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Saturday 25th July 2020

The world has set a new record for single-day COVID19 infections. On Wednesesay over 280,000 infections were recorded according to Johns Hopkins University. 72,000 of those were from the US, 65,000 from Brazil, and 45,000 from India. Mexico has been criticised for its very low testing rate – ten times lower than Peru and twenty times lower than the US. Chile has one of the highest infection rates in the world – one in every 60 people has been infected.


Tensions between China and the United States continue to worsen. Both countries have accused each other of spying. China has ordered the American consulate in Chengdu to close, after the Chinese consulate in Houston was ordered to close. President Trump continues to blame China for the coronavirus pandemic – repeatedly calling COVID19 “The China Virus”. On Thursday Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that securing freedom from China is “The mission of our Time”…

“Maybe its time for a new grouping of like-minded nations – a new alliance of democracies – we have the tools, I know we can do it. Now we need the will. Securing our freedoms from the Chinese Communist Party is the mission of our time. And America is perfectly positioned to lead it – because our founding principles give us that opportunity.”


Hundreds if Nicaraguans are stuck at the border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua. The Nicaraguan government has said that they will not be allowed back in unless they can show a negative COVID19 test.


Asia

Vietnam has banned all imports of wild animals. The government said that the ban is to avoid future pandemics. The ban includes all wild animals, dead or alive, eggs, organs or body parts. The trade of wild animals in Vietnam is thought to be a billion-dollar industry.


In Turkey, hundreds of thousands of Turkish people went to the Hagia Sophia yesterday where Muslim prayers took place for the first time in over 80 years. President Erdogan recited the Quran... The Hagia Sofia was built as a Christian Cathedral in the 6th century and was converted into a mosque in the 15th century, however, it had been a museum since 1934. To show disapproval of the decision to change the Hagia Sophia into a mosque again, Greek church leaders declared a day of mourning yesterday, ringing bells slowly, and flying flags at half-mast.


Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif has accused a US military plane of harassing an Iranian passenger plane. Yesterday the Iranian plane, flying over Syria to Lebanon, made sudden movements after a US military jet came very close. Passengers were injured in the incident.


Malaysian communications minister Saifuddin Abdullah changed his statement on needing a license to broadcast video. Yesterday Abdullah said that social media users do not need a license to broadcast.


Africa

The US military has accused Russia of sending military equipment to Libya. Since 2011 the UN security council has banned the sale of weapons to Libya. However the US military says that it has satellite evidence of Russian cargo planes in Libya. The Wagner Group = a private Russian military operation – is accused of fighting with the warlord Khalifa Haftar. Russia has denied that it is sending weapons to Libya.


The rest of Africa quickly… Algeria has closed all non-essential shops because of a recent spike in COVID19 cases. On the contrary the Democratic Republic of Congo has reopened most businesses this week. Schools will open on the 3rd August and international flights will start on the 15th August. Senegal is improving its testing facilities to encourage tourism. Travellers will be tested when arriving and leaving Senegal.


Europe

France has recommended to its people not to go to the Spanish region of Catolonia. after a fast rise in COVID cases there. Norway will start a 10-day quarantine for people arriving from Spain from today.


Prime Minster of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson has admitted that mistakes were made at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Johnson has been criticised for not taking stronger actions earlier in the year. He said yesterday that they didn’t know what to expect…

“This was something that was new, that we didn’t understand in the way that we would have liked in the first few weeks and months. And I take full responsibility for everything that government did.


And in conversation with nurses, Boris Johnson said that people against vaccinations are “nuts”. Hesitation to take vaccines has grown during the coronavirus pandemic, despite the great scientific consensus that vaccines are safe and effective.

“Because there are all these anti-vaxxers now isn’t there? They are nuts. They are nuts.”

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