Thursday 23rd July 2020
The United States has accused China of spying and has ordered Beijing to close its consulate in Houston, Texas. On Wednesday, the US Department of State said that the decision to close the consulate was to protect American intellectual property and Americans' private information. This was said after people were filmed burning paper in the consulate building. China asked the US to immediately take back this decision, and said that if they don’t, "China will react with firm countermeasures.” The US has for a long time accused China of stealing intellectual property and technology, but the Chinese Foreign Minister said that this decision will hurt relations between the two countries. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo yesterday condemned China’s behaviour.
“We are sending out clear expectations for how the Chinese Communist Party is going to behave and when they don't we're going to take actions that protect the American people, protect our security, our national security, and also protect our economy and jobs. That’s the actions that you're seeing taken by President Trump, we'll continue to engage in those.”
Police in Bolivia have recovered more than 400 bodies in the last five days. The bodies were found in streets, vehicles and homes of some of the country's biggest cities. 85% of the victims are believed to have died from coronavirus.
In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced tougher security laws after MPs accused the government of underestimating the threat of Russian interference. Yesterday, opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer said that the government had not done enough to stop Russian interference, despite acknowledging the threat from Russia 18 months ago. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the UK was vigilant in protecting against Russian interference.
"There is no country in the western world that is more vigilant in protecting the interests of this country or the international community from Russian interference and in fact we are going further now introducing new legislation to protect critical national infrastructure and uh to protect our intellectual property.”
Also in the UK, the opposition Labour Party has agreed to pay compensation to 7 former employees who accused the party of anti-semitism. Previously, the Labour party had said that it was wrongly accused by these 7 workers. However, yesterday, Labour apologised for making “false and defamatory” comments about the employees. More on this story from Namitha Ragunath…
Anti-Semitism, the discrimination towards jews, has been an issue for the Labour Party for a couple of years. This was generally not seen as a big problem before Jeremy Corbyn's election as leader in 2015. Under his leadership, there was a rise in new members who were openly critical of Israel, and believed the UK, along with the US, should be tougher on their treatment towards the Palestinians. Mr Corbyn insisted that anti-Jewish hate would not be tolerated in the party, but critics and the opposition said he was not doing enough to root out the problem.
A Maltese man accused of helping to murder anti-corruption journalist, Daphne Caruana Galizia, has suffered deadly knife wounds the night before going to court. Malta's police commissioner told a press conference yesterday that Melvin Theuma had probably wounded himself. Caruana Galizia died in a bomb attack on her car in 2017. Theuma was given a presidential pardon and immunity in exchange for his evidence.
In South Africa, anti-apartheid activist Andrew Mlangeni, has died aged 95
“Love your country, Love your people, love democracy, stand for freedom, and equality.”
Mlangeni was the last surviving activist convicted with Nelson Mandela at the Rivonia Trial. Mr Mlangeni served 26 years in prison, most of the time on Robben Island, with Mandela. Apartheid was a system of institutionalised racial segregation that existed in South Africa from 1948 until 1994.
In Cote d’Ivoire, foreign minister Marcel Amon-Tanoh declared yesterday that he would run in the presidential election in October. Tanoh is a longtime ally of President Alassane Ouattara, and has broken with the ruling party to stand in this election.
An Indian journalist died yesterday, after he was shot by the men he had accused of harassing his niece. Police have arrested nine men connected to the attack. Vikram Joshi’s brother told the media that the police failed to investigate Joshi's complaint and that this allowed the men to plan the "revenge attack”. The district police chief has suspended two officers.
Nepal has officially ended its Coronavirus lockdown. While most of the lockdown restrictions have been removed, schools and cinemas will stay closed and large gatherings are still not allowed.
And in Portland, in the US, a "Wall of Moms" has been acting as a human shield between protesters and soldiers. They arrived wearing yellow, carrying sunflowers, and chanting: "Feds stay clear. Moms are here."
Tomorrow night I will be live on Instagram with the Chilean Neuro-learning association – at 8pm in Peru, Mexico, Colombia, 9pm in Chile, 10pm in Argentina and Brazil, 3AM in the France and Spain, 10AM Friday in Japan. To listen and ask questions go to Instagram @send7podcast