The EU and UK moved to impose travel restrictions on a group of southern African nations as a surge in cases of a heavily mutated coronavirus variant caused alarm among global health officials.

After the UK placed six southern African countries back on its red list, the EU said on Friday that it was also likely to ban travellers from the region after the discovery of a new Covid-19 variant.

Travellers returning from South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Eswatini will be forced to quarantine for 10 days at a government facility from midday on Friday, UK officials said.

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Carbon dioxide emissions in China have fallen for the first time since last year’s lockdown, the latest signal the property sector downturn and energy shortages have hit industrial demand in the world’s second-biggest economy.

Emissions declined by about 0.5 per cent in the three months to the end of September, according to data published by Carbon Brief, a climate research and news service.

“The reasons [for the decline] are the clampdown on runaway real estate lending, resulting in a sharp reduction in steel and cement output, and the sky-high coal prices,” said Lauri Myllyvirta, an analyst at the Centre for

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Jamie Dimon, the JPMorgan Chase chief executive, joked that the Wall Street Bank would outlast the Chinese Communist party, while reiterating his commitment to expanding in the country.

“I made a joke the other day that the Communist party is celebrating its 100th year. So is JPMorgan. I’ll make a bet that we last longer,” he said on Tuesday, speaking at the Boston College Chief Executives Club, a business forum.

“I can’t say that in China. They are probably listening anyway,” said Dimon, who is also JPMorgan chair.

Leaders of global businesses that rely on operating in China for a

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About 90 per cent of US federal employees have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 ahead of the deadline later tonight for President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate.

Jeff Zients, the White House’s coronavirus response co-ordinator, said on Monday afternoon the federal government had achieved 95 per cent compliance with the requirement and that 90 per cent of the 3.5m federal workers around the country were already vaccinated.

In the White House, 99 per cent of employees in the executive office of the president had been vaccinated, Zients revealed. Levels of compliance in the Internal Revenue Service, FBI and Customs and Border

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Hochschild Mining has vowed to fight what it said was an “illegal” plan by Peru to close two of its mines on environmental grounds, deepening a clash between the mining industry and the left-leaning government.

Shares in Hochschild tumbled 50 per cent in early trading on Monday after Peruvian Prime Minister Mirtha Vasquez said over the weekend that four mines in the southern Ayacucho region would be “closed as soon as possible”.

The South American country is the world’s second-biggest producer of copper and a significant source of gold, silver, zinc and tin. The intervention by the government, headed by

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China has downgraded diplomatic relations with Lithuania after the Baltic country upgraded economic ties with Taiwan, in a sign of how EU member states risk retaliation from Beijing if they seek to deepen links with Taipei.

China said its decision to reduce relations with Lithuania from ambassadorial to chargé d’affaires level was to protest against the country’s decision to open a representative office in Taipei last week. A representative office does not equate to official diplomatic relations but is an indication of deeper ties.

“This act openly creates the false impression of ‘one China, one Taiwan’ in the world, renounces

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