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World News in Brief: March 12

World News in Brief: March 12

Germany's health minister warned on Friday that the country will fail to get the pandemic under control and will be in the same situation as now by autumn if the government does not put in place a general vaccine mandate.   

The Russia-Ukraine conflict continues on Saturday as relevant parties are working to broker a peaceful solution.

* Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday that a possible meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is not ruled out.

* Ukraine established 12 humanitarian corridors in four regions on Friday to allow civilians to leave the conflict-torn areas, the Ukrainian government-run Ukrinform news agency reported, citing Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk.

* The EU will join Washington in suspending Moscow's "most-favoured nation" trade status, crack down on its use of crypto-assets and ban exports to Russia of EU luxury goods and imports of iron and steel goods, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Friday.

* China has provided 20 billion yuan (about 3.16 billion USD) from the central government budget to protect grain planters from rising prices of farming supplies, the Ministry of Finance has said.

* Britain's economy rebounded much more than expected in January from its coronavirus-related lull in late 2021, according to data on Friday that, along with soaring inflation, raises the likelihood of an interest rate hike next week.

* France will still provide aerial military support to Malian troops battling an Islamist insurgency in the Sahel even after its counter-terrorism mission has withdrawn, but only where Russian fighters are not present, the force's commander said on Friday.

* Finland's much-delayed Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor started test production on Saturday, operator TVO said, delivering power to the national grid which over time is expected to reduce the need for electricity imports and lead to lower prices.

* A man was shot by police on Saturday after a knife attack that injured one officer in the southern French city of Marseille, local newspaper La Provence said. The newspaper said the motives of the man were not immediately known.

* China's financial hub of Shanghai said on Friday it will close all primary, middle and high schools from March 12 and that students will need to shift to online classes until further notice as part of COVID-19 prevention measures.

* The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) late on Thursday said some 98% of the US population live in locations where COVID-19 levels are low enough that people do not need to wear masks indoors.

* India's COVID-19 tally rose to 42,987,875 on Saturday, as 3,614 new cases were registered during the past 24 hours across the country, showed the federal health ministry's latest data.

* Brazil has had 55,211 new cases of coronavirus reported in the past 24 hours, and 470 deaths from COVID-19, the health ministry said on Friday.

* New COVID-19 infections in France rose by more than 25% on Friday compared to a week ago after rising more than 24% on Thursday, as a downward trend that had started late January reversed.

* The Republic of Korea reported a new record daily high of 383,665 COVID-19 cases, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said on Saturday, amid a surge of Omicron infections.

* England's COVID-19 prevalence rose to 1 in 25 in the week ending March 5, Britain's Office for National Statistics (ONS) said on Friday, up from 1 in 30 recorded the previous week.

* Italy reported 53,127 COVID-19 related cases on Friday, against 54,230 the day before, the health ministry said, while the number of deaths rose to 156 from 136.

* Switzerland has secured at least 14 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for 2023, the government said on Friday.

* Kenya lifted its remaining COVID-19 restrictions on Friday, including a ban on large indoor gatherings such as religious services and a requirement to present a negative COVID-19 test for arriving air passengers.


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