the third such major attack this year, prison service said in a statement on Saturday.