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Oxford word of the year to face its first public vote
GUARDIAN – The Oxford word of the year will be voted for by the public for the first time, it has been announced. Since “the true arbiters of language” are “people around the world”, Oxford Languages has decided to put the final decision on the 2022 word in the hands of the English-speaking public.
China's factory activity contracts unexpectedly in July as COVID flares up
China's factory activity contracted unexpectedly in July after bouncing back from COVID-19 lockdowns the month before, as fresh virus flare-ups and a darkening global outlook weighed on demand, a survey showed on Sunday.
Record number of COVID-hit Australians in hospital as Omicron surges
The number of Australians admitted to hospitals with COVID-19 hit a record of about 5,450 on Monday, official data showed, as the spread of highly contagious new Omicron sub-variants strains the healthcare system nationwide.
China calls COVID ‘lab leak’ theory a lie after WHO report
China on Friday attacked the theory that the coronavirus pandemic may have originated as a leak from a Chinese laboratory as a politically motivated lie, after the World Health Organization recommended in its strongest terms yet that a deeper probe is needed into whether a lab accident may be to blame.
Beijing extends work-from-home 'requirement' for millions as COVID spreads
The Chinese capital extended its work-from-home requirement for many of its 22 million residents to stem a COVID-19 outbreak, while Shanghai deployed more testing and curbs to hold on to its hard-won "zero COVID" status after two months of lockdown.
Shanghai reopens some public transport, still on high COVID alert
Shanghai reopened a small part of the world's longest subway system on Sunday after some lines had been closed for almost two months, as the city paves the way for a more complete lifting of its painful COVID-19 lockdown next week.
Biden, Yoon vow to deter North Korea but offer COVID-19 aid
U.S. President Joe Biden and his new South Korean counterpart agreed on Saturday to hold bigger military drills and deploy more U.S. weapons if necessary to deter North Korea, while offering to send COVID-19 vaccines and potentially meet Kim Jong-un.
China cuts key mortgage reference rate as COVID-19 bites
China on Friday announced it would cut a key interest rate as the country fights to boost its virus-hit economy.
180 new COVID patients hospitalized in Iran
The number of coronavirus patients admitted to hospitals across Iran in 24 hours stood at 180, the Health Ministry said on Monday.
Daily deaths from COVID-19 in Iran drop to below 15 after around 26 months
The daily death toll from the coronavirus in Iran plunged to below 15 after around 26 months.
Iran reports 22 deaths from COVID-19, 608 new cases
Iran’s Health Ministry on Saturday reported 22 deaths from COVID-19, bringing the total death toll to 140,952.
More Chinese cities tighten controls as Shanghai COVID cases rise
Shanghai reported a record number of symptomatic COVID-19 cases on Saturday and other areas across China tightened controls as the country kept up its "dynamic clearance" approach that aims to stamp out the highly transmissible Omicron variant.
South Korea drops most COVID restrictions as cases fall
South Korea will lift almost all social distancing measures, the government said Friday, citing a dramatic fall in reported cases of COVID-19 after an Omicron-fuelled surge, but the mask mandate will remain.

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