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Sunday 31st May 2020.

Listen: send7.org

*lift off*

Yesterday a rocket left the United States for the international space station. It was the first space mission to leave from the United States since 2011, and the first time a private company has put people into space. SpaceX a company owned by Elon Musk, launched the Dragon crew 2 mission, with 2 astronauts on board. The launch was originally attempted on Wednesday, but was cancelled because of bad weather. They should arrive at the international space station after 19 hours.

Latin America now represents 40% of daily coronavirus deaths.

Peru has had one of the world longest lockdowns, since March, but COVID19 cases continue to rise. Doctors and nurses say that they cannot cope with the number of infections. 155,000 cases are now confirmed in Peru. Social distancing is difficult to practice in Peru, where more than 20% of people live in poverty, and 70% work for daily wages.

Brazil has now registered 28,000 COVID19 deaths, the fifth highest in the world. Confirmed cases are now 465000, but experts say that the real number could be 15 times higher. President Jair Bolsonaro continues to reject lockdown measures.

Mexico should end its lockdown next week, despite the continuuning rise in COVID cases. Medical staff have protested the relaxation of measures, and a lack of personal protective equipment.

Protests continue across the United States over the murder of a George Floyd by a police officer on Monday. Policeman Derek Chauvin has been charged with murder. In Minneapolis, where Floyd was killed, the national guard was activated for the first time since world war 2. As well as large protests in Minneaplois, there were protests in over twenty cities, including New Yok, Los Angeles, Denver and in Washington DC outside the White House. In Atlanta fires was started and there was large destruction of property. The mayor of Atlanta Keisha Bottoms told protesters to stop damaging property…

“ So what I see happening on the streets of atlanta is not atlanta. This is not a protest. This is not in the spirit of martin luther king Jr. This is chaos.”

The US is consider sending a ‘training’ unit to Tunisia. The United States military is concerned about Russian interference in Libya, where a civil war has continued since 2014. Tunisia’s defence ministry said that the United States is a main partner in building Tunisia’s military capability.

South Africa’s total coronavirus cases have passed 30,000. But the country is relaxing some lockdown measures. Transport minister, Fikile Mbalula said that from now, most public transport will restart, and domestic air travel will begin on June 1st…

“On public transport with an increase in the number of people returning to work, and learners and students returning to institutions of learning, long distance public transport crossing provincial metropolitan or district boundaries is permitted to operate.”

Asia

India is relaxing its lockdown measures from early June. This is despite India registering its biggest jump in new coronavirus cases yesterday. Shops, restaurants and places of worships will be able to open from 8th June. Some areas will be classified as high-risk, and will have to maintain lockdown restrictions. With a population of 1.35 billion people, India’s lockdown is the biggest in the world. India and neighbour Pakistan are currently dealing with an infestation of locusts which are causing billions of dollars of damage for farmers.

In Afghanistan a journalist and a technician have been killed in a bomb blast. The Taliban have said that they were not responsible for this attack in Kabul.

In Israel there have been protests after the killing of an autistic Palestinian man. Police in Jerusalam say that they thought he was carrying a gun.

Europe

In Bosnia thousands of people have protested against corruption. The protests in Sarajevo started after accusation that the government had overpaid for defective ventilators – machines used in hospitals to treat coronavirus patients.

Romanian Prime Minister Ludov Orban has been charged with breaking coronavirus restrictions set by his own government. Orban was fined 3000 lei, around 600 euros, for not wearing a facemask and for smoking indoors.

And a German company has created a 3 in 1 renewable energy platform. The platform sits on the sea, and generates energy from the sun, the wind, and from the waves underneath it. The company says it would be most useful for island communities.

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