World News in Brief: November 22

Monday, 2021-11-22 17:18:14
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People were lining up for COVID-19 shots outside Budapest's main hospitals on Monday as Hungary for the first time offered vaccinations without prior registration amid a surge in new infections.
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India’s capital New Delhi has lifted a ban on construction activities as air quality improved marginally, but schools and offices will remain closed until at least Wednesday, its environment minister said on Monday.

* The Kremlin on Monday dismissed new allegations that Moscow was weighing a military attack on Ukraine, and said it was alarmed that Ukraine was being supplied with large quantities of weapons and building up its own forces.

* Romania's President Klaus Iohannis nominated retired four-star army general Nicolae Ciuca as prime minister designate, as expected, on Monday, hoping to end a two-month long political stalemate.

* Berlin does not accept a Belarus proposal for Germany to take in 2,000 migrants who are currently on Belarusian territory, a government spokesperson said on Monday.

* The first of nearly 100 million doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine being donated by the European Union by year-end have begun arriving in African countries, a statement by the GAVI vaccine alliance said on Monday.

* French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday protests over COVID-19 restrictions in the French overseas region of Guadeloupe have created a "very explosive" situation.

* Oman and Qatar signed six cooperation agreements including in the areas of tourism, the military, ports and investment during a state visit by Oman's Sultan Haitham to Doha, the Omani state news agency reported on Monday.

* The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Monday it has reached an agreement with Pakistan that will help revive a stalled 6 billion USD funding programme for the South Asian country, which faces growing economic challenges.

* International air traffic to Greece rose further in October, at the end of the peak summer tourism season, civil aviation authority data showed on Monday. Arrivals more than doubled in that month to 1,683,723, from 741,932 a year earlier when COVID restrictions hurt international travel.

* Pfizer Inc said on Monday its COVID-19 vaccine provided strong long-term protection against the virus in a late-stage study conducted among adolescents aged 12 to 15 years.

* Austria entered its fourth national lockdown on Monday after tens of thousands of people protested in Vienna against renewed curbs on movement as Europe again becomes the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic.

* Health Minister Jens Spahn sought to allay concerns on Monday that Germany was running out of BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine shots, saying that enough supplemental Moderna doses were available to meet demand during the remainder of the year.

* Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Monday lashed out at "idiot" rioters who rampaged through cities across the Netherlands this weekend when protests against coronavirus policies turned violent. More than 100 people were arrested during three nights of violence, which saw police open fire at rioters in Rotterdam on Friday.

* Israel, which is totally dependent on imported vaccines, called on Monday for proposals for a locally-based vaccine production facility to provide itself with independent capability to take counter-measures to any new pathogens.

* Reforming Britain's airport slots system used by airlines remains a priority for the government and it will feature in its new aviation strategy, minister Robert Courts said on Monday.

* Five people were killed and more than 40 injured when an SUV sped through a Christmas parade in the small town of Waukesha, Wisconsin, on Sunday, plowing into dozens of people including young children. Police said the number of dead and injured could change.

* Bahrain security forces arrested a number of suspected militants ahead of a planned attack and confiscated Iranian weapons and explosives in their possession, the interior ministry said on its official Twitter on Monday.

Reuters