The United States Congress negotiates a deal to fast track the Trans-Pacific Partnership between the US and Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
Canada, the EU, Israel, Japan, Morocco, the Philippines, Singapore, Turkey, the UAE, the UK, and the U.S. ban flights from South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Malawi, and Eswatini due to the Omicron variant.
Singapore begins reopening its borders with the launch of Vaccinated Travel Lanes for fully vaccinated travellers from Germany and Brunei, while quarantine-free restrictions will be eased for travellers from Hong Kong, Macau, Mainland China outside of Jiangsu Province, New Zealand and Taiwan.
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lifts the 32-year-old, lifetime ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men. Men can donate if they haven't had sex with another man in the previous year. The FDA stance is in line with other countries, such as Australia, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, and the U.K., and is consistent with rules on recent blood transfusion or accidental exposure to another individual's blood.
Myanmar tops the 2015 Charities Aid Foundation's World Giving Index which measures each country's charitable behavior. Individuals indicate whether they have donated money, volunteered, or helped a stranger in the past month. The United States, which tied with Myanmar last year, is second, followed by New Zealand, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sri Lanka, Ireland, and Malaysia.
The Philippines asks the International Court of Arbitration at The Hague to invalidate China's claims to virtually all of the South China Sea. The hearing was attended by observers from Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The People's Republic of China and Australia sign a free trade agreement in Canberra as Andrew Robb, Australia's Minister for Trade and Investment, warns that the United States Congress only has weeks to approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia and Hong Kong ban poultry imports from the Australian state of Victoria while Japan bans imports from the whole of Australia following an outbreak of a low pathogenic form of the avian influenza (separate from the potentially deadly H5N1 strain).