>Postal service in partisan fight
The US House of Representatives passed a bill Saturday to give the postal service a $25 billion infusion and halt changes Democrats said threatened the millions of mail-in ballots expected in November's presidential election.
The bill is expected to die in the Republican-led Senate, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell calling it a "partisan stunt".
Americans are expected to vote by mail in massive numbers due to the coronavirus pandemic, but US President Donald Trump has opposed more funding for the cash-strapped US Postal Service.
The postal service has warned most states that it could not guarantee on-time delivery of mail-in ballots.
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a Republican fundraiser who Trump appointed to head the postal service in May, has presided over the removal of mail collection boxes and processing equipment.
>Japan's longest-serving PM
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday set a new record for the longest consecutive term in office but faced growing speculation about his health as he returned to hospital.
Abe, 65, spent more than seven hours at a Tokyo hospital last week during a previously unannounced medical check-up that his aides insisted was routine.
Local media cited sources as saying Abe's return visit Monday was to receive the results of that check-up, but no further information was provided.
As of Monday, Abe has been in power for 2,799 uninterrupted days, breaking the record previously set by his great uncle Eisaku Sato.
>Vaccines' emergency use OK'd
China has already authorized emergency use of COVID-19 vaccines developed by domestic companies, a senior health official said on Saturday. Zheng Zhongwei, head of China's COVID-19 vaccine development task force and an official at the National Health Commission, said the emergency use, which is in accordance with the Chinese vaccine management law, allows vaccine candidates to be used for a limited period of time among certain people at high risk of contracting the disease, such as medical workers, front-line pandemic control workers and Customs workers.
To prevent a possible resurgence of the novel coronavirus pandemic in the autumn and winter, the scope of people allowed to be inoculated will be further increased, he said.
The price of the vaccines will be based on their costs, instead of market demand, Zheng said.
"It's not to say that the companies cannot make a profit from the vaccines, but the fundamental rule is that the profit should be moderate and reasonable and based on the costs of making the vaccines."
The production capacity for the vaccines by domestic companies can meet the demand for emergency use and ongoing clinical trials, he added.
>ByteDance sues US govt
ByteDance, owner of the popular video platform TikTok, announced Sunday that it will file a lawsuit against the US government to protect its rights and interests Tuesday.
"Over the past year, we have earnestly sought to communicate with the US government, and provided solutions regarding its concerns. But the US administration disregarded facts, disobeyed necessary legal procedures, and tried to insert itself into negotiations between private businesses," ByteDance said in a statement. "To ensure that the rule of law is not discarded, and that our company and users are treated fairly, we announce that we will officially file a lawsuit to safeguard our interests."
An executive order issued by US President Donald Trump on Aug 6 blocked all transactions with ByteDance in an effort to "address the national emergency".
Trump's directive was to take effect within 45 days.
On Aug 14, he signed another executive order, this time giving ByteDance 90 days to sell or spin off TikTok in the US.
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