World News in Brief: June 8

Tuesday, 2021-06-08 15:46:39
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Photo taken on June 7, 2021 shows a view of the UN General Assembly meeting to elect members of the Economic and Social Council at the UN headquarters in New York. Eighteen states were elected Monday into the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the coordinating body for the economic and social work of UN agencies and funds, for a three-year term. (UN Photo/Handout via Xinhua)
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The World Health Organization (WHO) warned Monday of the danger of buying overpriced vaccines from intermediaries, reminding that countries should buy vaccines certified by the WHO and make sure to identify the origin of the product.

* Israel's legislature will vote on Sunday on approving a new government, the speaker of parliament said on Tuesday, a move that will unseat Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the country's longest-serving leader.

* A total of 2,151,329 Mongolian citizens are eligible to vote in the upcoming presidential election, the country's General Election Commission said Tuesday. Mongolia, with a population of around 3.3 million, is preparing to hold its next presidential election on Wednesday.

* Over 794.1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered across China as of Monday, the National Health Commission said Tuesday.

* India reported on Tuesday a daily rise in new coronavirus infections of 86,498 cases over the past 24 hours, the lowest in 66 days, according to a statement by government.

* WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he hopes African COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing sites will be identified and some even close to producing by the end of 2021, in the race to deliver more shots to the continent.

* Portugal's foreign minister said Spain's decision to require a negative COVID-19 test for people crossing the border must have been an error.

* Republic of Korea set a daily record in its inoculation drive, injecting 857,000 vaccine doses on Monday.

* Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is preparing to ease border restrictions for travellers who have been fully vaccinated, Bloomberg News reported on Monday.

* The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 1,204 to 3,702,688, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Tuesday. The reported death toll rose by 140 to 89,384, the tally showed.

* Leading on-line dating apps have teamed up with the British government to encourage more adults to get COVID-19 vaccinations, the British Department of Health and Social Care said Monday. More than 40.3 million people, or more than three-quarters of adults in Britain, have been given the first jab of the coronavirus vaccine, according to the latest official figures.

* The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Africa reached 4,928,685 as of Monday evening, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said. The Africa CDC, the specialized healthcare agency of the 55-member African Union, said the death toll from the pandemic stands at 132,517 while 4,447,383 patients across the continent have recovered from the disease.

* Pfizer has scheduled delivery of an estimated 1 million doses of vaccine to New Zealand during July, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said on Tuesday.

* Japan's economy shrank at a slower-than-initially reported pace in the first quarter, on smaller cuts to plant and equipment spending.

* Around 4.14 million Filipinos were out of work in April, bringing the unemployment rate up to 8.7 percent in the Southeast Asian country, the Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA) said on Tuesday.

* British retailers reported a big boost in sales in May, after lockdown measures ended the month before and a relaxation of restrictions on hospitality drew more shoppers into town centres.

* Palestinian factions said on Monday that they will head to Egypt's capital Cairo soon for a new round of intra-national dialogue. They confirmed in separate statements that Egypt sent official invitations to the factions' leaders to join the dialogue that aims at resolving internal Palestinian division.

* The Czech government on Monday approved the budget for fiscal year 2022 that envisages a deficit of CZK390 billion (US$18.68 billion), Finance Minister Alena Schillerova announced. The expenditure is expected to be CZK1,876 billion and revenues CZK1,486 billion, including money from the European Union (EU), according to the minister. The 2022 budget deficit is lower than the CZK500-billion deficit projected for 2021.

* Hamas, the ruling movement of Gaza, on Monday warned Israel not to renew tension in the Palestinian territories although a Jerusalem flag march scheduled for Thursday is reported to have been called off.

* The death toll from the collision between two trains in Pakistan's southern Sindh province early Monday morning has risen to 62, a government official said on Tuesday.

* US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday that it remains unclear if Tehran is willing to take steps to return to compliance with the Iran nuclear deal. The United States and Iran have held five rounds of indirect negotiations in Austria's capital Vienna since April aimed at reviving the nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

* A new study published Monday finds the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reduce the risk of infection by 91 percent for fully vaccinated people. The two FDA-approved mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and Moderna vaccine.

* Drugmaker Moderna Inc said it has submitted applications to the European and Canadian health regulators seeking authorization for the expanded use of its vaccine in adolescents.

* The president of the Strategic Committee of the Movement of June 5-Rally of Patriotic Forces (M5-RFP), Choguel Kokalla Maiga, was appointed Monday Mali's transitional prime minister by Malian transitional president Assimi Goita, the Malian presidency announced in a press release read on national television.

* Players taking part in the Copa America in Brazil will be tested every 48 hours under sanitary protocols outlined by local officials on Monday. As expected, there will be no fans at the stadiums while players, coaches and other team staff are only allowed to leave their hotels for training, matches or to attend to health matters.

* Chile's foreign trade turnover grew 35 percent year-on-year to US$71.04 billion in the first five months of 2021, marking its best performance in three decades, the government said Monday.