World News in Brief: November 28

Sunday, 2021-11-28 23:12:12
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The Philippines will buy an additional 20 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE, seeking to fully inoculate more than 80% of its population by mid-2022, a government official said on Sunday.
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The Omicron coronavirus variant kept spreading around the world on Sunday, with 13 cases found in the Netherlands and two each in Denmark and Australia even as more countries imposed travel restriction to try to seal themselves off.

* An 7.5 magnitude earthquake shook the remote Amazon region of northern Peru early on Sunday and was felt as far as Lima in the center of the country and southern Ecuador, causing damage to homes near the epicenter with no casualties reported.

* The Italian coastguard has rescued about 250 migrants, including a newborn baby, from a boat drifting a few miles off the coast of the Calabria region.

* Czech President Milos Zeman appointed on Sunday leader of the incoming coalition, Petr Fiala, as prime minister, taking a step closer to putting an entire government in place.

* Indonesia will ban the entry of travellers who have been in eight African countries and extend quarantine times for all arrivals to curb the spread of the new Omicron coronavirus variant, officials said on Sunday.

* The Philippines on Sunday further tightened border controls to keep out the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus, adding seven European countries to a travel ban that initially covered seven African nations.

* Swiss voters on Sunday backed the government's pandemic response plan in a referendum by a clear majority, paving the way for the continuation of exceptional measures to stem the rising tide of COVID-19 cases.

* Britain needs France's cooperation to curb the flow of migrants escaping war and poverty over the English Channel from Europe, health minister Sajid Javid said on Sunday, defending a letter Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote to the French president.

* France will begin repatriating some of its nationals from the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Sunday night after chartering a special flight to bring them back to Paris, a Foreign Ministry source said. France last week urged all its nationals to leave Ethiopia without delay as the conflict in the country escalates.

* Iran's negotiating team, led by Ali Bagheri Kani, held bilateral and trilateral meetings in Vienna on Sunday, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported, ahead of a resumption in nuclear talks to revive a 2015 agreement between Iran and major powers.

* Germany said on Sunday it had detected a total of three cases of the new Omicron coronavirus variant after a suspected infection in the western state of Hesse was confirmed.

* Denmark has registered two cases of the new Omicron coronavirus variant in travelers from South Africa, the country's infectious disease authority said in a statement on Sunday.

* Dutch health authorities said on Sunday that 13 cases of the new Omicron coronavirus variant have been found in the Netherlands among passengers that were on two flights from South Africa that arrived on Friday.

* Britain reported 37,681 more COVID-19 cases on Sunday and a further 51 deaths within 28 days of a positive test, according to official data.

* Morocco will ban all inbound international passenger flights for two weeks starting Nov. 29 due to concerns over the Omicron COVID-19 variant, the Moroccan government said in a statement on Sunday.

* Maldives said it was barring travellers from seven African countries from Sunday over concerns about the new Omicron variant of COVID-19.

* Gunmen have killed four men who were involved in the maintenance on a pipeline owned by the Nigerian subsidiary of Italian oil giant Eni, a local security spokesman told Reuters.

* A gas swap deal up to 2 billion cubic metres (bcm) per year was signed between Iran, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan, Iran state news agency IRNA reported on Sunday.