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Japan gives up approving Fujifilm's Avigan drug for COVID-19 by May-end: Kyodo

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s government has given up on approving Fujifilm Holdings Corp’s Avigan drug for the treatment of COVID-19 by the end of May, Kyodo News reported late on Monday citing a government official. FILE PHOTO: A tablet of Avigan (generic name: Favipiravir), a drug developed as an anti-influenza treatment by a subsidiary of Fujifilm Holdings, is displayed during a photo opportunity at Fujifilm's headquarters in Tokyo, Oct. 22, ... Full story

Hong Kong demand for VPNs surges on heels of China's plan for national security laws

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Demand for virtual private networks in Hong Kong surged more than six-fold last Thursday as Beijing proposed tough new national security laws for the financial hub, reflecting concerns over internet privacy, according to a VPN provider. FILE PHOTO: Hong Kong skyline is pictured from Victoria Peak in Hong Kong, China January 2, 2020. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar/File Photo. Atlas VPN said installations of the tool that helps ... Full story

Hong Kong security law: Carrie Lam dismisses concerns over rights

Hong Kong's leader Carrie Lam has said other countries "have no place" interfering in the territory, as she robustly defended a controversial national security law planned by China. The law would ban treason, secession, sedition and subversion. Critics say it would limit the city's unique freedoms. But in her first public comments, Ms Lam said it was a "responsible" move to protect the law-abiding majority. She denied that the law would curtail ... Full story

Masks too dangerous for children under two, Japan medical group says

TOKYO (Reuters) - Children under the age of two shouldn’t wear masks because they can make breathing difficult and increase the risk of choking, a Japan medical group said, launching an urgent appeal to parents as the country reopens from the coronavirus crisis. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lifted a state of emergency for Tokyo and four remaining areas on Monday after the number of infections fell across Japan, but warned that it could be ... Full story

Hong Kong's leader says security laws will not affect city's rights and freedoms

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam speaks during a news conference in Hong Kong, China May 26, 2020. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu. HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Tuesday added to a raft of attempts by local and Beijing officials to provide reassurance that proposed national security laws would not trample on the city’s rights and freedoms, amid widespread concerns. Lam said those concerned need to wait for the details of the ... Full story

Ecuador protests against cuts amid pandemic - BBC News

Thousands of people have taken to the streets in Ecuador to protest against the government's economic response to the coronavirus outbreak. Around 2,000 people demonstrated in the capital Quito, defying restrictions aimed at combatting the virus. Last week, the president announced measures including the closure of some state-owned companies and cuts to public sector salaries. Ecuador has been one of the worst-affected countries in South ... Full story

Germany's confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 432 to 179,002: RKI

FILE PHOTO: People spend time at the Rhine River, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Cologne, Germany May 21, 2020. REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen. BERLIN (Reuters) - The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 432 to 179,002, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Tuesday. The reported death toll rose by 45 to 8,302, the tally showed. Reporting by Berlin ... Full story

Saudi Arabia to end curfew on June 21, except in Mecca: state news agency

FILE PHOTO: A view of a deserted street, during a curfew imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia April 2, 2020. Picture taken April 2, 2020. REUTERS/Yasser Bakhsh. CAIRO (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia will revise curfew times this week, and lift it entirely across the Kingdom with the exception of the holy city of Mecca starting June 21, state news agency reported in a statement ... Full story

China reports seven new mainland COVID-19 cases vs 11 a day earlier

People wearing protective face masks are seen on a street following an outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Shanghai, China May 25, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song. SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China reported 7 new confirmed coronavirus cases in the mainland as of end-May 25, up from 11 a day earlier, the National Health Commission reported. The commission said in a statement all of the new infections were imported cases, involving ... Full story

China central bank resumes reverse repo operations after near two-month hiatus, traders say

FILE PHOTO: The Chinese national flag flies at half-mast at the headquarters of the People's Bank of China, the central bank (PBOC), as China holds a national mourning for those who died of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), on the Qingming tomb-sweeping festival in Beijing, China April 4, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins. SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China’s central bank will inject 10 billion yuan (1.15 billion pounds) into money markets on ... Full story