12.11.2021, 16:40

World News in Brief: November 12

World News in Brief: November 12

China administered about 8.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines on Nov. 11, bringing the total number of doses administered to 2.364 billion, data from the National Health Commission showed on Friday.   

Four astronauts, three from NASA and one from the European Space Agency, arrived at the International Space Station on Thursday and docked their SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule with the orbiting laboratory to begin a six-month science mission.

* Malaysia's economy shrank 4.5% in the third quarter, contracting by more than expected after its rebound in the second quarter, but the central bank expects a quick recovery as coronavirus restrictions are eased and economic activities resume.

* US President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping are expected to address leaders of the Pacific Rim late on Friday amid heightened regional trade and geopolitical tensions.

* Russia traded barbs with Western members of the U.N. Security Council on Thursday over a crisis on the border between Belarus and Poland, with Russia's deputy U.N. envoy suggesting his European colleagues have "masochist inclinations."

* Preparations are underway to hold the next Quad group (which comprises Japan, the United States, Australia and India) summit in Japan, Kyodo news agency reported on Friday.

* Brazil on Thursday became the first country to allow imports of flour made with genetically modified wheat, though shipments of the new variety developed in Argentina are unlikely anytime soon due to opposition from Brazilian millers and global consumers.

* The Canadian government said on Thursday it was temporarily withdrawing non-essential personnel from its embassy in Haiti, citing a rapidly deteriorating security situation in the country.

* Asian share prices advanced on Friday as a shock from a surprisingly strong US inflation reading ebbed, with investors now hopeful that the worst price hikes could be soon over.

* Britain's economic recovery lagged behind that of other rich nations in the July-September period, according to official data.

* New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Friday paid tribute to outgoing German chancellor Angela Merkel, commending her 16-year leadership of Europe's largest economy and describing her as a "very good person".

* Belarusian state-owned airline Belavia said on Friday it would stop allowing citizens of Iraq, Syria and Yemen to board flights from Turkey to Belarus at the request of Turkish authorities amid a migrant standoff between Belarus and Poland.

* US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to Kenya, Nigeria and Senegal from Nov. 15-20, the State Department said on Thursday.

* Authorities in China’s Beijing city have imposed new curbs on conferences and events after confirming six locally transmitted cases on Thursday.

* Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio outlined on Friday an urgent plan to increase hospital beds and medical resources in preparation for a possible resurgence of COVID-19 infections this winter.

* People who are still not vaccinated as the fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic takes hold in Germany must understand they have a duty to the rest of society to protect others, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday.

* The Dutch government was considering whether to impose Western Europe's first partial lockdown since the summer, as new coronavirus cases jumped to the highest level since the start of the pandemic.

* Sweden has seen a sharp decline in COVID-19 testing this month, just as much of Europe contends with surging infection rates, after its health agency said vaccinated Swedes no longer need get tested even if they have symptoms of the disease.

* Austria is days away from placing millions of people not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 on lockdown, as daily infections are at a record high and intensive-care units are increasingly strained, Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg said.

* Canada's epicenters are shifting from dense urban zones to more rural or remote areas that have lower vaccination rates and fewer public health resources.

* The Czech Republic reported 10,395 new COVID-19 cases for Nov. 11, surpassing 10,000 for the third time this week, Health Ministry data showed on Friday.

* Brazil has had 15,300 new cases of the coronavirus reported in the past 24 hours, and 188 deaths from COVID-19, the health ministry said on Thursday.

* Mexico reported 256 new confirmed deaths from COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the country's official death toll from the pandemic to 290,630, according to health ministry data.

* Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and senior aides holed up in a nuclear command bunker to simulate an outbreak of a vaccine-resistant COVID-19 variant to which children are vulnerable, describing such an eventuality as "the next war".

* AstraZeneca on Friday posted US$1.05 billion in COVID-19 vaccine sales for the third quarter and the not-for-profit vaccine added one cent to profit in the period, while the company reiterated its forecasts for 2021.

* Moderna has offered to sell its vaccines to the African Union at US$7 a shot, said the head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control.

* Europe's drug regulator has recommended two COVID-19 antibody therapies - one from American-Swiss partners Regeneron-Roche and another from the Republic of Korea's Celltrion, as the region builds up its defence against surging cases.

* World powers meet in France on Friday to push for elections in Libya by year-end and endorse efforts to remove foreign forces from the oil-producing nation despite growing political wrangling that threatens to unravel a year-long peace process.

* Forces from the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Israel and the United States Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) began a multilateral maritime security operations exercise in the Red Sea on Wednesday, NAVCENT said on Thursday.

* Sudan's army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan was sworn in on Thursday as head of a new transitional council he appointed to lead the country following the military takeover late last month, shrugging off domestic and international pressure to reverse the coup.


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