Entries by Diplomat Editor

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Russia’s Covid-19 vaccine approved for use

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said a locally developed vaccine for Covid-19 has been given regulatory approval after less than two months of testing on humans. Mr Putin said the vaccine had passed all the required checks, adding that his daughter had already been given it. Officials have said they plan to start mass vaccination […]

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Beirut marks one week since explosion

People in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, have held a minute of silence for the more than 200 people believed to have been killed by an explosion a week ago. The commemoration took place at 18:09 (15:09 GMT), the exact time when 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored unsafely at the port detonated. The blast flattened […]

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New Zealand records first virus cases in 102 days

New Zealand has put its second-largest city back into lockdown after recording four new Covid-19 cases, ending a 102-day streak without a local infection. A three-day lockdown was swiftly imposed in Auckland after the cases were confirmed. The four new cases are all members of a single family. None had travelled recently. The restrictions will […]

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Twitter looking at a possible TikTok tie-up

Twitter has approached TikTok’s Chinese owner ByteDance to express an interest in buying its US operations, according to reports. Video-sharing platform TikTok has been at the centre of fierce debate in recent weeks and takeover talk. Last week US Donald Trump ordered firms to stop doing business with TikTok within 45 days over security concerns. […]

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Kuwait outlines 3-stage plan for return of expats

The Ministry of Interior (MoI) outlined a plan for the return of expats in three stages, to organize arrivals of those with valid residencies to avoid crowding at the airport. In the first stage, priority is given to professionals in jobs crucial to the country, such as doctors, nurses, judges, prosecutors and teachers. Details are […]

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Saudi Arabia to assess allowing Umrah amid COVID-19

Saudi Arabia will evaluate this year’s Hajj season which was held amid heightened security and strict coronavirus-related restrictions over the next two weeks, Dr. Hussein al-Sharif, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah for Hajj Affairs told local media. He added that the ministry will compile the lessons learned from the health procedures and […]

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Dubai launches economic program for post COVID-19 recovery

Dubai launched an economic program as part of its efforts to reshape the emirate’s economy for a “sustainable” and “resilient” future post the coronavirus pandemic, the government said. The Dubai government partnered with the Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government (MBRSG) to launch “The Great Economic Reset Programme” as part of a “COVID Exit initiative” […]

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Huawei takes top spot in global phone shipments

Huawei has become the biggest vendor of smartphones in the world for the first time, according to analysts’ estimates. It took the top spot by shipping 55.8 million devices in the last quarter, overtaking Samsung’s 53.7 million. The report comes from analytics firm Canalys, which called the change “remarkable”. The fact that China came out […]

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Global airlines less hopeful on COVID-19 recovery

Global airlines cut their coronavirus recovery forecast on Tuesday, saying it would take until 2024 – a year longer than previously expected – for passenger traffic to return to pre-crisis levels. In an update on the pandemic’s crippling impact on air travel, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) cited slow virus containment in the United […]

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McDonald’s global sales suffer

McDonald’s Corp on Tuesday reported a broad drop in global same-store sales and missed profit expectations, as its restaurants were shut due to the COVID-19 pandemic, limiting operations to only drive-thru and delivery. Shares of the Chicago-based burger chain sank more than 2.5%. Global same-store sales fell 23.9% in the second quarter, dragged down by […]

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Gold hits record

Global equity benchmarks edged higher and gold soared to an all-time high on Monday as investors weighed expectations for another U.S. stimulus package against concerns that rising tensions between the United States and China will the slow the global economy’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. Gold jumped 2% to surpass its 2011 highs, and put […]

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Tunisia president designates new PM

Tunisian President Kais Saied designated the interior minister as the new prime minister to succeed Elyes Fakhfakh, who resigned over allegations of a conflict of interest. New premier Hichem Mechichi, 46, an independent, now has a month to form a government capable of winning a confidence vote in parliament by a simple majority, or the […]