World News in Brief: August 3

Monday, 2020-08-03 15:04:41
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Nepalese army personnel rescue local people after a heavy rainfall in Kathmandu, Nepal, July 12, 2019. Nepal was hit by heavy rainfall that caused floods and landslides in many places. (Photo: Xinhua)
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Heavy rain in Nepal triggered landslides on Monday (August 3) that killed eight labourers at a construction site and two members of a family, taking the toll in floods and landslides to 177 since late May. Elsewhere in South Asia, the annual rainy season brought more misery with at least 135 people killed in Bangladesh since late June in the longest-running floods there in more than two decades, while floods have killed nearly 120 people and displaced millions in the Indian states of Assam and Bihar.

* Brazil on Sunday (August 2) recorded 541 new deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, bringing the national death toll to 94,104, according to the country's health ministry. Meanwhile, tests have detected 25,800 new infections, taking the total caseload to 2,733,677, said the ministry. Brazil has become the hardest hit country in Latin America and the second-worst hit worldwide, second only to the United States in deaths and total number of COVID-19 infections.

* Mexico's Health Ministry said on Sunday that 274 deaths related to COVID-19 were reported during the past 24 hours, taking the national toll from the pandemic to 47,746. Meanwhile, 4,853 new cases of COVID-19 were reported, bringing the total in the country to 439,046. The Mexican Foreign Ministry said in mid-July that the country sought to extend restrictions on non-essential border travel with the United States for an additional 30 days.

* Russia reported 5,394 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, pushing its national tally to 856,264, the fourth largest in the world. Officials said 79 people had died in the past 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 14,207.

* India's health ministry announced on Monday that the country's COVID-19 cases have surpassed 1.8 million, reaching 1,803,695. As many as 52,972 fresh cases were added to the tally in the past 24 hours, according to data released by the ministry. Meanwhile, 771 deaths took place during the past 24 hours taking the total deaths to 38,135. A total of 1,186,203 people have been cured and discharged across the country so far, while 579,357 active cases are being treated in hospitals.

* Republic of Korea reported 23 more cases of the COVID-19 as of 0:00 a.m. Monday local time compared to 24 hours ago, raising the country's total number of infections to 14,389. The daily caseload fell below 30 due to a sharp drop in local infections, but it continued to grow in double digits owing to imported cases. No more death was confirmed, leaving the death toll at 301. The total fatality rate stood at 2.09 percent.

* Germany's COVID-19 cases rose by 509 within one day to 210,402, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) said on Monday. The death toll in the country rose by seven to stand at 9,148, it added.

* The Norwegian authorities are tracing passengers from recent Arctic voyages after at least 40 crew and passengers from a luxury cruise liner have tested positive for COVID-19, the country's public health department said on Sunday. According to Johns Hopkins University, Norway has reported more than 9,200 cases of COVID-19 and 255 deaths.

* The number of COVID-19 cases in Maldives has crossed 4,000 after recording the highest daily rise in cases amid a resurgence of the virus, local media reported here Monday. As many as 215 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed on Sunday, the Health Protection Agency (HPA) said, raising the country's total case count to 4,164. An 89-year-old Maldivian national died of COVID-19 at the Hulhumale Medical facility on Sunday, marking the second virus-related death within 24 hours and raising the country's virus death toll to 18.

* Colombia's Ministry of Health on Sunday reported a total of 317,651 cases of COVID-19, with 139,037 cases considered active. The death toll rose to 10,650 after 320 more patients died from the disease in the previous day. The total number of people who recovered rose to 167,239. A nationwide lockdown is in effect through Aug. 30.

* Argentina will pursue a debt refinancing program with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) if its current debt renegotiation with private creditors fails to lead to an agreement, Economy Minister Martin Guzman said on Sunday. To avoid defaulting on more thanUS$ 66 billion in foreign debt, Argentina's government has proposed some debt alleviation and a longer repayment schedule.

* At least 13 civilians and three attackers were killed and 42 others wounded in a car bomb attack and gunfight in a prison in Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar provincial capital Jalalabad, provincial government spokesman Attaullah Khogiani confirmed Monday. The attack took place on Sunday evening, the last day of the three-day Eid al-Adha ceasefire between the Afghan government and Taliban. The Taliban outfit has denied involvement in the deadly attack.

* Palestine on Sunday welcomed a letter signed by the European Union diplomats to protest against Israel's construction plans in an East Jerusalem area, urging the EU's "actionable decisions." On July 31, representatives of the EU and ambassadors of 15 European countries sent a protest letter to the Israeli Foreign Ministry on the Israeli government's decision to start the construction in the settlement of Givat Hamatos.

* Australia will introduce a pandemic leave payment for workers who have run out of sick leave but need to be quarantined because they have been directed to stay at home due to the novel coronavirus, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Monday. The announcement comes as the country deals with a second wave of infections, and its second most populous state, Victoria, closes retail shops, limits construction projects and curtails manufacturing activity in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.

* Poland's health minister said police health authorities would start checks in shops this week to see if people are following regulations to keep their mouths and noses covered.

* Israel's army said on Sunday its troops attacked a "terror squad" that attempted to plant explosive devices near the disputed border between Syria and Israel. A military spokesperson said in a statement that the incident took place late on Sunday night near the Alpha Line between Syria and Israel.

* The Iranian president on Sunday expressed hope that dialogue among Afghan political groups will result in durable peace in Afghanistan, official IRNA news agency reported. In a phone conversation with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Hassan Rouhani welcomed the cease-fire in the neighboring country and expressed hope that a temporary truce will lead to standing tranquility and drop of violence in Afghanistan. He announced Iran's consistent support for the peace process led by the Afghan government.

* Over 1,300 firefighters were battling a fast-growing wildfire burning out of control on Sunday in Riverside County of Southern California, the United States. The blaze, dubbed "Apple Fire," forced around 8,000 local residents to be evacuated, the authorities said.

* A Cameroonian military plane crashed in a bush during landing at Maroua Airport in the country's Far North region on Sunday, but there were no fatalities, local authorities said. The plane sped off the runway following landing and crashed in the bush, authorities said. Several people, including civilians and soldiers, were injured and were immediately rushed to the hospital to receive medical attention.

* Spanish firefighters and military emergency personnel battled amid blistering heat on Monday to control a wildfire in the Madrid region that had burned through the night and forced the evacuation of several houses. The director of Madrid's emergency services said early on Monday that firefighters had established a perimeter around the blaze and would now deploy aircraft to drop water on the flames.

Reuters, Xinhua