World News in Brief: October 28

Thursday, 2021-10-28 15:27:38
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Two new cases of the coronavirus were recorded in New Zealand's South Island city of Christchurch, the first in almost a year, as the country battles the spread of an outbreak of the infectious Delta variant.
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Climate finance needs to rise sharply to US$5 trillion a year globally by 2030 to fund measures to fight climate change, researchers said on Thursday, warning that transformation across economies is too slow to meet international temperature goals.

* The world will need to shut down nearly 3,000 coal-fired power plants before 2030 if it is to have a chance of keeping temperature rises within 1.5 Celsius, according to research by climate think tank TransitionZero.

* Thirty eight scientific advisers to governments have urged leaders at the upcoming COP26 climate conference to focus on detailed action plans, not just pledges, on how to keep a 1.5 Celsius temperature limit within reach.

* Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi urged the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday to resume financing support to cash-strapped Afghanistan for reconstruction.

* US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday he spoke by phone with Sudan's civilian-allied Foreign Minister Mariam Sadiq al-Mahdi to condemn the arrest of civilian leaders in the African country.

* Top advisers to US President Joe Biden and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan spoke on Wednesday about defense issues and how to resolve disagreements, the White House said, days after Turkey's leader threatened to expel US and other ambassadors.

* The United States and the Republic of Korea held a disarmament and non-proliferation consultation on Tuesday, the US State Department said.

* Russia on Thursday reported 1,159 COVID-19 deaths in the past 24 hours, a fresh all-time high, amid a surge in new cases that has prompted authorities to reimpose partial lockdown measures. The state COVID-19 task force also reported 40,096 new infections, compared with 36,582 a day earlier.

* Singapore's health ministry said it is looking into an "unusual surge" in infections after the city-state reported 5,324 new cases of COVID-19, the most since the beginning of the pandemic, while intensive care beds were filling up.

* Finance minister Rishi Sunak used a stronger forecast for Britain's post-lockdown economic recovery to promise higher public spending and he vowed to protect households from the sharp rise in inflation that could approach 5% next year.

* Global stocks eased from record peaks as a stark reminder of supply chain snags in corporate earnings reports stalled their rally, while investors also looked to whether central banks may consider tightening monetary policy earlier than thought.

* The US economy likely grew at its slowest pace in more than a year in the third quarter as COVID-19 infections flared up, further straining global supply chains and causing shortages of goods such as automobiles that almost stifled consumer spending.

* The Bank of Japan retained its easy monetary policy settings and projected inflation at well below its 2% target for at least two more years, reinforcing market bets it will lag other central banks in dialling back crisis-mode policies.

* Thailand's finance ministry cut its 2021 economic growth forecast to 1.0% from the 1.3% expansion it projected earlier, an official said, as the country deals with its most prolonged coronavirus outbreak.

* Short-dated euro zone bond yields jumped and long-term inflation expectations were at a new seven-year high on Thursday, putting pressure on European Central Bank officials to address the issue of rising inflation when they meet later in the day.

* Growth in sub-Saharan Africa's big economies will be mixed into 2022, after a year of recovery from lockdowns, as life slowly returns to normal amid low vaccination rates, a Reuters poll found.

* The Biden administration's COVID-19 vaccination deadline will not require immediate action on the part of employers against unvaccinated employees when it comes into force on Dec. 8, the White House coronavirus response coordinator said on Wednesday.

* Brazil registered on Wednesday 433 new deaths due to COVID-19 and 17,184 additional confirmed cases, according to data released by the Health Ministry.

* COVID-19 is slowly retreating across most of North, Central and South America, the Pan American Health Organization said, reporting that last week the continent's death and infection figures were the lowest in over a year.

* Australia eased its COVID-related travel advice for several countries including the United States, Britain and Canada as it prepares to reopen its borders next week for the first time in over 18 months.

* New Zealand said on Thursday it would ease coronavirus border restrictions that have been in place since March 2020, and move to a system of home isolation for fully vaccinated overseas arrivals from early next year.

* Ukraine registered a record daily high of 26,071 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, exceeding the previous high of 23,785 on Oct. 22, the health ministry said on Thursday. Ministry data also showed 576 new coronavirus-related deaths.

* The World Bank has approved a US$360 million development policy financing (DPF) loan to support Egypt's post-pandemic recovery, the lender said on Thursday.

* France will adopt a zero tolerance attitude towards Britain and block access to virtually all its boats until it awards the fishing licences France says its fishermen need in its post-Brexit dispute, a government minister said on Thursday.

* Qatar launched a national climate change action plan on Thursday aimed at achieving a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The plan also envisioned reducing "carbon intensity" of its liquefied natural gas facilities by 25% by the same year.

* Spain's inflation surged to a 29-year-high in October as national consumer prices rose 5.5% year-on-year, flash data from the National Statistics Institute (INE) showed on Thursday.

* Israel's parliamentary finance committee on Thursday approved the 2021-22 state budget, the Knesset said, clearing a key hurdle and paving the way for a final vote in the full plenum.

* Novavax said it had completed the real-time submission of an application for the authorisation of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate in the United Kingdom.

* Ecuador's President Guillermo Lasso on Wednesday called for dialogue following a second day of demonstrations by indigenous and civil society groups against gasoline price rises, and said his government would keep security forces on highways to maintain order.

* Islamic State claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on a village in Diyala province east of Iraq, the militant group said on Wednesday in a statement posted on an affiliated Telegram account.

* Saudi Arabia classified the Lebanon-based Al-Qard Al-Hassan association as a terrorist entity, citing links to activities supporting Lebanon's Shi'ite group Hezbollah, state media reported on Wednesday.