GENEVA -- The World Health Organization (WHO) will launch a mask challenge this week with partners from around the world to encourage people to send in photos of themselves wearing a mask, the organization's Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced on Monday.
"As well as hand sanitizer, I carry a mask with me all the time and use it when I'm in places where there are crowds," said Tedros at a virtual press conference from Geneva.
"Like the stagehands and HealthyAtHome challenges, we're going to be spreading further positive messages about how everyone has a role to play in breaking chains of transmission," he added.
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COLOMBO -- Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Monday congratulated a Sri Lankan team of youngsters for emerging as the first runner-up at the World Schools Debating Championship which was held online for the first time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"My heartiest congratulations to the team and its mentors who guided them towards this excellence. This is a great achievement for mother Lanka," Rajapaksa said.
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WELLINGTON -- The New Zealand government has extended three Defense Force deployments to the Middle East and Africa by two years.
"These deployments promote peace in the Middle East and Africa by protecting civilians and countering the spread of violent extremism," Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters said in a statement on Monday.
"Developments in that part of the world can have a global impact, including on New Zealand's security and prosperity," Peters said.
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BEIRUT -- Lebanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Nassif Hitti submitted on Monday his resignation to Prime Minister Hassan Diab, a statement by the Foreign Ministry reported.
"There is an absence in real willingness to implement structural reforms as requested by the international community," he said.
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NEW YORK -- New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo is urging local governments to be prepared for the possible coming of Tropical Storm Isaias from Monday night to Tuesday morning, according to media reports.
"Right now the models project that it will hit the New York City area, Long Island, especially the South Shore of Long Island and the Hudson Valley," Cuomo told reporters Sunday.
"We're concerned about it here in New York ... We don't think we'll have hurricane force winds, but we could have significant winds and significant downfall," he added.
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JAKARTA -- Indonesian President Joko Widodo observed that people in the country have been increasingly worrying about the COVID-19 spread since the past few weeks.
"The atmosphere since the past few weeks has showed that people have been worrying about COVID-19," the president told a virtual cabinet meeting at the State Palace here on Monday.
"We know that until yesterday there have been more than 111,000 cases with 4.7 percent of the fatality rate and this mortality rate in Indonesia is 0.8 percent higher than the global death rate. This is what I think is our common homework," he said.