World News in Brief: June 9

Wednesday, 2021-06-09 16:53:13
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People get vaccinated at a vaccination site in Bangkok, Thailand, June 7, 2021. Thailand accelerated vaccine rollout as it began a mass vaccination program Monday amid efforts to contain its worst COVID-19 outbreak so far and ensure the country's wider reopening to vaccinated foreign visitors. (Photo: Xinhua)
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The UN General Assembly on Tuesday adopted a political declaration, in which member states committed themselves to ending AIDS by 2030. According to the declaration, member states committed themselves to reducing annual new HIV infections to under 370,000 and annual AIDS-related deaths to under 250,000 by 2025.

* World Bank President David Malpass said the bank does not support waiving intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines at the World Trade Organization out of concern that it would hamper innovation in the pharmaceuticals sector.

* Republic of Korea's revised figure for real gross domestic product (GDP), adjusted for inflation, grew 1.7 percent in the first quarter from the previous quarter, central bank data showed Wednesday. The growth rate was up 0.1 percentage point from the preliminary reading unveiled in late April, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).

* More than 800 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in China as of Tuesday as the country steps up its inoculation drive.

* Russia on Wednesday reported 10,407 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, its highest number of daily infections since early March, taking the national tally to 5,156,250 since the pandemic began.

* President Joko Widodo said on Wednesday he hoped Indonesia's vaccination rollout will hit one million shots a day by July, as authorities opened up inoculations to anyone aged over 18 in Jakarta to contain increased transmission in the capital.

* Singapore has reported its 34th death due to COVID-19, taking its toll from the pandemic beyond the 33 casualties recorded during the 2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak.

* Thailand's parliament is debating a bill to allow the government to borrow an additional THB500 billion (US$16 billion) to help deal with its latest and biggest coronavirus outbreak so far.

* Brazil will receive the first batch of 3 million doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the next few days.

* Ecuador has secured US$550 million in financing to carry out its coronavirus vaccination.

* The International Monetary Fund has approved US$650 million in aid to Senegal to support the West African country's COVID-19 recovery.

* Australia's central bank sees good prospects for growth and an eventual increase in wages and prices, though inflation is unlikely to be sustainably within its target range until 2024 at the earliest.

* The Iraqi government decided on Tuesday to take a series of measures to accelerate the vaccination campaign to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

* Argentina reported 31,137 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, bring its total tally to more than four million as of Tuesday, Brazil's Ministry of Health said. Meanwhile, 722 people died from the disease on Tuesday, raising the overall death toll to 82,667.

* Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Wednesday he would propose a HUF550 billion to HUF580 billion (US$1.93 billion to US$2.04 billion) income tax rebate for families next year if economic growth exceeds current government forecasts.

* The voter turnout in Mongolia's presidential election amounted to 13.4 percent by 11:00 a.m. local time (0300 GMT) on Wednesday, according to the country's General Election Commission. The figure is lower than that of the presidential election in 2017, the commission said, urging citizens to actively go cast their votes.

* Israeli strikes targeting areas in central and southern Syria overnight killed 11 military personnel, a war monitor reported Wednesday.

* Iran is planning a speedy increase in its oil output, a senior oil ministry official said on Wednesday, as talks continue between Tehran and six major powers to lift US sanctions that have seen it pumping far below capacity since 2018.

* Indonesia's most active volcano Mount Merapi emitted hot clouds three times as far as 1,600 meters to the southwest, the Geological Disaster Technology Research and Development Center said on Wednesday. Located on the border between Central Java and Yogyakarta provinces, the volcano is now in the status of third danger level.

* Taliban insurgents shot dead 10 Afghans working for a de-mining agency in an attack on their camp in the north of the country, police said on Wednesday. Violence has sharply increased across Afghanistan since the United States announced plans in April to pull out all of its troops by Sept. 11. Taliban insurgents are fighting government troops in 26 out of 34 provinces, government officials say.

Xinhua, Reuters