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Saturday 11th July 2020

Confirmed coronavirus deaths are now more than 560,000. Confirmed cases - 12.5 million.

Starting in Asia today …

In Turkey, the highest court has said that the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul can be turned back into a mosque. Hagia Sophia was a cathedral for Christians for 900 years before becoming a mosque for 500 years. It has been a museum since 1935. The US, Greece and Christian leaders have expressed concern at this decision.

In South Korea, ex-president Park Geun-Hye’s jail sentence has been reduced to 22 years in jail, 10 years less than before. Park served as South Korea’s first female president from 2013 to 2017 and was found guilty of corruption in 2018. Singapore had an election yesterday. The ruling People’s Action Party won 83 seats out of a possible 93 – one more than they had before.

In Malaysia police are questioning Al Jazeera journalists because of a documentary they made about Malaysian migrant workers. Al Jazeera’s lawyer made a statement denying any incorrect actions and said there is concern over their safety. “Our clients refute these charges, and stand by the professionalism, quality and impartiality of journalism. You all are journalists. You know it is important to portray and report what is fair what is accurate and what is balanced, and this was done by Aljazeera.” Malaysia’s inspector general, Abdul Hamid Bador, has guaranteed the safety of the journalists

“Don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid, I’m not going to intimidate them, I’m not going to allow anyone to harm or to cause harm, or to instigate to harm them, no, please , please, be brave, be professional about it”.

Europe …

The UK government has said they are not going to be part of the EU’s Coronavirus vaccine scheme. The EU is planning to spend €2bn on vaccines that are in trial at the moment, but the UK will not take part because of concerns about the price and possible delays.

The Netherlands is taking legal action against Russia at the European Courts of Human Rights, over the shooting down of flight MH17. The crash happened 6 years ago and killed everyone on board, including 196 Dutch nationals. The flight was shot down by a missile as it flew over Ukraine. The suspects include 3 Russians and 1 Ukrainian.

Africa quickly …

Nigeria’s head of anti-corruption is being investigated for corruption. Ibrahim Magu has been suspended from his position during the investigation.

In Ethiopia, 2 people have been arrested for the killing of a popular political singer. Haacaaluu Hundeessaa’s death caused protests in Addis Ababa last week, which led to the death of 170 people.

In Sudan female genital mutilation is now illegal. Yesterday the law banning FGM was passed by Sudan’s transitional government. Almost 9 out of ten girls in Sudan are victims of genital mutilation.

Lastly the Americas…

The United States of America reported over 60,000 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday and on Thursday. Brazil has reported over 40,000 new cases every day since Tuesday – the day that President Jair Bolsonaro tested positive.

Also in the US President Trump has called rival Joe Biden a puppet of the extreme left. Speaking yesterday, he also said that nobody will be safe in a Biden America…

“Biden is a puppet of Bernie Sanders, AOC, the militant left, the people who want to rip down statues and monuments to George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Jesus, Jesus ok, they want to rip down statues to Jesus. So we’re dealing with a group of people that, they will not win, they will not win at all. Nobody will be safe in a Biden America.”

In Colombia, the mayor of Bogota, Claudia Hernandez, has said Bogota’s health alert level will be raised. A ‘strict quarantine’ will begin after a surge in coronavirus cases.

Bolivia’s interim president Jeanine Añez has tested positive for COVID 19. The health minister and six other ministers are also infected.

And the rapper Eminem has criticized people who don’t take the coronavirus seriously, in a new song. In his latest collaboration with Kid Cudi, Eminem attacked people who don’t want to wear masks…

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