World News in Brief: May 7

Saturday, 2022-05-07 23:41:19
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The first World Trade Organization meeting to discuss a draft agreement to temporarily waive intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines went "very well", its chair said on Friday, although some members voiced reservations.
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The Lao government on Saturday announced a full reopening of all international checkpoints, allowing vaccinated arrivals to enter the country without any testing requirements.

* Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has urged efforts to help as many market entities as possible to stabilize their posts and expand job opportunities.

* UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday welcomed a Security Council statement in which the council "spoke with one voice for peace in Ukraine."

* More civilians were evacuated from the Azovstal plant in Ukraine's port city of Mariupol as Ukraine and Russia on Friday conducted another prisoner exchange.

* Pope Francis said the "barking" of NATO at Russia's door might have led to Russia's military operation in Ukraine, US news portal Politico has reported.

* Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Friday said the United States should share the burden of tackling mass immigration from Central America.

* The International Monetary Fund (IMF) would begin the next round of technical discussions with Sri Lanka from May 9 to May 23, IMF' mission chief for Sri Lanka Masahiro Nozaki has said.

* US job growth increased more than expected in April as manufacturers boosted hiring, underscoring the economy's strong fundamentals despite a decline in output in the first quarter.

* Japan's airlines are betting on a travel recovery this summer after the COVID-19 doldrums, as many Japanese look to head overseas for the first time in years now that fully vaccinated residents no longer face quarantine curbs on their return.

* European airlines and hotel chains are seeing bookings recover to levels barely seen since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, led by demand for shorter trips, although long-distance travel remains on the ropes.

* Beijing reported 66 new domestically transmitted COVID-19 infections during the past 24 hours, a disease control official at the Chinese capital said on Friday.

* With more US travelers expected to take to the skies and the roads this summer as COVID restrictions ease, unbridled demand will strain capacity in the leisure and travel industry and push prices even higher.

* Colombia will offer a second coronavirus booster shot to people aged 50 and over, the government said on Friday.