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Thursday 18th June 2020.

Starting in Asia today…

Tension is high between India and China after the killing of twenty Indian soldiers on Monday. India has said that Chinese soldiers were also killed, but China has still not commented. According to the Indian army, no guns were used in the fighting, meaning that the deaths were a result of hand-to-hand combat. In India there have been some small protests, with some people burning Chinese flags and pictures of Chinee leader Xi jinping. China has said that “shared interests, are stronger than this conflict”. Yesterday China and India agreed to talks.


North Korea has said that it will move more soldiers close to the border with South Korea. On Monday North Korea destroyed a building at the border used for peace talks.


In Indonesia seven men from the province of Papua have been found guilty of treason for protesting last year. Last year tens of thousands of Papuans protested against racism by the Indonesian government.


86 human rights orgnaizations have told China to abandon a national security law for Hong Kong. The groups said the law was a “devastating assault on human rights” and a violation of Hong Kong’s freedoms. The Chinese and Hong Kong government have said that the law will only target a small number of troublemakers.


George Floyd’s brother spoke to the UN yesterday. The killin of George Floyd by police last month in Minneapolis, triggered protests around the world, against racism and police brutality. Philonise Floyd asked the UN to investigate police violence in the United States…

“On May 25th 2020, my brother was tortured and murdered by 4 police officers in Minnapolis, Minessota, in the United States. My brother begged the officers for his life, crying out for our mama who was already dead, and said over and over again “I can’t breathe”. The officer showed no mercy, no humanity and tortured my brother to death in the middle of the street in Minneapolis with a crowd of witnesses watching and begging them to stop showing us black people the same message yet again black lives do not matter in the United States of America”.

Last night a police officer was charged with the murder of Rayshard Brookes. Brookes was shot dead last week in Atlanta, after resisting arrest and stealing the policeman’s electric taser.


In Argentina the government has said that it will rescue a failing agricultural company. Vicentin is one billion dollars in debt. The government of Alberto Fernandez says that it is necessary to maintain the company, to save jobs and ensure the food production of Vicentin. Opposition parties say that this will deepen Argentina’s economic crisis.

The rest of Latin America quickly…


In Honduras, president Hernandez has tested positive for coronavirus. His wife and two aides are also infected. Brazil recorded 37,000 new COVID19 cases on Tuesday – the highest number yet in a single day. The Mexico-US border will remain closed for an extra month.


Africa The World Health Organization have said that COVID19 infections are accelerating in Africa. Africa accounts for less than 3% of the world’s coronavirus cases, however the number of cases doubled from 100,000 to 200,00 in only 18 days. The WHO has said that all Africans have a responsibility to maintain social distancing.


In Libya, the Turkish foreign minister made a surprise visit to Tripoli yesterday. The intervention of Turkey has changed the course of Libya’s civil war in the last month. The Government of National Accord supported by Turkey has recently been successful in fighting the Benghazi-based forces of Khalifa Haftar, supported by Egypt, Russia and the UAE.


Also, close to Libya, France has accused Turkey of aggressive actions in the Mediterranean. The French Foreign Ministry said that Turkish ships were stopping France from carrying out their activities in the Mediterranean.

The World Health Organization has recognized the benefits of dexamethasone for treating COVID19. Studies from the United Kingdom have shown dexamethasone to reduce the risk of death for people with serious cases of coronavirus. Yesterday the head of the WHO Tedros Adhanom said that this was “very welcome news”- but said it should only be used in hospitals.


“Dexamethasone – a common steroid – has been shown to have a beneficial effect on those patients severely ill with COVID19. According to early findings shared with WHO for patients on oxygen alone, the treatment was shown to reduce mortality by about one fifth, and for patients requiring a ventilator, mortality was reduced by about one-third.” Europe quickly…

Sweden has passed 5,000 COVID 19 deaths. Germany has banned large events for another 4 months, to guard against a second spike. And a letter by artists Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gaugin has been sold for €210,000. The letter was written by both artists and sent to the French painter Emile Bernard in the year 1888. The letter was bought by the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam, and will be put on display.

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