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Thursday 30th July 2020

Americas

In the United States yesterday, the CEO's of top tech companies appeared before congress, to see if their companies have taken advantage of their power. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Google's Sundar Pichai and Apple’s Tim Cook all defended themselves via video. Congress discussed Amazon using seller’s data to make business decisions, Google working with China, Apple’s App Store ‘making up rules’, and Facebook taking down Donald Trump Jr's post about the drug hydroxychloroquine.

Yesterday Dr Anthony Fauci, the White House US infectious disease expert, told MSNBC that hydroxychloroquine was not effective against coronavirus...

“all of those trials show consistently that hydroxychloroquine is not effective in the treatment of coronavirus disease, or COVID19...”

This comes after President Trump defended the use of the drug on Tuesday, and said it was only rejected because he had recommended its use. His comments were made after Twitter banned his eldest son for posting a clip promoting hydroxychloroquine...

“but many doctors think its extremely good, some people don’t. Some people I think its become very political. I happen to believe in it. I would take it . As you know I took it for a 14 day period and I’m here. I’m here.”

Argentina has confirmed coronavirus cases at ports which export soy beans. Workers in the city of Rosario have mostly been affected. Argentina is one of the biggest exporters of soy in the world, selling mostly to China. Argentina has been praised internationally for its response to the COVID19 pandemic, however, cases continue to rise.

Africa

Zimbabwe agreed yesterday to repay $3.5bn to white farmers whose land was taken away by the government to give to Black families. It will give bonds and use donations for funding because the country doesn’t have the money to pay the farmers themselves. The government of former president Robert Mugabe removed 4,500 white farmers from their land which was redistributed to around 300,000 black families. Mugabe justified removing the farmers from their land. Here is Mugabe speaking in 2002:

"The white farmers have channels which they must follow. They are not superhuman beings. They are not satisfied with that level of authority, because they think, by virtue of their being British and being white, they are more divine than anyone else.”

A Kenyan man who was wanted by the US for the illegal trade of rhino horn and elephant ivory has been arrested in Mombasa. Here is Namitha Ragunath with more on this story:

Mansur Surur has been wanted for illegally hunting and selling rhinoceros horns for over seven years. Yesterday, it was announced that he was arrested after landing in Kenya from Yemen. Mr Surur was charged in 2019 for smuggling $7m worth of rhino horn and elephant ivory. The ivory was believed to have involved the illegal killing of more than 35 rhinoceros and more than 100 elephants. In the 1970s, Africa had 1.3 million elephants, but now, only 500,000 remain due to poaching and trophy hunting. Less than 30,000 rhinos are believed to remain in the wild.

Europe

In France, police have broken up a campsite of migrants in Northeast Paris. More than 1000 men and 250 people in families were removed yesterday. Many of the migrants were Afghan, Ethiopian, Sudanese or Chadian. Italy said that it rescued 100 migrants from the mediterranen sea yesterday.


Belarus has arrested a group of Russian mercenaries, according to state media. The state news agency Belta said that 32 Russians linked to the Wagner group were arrested. Wagner is the private military company that has recently been in Libya fighting against the UN recognized government.

Asia quickly...

Turkey’s Parliament passed a law yesterday which gives the government more control over social media. This has raised concerns about freedom of expression in Turkey. In Pakistan yesterday, a man was shot dead in a courtroom while awaiting trial for blasphemy. Blasphemy is legally punishable by death in Pakistan however, people who are accused of blasphemy, are often the targets of attacks. In Saudi Arabia, the annual Hajj pilgrimage has begun. Due to COVID-19, only residents of Saudi Arabia are allowed to go this year. Only ten thousand people - compared to the normal 2 million. And in Thailand, cameras that have been left in the jungle have captured three endangered tigers who have not been seen for four years. This has raised hopes for the survival of the species in Southeast Asia.

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