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  • Namitha Ragunath

Tuesday 15th September 2020

Updated: Sep 15

Starting in Asia

In Russia, President Vladimir Putin has granted a $1.5bn loan to Belarus. The President said that the Belarusian people should resolve the crisis without foreign interference. This was said during Putin's face-to-face talks with Belorussian leader Alexander Lukashenko yesterday, as protests across Belarus continue. Putin says he has a Russian police force ready to help if the protests get out of control. He also repeated the importance of supporting Belarus. The two countries are traditionally very close.


In Japan, the Liberal Democratic Party has elected Yoshihide Suga as its new leader to replace Shinzo Abe. This means Suga is almost certain to become Japan’s next prime minister. Last month Mr Abe announced his resignation due to health reasons. Mr Suga, served as Chief Cabinet Secretary and was considered Mr Abe's right hand man.

In India, lawmakers returned to Parliament yesterday, after a five-month break, due to the coronavirus pandemic. The 18-day session will discuss the economy, the tensions with China, and India’s rise in coronavirus cases being faster than anywhere else in the world. Just yesterday, 92,000 cases were recorded.



Americas

In the United States, President Donald Trump landed in Sacramento, California yesterday, and blamed "forest management" for the fires that have been happening across the region. These fires have been happening since early August. Donald Trump openly denies climate change.


"We have to do a lot about forest management. Obviously forest management in California is very important. When I first started talking about it 3 years ago no one agreed with me, now everybody agrees that forest management is a very important subject. And you can do it beautifully, but if you did manage your forest and you removed that really dry - and just explosive is the word - you drop a cigarette and you come back 30 minutes later there's a forest fire. If you don't have that sitting there, nothing is going to burn."


Yesterday In Venezuela, the chief prosecutor accused a recently arrested US citizen of spying and planning to sabotage oil refineries and electrical service. He said this was done in order to cause unrest and kill innocent people. Matthew John Heath, who is said to have connections in the CIA, also had help from three Venezuelan spies, who were arrested last week.



Europe

The European Union says it condemns "in the strongest terms" the execution of Iranian wrestler Navid Afkari. Afkari was executed in Iran on Saturday, despite an international campaign against the sentencing. The champion wrestler was executed at a prison in Shiraz, in relation to the murder of an Iranian government's security agent. Yesterday, the European Union’s spokesperson said The EU is opposed to the death penalty under all circumstances.


"When it comes to the execution of Mr Afkari, i think our statement issued this morning was very clear. We've condemned this execution in the strongest possible terms."


In the United Kingdom, David Cameron has become the fifth former prime minister to criticise the Internal Markets bill. This is a new bill attempting to overrule the Brexit withdrawal agreement. Former Prime Ministers Theresa May and Tony Blair have both condemned the plan. However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said yesterday that the bill is to protect the country's "economic and political integrity”.


"This intention of this bill is to stop any such use of the stick towards this country. Thats what it does; it's a protection, it's a safety net, it's an insurance policy."


Africa

In Eastern Libya, the rival government has submitted its resignation after a number of protests over low living conditions and corruption. This weekend, demonstrators in the city of Benghazi set fire to the government's headquarters. The parliament in Tobruk needs to approve the resignation of the government. Libya has been torn by violence since long-time ruler Gaddafi was overthrown in 2011.


In Rwanda, Paul Rusesabagina, a government critic, has faced 12 charges, including murder and terrorism. Rusesabagina hid and protected around 1000 refugees during the 1994 genocide. This later became a Hollywood film. Mr Rusesabagina’s lawyers denied the charges against him yesterday at court. Rusesabagina is the leader of the opposition group which is said to have an armed wing, the FLN, which stages attacks on Rwanda.


An ice age bear was found yesterday in the Russian Arctic. However, this is the first and only discovery of its kind, because the bear was found with soft tissues and all internal organs in place, including its nose.


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