Thailand reports record Covid-19 cases as concerns mount about vaccine shortages

Health authorities reported more than 6,200 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, setting a record for a third straight day

Health authorities in Thailand reported more than 6,200 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, setting a record for a third straight day, as concerns mounted over shortages of treatment facilities and vaccine supplies.

Officials also reported 41 deaths, bringing the total to 2,181.

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‘Last one standing’: Delta variant poses threat to New Zealand’s Covid-free bubble

Can New Zealand escape the resurgences that have hit other ‘elimination success story’ countries?

Last week was a sharp reminder for Dr Siouxsie Wiles, one of New Zealand’s most prominent pandemic communicators, of how close the country’s recent brush with Covid was. A Sydney tourist, infected with the Delta variant of Covid-19 had visited more than a dozen busy Wellington cafes, museums and eateries over the course of a weekend. As contact tracers went to work, Wiles’s own phone pinged: she was a potential contact, having stayed, like the tourist, at the Rydges Hotel.

In Wiles’s case, it emerged she had checked in hours after the man had checked out. The rest of the city has also emerged unscathed so far: despite 2,600 contacts identified, no infections have been reported. But the experience brought home once again, Wiles says, what a careful tightrope New Zealand is walking.

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China’s internet regulator opens inquiry into Didi ride-hailing service

Tech firm, which just launched its IPO in New York, is latest online giant to be targeted by Chinese authorities

China’s internet regulator has launched an investigation into one of the country’s biggest ride-hailing services, Didi, two days after the company’s massive initial public offering (IPO) in New York.

Some observers believe the move against Didi is part of a continuing crackdown by the Chinese authorities on what was once a loosely regulated technology sector. It follows government actions in recent months aimed at the online marketplace Alibaba, and social networks Tencent and Bytedance, the parent company of TikTok.

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UK to bring home last remaining troops in Afghanistan this weekend

Sources say end to official role in two-decades long conflict imminent despite resurgent Taliban

Britain is expected to bring the last of its regular troops home from Afghanistan over the weekend, ending its official role in a two-decades long conflict even though the Taliban are resurgent across the country.

Defence sources told the Guardian that the exit of the last of the UK’s 750 soldiers – part of a Nato stabilisation and training mission – is expected to be complete “in the next few days” before formal announcements.

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‘Wage theft’ in Primark, Nike and H&M supply chain – report

No laws were broken but brands failed to ensure workers were paid properly during the pandemic, says Clean Clothes Campaign

Campaigners claim to have found evidence of “wage theft” in the supply chains of Primark, Nike and H&M in a report that outlines the devastating consequences of the pandemic on garment workers in Indonesia, Cambodia and Bangladesh.

Research by the Clean Clothes Campaign found that, while none of the brands had broken any laws, they had failed to ensure that their workers were properly paid throughout the pandemic.

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