Digest for international stories for week Jul 25 - Jul 31, 2020

·4-min read

Saturday Houston: Tropical Storm Hanna was on Saturday upgraded to become the first hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane season, with Houston and adjoining Texas cities witnessing scattered thunderstorms, increasing rainfall and wind gusts, according to the National Hurricane Centre.

Colombo: The Reserve Bank of India has signed necessary documents for extending a USD 400 million currency swap facility to Sri Lanka to boost the island nation's draining foreign exchange reserves due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Indian High Commission here said on Saturday.

Beijing: South Korea on Saturday reported more than 100 new coronavirus cases for the first time in four months while South Africa announced a surge in infections and some US states tightened anti-disease controls.

Sunday Washington: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide has topped 16 million.

Jerusalem: Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi on Sunday called External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar during which he pledged to strengthen collaboration between the two countries in the fight against coronavirus as a high-level Israeli delegation left for New Delhi to jointly develop rapid testing for COVID-19 in under 30 seconds.

Chengdu: Moving trucks and vehicles with diplomatic plates pulled out of a US Consulate in southwest China on Sunday, as its impending closure over rising bilateral tensions drew a steady stream of onlookers for the second straight day.

Monday Washington: Experimental COVID-19 vaccine is put to its biggest test The biggest test yet of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine got underway Monday with the first of some 30,000 Americans rolling up their sleeves to receive shots created by the US government as part of the all-out global race to stop the outbreak.

Beijing/Chengdu: China on Monday said it took control of the US consulate in Chengdu after it was formally closed as per Beijing's directive in retaliation to America's move to shut down the Chinese diplomatic mission in Houston.

Geneva: The coronavirus pandemic “continues to accelerate”, with a doubling of cases over the last six weeks, the World Health Organisation chief says.

Tuesday Kathmandu: Nepal's ruling communist party leaders on Tuesday once again failed to negotiate a power-sharing deal between Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli and executive chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda', who convened a meeting of the powerful Standing Committee despite the former's decision to postpone it.

United Nations: Archana Soreng, a climate activist from India, has been named by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to his new advisory group comprising young leaders who will provide perspectives and solutions to tackle the worsening climate crisis, as the global body mobilises action as part of the COVID-19 recovery efforts.

London: Concerns over a “second wave” of coronavirus infections brought on by returning vacationers are wreaking havoc across Europe's tourism industry, particularly in Spain, following Britain's effective ban on travel to the country.

Wednesday London: The UK government on Wednesday announced an early access agreement with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Sanofi Pasteur for an estimated 60 million doses of an experimental new vaccine being tested to combat COVID-19.

London: Punjab National Bank International Limited (PNBIL) has logged a big win in a UK High Court in its pursuit of around USD 22 million in unpaid loans, setting a precedent for other enforcement cases brought by Indian banks against promoters or guarantors in English courts.

Milan: Italian lawmakers approved extending Italy's state of emergency for the coronavirus through October 15.

Thursday Washington: US President Donald Trump on Thursday for the first time openly floated the idea of postponing the presidential elections in November, a suggestion immediately criticised by leaders of the opposition Democratic Party.

Washington: The U.S. economy plunged by a record-shattering 32.9 per cent annual rate last quarter, and the coronavirus pandemic is still cutting a path of destruction, forcing millions out of work and shuttering businesses.

Washington: The US has recorded over 150,000 Covid-19 deaths, another grim milestone that comes amidst warning from a top Indian-American physician that the country has failed to arrest the spread of the deadly pandemic. Friday Hong Kong: Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam announced Friday that the government will postpone highly anticipated legislative elections by one year, citing a worsening coronavirus outbreak in the semi-autonomous Chinese city.

Washington: Once a coronavirus vaccine is approved as safe and effective, Americans should have widespread access within a reasonable time, Dr Anthony Fauci assured lawmakers Friday.

Beijing: China on Friday formally launched full global services of its BeiDou-3 Navigation Satellite System (BDS) to rival the widely-used American GPS and provide independent navigation structure for its increasingly modernising military. PTI MAH MAH