MIL-OSI Asia-Pac: World News in Brief: October 21

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Source: Socialist Republic of Vietnam

* Moscow has warned NATO that any move towards Ukraine’s membership in the bloc will have consequences, the RIA news agency quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko as saying on Thursday.

* Parts of northern China are bracing for more COVID-19 curbs as a wave of cases raises concerns of a broader outbreak, with three areas enforcing lockdowns and some schools halting classes.

* Russia’s Moscow will reintroduce lockdown measures from Oct. 28 to combat surging COVID-19 cases, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said on Thursday, with all shops, bars and restaurants due to close, except those selling essential goods, such as supermarkets and pharmacies.

* Britain and New Zealand have reached agreement in principle on a free trade deal designed to reduce tariffs, improve services trade, and take London one step closer to membership in a broader trans-Pacific trade agreement.

* Republic of Korea’s first domestically built space rocket blasted off on Thursday, but failed to fully place a dummy satellite into orbit, delivering mixed results for a test launch that represents a major leap for the country’s ambitious space plans.

* President Tayyip Erdogan slammed ambassadors of 10 countries, including the United States, Germany and France, over their call for philanthropist Osman Kavala’s release, saying Turkey should not be hosting them, in comments reported on Thursday.

* The presidents of Panama, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic on Wednesday asked for US assistance in stemming the flow of thousands of migrants crossing the dangerous jungles that divide Panama and Colombia as they make their way to the United States.

* The World Health Organization (WHO) is still assessing the Russia-designed Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, according to an update on the WHO’s website.

* The Kremlin on Thursday said there were technological differences between Moscow and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) regarding the completeness of paperwork submitted for the certification of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine.

* The United Nations said on Thursday it had set up a special trust fund to provide urgently-needed cash directly to Afghans through a system that would tap into donor funds frozen since the Taliban takeover last August.

* The United States, under pressure to share its coronavirus vaccine supply with the rest of the world, has now donated 200 million doses to more than 100 countries, the White House announced.

* France’s lower house of parliament voted to approve extending the country’s COVID-19 health pass measures until at least July 31, 2022, as governments around Europe look to ensure they can curb the virus as the winter season approaches.

* British health minister Sajid Javid resisted calls from doctors for a return of restrictions to halt a rising wave of COVID-19 infections, but gave a stark warning they would be brought back if people did not take up vaccination offers.

* Poland is facing an explosion of cases that may require drastic action, after more than 5,000 daily new infections were reported for the first time since May.

* COVID-19 patients will keep crowding hospital intensive care units in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan well into next year without government orders to limit public mixing, modelling data showed on Wednesday.

* Millions in Melbourne are readying to come out of the world’s longest COVID-19 lockdown later on Thursday even as cases hover near record levels, with pubs, restaurants and cafes rushing to restock supplies before opening their doors.

* New Zealand reported record daily COVID-19 cases for the second time in three days, as the Delta variant continued to spur a spike in infections in the country’s biggest city, Auckland.

* Japan’s Shionogi & Co Ltd said it started a Phase II/III clinical trial for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

* The US FDA authorized booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna Inc and Johnson & Johnson, and said Americans can choose a different shot from their original inoculation as a booster.

* Sanofi’s flu vaccine can be safely given along with Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, the French drugmaker said, citing study data.

* Ukraine on Thursday registered a record daily high of new coronavirus infections and related deaths.

* Libyan Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibah supported on Thursday the holding of a national election on Dec. 24 as envisaged in a U.N.-backed peace plan.

* Kuwait has begun to increase its crude production in accordance with an agreement reached by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, a group known as OPEC+, Oil Minister Mohammad al-Fares said on Thursday.

* Three people were killed and more than 30 injured when gas exploded at a BBQ restaurant in China on Thursday, state media and district officials said.

* Suspected Islamist militants killed 16 people and burned down houses late on Wednesday in a village in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, a witness and a civil society leader said.

MIL OSI Asia Pacific News