Sunday 19th July 2020
Starting in Asia today…
Iran has sent to Paris, the black box of the Ukrainian flight shot down in January. 176 people were killed when Iran accidentally shot down the Ukraine International Airline flight.
Also in Iran. President Hassan Rouhani said yesterday that 25 million people may have been infected with coronavirus. Officially Iran has recorded 270,000 cases, however Rouhani said that 25 million – 30% of the population – was a scientific estimation.
Syria is holding parliamentary elections today. International observers generally consider Syria’s elections to lack legitimacy, as there is no real opposition to dictator Bashar Al-Assad.
Lebanon’s financial crisis is affecting its hospitals. Despite the coronavirus crisis, many medical centres are reducing staff as they can’t afford to pay them. Speaking to Sky News yesterday Lebanon’s Economy Minister Raoul Nehme said that Lebanon was paying for 30 years of poor management…
“We are living through a storm – a crisis – which, in my opinion is unseen worldwide. We are paying the price of bad management of the economy, for thirty years, and we are paying that today”.
In Belgium, the European Union finished a second day of talks yesterday without reaching a conclusion. Most countries support a plan to give out €750 million in grants, however Austria, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands want to reduce this amount.
In France there was a large fire in the cathedral of Nantes yesterday. Some reports suggest that the fire may have been deliberate. Just over one year ago there was a severe fire in the Note Dame cathedral in Paris – one of the most visited monuments in the world.
Antonio Guterres, the United Nations chief, said yesterday that the world is ‘at breaking point’ due to inequality. He talked about the importance of investing in renewable energy, stopping tax havens and moving forward together…
“We belong to each other, we stand together or we fall apart. Today in demonstrations for racial equality, in campaigns against hate speech, in the struggles of people claiming their rights and standing up for future generations, we see the beginnings of a new movement This movement rejects inequality and division, and unites young people civil society, the private sector, cities, regions and others, behind policies for peace, our planet, justice, and human rights for all. It is already making a difference. Now is the time for global leaders to decide. Will we succumb to chaos, division and inequality, or will we right the wrongs of the past, and move together for all? We are at a breaking point. But we know which side of history we are on.”
Africa Germany, France and Italy have threatened sanctions for countries that continue to send weapons to Libya. Delivery of weapons to Libya has increased in the last year, despite a ban from the United Nations Security Council. Turkey is supporting the Western government which is recognised by the UN. Russia, Egypt and the UAE are supporting the Eastern government and the forces of warlord Khalifa Haftar. The army of the West, supported by Turkey, are continuing to move east, towards the town of Sirte.
In Nigeria’s north west state of Zamfara, authorities are offering cows for guns. Armed groups often attack villages in Northern Nigeria, some are jihadist groups and some are cattle thieves. Zamfara State say that they will give two cows for each gun given to them.
In Mexico a video of a drug cartel has raised alarm. The video shows a military-style convoy with many vehicles and weapons. The cartel released the video as President Lopez Obrador visited one of their strongholds – the state of Jalisco.
United States Congressman John Lewis died on Friday aged 80. Lewis was a civil rights activist, who worked with Martin Luther King in the 1960s. He entered the House of representatives in 1987, and continued to represent Georgia as a member of congress until his death. President Obama awarded Lewis the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011. We will finish with some words from Lewis, from 2009…
“The way of non-violence, the way of peaceful resistance. The way of Ghandi, the way of Martin Luther King JR, was our way, our means, of achieving our goal. As a young student, I accepted non-violence, not simply as a technique, as a tactic, but as a way of life, a way of living. We wanted to change America and change America forever. To bring about a truly interracial democracy in America. To create a more perfect Union…"
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