World News in Brief: July 3

Friday, 2020-07-03 15:46:02
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(Illustration image) Temperature screening at Phnom Penh International Airport pre-departure check-in/ Cambodia Aviation via Twitter.
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Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen said on Friday (July 3) that casinos across the kingdom will be allowed to resume operations if they meet requirements for COVID-19 prevention at their facilities, a spokesman and an official said. Hun Sen made the decision during a weekly Cabinet meeting after the situation of the COVID-19 had stabilized, government spokesman Phay Siphan wrote on his Facebook page.

* Indonesia reported 1,301 new coronavirus infections on Friday, taking the total number of cases to 60,695, health ministry official Achmad Yurianto said. Yurianto also reported 49 new coronavirus deaths, taking total fatalities to 3,036, while he said 27,568 people have recovered from the virus.

* Chinese health authority said Friday that it received reports of five newly confirmed COVID-19 cases on the Chinese mainland Thursday, of which two were domestically transmitted. The two domestically transmitted cases were reported in Beijing, the National Health Commission said in its daily report. No deaths related to the disease were reported Thursday, according to the commission.

* Chicago will quarantine for 14 days all arrivals from US states where coronavirus cases are surging, its Public Health Commissioner said late on Thursday, as the country reported a record number of new infections. Allison Arwady said the directive will take effect on Monday. It currently covers 15 states, including California, Florida, Texas and Arizona, and it makes provision for adding or removing states as their coronavirus caseloads change, according to the city's official website

* Russia on Friday reported 6,718 new cases of the novel coronavirus, taking the nationwide tally of infections to 667,883. The country's coronavirus crisis response centre said 176 people had died in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 9,859.

* Republic of Korea President Moon Jae-in on Friday named the new national security adviser, state intelligence agency chief and unification minister, according to the presidential Blue House. Suh Hoon, the National Intelligence Service (NIS) chief, will replace Chung Eui-yong as top national security adviser for President Moon. Park Jie-won, former lawmaker of the Party for People's Livelihoods who had served as chief of staff for late President Kim Dae-jung, was named as new NIS chief to replace Suh.

* French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe resigned on Friday ahead of a government reshuffle by President Emmanuel Macron designed to bolster his green credentials and win back disillusioned voters ahead of a possible re-election bid. The Elysee Palace said in a statement that Philippe would handle government affairs until a new cabinet was named.

* Britain will end coronavirus quarantines for people arriving in England from more than 50 countries, including Germany, France, Spain and Italy - but not the United States - the British government said on Friday. The move, effective July 10, clears the way for millions of British tourists to take summer holidays without worrying about being quarantined when they return. Those arriving from higher risk countries will still have to self-quarantine for 14 days under a rule which has angered airlines and travel companies.

* India's top health research body Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is likely to launch the first COVID-19 vaccine by Aug. 15 in partnership with Hyderabad-based vaccine manufacturing company Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL). ICMR has selected a dozen institutes for clinical trials of the indigenous COVID-19 vaccine (BBV152 COVID vaccine). The institutes have been asked to step up clinical trials as it is a "priority project" and "meet the given timelines without any lapse." The number of COVID-19 cases in India Friday reached 625,544 and the death toll rose to 18,213.

* Republic of Korea (ROK) reported 63 more cases of the COVID-19 compared to 24 hours ago as of 0:00 a.m. Friday local time, raising the total number of infections in the country to 12,967. The daily caseload rose above 60 in five days amid the continued small cluster infections and imported cases. Of the new cases, 11 were imported from overseas, lifting the combined figure to 1,619. No more death was confirmed, leaving the death toll at 282. The total fatality rate stood at 2.17 percent.

* New Zealand reported no new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, according to the Ministry of Health. The number of active cases in New Zealand remains at 18, all of which are in managed isolation or quarantine facilities. There are no cases of COVID-19 in the community, a ministry statement said. The total number of confirmed cases remains at 1,180, which is the number reported to the World Health Organization, it said.

* The three presidents of the leading European Union (EU) institutions will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel next week to discuss the thorny issue of the bloc's proposal to revive its economy by raising debt, the European Commission said on Thursday. President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen has invited President of the European Parliament David Sassoli, President of the European Council Charles Michel, and Merkel in her capacity as rotating Presidency of the EU Council, to a meeting on July 8 to take stock of progress and prepare the intensive political negotiations, said the Commission.

* Some 1,022 jobs will be cut at France's HOP! airline as parent Air France prepares to shed jobs to grapple with the coronavirus crisis, CGT union representative Joel Rondel said on Friday. Air France managers are meeting with labour unions to discuss a restructuring and layoffs plans.

* There is a good agreement to be reached with the European Union on post-Brexit trading terms but if that can't be achieved, there are other very good options, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told LBC radio on Friday. Johnson said he was a bit more optimistic than EU negotiator Michel Barnier, but that if no deal was struck in then an "Australia-style" arrangement would be a "very good option".

* The Turkish coast guard on Thursday rescued 17 illegal immigrants on Turkey's Aegean coast, the coast guard announced on its website. The migrants were found stranded at a remote location on the land of the Bozburun Peninsula in Turkey's southwestern province of Mugla, the coast guard said. The coast guard acted upon a call for help from the refugees, the statement noted, without revealing further details.

* Kazakhstan will lock down the eastern cities of Oskemen and Semey from July 5 to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, the governor of the Eastern Kazakhstan province said on Friday. The Central Asian nation bordering Russia and China will impose a second nationwide lockdown from the same date, but it will be softer than the first one and will allow some movement of people between provinces.

* Lebanon's talks with the IMF are on hold pending the start of economic reforms and agreement on the Lebanese side on a common approach for calculating losses, Finance Minister Ghazi Wazni told al-Joumhuria newspaper on Friday. In comments confirmed to Reuters by official sources, Wazni said he would remain in contact with the IMF until the talks resumed.