Updated: September 28, 2021 10:26:02 am
Here is a round-up of the top developments around the world today.
World Bank says Delta variant slowing economic growth in East Asia and Pacific
The World Bank on Monday said that the East Asia and Pacific region’s recovery has been undermined by the spread of the covid Delta variant, which is likely slowing economic growth and increasing inequality in the region.
Economic activity began to slow in the second quarter of 2021, and growth forecasts have been downgraded for most countries in the region, according to the World Bank’s East Asia and Pacific Fall 2021 Economic Update. Except China, whose economy is projected to expand by 8.5 per cent, the rest of the region is predicted to grow at a mere 2.5 per cent.
North Korea fired a missile towards the sea off its east coast on Tuesday, the South Korean military has said. This comes after Pyongyang repeated a call for the United States and South Korea to scrap their “hostile policy” to restart talks.
The missile was launched from the central north province of Jagang at around 6:40 a.m. (2140 GMT), the South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said. Japan’s defence ministry said it appeared to be a ballistic missile, without giving much details. The latest test underscored the steady development of North Korea’s weapons systems, raising the stakes for stalled talks aimed at dismantling its nuclear and ballistic missile arsenals in return for U.S. sanctions relief.
The Taliban on Monday banned barbershops in a southern Afghanistan province from shaving or trimming beards, claiming their edict is in line with Shariah, or Islamic, law. The order in Helmand province was issued by the provincial Taliban government’s vice and virtue department to barbers in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital.
During their previous rule of Afghanistan, the Taliban adhered to a harsh interpretation of Islam. Since overrunning Kabul on Aug. 15 and again taking control of the country, the world has been watching to see whether they will re-create their strict governance of the late 1990s.
Two transgender women win seats in German parliament
Two German politicians from the Greens have made history by becoming the first transgender women to win parliamentary seats in the German national elections of 2021. Tessa Ganserer and Nyke Slawik stood for the Greens party, which came third in the election, increasing its share of the vote to 14.8% from 8.9% in 2017.
The results of Sunday’s elections are set to play a pivotal role in the building of a new three-way coalition government. “It is a historic victory for the Greens, but also for the trans-emancipatory movement and for the entire queer community,” Ganserer, 44, told Reuters, adding that the results were a symbol of an open and tolerant society.
US President Joe Biden on Monday received his coronavirus booster shot, days after federal regulators recommended a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine for Americans age 65 or older and approved them for others with pre-existing medical conditions.
Today I got my COVID-19 booster shot—and just like my first and second dose, it was safe and easy.
Get vaccinated. Together, can we save lives and beat this virus. pic.twitter.com/gtNAQqmOoj
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 27, 2021
“The most important thing we need to do is get more people vaccinated,” Biden said before getting the booster, adding that he did not have side effects after his first or second shots. Biden got his first shot on December 21 and his second dose three weeks later, on Jan. 11, along with his wife, Jill Biden.