Thu, 01 Jun 2023

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam -- The first three locally transmitted COVID-19 cases of the Omicron variant in Vietnam have been confirmed in its southern Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam News Agency reported Wednesday.

The three people were all related to another COVID-19 patient who recently entered Vietnam from the United States, according to the HCMC Center for Disease Control. (Vietnam-COVID-19-Omicron Variant)

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WELLINGTON -- An interim telecommunication system has been set up in Tonga to allow its connection with the rest of the world using 2G networks, New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said on Wednesday.

Digicel, the international mobile phone network provider, has set up an interim system on Tongatapu using the University of South Pacific's satellite dish which may allow 2G connection to be established on Wednesday, according to the foreign ministry.

However, this connection will be limited and patchy covering about 10 percent of usual capacity and prioritizing voice and SMS communications, it said. (New Zealand-Tonga-Volcanic Eruption)

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HONG KONG -- U.S. businesses in Hong Kong are generally optimistic about the competitive global hub and more plan to expand their investments, said a survey report released Wednesday by the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong (AmCham HK).

Hong Kong is either the global or regional headquarters for six out of 10 businesses, said the 2022 Business Sentiment Survey Report of AmCham HK, which covered a total of 151 key corporate representatives and 111 individual members of the chamber. (Hong Kong-Business Environment-AmCham HK)

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CANBERRA -- Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Wednesday said the government would rebate visa fees for international students and backpackers to support the workforce challenge amid surging COVID-19 cases nationwide.

Those include international students who arrive in Australia over the next eight weeks and backpackers who arrive within 12 weeks.

"And there are around 150,000 students who have visas who we are encouraging to come back to be there for the start of their university or college year," he told reporters in Canberra. (Australia-VISA Fee-COVID-19)

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