Thursday 8th October 2020
In Mauritius, voice recordings from the ship that spilled hundreds of tonnes of oil into the ocean, show that the captain had been drinking alcohol. Information captured by the Voyage Data Recorder, which took an audio recording in the MV Wakashio, was revealed in a court in Port Louis on Tuesday. The MV Wakashio landed on coral reef in July while carrying 4,000 tonnes of fuel oil, causing an ecological emergency.
South Africa’s biggest trade union group, COSATU, asked its members to stay away from work yesterday, to protest job losses, wage drops and corruption cases. The union blamed the government for the more than two million jobs lost in the second quarter. President Cyril Ramaphosa said his government is working on an economic recovery plan to help employment and has promised to fight corruption.
In the United States, President Donald Trump’s doctor, Sean Conley, said yesterday that the President has had no Covid-19 symptoms for 24 hours and has been fever-free for more than four days. Dr. Conley said the president also had "detectable levels of Covid antibodies" and had not needed any supplemental oxygen since he was taken to hospital. At the time of recording this podcast the Vice presidential debate between Mike Pence and Kamala Harris is taking place. For a summary of the most important parts of the debate, listen to tomorrow’s episode with Stephen Devincenzi.
In Mexico, Hurricane Delta entered Mexico’s Caribbean coast yesterday morning. More than 40,000 tourists in Cancun and neighbouring resorts were evacuated. The authorities said the emergency shelters had been sanitised to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
In Greece, the leaders of neo-Nazi group, Golden Dawn, were found guilty yesterday of running a criminal organization behind their political party. Many people gathered outside the court in Athens as the judges gave verdicts on 68 defendants. This trial has lasted 5 years, and began with the murder of an anti-fascist musician in 2013.
In the UK, Labour Leader Keir Starmer asked Boris Johnson yesterday to publish the scientific evidence behind the 10pm closing time for English pubs.
"The Prime Minister can't explain why an area goes into restriction. He can't explain what the different restrictions are. He can't explain how restrictions end. This is getting ridiculous. Next week this house will vote on whether to approve the 10pm rule. The Prime Minister knows that there are deeply held views across the country in different ways on this. One question is now screaming out: Is there a scientific basis for the 10pm rule?"
In Scotland, National 5 exams are to be cancelled in 2021 and replaced with teacher assessments and coursework. Education Secretary John Swinney said going ahead with all exams during the continuing Covid pandemic was "too big a risk".
"From a public health point of view, not having these exams significantly reduces the risk of the exams as a whole. It means that we can build an exam diet for higher and advanced highers that is as safe as it possibly can be, using all the coronavirus mitigations we have sadly become so familiar with, including physically distancing and advanced cleaning."
In Pakistan, on Tuesday, an appeals court acquitted a Christian man who spent about seven years in jail for insulting Prophet Muhammad. In Pakistani law, saying bad things about the prophet can result in an automatic death penalty. When Sawan Masih was arrested in 2013, an angry mob attacked his Christian-majority neighbourhood in Lahore. This led to more than 120 houses being burned down.
In India, Bollywood actress Rhea Chakrabortty was granted bail yesterday, nearly a month after being arrested for allegedly buying drugs for her ex-boyfriend, actor Sushant Singh Rajput, who had committed suicide. Rajput was found dead in June in his Mumbai apartment, which led to television news channels saying that Chakrabortty made him take his own life with cannabis and black magic.
And finally, In Finland yesterday, Prime Minister Sanna Marin let a 16-year-old girl fill her role for the day. Though Aava Murto did not make any new laws yesterday, she did meet with politicians throughout the day to highlight women's rights in technology. This prime minister ‘swap’ comes ahead of the UN's Day of the Girl, and is part of a global campaign by a children's charity.