World News in Brief: June 14

Sunday, 2020-06-14 17:54:39
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Two women wear protective suits as they walk on a street near the closed Xinfadi market in Beijing on June 13, 2020. (Photo: AFP)
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Beijing on Sunday (June 14) reported a record 36 new cases of COVID-19 in China's capital, all linked to a major food wholesale market, raising concerns about the spike in a country that had sharply reduced its infections. The city has ordered testing of anyone linked to the Xinfadi market, after the district containing the market put itself on a "wartime" footing and Beijing banned tourism and sports events amid fears of a new wave of the pandemic in the country where it arose last year.

* Malaysia reported eight new novel coronavirus cases on Sunday, taking the total to 8,453 infections. The health ministry also reported one more death, raising the total number of fatalities from the outbreak to 121.

* Indonesia reported 857 new coronavirus infections and 43 more deaths on Sunday, taking the total number of cases to 38,277 and fatalities to 2,134, health ministry official Achmad Yurianto said. Yurianto said 755 more patients had recovered from the virus, bringing the total number of recovered cases to 14,531. Indonesia has tested 322,933 people for the virus as of Sunday.

* The Philippines reported 539 more coronavirus infections on Sunday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 25,930. The Department of Health also recorded 14 additional fatalities related to the novel coronavirus, taking the death toll to 1,088. One duplicate case was removed from the total number of infections reported as of June 13, it added.

* The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Saturday (June 13) reported 2,038,344 cases of the new coronavirus, an increase of 22,317 cases from its previous count, and said that the number of deaths had risen by 711 to 114,625.

* Brazil has registered 850,514 confirmed cases of new coronavirus and the total death toll reached 42,720, the Ministry of Health said on Saturday. Brazil registered 21,704 new cases over the last 24 hours and 892 deaths.

* Mexico's health ministry reported 3,494 new confirmed coronavirus infections along with 424 additional fatalities on Saturday, bringing the total in the country to 142,690 cases and 16,872 deaths.

* Deaths from the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy climbed by 78 on Saturday, the Civil Protection Agency said, while the tally of new cases increased by 346. The total death toll since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21 now stands at 34,301, the agency said, the fourth highest in the world after those of the United States, Britain and Brazil.

* Britain's government is looking at options for its two-week quarantine for people entering the country and might be able to make changes to the rules, finance minister Rishi Sunak said on Sunday. The United Kingdom's death toll from confirmed cases of COVID-19 rose by 181 to 41,662 as of 1600 GMT on June 12, according to government data released on Saturday.

* France reported on Saturday 24 new coronavirus deaths over the previous 24 hours, taking the total to 29,398 and marking the fourth day with under 30 fatalities. The government also reported the number of people in hospital fell by 215 to 10,909 and those in intensive care units fell by eight to 871, with both tallies continuing weeks-long downtrends.

* Spain will open its borders to countries in the European Union's Schengen area on June 21, except for Portugal where the border will open on July 1 as previously announced, Spanish media including El Pais newspaper and Ser radio station reported. The Spanish government had previously said it would allow foreign tourists to enter Spain on July 1 without self-quarantining, apart from the Balearic Islands which could start receiving tourists on Monday as part of a test programme.

* Russia reported 8,835 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Sunday, bringing the number of infections nationwide to 528,964. The authorities said 119 people had died from the virus in the last 24 hours, pushing the death toll to 6,948.

* Australia's two largest states (New South Wales and Victoria) will further ease public coronavirus restrictions at libraries, community centres and nightclubs, officials said on Sunday, despite recording increases in new infections.

* Tokyo confirmed 47 new coronavirus infections on Sunday, Asahi television reported, the highest since the government lifted the state of emergency nationwide in late May. The daily figure was also the highest since May 5, the broadcaster said.

* The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 247 to 186,269, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Sunday. The reported death toll rose by six to 8,787.

* Republic of Korea's Unification Ministry on Sunday said Democratic People’s Republic of Korea should honor past agreements signed between the two countries, a day after Pyongyang warned of retaliatory measures against the south that could involve the military. "The South and the North should try to honour all inter-Korean agreements reached," the ministry said in a statement. "The government is taking the current situation seriously."

* Two peacekeepers with United Nations (UN) forces in Mali were killed on Saturday in an attack on their convoy in the north of the west African nation, the U.N. mission in Mali said on Sunday. The logistics convoy was on a halt on the Tessalit - Gao road when unidentified armed individuals attacked it, and killed two peacekeepers, Mahamat Saleh Annadif, U.N. mission chief in Mali, said in a statement.

* British Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned clashes between anti-racist protesters, far-right demonstrators and police on Saturday, saying rallies had been subverted by violence. "Racist thuggery has no place on our streets. Anyone attacking the police will be met with full force of the law," he tweeted.

* Ireland's Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Green parties are on the cusp of forming a new coalition government after more than four months of deadlock, a member of one of the negotiating teams said on Sunday. Ireland has been in political deadlock since an inconclusive Feb. 8 election pushed centre-right Fine Gael and Fianna Fail together for the first time. The once dominant parties have swapped power throughout the nation's history since emerging from opposing sides of Ireland's 1920s civil war.

* El Salvador's president said on Saturday that the nation's economy could start to re-open on June 16, following weeks of a strict lockdown meant to contain the coronavirus. The process of bringing back the economy will be gradual and pass through several stages, with the airport not restoring operations until Aug. 6, President Nayib Bukele said. The leader has imposed some of the toughest measures in the Americas against the pandemic, in which El Salvador has registered 72 deaths and 3,603 infections from the coronavirus.

* The Canadian government-owned Trans Mountain pipeline has been shut down since early Saturday following an oil spill at a pump station in British Columbia, the pipeline company said. The pipeline crew are responding to a release at its Sumas Pump Station in Abbotsford, British Columbia, after an alarm was received early in the morning, Trans Mountain Corp said in a statement. The estimated volume of oil spilled is not available, but the spill has been contained and cleanup is underway, the company said.

* Egypt on Saturday confirmed 1,677 new coronavirus cases and 62 deaths, the health ministry said, the highest daily increase for both counts. In total, the Arab world's most populous country has registered 42,980 cases including 1,484 deaths, the ministry said in a statement.

* Islamic militants killed at least 20 soldiers and more than 40 civilians and injured hundreds in twin attacks in northeast Nigeria's Borno state on Saturday, residents and a civilian task force fighter said. The attacks, in the Monguno and Nganzai local government areas, came just days after militants killed at least 69 people in a raid on a village in a third area, Gubio.

* Two Katyusha rockets fell in Iraq's Taji base that hosts US-led coalition troops, with no casualties reported, the state news agency said on Saturday. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.