* Global stocks headed for their first weekly gain in three amid a surge in commodity prices, while traders braced for a key US jobs report later on Friday that could provide clues on when the Federal Reserve will ease back on monetary stimulus.
* India’s COVID-19 tally reached 21,491,598 on Friday as a fresh high of 414,188 new cases were registered in the past 24 hours, said the federal health ministry. It was the third time this month when over 400,000 cases have been registered in a single day.
* The Chinese mainland on Thursday reported 13 new COVID-19 cases, all of which were imported, the National Health Commission said in its daily report on Friday. The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases on the mainland reached 90,739 by Thursday and 4,636 had died as a result of the virus.
* US COVID-19 case count rose to 32,603,556 with a total of 580,054 deaths, as of 8:20 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on May 6, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.
* Japan’s government is set to extend a state of emergency in Tokyo and three other areas by about three weeks until the end of May to curb a surge in novel coronavirus cases just months before the start of the Tokyo Olympics.
* Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed on Friday that the ban on travel from India would end on May 15, paving the way for thousands of Australians stranded in the country to return home.
* The European Commission wants to speed up EU approval of experimental COVID-19 drugs, according to a document released by the EU executive, with the aim of having at least three new medicines authorised by October.
* All countries should commit to zero carbon emissions by 2050 if the world is to avoid a disastrous temperature rise of 2.4 degrees Celsius by the end of this century, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Thursday.
* The delays in supply of COVID-19 vaccine doses to Africa linked to the crisis in India could reignite new waves of infections in the continent, the World Health Organization (WHO) official said Thursday.
* Brazil aims to expand and diversify its economic and trade relations with China, its largest trading partner, Foreign Minister Carlos Franca said Thursday.
* Visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov Thursday said here that Russia is committed to ensuring the security of its allied Armenia.
* Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday discussed the security situation and reforms with visiting US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Kiev, the president’s press service said.
* Israel’s foreign exchange reserves reached a new record of US$194 billion at the end of April, according to data issued by Israel’s central bank on Thursday. This is an increase of over US$8.3 billion month on month from the end of March.
* People under the age of 40 in Britain will be offered an alternative to the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine following concerns of rare blood clots, The Daily Telegraph and The Independent newspapers reported.
* Germany will allow AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine to be administered to adults of all ages and aims to offer 12-18 year olds a vaccine by the end of August.
* Australia’s international borders might not fully reopen until the middle or second half of 2022, Trade Minister Dan Tehan said on Friday, in a blow to airlines and the tourism sector.
* Over 10 million Turkish citizens have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as part of the ongoing nationwide vaccination program, the Health Ministry’s data showed on Thursday.
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