Xinhua world news summary at 0030 GMT, Jan. 10

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NEW YORK -- At least 19 people, including nine children, lost their lives in a major fire in New York City on Sunday, New York City Mayor Eric Adams confirmed.

"We've lost 19 of our neighbors today. It's a tragedy beyond measure. Join me in praying for those we lost, especially the 9 innocent young lives that were cut short," Adams tweeted. (US-New York-Fire)

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RIO DE JANEIRO -- The death toll from a rockfall in Lake Furnas, Brazil, has risen to eight, with two people still missing, rescue teams said on Sunday.

The incident occurred on Saturday afternoon when several large rocks fell onto four boats sailing on Lake Furnas in the municipality of Capitolio, about 300 km from Belo Horizonte, the capital of Minas Gerais state. (Brazil-Death toll)

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BEIRUT -- Lebanon and Iraq signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Sunday aimed at strengthening ties in the economic, industrial, scientific, environmental and technological fields, according to a statement released by Lebanon's Industry Ministry.

The MoU was signed by Iraqi Minister of Industry and Minerals Manhal Aziz al-Khabbaz and Lebanese Industry Minister George Bouchikian, who is on an official visit to Iraq to discuss ways of boosting ties between the two countries. (Lebanon-Iraq-MoU)

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KATHMANDU -- A government body in Nepal on Sunday recommended restrictive measures against large gatherings and in-person classes in response to rising daily COVID-19 cases.

The COVID-19 Crisis Management Coordination Center suggested banning gathering of more than 25 people and closing primary and secondary schools till Jan. 29.

Within this period, the Ministry of Health and Population will have to supply vaccines to inoculate students aged 12-17 and fully vaccinate teachers and other staff members. (Nepal-COVID-19-Restrictive Measures)

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ACCRA -- The leadership of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Sunday here announced a flurry of harsher sanctions on Mali.

Leaders of ECOWAS gathered in an extraordinary summit to deliberate on the situation in Mali. In the communique after the summit, the regional body said the proposed chronogram by the Malian transitional authorities that set the duration of the transition for a total of five and a half years is "totally unacceptable." (ECOWAS-Mali-Sanction) Enditem

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