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Monday 13th July 2020.

There have been 13 million confirmed COVID19 infections.

The world continues to break coronavirus records. On Friday 237,000 new cases were reported. The highest in a single day. The US reported 71,000 new cases, the highest in a single day for any country so far. Yesterday the state of Florida reported 15,000 new cases – more than most countries. President Donald Trump wore a mask in public for the first time on Saturday. Presidential candidate Joe Biden criticised the president for waiting so long to follow health recommendations.

In South America the new French Prime Minister Jean Castex visited French Guiana yesterday. In French Guiana coronavirus cases have doubled in the last 3 weeks.

Europe Poland’s presidential election has been extremely close. Cconservative president Duda was against the liberal mayor of Warsaw Rafal Trzaskowski (Rafov thaskofsky) In the final poll before voting, there was less than one percent between them. By the time you are listening to this podcast the result will probably be decided.

In the Vatican, Pope Francis has said that he is “pained” by the decision to turn Turkey’s Hagia Sophia back into a mosque. Hagia Sophia was a Christian cathedral for 900 years before being converted into a mosque in 1453. It has been a museum since 1935 but will now be used as a mosque again.

In the UK, Scotland has made it illegal to enter shops without a mask, however, England will not make the same rule. Talking to the BBC yesterday government minister Michael Gove said that the he trusted people’s common sense…

“I don’t think mandatory, no, but I would encourage people to wear a face mask, when they are inside, in an environment where they are likely to be mixing with others and where the ventilation may not be as good as it might [be]. So I think that it is basic good manners, courtesy, consideration to wear a face mask if you are, for example, in a shop.”

Africa In Mali protests have continued against the presidency of Boubacar Keita. 4 people died in protests on Saturday. Protesters blame president Keita for a worsening economic situation. Protest leader Mahmoud Dicko has asked for calm.

South Africa has banned the sale of alcohol again. Yesterday President Cyril Ramaphosa said that COVID19 infections were increasing too fast, and that the consumption of alcohol was using up hospital space…

“As we head towards the peak of infections, it is vita l that we do not burden our clinics and hospitals with alcohol related injuries that could have been avoided. This is a fight to save every life and we at the same time need to save every bed in our health facilities. We have therefore decided that in order to conserve hospital capacity. In order to make sure that there are sufficient and enough beds in our hospitals that are not taken by those who come in resulting from alcohol induced rauma or injuries, we have no decided that the sale, the dispensing and the distribution of alcohol will be suspended with immediate effect.”

India reported its highest daily rise in coronavirus cases yesterday- 29,000. The city of Bangalore will now enter a week-long lockdown. Delhi, Mumbai Chennai and Pune are other badly affected cities.

Over 30 million people are affected by floods in Southern China. More rain is expected. Palestine has ordered a curfew to stop the spread of COVID 19. Palestinians must stay inside at night and on weekends. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has promised immediate economic help, after large protests this weekend. And Taiwan has held its annual film festival. There was no social distancing or masks during the festival, as Taiwan has almost zero active cases of COVID19.

And in Madagascar a fossil of a tiny dinosaur has been discovered. It is expected to have lived 237 million years ago, and was about the size of a coffee cup. Today is the birthday of Julius Caeser. The Roman emperor was born in the year 100AD.

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