World News in Brief: May 15

Sunday, 2022-05-15 21:34:02
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Australia's peak health body has warned that coronavirus cases will continue to rise due to community complacency.
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A nationwide curfew was fully lifted on Sunday to allow Sri Lankans to celebrate the Buddhist festival of Vesak, while new Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe assembled a cabinet to resolve the island nation's economic and political crisis.

* China's financial hub Shanghai will gradually reopen businesses such as shopping malls, vegetable markets and hair salons from Monday after weeks of closed-off management to ward off COVID-19, the city's vice mayor told a media briefing Sunday.

* Russia's ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, said the country's diplomats in Washington were being threatened with violence, Tass reported.

* Finland's president and the government's foreign policy committee on Sunday took the official decision to start the process of the country's application to become a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

* NATO's deputy secretary general expressed confidence Turkey's concerns over Finland and Sweden joining NATO could be addressed, after Turkey said it had not shut the door to their entry.

* G7 foreign ministers vowed to reinforce Russia's economic and political isolation, continue supplying weapons to Ukraine and work to ease global food shortages stemming from the war.

* BRICS countries renewed their joint commitment to tackling climate change and explored approaches to accelerating the low-carbon transition at a meeting on Friday.

* The International Monetary Fund announced Saturday an increase in the weighting of the Chinese renminbi and USD in the Special Drawing Rights (SDR) currency basket after completing a quinquennial review.

* Ireland's foreign minister Simon Coveney urged British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday not to introduce new post-Brexit trade laws in the coming the days that he said could undermine the peace process in Northern Ireland.

* Incessant rainfall followed by flash floods wreaked havoc in India's northeastern state of Assam inundating low-lying areas and washing away roads, officials said Sunday. The floods hit six districts, killing three people and affecting around 25,000 people in the affected areas.

* Sri Lanka's Disaster Management Center (DMC) announced on Sunday that over 600 families have been affected by floods and landslides as the rainy weather prevails in the country.

* An 18-year-old white gunman shot 10 people to death and wounded three on Saturday at a grocery store in a Black neighborhood of upstate New York, the United States, before surrendering after what authorities called an act of "racially motivated violent extremism."

* Africa's economic recovery from the combined brunt of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine crisis took center stage at ongoing Africa's flagship economic development conference.

* Palestine on Saturday warned of the consequences of allowing Israeli settlers to visit the compound of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the old city of Jerusalem during the "Second Jewish Passover" on Sunday.

* Iran's chief nuclear negotiator stressed on Sunday that although the Islamic republic is serious in the Vienna talks, it is determined not to trust "the enemy," according to Iran's Foreign Ministry.

* Somali parliamentarians met on Sunday in a heavily-fortified airport hangar to choose a new president in a vote required to keep foreign aid coming to the impoverished nation tortured by three decades of civil war.

* India's COVID-19 tally rose to 43,121,599 on Sunday with 2,487 new cases registered during the past 24 hours, showed the health ministry's latest data.

* Malaysia reported 2,373 new COVID-19 infections as of midnight Saturday, bringing the national total to 4,475,873, according to the health ministry.