October 17, 2021

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Reuters World News Summary

Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

UK’s Prince Charles, 71, out of self-isolation and in good health

British heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles, who had tested positive for coronavirus, is out of self-isolation after seven days and is in good health, his spokesman said on Monday. Last week, his Clarence House office revealed that Charles, 71, had been tested after displaying mild symptoms of the virus and had been in self-isolation at his Birkhall home in Scotland where he had continued to work.

Spanish coronavirus cases overtake China

Spain overtook China’s total number of coronavirus cases on Monday but business leaders and regional authorities criticized the government’s decision to further restrict the movement of people and keep non-essential workers at home until mid-April. An overnight death toll of 812 people brought total fatalities in Spain to 7,340, while the number of infections rose by 8% to 85,195 on Monday, against 81,470 in China, where the disease originated at the end of 2019.

Tokyo officials say daily drop in coronavirus cases not cause for optimism

Tokyo officials said a drop in daily cases of coronavirus on Monday was not a cause for optimism, as they called on citizens to refrain from outdoor activities, especially gatherings at bars, night clubs and karaokes, through April 12. A senior health department official from the Tokyo government said 13 additional cases reported on Monday were mainly driven by the limited number of outpatients on Sunday.

UK PM Johnson’s adviser Cummings isolating with coronavirus symptoms

The coronavirus outbreak at the heart of the UK government spread on Monday with Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s senior adviser, Dominic Cummings, self-isolating with symptoms just days after the British leader himself tested positive. A Downing Street spokesman said Cummings, one of the most powerful men in the government, had developed symptoms of COVID-19 over the weekend and was staying at home.

Exclusive: U.S. investigates child labor in Ivory Coast cocoa supply chains

U.S. customs authorities have asked cocoa traders to report where and when they encounter child labor in their supply chains in top grower Ivory Coast, three industry sources said, following calls from American lawmakers to ban some imports. Cocoa traders and chocolate companies including Mars, Hershey , Cargill and Barry Callebaut, have repeatedly missed internationally agreed targets for reducing the worst forms of child labor from supply lines in West Africa, all sides have acknowledged.

EU pushes Britain to extend Brexit talks over virus outbreak

The European Union expects Britain to seek an extension of its status quo post-Brexit transition period beyond the end of the year, diplomats and officials said on Monday, as negotiations on trade have ground to a halt due to the coronavirus pandemic. Europe has gone into a deep lockdown in a bid to curb the spread of the respiratory disease caused by the virus, with more than 330,000 infections reported on the continent and nearly 21,000 deaths.

Special Report: Five days of worship that set a virus time bomb in France

From the stage of an evangelical superchurch, the leader of the gospel choir kicked off an evening of prayer and preaching: “We’re going to celebrate the Lord! Are you feeling the joy tonight?” “Yes!” shouted the hundreds gathered at the Christian Open Door church on Feb. 18. Some of them had traveled thousands of miles to take part in the week-long gathering in Mulhouse, a city of 100,000 on France’s borders with Germany and Switzerland.

Indian police fire tear gas on jobless workers defying coronavirus lockdown

Police in western India fired tear gas to disperse a stone-pelting crowd of migrant workers defying a three-week lockdown against the coronavirus that has left hundreds of thousands of poor without jobs and hungry, authorities said on Monday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered the country’s 1.3 billion people to remain indoors until April 15, declaring such self-isolation was the only hope to stop the viral pandemic.

Vietnam says to suspend public transport to curb coronavirus spread

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Monday ordered the suspension to public transport services to curb the spread of the coronavirus, which is known to have infected 203 people in the country. Phuc also called for a limit on the use of private vehicles and encouraged state officials to work from home, according to a statement posted on the government website.

Fear on front lines as hospital staff face threats, stigma over coronavirus

Janitor Ritchie Estabillo was on his way to work when he was confronted by five men who poured bleach over his face, one of a growing number of hospital staff suffering abuse in the Philippines amid panic over coronavirus infections. His employer said Estabillo had been checked over and was unharmed but called the attackers “vile individuals” who could have cost him his sight.

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