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Source: Socialist Republic of Vietnam

* The defence ministry of the Nagorno-Karabakh region said on Tuesday it had recorded another 43 casualties among its military, pushing its total military toll to 772 since fighting with Azeri forces erupted on Sept. 27. The fighting has surged to its worst level since the 1990s, when some 30,000 people were killed.

* Britain and the United States are intensifying trade talks, British trade minister Liz Truss said on Tuesday, announcing the start of the fifth round of negotiations.

* EU environment ministers are set to agree this week to make the bloc’s pledge to be climate neutral by 2050 legally binding, although tough questions about how deeply to cut emissions over the next decade will be left to leaders to discuss in December. The bloc, which takes big decisions by consensus among its 27 member states, is inching its way towards tighter emissions goals in time for a year-end deadline under the Paris climate agreement to spell out targets for 2030.

* Damage caused by floods and heavy rain in southeastern France is expected to cost EUR210 million (US$248.12 million) in insurance claims, French insurance body FFA and reinsurer CCR said on Monday. FFA and CCR also said in a statement that 72 percent of the insurance claims will be paid for damaged houses.

* The European Union’s executive said on Tuesday it was ready to keep on negotiating a new trade arrangement with Britain, adding that it was “obvious” both sides needed to move to get a Brexit deal.

* Singapore plans to roll out rapid COVID-19 tests for events such as weddings and business conferences, as the city-state looks to further reopen its economy.

* President Donald Trump pushed for a comprehensive COVID-19 relief package, saying he would accept a deal worth more than US$2.2 trillion despite opposition to large spending measures among his fellow Republicans in the US Senate.

* Russia recorded a record high 16,319 new cases on Tuesday, including 4,999 in the capital Moscow.

* Malaysia’s health ministry reported 862 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, taking the total to 22,225 infections. The Southeast Asian country, which imposed targeted lockdowns this month amid a surge in cases, also recorded three new deaths, raising its total number of fatalities to 193.

* The Spanish government is considering new restrictions, including possible curfews, in hard-hit regions like Madrid, its health minister said. The country would receive 31.6 million doses of the vaccine currently being developed by AstraZeneca between December and June, if it is ready.

* Italy’s southern Campania region plans to introduce a nighttime curfew from the coming weekend to tackle a surge in cases.

* Britain will help to fund trials using a manufactured COVID-19 virus to deliberately infect young healthy volunteers with the hope of accelerating the development of vaccines against it.

* France’s Ose Immunotherapeutics will enrol up to 400 patients for the first two stages of clinical trials of an experimental vaccine.

* Mexico has so far recovered 320,000 of the roughly 1 million formal jobs that it lost in the pandemic, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said.

* Irish gross domestic product is set to fall by 3.5% this year as a result of a new move to the highest level of COVID-19 restrictions, while the budget deficit will increase to 6.5% of GDP.

* Passengers will undergo a one-hour coronavirus test before flying out of the United Kingdom under plans to open up international travel, The Times reported.

* Ireland announced some of Europe’s toughest COVID-19 constraints, shutting non-essential retail, limiting restaurants and pubs to take away service and telling people not to travel more than five kilometres (3 miles) from their home.

* Canada reported a new COVID-19 milestone on Monday with total infections rising above 200,000 since the pandemic began and as the country’s second wave was expected to be worse than the first.

* Argentina has become the fifth country with more than 1 million cases, making it the smallest nation by far to reach the grim milestone.

* Mexico City’s mayor warned tighter coronavirus curbs could be imposed later in the week as COVID-19 hospitalizations rise.

* Australia’s Victoria state may accelerate the easing of restrictions after reporting just one new COVID-19 case.

* Iran’s health ministry on Tuesday reported 5,039 new infections in the previous 24 hours, the highest ever daily tally, pushing the national total to 539,670.

MIL OSI Asia Pacific News