BEIRUT — Lebanese President Michel Aoun vowed on Tuesday to continue investigations into the explosions that rocked Beirut on Aug. 4, killing 171 people and wounding around 6,000 others.

“I will not remain silent nor will I rest until we reveal all the facts about these explosions; referring the explosions to the Supreme Judicial Council is the first step in this direction,” Aoun said in a statement.

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GENEVA — The World Health Organization (WHO) is in close contact with Russia regarding a possible pre-qualification of the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine, a WHO spokesman said on Tuesday.

“We are in close contact with the Russian health authorities and discussions are underway regarding a possible pre-qualification of the vaccine by WHO,” WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said at a virtual press briefing.

“The pre-qualification of any vaccine involves rigorous review and evaluation of all the data required for safety and efficacy” in clinical trials, said Jasarevic, adding that at the WHO level, this process would be the same for any vaccine candidate.

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WASHINGTON — U.S. politicians risk making a “dreadful mistake” by stoking a geopolitical Cold War with China, a renowned U.S. economist has warned.

“The last Cold War was dangerous enough,” Jeffrey Sachs, an economics professor at Columbia University and senior United Nations advisor, said in an interview with CNBC on Monday.

“This one would be even more dangerous. It’s completely misconceived and misguided, but a lot of Americans want to put it to China and think that we run the show, which is a very dangerous view of thinking,” he said.

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MOSCOW — Russia will start the production of its COVID-19 vaccine within two weeks, the country’s Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said Wednesday.

“First of all, the production facilities in Russia will be oriented towards the domestic market to meet the need of our citizens,” Murashko said at a press conference.

He said that Russia will offer the vaccine to foreign countries when it has sufficient amounts.

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TEHRAN — Washington will fail in its attempts to push the UN Security Council for the extension of a UN arms embargo against Tehran, Iran’s President said here on Wednesday.

He also dismissed the claims by U.S. President that he would be looking for peace with Iran immediately after re-election.

“If you are sincere and seek peace, which you have never been after, why do you take such actions (sanction pressures) against the Iranian nation?” he was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency on Wednesday. Enditem

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