Source: Socialist Republic of Vietnam
* Russian President Vladimir Putin in an interview with NBC News on Friday said that Russia-US relations are at their lowest point in years. Meanwhile, Putin noted he can work with US President Joe Biden, according to NBC News.
* Kim Jong Un, the Chairman of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), chaired a military meeting on Friday to discuss important tasks of further enhancing the fighting efficiency of the armed forces, the official Korean Central News Agency reported on Saturday.
* Continued high daily COVID-19 infections and a healthcare system under strain are among Malaysia’s challenges in containing the pandemic within its borders, when the government is looking for an exit plan by speeding up vaccination.
* China administered about 18.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines on June 11, bringing the total number administered to 863.51 million, data from the National Health Commission showed on Saturday.
* Brazil on Friday reported 2,216 more deaths from COVID-19 and 85,149 new cases in the last 24 hours, the Ministry of Health said. The nationwide death toll thus stood at 484,235 while the national count of COVID-19 cases mounted to 17,296,118, said the ministry.
* India’s COVID-19 tally rose to 29,359,155 on Saturday, with 84,332 new cases recorded in the past 24 hours, said the federal health ministry. Besides, 4,002 COVID-19 patients have died since Friday morning, taking the death toll to 367,081.
* Russia registered 13,510 coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, the highest daily spike since Feb. 15, bringing the national tally to 5,193,964, the country’s monitoring and response center said Saturday. The daily count has been increasing significantly every day since June 2 as there are more gatherings of people in early summer.
* The United States and other Group of Seven nations are considering reallocating US$100 billion from the International Monetary Fund’s warchest to help countries struggling to cope with the COVID-19 crisis, the White House said.
* Boris Johnson gave the Tokyo Olympics a show of public support at a meeting with Japan’s Suga Yoshihide and welcomed efforts to ensure the Games can take place safely.
* Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday held a phone conversation with Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Jens Stoltenberg about the conflict in eastern Ukraine and its NATO membership.
* US President Joe Biden will host German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House on July 15, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Friday. The announcement came as Biden is on his first foreign trip as president in Britain, where he met with Merkel in person at the Group of Seven (G7) summit on Friday.
* British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to delay lockdown lifting to July 19 after cases of the Delta variant, first identified in India, rose in the country, The Sun reported.
* The Italian government said it was restricting the use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to people over the age of 60, after a teenager who had received the shot died from a rare form of blood clotting.
* The US Food & Drug Administration said Johnson & Johnson must throw away millions of doses of its COVID-19 vaccine that were manufactured at a problem-plagued Baltimore factory but also cleared millions for use.
* European shares, the S&P 500 and an index of global stock performance scaled new peaks while yields on US, Japanese and European government debt fell on Friday as investors embraced the easy monetary policies of major central banks.
* Polls opened in Algeria on Saturday for a parliamentary election that the ruling establishment hopes will turn a page on two years of political unrest.
* About a quarter of Mexico’s 126 million people are estimated to have been infected with the coronavirus, the health ministry said on Friday, far more than the country’s confirmed infections.
* The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 1,911 to 3,713,480, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Saturday. The reported death toll rose by 129 to 89,816, the tally showed.
* Health Canada said Friday it will not release the 300,000 Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine doses which arrived in Canada in April due to a possible quality issue.
* The Pentagon on Friday announced US$150 million of security assistance package for Ukraine to enhance its defense capability.
* The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Africa reached 5,011,502 as of Saturday noon, according to figures released by the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
* Europe’s drug regulator identified another very rare blood condition as a potential side effect of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine and said it was looking into cases of heart inflammation after inoculation with all coronavirus shots.
* Novavax Inc said its COVID-19 vaccine candidate showed immune response and protection against the SARS-CoV-2 Beta variant, which was originally identified in South Africa, in three animal and human studies.
* Tunisian navy rescued 54 illegal immigrants of different African nationalities off the country’s southeast coast, the defense ministry said in a statement released on Friday.
* Kenya has received a US$750 million loan from the World Bank to support its budget and help the East African economy recover from the effects of the pandemic, the multilateral lender said.