World News Briefs — June 23, 2020

SCMP/AFP: Coronavirus: worldwide cases top 9 million as WHO warns pandemic is accelerating* Outbreak peaking in number of big countries at same time, reflecting change in global activity of virus
* UN health body calls for ramped up production of life-saving drug dexamethasone

Global coronavirus infections topped 9 million on Monday as the World Health Organisation warned that the pandemic was accelerating.

Record levels of new daily Covid-19 cases are due to the fact that the outbreak is peaking in a number of big countries at the same time and reflect a change in the virus’ global activity, the WHO added.

At a media briefing on Monday, WHO’s emergencies chief Dr. Michael Ryan said that “the numbers are increasing because the epidemic is developing in a number of populous countries at the same time.”

Some countries have attributed their increased caseload to more testing, including India and the US. But Ryan dismissed that explanation.



Yemen’s Houthis say they launched attacks on Saudi Arabia cities.Saudi leadership pressures former intelligence official’s family, seeks access to documents.

Saudi Arabia banned Hajj for international visitors this year due to the coronavirus, forfeiting as much as $4 billion in revenue.

Troops, Palestinians clash as Israel prepares to annex in West Bank.

Empty fridges as Lebanon economic crisis bites.

Ethiopian maids dumped outside Beirut embassy.


Indian and Chinese military agree to disengage in disputed Himalayan border.Afghanistan reports ‘deadliest’ week in its 19 years of conflict.

More children getting ‘killed, maimed’ in Myanmar conflict.

South Korea says it is in the middle of a coronavirus second wave — and it arrived earlier than predicted.

Coronavirus: Beijing market outbreak ‘coming to an end’, health expert says.

Beijing coronavirus outbreak has residents scared as confirmed COVID-19 cases soar.

China warns Taiwan against harbouring Hong Kong ‘rioters’.

Boost for Beijing: pro-China president wins re-election in Kiribati. Kiribati’s pro-China leader wins re-election in blow to Taiwan.

Taiwan raps China for military activity, says it should fight virus instead.

Singapore to hold general election amid COVID-19.

‘Smart lockdown’ in Pakistan to target 500 coronavirus hotspots.


Al-Shabab claims suicide attack outside Turkish base in Somalia.Burkina army says it has destroyed two jihadist ‘bases’.

Algeria steps up diplomacy in hopes of ending Libya’s war.

No military solution to Libyan conflict: Russian FM.

Sudan warns against escalation in Nile dam dispute.

Nobel Prize laureates call for Cameroon ceasefire.

Malawi presidential election: Voters turn out for historic re-run.

Burundi picks regime hardliner as prime minister.


US, Russia nuclear arms talks end with plans for second round. EU leaders talk tough to Beijing over long list of unmet promises .

Brexit talks hit by row over EU subsidies for farmers.

Coronavirus: Lockdown to be relaxed in England as 2m rule eased.

Germany reimposes local lockdown after regional coronavirus outbreak.

German GDP to drop by 6.5% in 2020.

US Republicans urge Trump to reconsider Germany troop cut.


US urged to prepare for ‘tremendous burden’ of Covid-19 and flu at same time.Trump to issue order on U.S. monuments, threatens force against D.C. protesters.

Trump to impose restrictions on foreign workers through end of 2020.

Seattle mayor announces city will reclaim police-free autonomous zone taken over by demonstrators.

House Dems call for State Department officials to testify over IG’s firing.

Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro ordered to wear mask in public.

Trillion-dollar investors warn Brazil over ‘dismantling’ of environmental policies.

Trudeau slams China’s ‘political’ detention of two Canadians.

Sahara Desert dust cloud drifts over Caribbean, prompting health warnings.


Suicide bombing targets major Turkish military base in Somalia.Philippine Army lieutenant killed, 9 soldiers wounded in encounter with Abu Sayyaf in Sulu.

Sudan close to a deal with US over embassy bombings: Minister.


Surge in coronavirus cases jolts prospects for world economy.Oil up after Trump assurance on China trade deal.

Wirecard: Former boss arrested over €1.9bn scandal.

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