HONG KONG -- Hong Kong's Center for Health Protection (CHP) reported six new imported cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, taking the total tally of confirmed cases in the financial hub to 12,445.
The newly reported cases all involved mutant strains. A total of 48 cases have been reported in the past 14 days and all were imported, according to the CHP. (Hong Kong-COVID-19)
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KABUL -- A blast was heard in Afghanistan capital Kabul on Thursday but no casualties have been confirmed.
The spokesman for Kabul police, Mubin Khan has confirmed the blast, saying "a blast rocked Charahi Salim Karwan area today morning but caused no loss of life." (Afghanistan-Kabul-Blast)
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CANBERRA -- Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt announced in a speech to the Parliament on Thursday that he will quit politics at the next election.
On the final sitting day of 2021, Hunt confirmed he will not stand in his electorate of Flinders at the next federal election to be held by May 2022, saying it was "time to come home" and spend more time with his family. (Australia-Health Minister-Election)
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SEOUL -- South Korean Defense Minister Suh Wook and U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Thursday held their annual military talks in Seoul, according to the South Korean defense ministry.
Suh and Austin co-chaired the 53rd round of annual Security Consultative Meeting (SCM), agreeing to continue the bilateral cooperation for a joint promise of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula completely and settling permanent peace on the peninsula, according to the joint statement. (South Korea-Military-U.S.)