World News in Brief: January 23

Sunday, 2022-01-23 21:53:50
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Russia reported on Sunday a new record number of COVID-19 infections confirmed in the past 24 hours as the Omicron variant of the virus spreads across the country, the government coronavirus task force said.
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Thailand's prime minister will visit Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, the Saudi foreign ministry said, in what will be the first high-level meeting between the two countries since a diplomatic row over a jewellery theft nearly three decades ago.

* Four of the Philippines' presidential candidates on Saturday laid down plans to tackle the country's biggest issues in an interview with the nation's leading broadcaster.

* British foreign minister Liz Truss could visit Moscow under plans being examined by authorities, a Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman said on Sunday, according to TASS news agency, at a time of high tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine.

* Italy's former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has decided against running for president of the republic, a source from his Forza Italia party told Reuters on Saturday.

* Iran is expected to regain its vote in the U.N. General Assembly after the Republic of Korea paid Tehran's delinquent dues to the world body with frozen Iranian funds in the country, the RoK said on Sunday.

* Burkina Faso's government on Sunday confirmed gunfire at some military camps but denied reports on social media that the army had seized power.

* Beijing's city government on Sunday introduced new measures to contain a recent outbreak of COVID-19, as China's capital continued to report new local cases of the virus less than two weeks before it hosts the Winter Olympic Games.

* India reported over 300,000 new COVID-19 infections for the fourth straight day even though the caseload over the last 24 hours was slightly lower than a day before, data released by the government on Sunday showed.

* The Republic of Korea posted its second-highest daily number of coronavirus cases on Sunday, despite extended COVID-19 curbs and a high vaccination rate, raising concerns of further spread during the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday.

* Brazil recorded 157,393 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, with 238 deaths, the Health Ministry said on Saturday, as the Omicron variant sweeps the country.

* Mexico's health ministry on Saturday reported 364 more deaths from COVID-19, bringing the country's total number of deaths since the start of the pandemic to 303,085. The fatalities marked the highest daily death toll since late November.

* France registered 389,320 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, after seeing four consecutive days with more than 400,000 new cases, but the number of COVID-19 patients went down for the fifth day in a row.

* Britain reported 76,807 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, continuing a recent downturn in the number of infections, and 297 more deaths within 28 days of a positive test, official data showed.

* Lebanon must not be a platform for hostile acts or words, Kuwait's foreign minister said on Sunday while visiting Beirut, an indirect call for curbs on the Iran-backed group Hezbollah in order to improve strained ties with Gulf Arab states.

* Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) troops aided by US troops tightened their siege of a prison housing Islamic State suspects after inmates took over the facility, residents and officials said on Sunday.

* Lebanese officials will start talks with the International Monetary Fund on Monday, an official government source told Reuters.

* At least 16 people died and eight others were injured early on Sunday in a fire that engulfed an upmarket nightclub in Cameroon's capital Yaounde, the government said.

* A blast ripped through a minivan in the western Afghan city of Herat on Saturday, killing at least six people, according to officials.