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Friday 24th July 2020

Americas

The United States has said that a wanted Chinese researcher is hiding in the San Francisco Chinese consulate. Tang Juan is accused of lying about her military background to the FBI. On Wednesday China said that the United state broke international law by closing the Chinese consulate in Housten. China warned that it may close US consulates in China. And Us President Trump said that closing more Chinese consulates is a possibility…

“As far as closing additional embassies, its always possible. You see what’s going on – we thought that there was a fire in the one that we did close. Everybody said there’s a fire there’ s a fire, and I guess they were burning documents or burning papers and I wonder what that was all about.”


Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said yesterday that some of his relatives have died from COVID 19. Obrador has been criticised in the past for not taking the pandemic seriously. Mexico has the 4th highest number of confirmed coronavirus deaths in the world – over 41,000.


Bolivia is postponing its presidential election. The original date for the election was May, however it has been delayed twice due to the coronavirus pandemic. Interim president Jeanine Añez and many ministers have tested positive. Ex-President Evo Morales who is in exile in Argentina, has criticised the decision to delay the election.


Africa The leaders of Senegal, Niger, Nigeria, Ghana and cote d’ivoire arrived in Mali yesterday. The five African leaders are trying to find a solution to Mali’s political problems. There have been months of protests in Mali asking for president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to resign.


In South Africa over 400,000 coronavirus cases have now been reported – the fifth highest number in the world. Although only 6,000 deaths have been attributed to coronavirus, a new report has shown that there have been 17,000 more deaths this year compared to in 2018. Yesterday president Cyril Ramphosa announced that schools would again close for 4 weeks – just 2 weeks after reopening…

“Taking into account the views of the various stakeholders and expert bodies, cabinet has decided today that all public schools should take a break for the next 4 weeks…”

In Nigeria humanitarian workers are repeatedly being targeted by jihadists, according to a security report. Last week 5 aid workers were killed in Borno state by the jihadist group Boko Haram. During the last 3 months 2,700 people have been killed in fighting in Northern Nigeria.

Asia

Lebanon is trying to obtain a grant from the International Monetary Fund, to help it survive an economic crisis. Yesterday France’s foreign minister Jean Le Drian said that great reforms were needed before aid would be given. The Lebanese Pound has lost half its value this year.


In Afghanistan the Taliban has said that they are ready for peace talks with the Afghan government is prisoner swaps continue. The Taliban made this statement, despite a rise in violence in the last month. Recently, the Afghan government has released 4,400 Taliban fighters, and the Taliban say that they have released over 800 Afghan security forces.


Malaysia has said that all film producers must have a license. Communication minister Saifuddin Abdullah said that this includes broadcasting on social media. Many Malaysians have complained that this is in opposition to free speech.


Europe

The European Union’s Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, has said that the UK is making it unlikely that a deal will be reached by the end of this year. Barnier said that the EU was preparing to start 2021 without a trade deal with the UK…

“This means simply, that by its current refusal to commit the condition of open and fair competition, and to a balanced agreement on fisheries, the UK makes a trade agreement, at this point, unlikely”.


In Germany an ex Nazi guard was given a two-year suspended prison sentence for over 5,000 counts of accessory to murder. The man, aged 93 was a guard at a concentration camp in 1944. Despite being 93 he was charged in a juvenile court, because he was only 17 when the crimes were committed. It is possible that he will be the last Nazi ever convicted.


And yesterday the singer Taylor Swift made a surprise announcement of a new album. Swift said that the surprise album called ‘Folklore’ would be released today. You can listen to the song ‘Cardigan’ right now.

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