World News in Brief: June 10

Thursday, 2021-06-10 17:20:10
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Grade 12 students take exams in Hawalli Governorate, Kuwait, June 9, 2021. Kuwaiti students of Grade 12 began on Wednesday their paper exams with full health compliance and strict precautions across the country. (Photo: Xinhua)
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A group of UN human rights experts on Wednesday called on leaders of Group of Seven (G7) to make sure people in developing countries get equal access to COVID-19 vaccines and not to allow the profit motive to undermine global health and equity.

* AstraZeneca says it is working closely with Southeast Asian governments to ensure its vaccine is supplied "as quickly as possible", after reported delays in deliveries of orders from a Thai plant.

* The head of global airline body IATA said a digital travel pass for COVID-19 test results and vaccine certifications would go live in coming weeks following a testing phase.

* World Trade Organization members have agreed to start formal negotiations on a plan to boost COVID-19 vaccine supply to developing countries, but face rival proposals - one with and one without a waiver of intellectual property rights.

* A mass vaccination centre in Tokyo will begin booking COVID-19 shots for people under 65 from Saturday, the Sankei Newspaper reported, as Japan ramps up efforts to inoculate people before the Olympics.

* Over 200,000 foreigners in China have received COVID-19 vaccines up to now, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said Thursday at a daily press briefing.

* Brazil's health regulator Anvisa authorized Phase 1 and 2 clinical tests to be carried out on volunteers for the domestically developed Butanvac vaccine.

* US President Joe Biden arrived in Britain Wednesday evening, kicking off his first official overseas trip since his election victory. The US president touched down at the US airbase at Royal Air Force Mildenhall in Suffolk in eastern England. He is expected to meet British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday ahead of the Group of Seven (G7) summit in Britain's southwestern resort of Carbis Bay in Cornwall.

* After seven months of closure, restaurants, bars and cafes throughout France are now able to host customers indoors, albeit still at half of their seating capacity and with tables limited to a maximum of six people.

* Thailand has planned to have 6 million of its population vaccinated against the COVID-19 by the end of June, the country's COVID-19 task force said Thursday.

* Singapore will start a phased easing of its COVID-19 restrictions from Monday as domestic transmission of the virus slows and the number of new cases declines.

* Two Australian states are on COVID-19 alert after an infected woman and her husband travelled from Victoria, the epicentre of country's latest outbreak, through the states of New South Wales and into Queensland.

* Denmark will ditch the use of masks and allow 9,000 more fans to attend European Championship soccer matches in Copenhagen.

* Changes to onshore visas will provide employers and visa holders with more certainty, New Zealand Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi said on Thursday.

* US President Joe Biden plans to buy and donate 500 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine to more than 90 countries, while calling on the world's democracies to do their part to help end the pandemic, the White House said.

* The Bank of Canada announced on Wednesday to keep its interest rate at 0.25 percent where it has been since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.

* Abu Dhabi, the second-most populous emirate in the UAE, will restrict access to shopping malls, restaurants and other public places from June 15 to those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or recently tested negative.

* British Brexit Minister David Frost said on Wednesday that talks with the European Union (EU) on the Northern Ireland Protocol produced no breakthroughs as tension rises between both sides on post-Brexit trade.

* Greece reopened on Wednesday its 10-year bond originally issued in January and drew another EUR2.5 billion (US$3.05 billion) at a rate of just above 0.9 percent, according to Finance Minister Christos Staikouras. Greece has drawn EUR14.5 billion from the bond markets since the start of the year.

* Lebanon's House Speaker Nabih Berri on Wednesday expressed gratitude to Iraq for its decision to increase its yearly crude oil supply for Lebanon from 500,000 tons to 1 million tons, the National News Agency reported.

Reuters, Xinhua