Egypt will activate within days a plan to offer COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for senior citizens, people with chronic diseases and healthcare workers, the health ministry said.
Singapore and Malaysia will launch a quarantine-free travel lane next week at their land border crossing for people vaccinated, the two countries said.
* China will look into methane emissions in key industries, including coal mining, agriculture and petroleum, and publish a nationwide methane emission control action plan, the environment ministry said on Thursday.
* Cuban authorities said on Wednesday that neighboring countries had deported more than 1,200 migrants thus far in 2021, returning them to Havana in bilateral operations coordinated with the United States, Mexico, the Cayman Islands and the Bahamas.
* Sweden's first female prime minister, Social Democrat Magdalena Andersson, resigned on Wednesday after less than 12 hours in the top job after the Green Party quit their two-party coalition, stoking political uncertainty.
* Kuwait reaffirmed its support for the OPEC+ oil supply agreement, state news agency KUNA reported late on Wednesday, citing oil minister Muhammad Al-Faris.
* French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said on Thursday that Britain, Belgium and Germany needed to do more to help France tackle illegal migrants and human trafficking.
* Belarus has detained more than 11,500 illegal migrants in 2021, Russia's RIA news agency cited the Belarusian Security Council as saying on Thursday, with around 5,000 deported from the country.
* Iran's foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said on Wednesday he had reached an agreement on continuing cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi, and a meeting will be held soon to finalise the text.
* New COVID-19 cases have jumped 23% in the Americas in the last week, mostly in North America where both the United States and Canada are reporting increasing infection rates, the Pan American Health Organization said on Wednesday.
* Coronavirus infections broke records in parts of Europe on Wednesday, with the continent once again the epicentre of a pandemic that has prompted new curbs on movement and seen health experts push to widen the use of booster vaccination shots.
* Russia said it planned to export a nasal form of its Sputnik vaccine against COVID-19, which President Vladimir Putin said he had taken as a booster.
* Mexico confirmed 336 coronavirus deaths on Tuesday, according to health ministry data, bringing the overall death toll to 293,186.
* Brazil registered 273 new COVID-19 deaths and 12,930 additional confirmed cases of the coronavirus, according to data released on Wednesday by the Health Ministry.
* Portugal, one of the world's most vaccinated nations, will give COVID-19 booster shots to a quarter of its population by the end of January, the health secretary said.
* Poland will have to tighten COVID-19 restrictions if it does not see daily cases decreasing in the near future, the health minister said on Wed.
* Slovakia's government followed the example of neighbouring Austria on Wednesday and ordered a two-week lockdown to quell the world's fastest rise in COVID-19 cases.
* Italy tightened the screws on people unwilling to take an anti-COVID vaccine, sharply restricting access to an array of services and making vaccines mandatory for a wider group of public sector workers.
* The Dutch government will announce new measures on Friday to tackle a surge in coronavirus infections that is putting pressure on hospitals, Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said.
* The SARS-CoV-2 virus will continue to spread intensely as societies return to the social mixing and mobility of a pre-pandemic period, the World Health Organisation's (WHO) emergency director Mike Ryan said.
* Airports and commercial airlines across the United States registered one of their busiest days since before the pandemic on Wednesday, as millions of Americans travelled to visit loved ones for the Thanksgiving holiday.
* At least eight people were killed in Somalia's capital on Thursday when Islamist militants launched a suicide attack on a U.N. security convoy using a vehicle laden with explosives, officials and witnesses said.
* Asian shares wobbled lower, hurt by the U.S. dollar which continued to march higher as investors bet on interest rates rising more quickly in the United States than in other major economies.
* Metalworkers unions in the southern Spanish city of Cadiz reached a preliminary pay deal with employers late on Wednesday, ending a nine-day strike involving some 20,000 workers that produced tense confrontations with police.
* At least 31 people have drowned in the English channel as they tried to reach Britain, French Interior Minister Gerard Darmanin told journalists on Wednesday, adding the figures were not yet definitive.
* Israel gave initial approval on Wednesday for thousands of new settlement homes that would cement occupied West Bank lands within its municipal boundaries around Jerusalem, drawing a Palestinian demand that Washington intervene. Most world powers deem the Israeli settlements illegal for taking in territory where Palestinians seek statehood.
* The Solomon Islands imposed a 36-hour lockdown in the capital Honiara after protesters calling for the prime minister to resign looted stores and set fire to buildings, including in the Pacific nation's parliament.
* An oil spill in Nigeria's Delta region that has been spewing for more than two weeks will be "speedily addressed," President Muhammadu Buhari said in a statement on Wednesday.
* Syrian armed forces destroyed 10 of 12 missiles fired by Israeli F-16 fighter jets towards Syrian territory, RIA news agency cited a Russian senior military officer as saying on Wednesday.
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