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Saturday 27th June 2020

Asia


ASEAN - the Association of Southeast Asian Nations - met via video link yesterday. Leaders discussed and planned for a unified response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced that Malaysia cannot take any more Rohingya refugees…

“With regards to Rakhine state crisis. The spillover effects have impacted us regionally and as such the implication must be addressed comprehensively. Malaysia continues to bear the brunt of this prolonged crisis, which still appears to have no foreseeable end. We can no longer take more as our resources and capacity are already stretched compounded by the COVId19 pandemic. Yet Malaysia is unfairly expected to do more to accommodate incoming refugees.

In Indonesia almost 100 Rohingya refugees were rescued by fisherman yesterday. Residents helped the refugees after the authorities had refused to let them off the boat due to coronavirus concerns. The Rohingya people have been escaping their home country of Myanmar since 2017 because of a military-led crackdown against them.


Africa

Ethiopia has announced it will fill the Renaissance Dam on the river Nile if no agreement is reached with Egypt and Sudan. Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan disagree about the flow of the river caused by the dam. Egypt wrote to the UN last week to complain about Ethiopia’s plans. Sudan also wrote a letter to the UN security council saying that millions of its citizens would be at risk if the reservoir began operations.


In Kenya, police killed three protesters on Thursday night, following the arrest of a motorcycle taxi driver. In recent weeks hundreds of Kenyans have protested against police brutality in Kenya; especially in poor neighborhoods.


In Uganda's Capital Kampala there is a growing campaign to rename streets. Triggered by the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement, some Ugandans are hoping to remove the names of British colonial figures from streets and landmarks.


Europe


A heatwave across Europe has led to temperatures soaring 10-15 degrees above average. High temperatures are expected to continue over the weekend.


In Denmark, a Norwegian-Iranian citizen has been sentenced to 7 years in prison for spying for an Iranian intelligence service. Allegedly, he was planning the murder of an Arab-Iranian opposition leader who is in exile in Denmark.


In Scotland, six people including a police officer were injured in a stabbing at a hotel in Glasgow yesterday. A male suspect was shot dead at the scene.


Greek Prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan met yesterday to discuss the effects of the pandemic and border re-openings. There has been tension between the two countries because of territorial problems and the large number of refugees crossing from Turkey to Greece.


Americas

The Trump administration has petitioned the Supreme Court to invalidate Obamacare – a law which has provided 20 million Americans with health insurance since it was launched in 2010. The petition was sent yesterday - the same day that the US had the highest one-day increase in coronavirus cases – over 40,000 were confirmed. Yesterday, Vice President Mike Pence said that the US had made remarkable progress…

“ We have made truly remarkable progress in moving our nation forward. We’ve all seen the encouraging news as we open up America again. More than 3 million jobs created in the last job report. Retail sales are rolling . and of course the extraordinary progress in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and New Orelans. Areas that just a matter of a month ago were struggling under theweight of this pandemic.”


In Venezuela there are increasing reports of enforced disappearances. According to the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Organisation, the Maduro government is detaining people as a tool of political repression. They say that there have been 235 disappearances in 2020.


Mexico City's police chief has survived an assassination attempt. Three people were killed in the shooting, and the Jalisco New Generation drug cartel are expected to be responsible. 12-suspects have been detained.


And in Hawaii, the Ocean Voyages Institute says that it has removed a record amount of rubbish from the Great pacific garbage patch. The team removed 103 tons of fishing nets and plastics over 48 days.

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