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Monday 20th July 2020.

The world continues to record over 200,00 new coronavirus cases every day.


Americas

In Colombia doctors and medical experts are asking for lockdowns to be restarted. Rotating lockdowns have begun in the capital Bogota – where a lockdown is in place in certain areas for 2 weeks. Many doctors say that this is not enough – as hospitals are reaching their maximum capacity.


In Brazil supporters of President Jair Bolsonaro protested yesterday against coronavirus restrictions. Despite being in hospital with COVID19, Bolsonaro continues to reject lockdown measures. Bolsonaro says that the economic effect of restrictions will kill more people than the virus itself.


In the United States president Donald Trump continues to say that presidential candidate Joe Biden wants to ‘defund the police’. In an interview with Fox News on Friday, Trump argued with presenter Chris Wallace, who said that it was not true that Biden wants to defund the police…

CH: “Democrats have been running cities in this country DT: “Poorly.” CH: “Why is it so bad right now?” DT: “They run them poorly, it was always bad, but now its gotten totally out of control, and its really because they want to defund the police, and Biden wants to defund the police” CH: “Sir, he does not.” DT: “Look, he signed a charter with Bernie Sanders” CH: “And it says nothing about defunding the police”. DT: “Oh really? It says abolish, it says defund… let’s go! Get me the charter please!” Last month Joe Biden said that he thought that defunding the police was a bad idea…

“No, I don’t support defunding the police. I support conditioning federal aid to police, based on whether they meet certain standard of decency and honourableness”.

Africa In Zimbabwe over 100,000 people have been arrested since March for violating coronavirus measures. Opposition groups say that the arrests have been targeting activists, but the government deny this. Zimbabwe has recorded 1,400 cases of COVID19.


In Sierra Leone at least 4 people died yesterday during a protest in the town of Makeni. Locals say that police fired at people protesting against the moving of a power generator.


In the Republic of Congo, the former mayor of the capital Brazzaville has been sentenced to 5 years in prison for corruption. Christian Okemba was charged with moving $2 million dollars into a private bank account.


Europe

Leaders of the European Union met on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to try to decide on economic strategy for dealing with the coronavirus. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte wants a smaller economic package than the €750 million being discussed. Yesterday Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that he thought that Rutte was punishing Hungary financially, for “not respecting the rule of law.”

“I don’t know what is the personal reason for the Dutch Prime Minister to hate me or Hungary but he is attacking so harshly and making very clear that because Hungary - in his opinion – does not respect the rule of law, it must be punished financially – that’s his position, which is not acceptable, because there is no decision about what is the rule of law situation in Hungary”.


In France wearing masks in public is obligatory from today. The French government has shown a 4 scenario plan for what will happen if there is another wave of coronavirus. Like Spain and the United Kingdom, France has said that local lockdowns will be the first option.

In Spain’s second largest city, Barcelona, a voluntary lockdown is continuing. People have been asked to stay in their homes when possible. Meetings of more than ten people are banned, and cinemas, theatres and nightclubs are closed.


Asia

Iran has suspended the executions of three men after an online campaign. The three men in their twenties were sentenced to death for vandalism and starting fires during protests in November. However, this decision has been suspended, after the hashtag #do_not_execute was used 7 million times in the last few days. According to Amnesty International, Iran carries out the second highest number of executions in the world, after China.


In Russia’s Eastern city of Khabarovsk protests continued over the weekend. People are protesting against the arrest of governor Sergy Furgal. Furgal won an election in 2018, beating the local candidate of President Vladamir Putin. This month Vladamir Putin succeeded in passing constitutional changes that will allow him to maintain power until 2036.


And the alternative milk company Oatley, has been valued at $2 billion dollars. Last week the Swedish company sold a 10% share to a group of investors, including Oprah Winfrey, Jay-Z, Beyoncé and Natalie Portman. Oatley makes dairy-alternative products out of oats, and last year it’s sales almost doubled, to $200 million. This year it Is hoping to build factories in the United States and Singapore.

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