Syrians wearing facial masks take public transportation in Damascus, capital of Syria, Aug. 9, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)
* China reported on Monday (August 10) 49 new coronavirus cases in the mainland for August 9, compared with 23 cases a day earlier, the health authority said. The National Health Commission said in a statement 35 of the new infections were imported cases. There were no new deaths. China also reported 31 new asymptomatic patients, compared with 11 a day earlier. As of August 9, mainland China had a total of 84,668 confirmed coronavirus cases and the death toll from the coronavirus remained unchanged at 4,634.
* US COVID-19 cases passed a grim new milestone of 5 million on Sunday (August 9) with soaring new infections. The United States has registered 5,041,473 cases and 162,913 deaths as of 0000 GMT on Monday, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. There are few signs that the spread is slowing down in the United States.
* Brazil reported 23,010 new cases of the novel coronavirus and 572 deaths from the disease caused by the virus in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Sunday. Brazil has registered 3,035,422 cases of the virus since the pandemic began, and the official death toll from COVID-19 has risen to 101,049, according to ministry data. Brazil's coronavirus outbreak is the world's worst after the United States.
* India's COVID-19 case tally rose to 2,215,074 and the number of deaths surged to 44,386, the data issued by the federal health ministry said on Monday. An increase of 62,064 new cases and 1,007 new deaths were recorded during the past 24 hours, the data revealed. Monday is the eleventh consecutive day when a single-day spike of over 50,000 fresh cases has been recorded, and the fourth straight day when over 60,000 fresh cases are recorded in a single day.
* Russian authorities confirmed 5,118 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Monday, pushing the national case tally to 892,654, the fourth largest in the world. The official death toll rose to 15,001 after authorities said in their daily coronavirus report that 70 people had died in the last 24 hours.
* Mexico's health ministry reported on Sunday 4,376 new confirmed coronavirus infections and 292 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 480,278 cases and 52,298 deaths. Officials have said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases. Mexico has the third highest coronavirus death tally globally, behind the United States and Brazil.
* Australia recorded its biggest one-day rise in COVID-19 deaths on Monday although a slowdown in new cases gave hope that a second wave of new infections in the state of Victoria may have peaked. Nineteen people had died from the virus, all in Victoria, in the past 24 hours, a national daily record. However only 337 people had been diagnosed with COVID-19 across the country, the lowest one-day rise since July 29, officials said. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said internal travel restrictions were likely to remain until at least Christmas.
* New Zealand reported no new cases of COVID-19 on Monday for five consecutive days, with the number of active cases in the country being 21, all in managed isolation and quarantine facilities, according to the Ministry of Health. It has been 101 days since the last case of COVID-19 was acquired locally from an unknown source, according to the ministry. New Zealand's total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 remains at 1,219, it said, adding there is no one currently requiring hospital-level care for COVID-19.
* Indonesia reported 1,687 new coronavirus cases on Monday, bringing its total to 127,083, data from government's COVID-19 task force showed. The Southeast Asian country also added 42 new deaths, taking that total to 5,765, data showed.
* The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 436 to 216,327, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Monday. The reported death toll rose by one to 9,197, the tally showed.
* Britain reported 1,062 new positive tests for coronavirus on Sunday, the highest daily rise in new COVID-19 infections since late June, at a time of new local lockdowns in some areas and worries over a second wave of infections. Official data showed 1,062 people tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, going over the 1,000 new daily cases mark for the first time since June, and 304 higher than the 758 new cases reported on Saturday.
* Greece reported 203 new cases of COVID 19 on Sunday, its highest daily tally since the start of the outbreak in the country, a government official said. The latest jump in cases brings the total number of infections in the country to 5,623 since its first infection surfaced in late February.
* Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko won a landslide re-election victory, the central election commission said on Monday, after late night clashes between police and thousands of protesters who said the vote was rigged. Figures released by the election commission on Monday gave Lukashenko 80% of the vote.
* Leader of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna party Mahinda Rajapaksa took his oath as the nation's new prime minister on Sunday after his party secured a landslide victory in the recently concluded parliamentary election. Rajapaksa was sworn in as the prime minister of the country for the 4th time.
* US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Sunday said they were open to restarting COVID-19 aid talks, after weeks of failed negotiations prompted President Donald Trump to take executive actions that Democrats argued would do little to ease Americans' financial distress.
* The International Monetary Fund said on Sunday it was willing to redouble efforts to help Lebanon after the devastating blast that hit Beirut, but said all of the country's institutions needed to show willingness to carry out reforms. In a statement to an emergency donor conference for Lebanon, the IMF's managing director, Kristalina Georgieva, laid out reforms expected, including steps to restore the solvency of public finances and the soundness of the financial system, and temporary safeguards to avoid continued capital outflows.
* Long-awaited peace negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban were expected to start in Qatar within a week once the final batch of Taliban prisoners were released, the US special envoy and Afghan government sources said on Monday. The government accepted the advice of a loya jirga, a grand assembly of elders, on Sunday to release 400 "hard-core" Taliban prisoners, paving the way for talks aimed at ending a war that has ground on since US-backed Afghan forces ousted a Taliban government in late 2001.
* Lebanon's environment minister resigned from Prime Minister Hassan Diab's government on Sunday, saying the government had lost a number of opportunities to reform, a statement said. Damianos Kattar's departure follows the resignation of Information Minister Manal Abdel Samad earlier on Sunday in the wake of the explosion that rocked Beirut on Tuesday.
* The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) daily basket price stood at US$44.87 a barrel on Friday, compared with US$45.17 per barrel on Thursday, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations released on Monday. Also known as the OPEC reference basket of crude oil, the OPEC basket, a weighted average of oil prices from different OPEC members around the world, is used as an important benchmark for crude oil prices.
* The European Union's (EU) High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell on Sunday voiced concern over the resumed energy exploration activities in the Eastern Mediterranean by Turkey. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday that Turkey resumed drilling activities in the eastern Mediterranean, one day after Egyptian and Greek foreign ministers signed in Cairo an agreement on the demarcation of the maritime borders between the two countries and setting up an exclusive economic zone between them in the Mediterranean Sea.
* An Indonesian volcano spewed a giant ash cloud 5 km (3.1 miles) into the sky on Monday in its second eruption in three days, emitting a thunderous noise and turning the sky dark, authorities and witnesses said. The eruption of Mount Sinabung on the island of Sumatra comes after more than a year of inactivity and was the second since Saturday, as authorities warned residents and tourists about possible lava flows.
* The death toll in a landslide in India's southern state of Kerala rose to 43 on Sunday as 17 more bodies were recovered during the day, the state's Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said. The landslide occurred amid heavy rains in the state's Pettimudi hill top on Friday. Many people were feared buried under the debris following the landslide. Rescue work has been going on in the area since the mishap took place amid inclement weather.
* The death toll from the extreme weather phenomena which swept through Evia island in central Greece on Sunday climbed to seven with two more people were found dead, according to the latest announcement by local authorities. Rescue teams were going door to door to evacuate people. Helicopters were also involved in the operation.
* Eight people including six French tourists and two Nigeriens (a guide and a driver) were killed on Sunday by armed individuals in the Koure area, according to the Nigerien ministry of interior and public security. The Elysee Palace confirmed the incident.