Thursday 16th July 2020
Right now, there are 5 million people with confirmed active cases of COVID19. But 99% are in a mild condition.
This is Send7, world news in 7 minutes. It’s Thursday, the 16th of July, 2020.
Starting in Asia:
Yesterday, China promised to fight back after the US ended Hong Kong's preferential trade status, saying it will now treat Hong Kong like mainland China. Beijing has criticised President Trump's decision, saying they would place sanctions on people and organisations in the US. This was said after President Trump spoke on Tuesday about the removal of preferential trade for Hong Kong:
Today I signed legislation and an executive order to hold china accountable for its oppressive actions against the people of hong kong. The Hong Kong autonomy act gives my administration powerful new tools to hold responsible the individuals and the entities involved in extinguishing hong kong’s freedom. We’ve all watched what happened, not a good situation, their freedom's been taken away, their rights have been taken away, and with it goes hong kong in my opinion, because it will no longer be able to compete with free markets.Today I also signed an executive order ending u.s preferential treatment for Hong Kong. Hong Kong will now be treated the same as mainland China. No special privileges, no special economic treatment, and no export of sensitive technologies.
The New York Times has said they will be moving many of their staff in Hong Kong to Seoul, the capital of South Korea. This is because of the new security law in Hong Kong and the difficulty for journalists and other staff to get work visas.
In Indonesia floods and landslides have killed at least 16 people. Over twenty people are still missing in Sulawesi – Indonesia’s 4th largest island.
In Iran the Twitter hashtag “Don’t execute” has been tweeted 4.5 million times in the last few days. The virtual protest began after 3 young men were sentenced to death for vandalism during street protests last year.
In the United Kingdom Boris Johnson has said there will be an "independent inquiry" into the coronavirus pandemic. The prime minister said it was not right to have an inquiry during the middle of a pandemic, but he said the government will look into what has happened, in the future. This was a reply to a question from acting Liberal Democrat party leader Sir Ed Davey, who said that under Boris Johnson, the UK has had one of the worst death rates in the world.
Mr Speaker as I have told the house several times, I do not believe that now - in the middle of combatting, still as we are, a pandemic - is the right moment to devote huge amounts of official time to an inquiry. But of course, Mr. speaker we will seek to learn the lessons of this pandemic in the future and certainly we will have an independent inquiry into what happened.
North Macedonia had elections yesterday. The first elections in the country since the controversial decision to add the word ‘North’ to its name. Former Prime Minister Zoran Zaev is running against Hristian Mickoski, the leader of the democratic party. Results should be announced later today.
Yesterday, Ethiopia began filling the Grand Renaissance dam - a giant hydroelectric dam built on the Blue Nile river. Ethiopia says the dam will help millions of its citizens come out of poverty, and will produce more than enough electricity for the whole country. But Egypt, that uses the Nile for almost all its fresh water, said the filling of the dam goes against agreements. Sudan is also concerned about the filling of the dam.
Rwanda has ordered some areas in the south-west of the country back into lockdown from today, after a rise in COVID-19 cases. Movement restrictions for two weeks have been put in place, including in a refugee camp which holds thousands of Congolese people.
Tunisian Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh resigned yesterday. Fakhfakh had lost the support of part of his government.
In the United States, a 33-year-old tech CEO of ride-sharing companies has been found dead in his New York apartment. The body of Bangladeshi Fahim Saleh was found on Monday afternoon. Mr Saleh was known for creating start-ups in Nigeria and Bangladesh, including Gokada, Nigeria's motorcycle ride-hail company.
Mexico has continued to reopen its economy and tourism industry, despite a fast rise in coronavirus cases. Infections have tripled since restrictions were relaxed in June. In Latin America, only Brazil has more confirmed cases than Mexico. Yesterday, Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro appeared on facebook live, and said that he had tested positive for the virus, again.
And in Chile, police are training dogs to detect people who have Covid-19. Though the virus has no smell, the changes in the blood cause people's sweat to smell differently. The plan is to have the dogs trained by August so they can be used at railway stations and airports.