Tue, 03 Aug 2021

TOKYO -- Japan is slated to start inoculating people aged between 18 and 64 at state-run mass COVID-19 vaccination centers on Thursday, the government said Tuesday.

Established last month by the Defense Ministry, the centers in Tokyo and Osaka originally gave shots to people aged 65 and older living in seven prefectures in the metropolitan and Kansai areas.

The ministry expanded the scope last week to accept people from nationwide and also decided Tuesday to remove the age restrictions in an effort to speed up vaccination. (Japan-Vaccination-expansion)

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HONG KONG -- Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX), which is embracing its 21st anniversary of going public, has seen its revenue up by over seven times during the past two decades.

The HKEX raked in 19.19 billion Hong Kong dollars (about 2.47 billion U.S. dollars) last year, up significantly from 2.31 billion Hong Kong dollars in 2000, the bourse said in a statement on Tuesday.

The stock exchange has grown into one of the world's leading stock exchange groups. It is currently home to 2,550 listed companies and stands firm as one of the top international destinations for initial public offerings. (HKEX-Revenue-Jump)

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BANGKOK -- The Thai Restaurant Association on Tuesday called on the government-run Center for the COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) to allow restaurants in Bangkok and neighboring provinces to open until 11:00 p.m. and serve alcohol in spite of the sustained pandemic situation.

Thai Restaurant Association president Thaniwan Kulmongkol submitted a letter of petition to Prime Minister and CCSA Chairman Prayut Chan-o-cha, calling for an extension to the dine-in hours for customers at restaurants in Bangkok, Samut Prakan, Nonthaburi and Pathum Thani from 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. and allowing more seating space in the restaurants from 25 percent as currently provided to at least 50 percent. (Thailand-Call-Extension of dine-in Hours)

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KUALA LUMPUR -- Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin unveiled a COVID-19 exit plan on Tuesday, outlining how the country would navigate its way out of the pandemic as it has been in lockdown since June.

In a televised speech, Muhyiddin said the plan would be gradually rolled out in four phases, with the transition to each phase when meeting certain indicators and criteria like daily new cases and vaccination rate, and all sectors of the economy are expected to be open by the end of the year.

Muhyiddin said the government's immediate priorities are to ramp up the national immunization plan, stabilize the healthcare system which is under heavy strain, and roll out economic stimulus packages. (Malaysia-COVID-19 Exit Plan-Unveiling)

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NEW DELHI -- India's top court Tuesday closed all the proceedings against two Italian marines who had been accused of killing two fishermen off the Kerala coast in 2012, officials said.

Considering the tribunal order, India has agreed to the compensation of 10 crores (about 1.36 million U.S. dollars) by Italy.

"We are satisfied with the compensation and the ex-gratia paid over and above earlier. This is a fit case to close all proceedings in India under Article 142 of the Constitution," the court ordered. (Indian Top Court-Proceedings Closure-Italian Marines)

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