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Algeria reports 1,761 coronavirus cases, 256 deaths


The Algerian authorities said on Friday that the overall coronavirus infections have reached 1,761 in the country, including 256 deaths, Trend reports citing Xinhua.

A total of 25 new death cases were reported between March 30 and April 10, of which 15 were confirmed during the past 24 hours, said Djamel Fourar, head of the COVID-19 Detection and Follow-up Commission.

In addition, 95 were tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, Fourar added.

A total of 405 have been healed of the coronavirus as the improving trend continues, he noted.



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Malaysia open to Davos talks with India amid palm oil spat



Malaysia’s trade minister is open to meeting his Indian counterpart at the World Economic Forum gathering this week, his ministry said on Monday, after New Delhi said no such encounter was possible amid a spat over palm oil supplies, Trend reports citing Reuters.

It was the second time in the last four days Malaysia expressed the possibility of such a meeting in Davos, during a standoff between a major supplier and buyer of palm oil caused by Malaysia’s criticism of Indian policies.

Malaysia’s Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) reiterated that India’s trade ministry first sent a request on Dec. 24 – before India placed curbs on imports of refined palm oil – for a bilateral meeting between the two ministers in Davos.

“In the spirit of economic partnership between our two nations, Malaysia has made every effort to accommodate the official request by India, but due to the busy schedule of both ministers, a mutually agreeable time has not been reached at the time of this statement,” MITI said.

“In the absence of a formal meeting, it is common for interested parties to meet informally and exchange views on the sidelines.”

It said MITI minister Darell Leiking “has expressed his openness to such discussion” with his Indian counterpart Piyush Goyal, mainly regarding India’s participation in the trade bloc Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

An Indian trade ministry official, speaking on behalf of the ministry, told Reuters on Sunday that Goyal would not meet Leiking in Davos because of his tight schedule. No other meeting was scheduled between them, he said.

Hindu-majority India has been agitated by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad last month speaking out against a new citizenship law which critics say discriminate against Muslims. Mahathir had angered New Delhi last year too when he accused India of invading and occupying Kashmir, a Muslim-majority disputed region also claimed by Pakistan.

Malaysia, a Muslim-majority nation, is the second biggest producer and exporter of palm oil and India’s restrictions on the refined variety of the commodity imposed on Jan. 8 have been seen as a retaliation for Mahathir’s words.

Mahathir, the world’s oldest premier at 94, told a small group of reporters including from Reuters on Monday that India’s new citizenship law was “grossly unfair”.

But he said his nation of 32 million people was too small to take retaliatory action against India following its palm curbs.

Since the restrictions, thousands of tonnes of refined palm oil have been delayed or got stuck at various Indian ports, multiple sources told Reuters.

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Brazil president Bolsonaro says he has a possible skin cancer



Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Wednesday that he has a possible skin cancer, after a medical visit where he had a mole removed from his ear, Trend reports citing Reuters.

The presidential office, however, said there is no sign that Bolsonaro has a cancer, adding that the president had been to a hospital in Brasilia in the afternoon. “The president is in good health, without any indication of a skin cancer and is keeping his appointments for this week,” said the statement.

Earlier, Bolsonaro also said he had been advised to cancel a trip to Salvador, in the state of Bahia, due to suffering from exhaustion.

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Alibaba shares set to rise 6.3% in Hong Kong debut



Alibaba Group’s Hong Kong shares are set to rise 6.3% in their debut after marking the city’s biggest share sale in nine years, Trend reports citing Reuters.

Alibaba has raised at least $11.3 billion from the secondary listing and could go as high as $12.9 billion if an over-allotment option is exercised.

The company sold the shares at HK$176, which was a 2.9% discount to the company’s closing price in New York last Tuesday. Each American Depository Receipt (ADR) represents eight Hong Kong shares.

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6.1 magnitude quake rocks off eastern Indonesia, no tsunami alert issued



A shallow and strong earthquake measuring 6.1 magnitude struck off eastern Indonesia’s West Papua province on Saturday evening, but no tsunami alert was issued, the meteorology and geophysics agency said, Trend reports citing Xinhua.

The quake jolted at 7:11 p.m. Jakarta time (1211 GMT) with the epicenter at 280 km northeast Tambrauw of the province and a depth of 10 km under sea bed, official in charge at the agency Abdul Rosid said.

“There (is) no potential of tsunami from happening so that we did not issue a warning,” he told Xinhua over phone.

Indonesia is prone to quake for its position on the quake-impacted zone so-called “the Pacific Ring of Fire.”

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