Anadolu Agency’s Morning Briefing – March 25, 2021

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ANKARA 

Anadolu Agency is here with a rundown of the latest developments on the coronavirus pandemic and other news in Turkey and around the world. 

Coronavirus and other developments in Turkey

Turkey on Wednesday reported more than 29,700 new coronavirus cases, according to the Health Ministry.

With the arrival of the latest batch in Turkey on Wednesday, there are 1.4 million doses of the BioNTech coronavirus vaccine ready for use in the country, said the nation’s health minister.

At least 11 YPG/PKK terrorists were neutralized in northern Syria, the Turkish National Defense Ministry said Wednesday.

An annual major economic event began both physically and virtually in the Turkish metropolis of Istanbul on Wednesday with the theme “Are We Ready for the New World?”

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu met Wednesday with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the sidelines of the NATO foreign ministers’ meeting in Brussels.

At least seven foreign nationals were held in Turkey’s southern Osmaniye province Wednesday, said a security source.

Turkey will maintain its active foreign policy in various geographies and stand with oppressed nations in line with its national and international interests, the country’s president said Wednesday.

Direct flight service has begun between the Turkish metropolis of Istanbul and the southern Kazakh city of Turkistan, Kazakhstan’s Embassy in Turkey said Wednesday.

After brief talks, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Wednesday that he and his US counterpart plan to hold a more comprehensive meeting in either the US or Turkey.

Turkey’s president on Wednesday was unanimously re-elected leader of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party in a congress in the capital Ankara.

Families of children abducted or forcibly recruited by the PKK terror group continued their sit-in protest in southeastern Turkey for a 569th day.

Ahead of this week’s summit of EU leaders, Italy’s prime minister on Wednesday called for a positive agenda and attitude toward the bloc’s relations with Turkey.

Ankara on Wednesday denounced recent remarks by France’s president about Turkey and its leader, calling them “unacceptable.”

Turkey defeated the Netherlands 4-2 at Ataturk Olympic Stadium on Wednesday evening to start their 2022 FIFA World Cup journey in a strong fashion.

COVID-19 updates worldwide

At least one more person has died in Nigeria after contracting the novel coronavirus while 214 tested positive for the disease, according to health authorities in the West African country.

The Philippines received 400,000 more doses of CoronaVac, the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Chinese firm Sinovac, on Wednesday morning.

Facing a surge of new coronavirus cases in some of its states, India should focus on completing vaccinations of high-risk individuals, health experts and virologists say.

The European Union further tightened its vaccine export control mechanism Wednesday, said a European Commission official.

Spain’s health minister warned of increasing cases nationwide on Wednesday but did not announce new national restrictions for the coming Easter holiday season.

Drug maker AstraZeneca said Wednesday that about 29 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, found after an inspection at an Italian plant, were due to be shipped to the EU and poorer countries through the humanitarian COVAX scheme.

Palestinian health authorities confirmed 23 new coronavirus fatalities and 2,032 more infections Wednesday.

Other global developments

Iran on Wednesday dismissed a United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution extending the mandate of the special rapporteur on the human rights situation in the Islamic Republic, saying the resolution lacks “international legitimacy and consensus.”

Oil prices started climbing again Wednesday following a steep drop during the previous trading session over demand fears as strict restrictions and lockdowns have once again been put in place following the rise in the number of pandemic cases across Europe.

North Korea fired two cruise missiles off its west coast Sunday, South Korean authorities said Wednesday.

The Armenian parliament on Wednesday lifted the state of war declared in the aftermath of soaring tensions with neighbor Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

The Israeli military published the locations of secret bases across Israel by mistake, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

NATO foreign ministers convened in Brussels on Wednesday to discuss relations with Russia.

Amnesty International on Wednesday urged the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate armed attacks, looting and rapes reportedly committed by the Boko Haram terrorist group in Nigeria’s northeastern Borno state.

The deputy ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, passed away Wednesday at the age of 75.

Decrying the US record on the COVID-19 pandemic and civil rights abuses such as the George Floyd case, China on Wednesday released its report on US human rights for 2020.

A senior UK army commander met Wednesday with Pakistan’s army chief to discuss regional security, mainly the fragile Afghan peace process.

Former FIFA President Sepp Blatter and Secretary General Jerome Valcke have been banned for six years and eight months over violating the code of ethics, the world football governing body said Wednesday.

Libya is facing an “acute” shortage of electricity as it braces for skyrocketing temperatures in the summer, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s special envoy warned Wednesday.

Three people died when a 5.4 magnitude earthquake hit northwestern China Wednesday morning, according to the Chinese People’s Daily.

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