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Sunday 21st June 2020

United States president Donald Trump has held an election rally in Tulsa, the second largest city in Oklahoma. 19,000 people attended the event – the first campaign rally in months. Critics have said that a rally should not have happened now because of the coronavirus pandemic. Before the rally began, six workers tested positive for COVID19.

A book by John Bolton, Trump’ s former security advisor, will be released next week. Trump tried to stop the release of the book, saying that it contains classified information, but a judge has said that the book can be released. Chile nearly doubled its official coronavirus death toll on Saturday – raising the number by 3,000 to more than 7,000. There have been 236,000 confirmed infections in Chile. Mexican President Lopez Obador has admitted that he personally ordered the release of the son of El Chapo – the Mexican drug lord. In an operation last October, security forces briefly captured Ovidio Guzman – one of the sons of El Chapo – however he was released after soldiers were overwhelmed by forces of the drug cartel. President Lopez Obrador said that his decision to release Guzman saved hundreds of lives.

China has accused India of instigating the fighting on Monday that left 20 Indian soldiers dead. China also said that the Galwan Valley - where the fighting took place – is Chinese territory. Since the fighting on Monday many Indians have called for a boycott of Chinese products.

In Hong Kong, China will start a ‘national security agency’, to enforce the new national security law. The new law has been criticised by many governments as an attack on Hong Kong’s freedoms. Yesterday, China also threatened Taiwan not to protect Hong Kong’s protesters. Last week Taiwan said that it would offer humanitarian support for the people of Hong Kong. Student activist Josh Wong spoke in a protest yesterday… “And we also face the risk to extradite to China. In the previous day we may be jailed in Hong Kon, but later on we may be jailed in China, in Beijing.”

Africa In the Democratic Republic of Congo the president’s chief of staff has been given twenty years in jail for corruption. Vital Kamerhe was found guilty of diverting public funds, worth $49 million dollars.

Zimbabwe’s health minister has appeared in court, also accused of corruption. Obadiah Moyo is charged with overpaying for health equipment related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Complications in Libya. Turkey has said that the forces of Khalifa Haftar must leave the town of Sirte before a ceasfire can be agreed. Turkey also said yesterday that French support for Khalifa Haftar, is stopping the peace process. Yesterday Egypt’s President el-Sisi, told his army to be ready to fight in Libya. Egypt, Russia and the UAE support Khalifa Haftar’s forces. Yesterday, Fayez al-sarraj, the leader of the UN backed government, was in Algeria, meeting president Abdelmadjid Tebboune.

Some parts of Central and Eastern Europe are seeing a rise in COVID19 cases. Germany has relaxed its lockdowns over the last few weeks – but it has said that is infection rate is now over 1.7 – meaning that the number of cases will continue to grow. North Macedonia, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina have declared a fast rise in the last few days. Montenegro was declared coronavirus-free on 5th May, however, there are now 30 confirmed cases. Recently there have been signs that COVID19 may have been in Europe before commonly believed. On Thursday scientists in Italy reported that they had found particles of COVID19 in sewage from December last year – months before the first reported case in Italy. France also declared recently that an autopsy showed COVID19 in the body of a man who died in December.

Today there is a solar eclipse. The moon will pass between the earth and the sun. The eclipse will be visible for our listeners in central and eastern Africa, The Middle East and Central and East Asia.

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