Saturday 13th June 2020.
Starting in Asia today…
In Hong Kong yesterday, there were protests to mark one year since protests began. A year ago people were demonstrating against a law that would allow criminals to be sent to mainland China. Today the protests are mostly against a new security law that protesters say would be the end of a democratic Hong Kong. Zoom, The video conference company, has admitted stopping some accounts of activists, after being asked by the Chinese government. Yesterday the government of Hong Kong criticised The British Government for its comments on the national security laws. The UK has said that the security law is a violation of Hong Kong’s autonomy - but the Hong Kong government has said that this is “inaccurate and biased”.
Japan aims to launch a coronavirus tracing app next week. Apple and Google have teamed up to create the app which uses Bluetooth technology. Around twenty countries have some type of tracing app functioning now. In Australia one in 4 people have downloaded a government tracing app.
In Afghanistan a bomb at a mosque has killed 4 people. No group has claimed responsibility, but the Taliban said that it was not responsible.
In India hospitals have reported being overwhelmed. Doctors have protested against a lack of safety equipment, and there are reports of people being turned away from hospitals. Over 300,000 coronavirus cases have been confirmed, despite a low testing rate. Hospitals in Pakistan have also reported being overwhelmed.
Brazil is now the country with the second highest number of confirmed coronavirus deaths, with over 41,000. Some Brazilian hospitals have said that they are at 90% capacity, however, president Jair Bolsonaro has said that reports of hospitals being full are not true. The president yesterday encouraged his supporters to go into hospitals and record videos to show that hospitals are not struggling. Mexico, Peru and Chile have all reported fast rises in COVID19 cases in the last few days.
In the United States President Trump has warned that the military could be sent to Seattle if demonstrations are not contained. Protesters declared a police-free zone in the city. The Mayor of Seattle Jenny Durkan said that using the military in Seattle would be illegal.
“The right to challenge authority and government is fundamental to who we are as Americans. We do not need anyone, including the president, to try to sell further divide, further mistrust and misinformation. The threat to invade Seattle, to divide and incite violence in our city, is not only unwelcome, it would be illegal. One of the things this president will never understand is that listening to community is not a weakness, it is a strength.”
The governor of New York Andrew Cuomo has signed an executive order for police reform. Cuomo said that the community had lost its trust in the police…
“Because what we know is certainly rue is there is no trust between the community and the police. That’s what the protests have said. There’s no trust. And if there’s no trust, the relationship doesn’t work. If there’s not trust the police cant effectively police. If there’s not trust the community is not going to allow the police to police. And there is no trust….”
Burundi’s top court has said that president-elect Evariste Dyashimiye should take office as soon as possible. President Pierre Nkurunziza died suddenly on Tuesday at the age of 55.
Cameroon. Human rights organizations have asked the Cameroonian government to investigate the death of journalist Samuel Wazizi. Wazizi died in military custody last year, but his death was not announced until last week.
This week people from 50 countries have listened to this podcast – broadcast a message of what is happening in your country, by sending a whatsapp audio message to +44 7307 872842.
In Italy, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has been questioned about his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. An investigation started in April into the beginnings of the pandemic, which has killed 34,000 Italians.
Spanish police have infiltrated a gang of human traffickers. The gang is suspected of bringing over a thousand people into Spain from Africa, including children. 12 people were arrested, most of whom were Africans.
The United Kingdom has announced a 20% fall in the economy for April. Economists are predicting that this year will be the biggest recession in 300 years. Leaders from Scotland and Wales have asked for an extension to the Brexit transition period, but the government in London has refused this idea.