Yahoo Finance Live's Akiko Fujita runs down international headlines, including Austria's lockdown due to a COVID surge in Europe, the Women's Tennis Association threatening to dissolve business relations with China over continued concerns of missing player Peng Shuai, and news that deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest has increased by 22% in the last year.
AKIKO FUJITA: In our World View today, Austria is reimposing a nationwide lockdown and mandating vaccines for all residents as the country sees a surge in new COVID infections. Chancellor Alexander Schellenberg made the announcement after the country reported the highest number of infections in Europe, with more than 14,000 new cases reported on Thursday. This marks just the second lockdown on the continent since the spring. It will last 10 days, but schools and grocery stores will remain open.
Meanwhile, over in neighboring Germany, the health minister says he has not ruled out a nation lockdown-- nationwide lockdown there either. Germany has already imposed restrictions in lower vaccinated regions. The country reported more than 52,000 new cases on Thursday.
The executive director of the Women's Tennis Association says he is prepared to pull his organization out of China altogether following the disappearance of tennis star, Peng Shui. Peng hasn't been seen or heard from since she accused China's former vice premier of sexual assault in a social media post earlier this month. In an interview with CNN, Steve Simon said the WTA is prepared to walk away from the Chinese market. That would include canceling a 10-year deal to put the WTA finals in China through 2028.
Chinese State TV released an email address to Simon that was reportedly from Peng denying all past allegations, but Simon has questioned the authenticity of that note. The latest sports controversy comes with just three months to go until the winter Olympic games in Beijing. And on Thursday, President Biden said he is considering a diplomatic boycott of the games over China's human rights abuses.
And deforestation in the Amazon has surged to a 15-year high in Brazil according to new data. The National Institute for Space Research showed the Amazon lost more than 5,000 square miles of rainforest between August of last year and July this year. That is a 22% jump from the previous year. The new data comes just weeks after major countries, including Brazil, signed on to a pledge at COP26 to end illegal deforestation by the end of the decade.