'Attack' on Israeli ship
The UK military says an Israeli-owned ship has come under attack off the coast of Oman in the Arabian Sea. According to the British military, the vessel was targeted near Masirah Island late on Thursday. It says the attack was not an act of piracy, and an investigation is underway. The Israeli company that owns the ship says it was travelling from Tanzania’s Dar es Salaam to Fujairah, a port in the UAE. The company said there was no cargo on board the ship at the time of the incident. In recent months, several other Israeli ships have also been targeted in various maritime routs across the world.
China coronavirus lockdown
China has placed hundreds of thousands of people under lockdown as the country battles its worst outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in months. Health officials have registered dozens of new daily infections in the eastern city of Nanjing. The outbreak first started among workers at the city's airport earlier this month. The cluster of infections had reached the capital Beijing and five provinces by Friday. At least 206 infections across China have been linked to the cluster. The infections have been blamed on the Delta variant first detected in India. The strain poses a serious challenge to China’s zero-infection policy. The coronavirus was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019. It then rapidly spread across the world.
Japan COVID emergency
Japan has extended a state of emergency to four more regions as COVID cases spike to records amid Tokyo Olympics. The government has proposed states of emergency in Osaka and three regions near Olympic host Tokyo through August 31. It also plans to extend existing states of emergency for Tokyo and Okinawa by the same date. That comes as COVID surges in Japan. On Thursday, new daily cases topped 10,000 for the first time. The authorities blame the surge on highly transmissible Delta variant, denying any link with the Olympics. Delta has also increased infections in the Philippines in recent days. The government now plans a two-week lockdown in the capital Manila. It will begin on August 6.