14.08.2021, 16:08

World News in Brief: August 14

World News in Brief: August 14

Indian vaccine maker Bharat Biotech's nasal vaccine candidate has received regulatory approval for mid- to late-stage trials, the government's ministry of science and technology said in a statement. (Representative Image/ Photo: Reuters)   

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday called on the Taliban to immediately halt their offensive in Afghanistan, and warned that "Afghanistan is spinning out of control."

* American troops have flown into Kabul to help evacuate embassy personnel and other civilians in the Afghan capital, a US official said on Saturday, a day after Taliban insurgents seized the country's second- and third-biggest cities.

* Canada plans to resettle more than 20,000 vulnerable Afghans including women leaders, human rights workers and reporters to protect them from Taliban reprisals, Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino said on Friday.

* Afghanistan is spiralling into a failed state and a civil war in which militant groups such as al Qaeda will thrive and likely pose a threat again to the West, Britain's defence minister said on Friday.

* Germany will reduce its embassy staff in Kabul to the bare minimum and increase security measures at the compound, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Friday, echoing similar announcements by the United States and other Western governments.

* The Swiss government will withdraw remaining Swiss staff from its cooperation bureau in Afghanistan given the worsening security situation there, it said on Friday.

* France's foreign ministry on Friday reiterated a call for French citizens to leave Afghanistan as soon as possible.

* Norway will close its embassy in Kabul and evacuate its diplomats as well as its local employees and their families, Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soereide said on Friday.

* Denmark is closing its embassy in Kabul for now because of the worsening security situation in Afghanistan, and evacuating its staff, Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said on Friday.

* Zambia's opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema took an early lead in the country's presidential election over incumbent Edgar Lungu, according to the first results from the electoral commission early on Saturday.

* China on Saturday reported 30 new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases for Aug. 13, down for the fourth consecutive day, offering fresh signs that a month-long outbreak may be waning.

* India reported 38,667 new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours, a government statement said on Saturday. Daily COVID-19 deaths in the country rose by 478, health ministry data showed. Total cases rose to 32.12 million.

* Russia reported a new record of 819 daily COVID-19 deaths on Saturday, bringing the total during the pandemic to 169,683. The Russian coronavirus task force also said it had confirmed 22,144 new infections in the past 24 hours, taking the national tally of cases to 6,579,212.

* Japan’s Tokyo's new daily coronavirus cases hit 5,094 on Saturday, a day after marking a record of 5,773, the Tokyo government said.

* The Philippine health ministry on Saturday recorded 14,249 new coronavirus cases, the new second-largest daily increase in infections.

* Indonesia's capital reopened its retail malls this week to an exclusive crowd - shoppers vaccinated against coronavirus.

* The German government has designated the Israel, Turkey and the United States as high-risk countries, triggering a minimum five-day quarantine requirement for those who are unvaccinated, the Funke media group reported.

* The US Food and Drug Administration has authorized a third dose of COVID-19 vaccines by Pfizer Inc-BioNTech and Moderna Inc for people with compromised immune systems.

* Australian police hiked fines for people breaking lockdown rules in Sydney and the rest of its home state on Saturday and strict stay-at-home orders were extended statewide amid a record jump in daily new COVID-19 infections.

* The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 5,644 to 3,816,285, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Saturday. The reported death toll rose by 11 to 91,864, the tally showed.

* Mexico reported 22,758 more confirmed coronavirus cases on Friday and 603 additional fatalities, according to health ministry data, bringing the total number of cases to 3,068,329 and the overall death toll to 247,414.

* Britain said on Friday it was cutting the cost of COVID-19 tests for travel from the National Health Service (NHS) and was reviewing the list of private providers to ensure pricing is transparent, warning it would clamp down on misleading pricing.

* Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Friday said the government is considering lifting social distancing rules on Sept. 20 as COVID-19 cases in the Netherlands ease.

* Norway's government will end some restrictions related to the pandemic, it said, but stopped short of announcing a full reopening of the economy.

* Italy reported 45 coronavirus-related deaths on Friday against 30 the day before, the health ministry said, while the daily tally of new infections rose to 7,409 from 7,270.

* Morocco received a shipment of 600,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine as it expands its inoculation campaign to younger people following a surge in cases, said Said Afif, a member of the health ministry's scientific committee.

* Drugmakers Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna are expected to make billions of dollars from COVID-19 booster shots in a market that could for years rival the US$6 billion in annual sales for flu vaccines, analysts and healthcare investors say.

* The US Department of Homeland Security, in a new terrorism warning bulletin, said violent extremists could view the reimposition of COVID-19-related restrictions following the spread of coronavirus variants as a rationale to conduct attacks.

* Oil fell on Friday, but was on track to post a slight weekly gain, broadly shrugging off a warning from the International Energy Agency that the spread of coronavirus variants is slowing oil demand.

* South Africa's health minister Joe Phaahla said authorities would not would recommend a relaxation of lockdown measures from its current Level 3, despite an overall downward trend in infections as the country grapples with a third wave.

* Emergency workers battled to relieve flood-hit areas of Turkey's Black Sea region on Friday, as the death toll rose to 31 in the second natural disaster to strike the country this month.


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