Tuesday 17th November 2020
In Armenia, Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan quit yesterday. This is because of the deal made last week that ended Armenia’s fight with Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Pressure is rising on Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to step down as well. Thousands of Armenians protested last week to demand Pashinyan to step down, after he signed a deal that won Azerbaijan land, despite six weeks of fighting that resulted in the deaths of more than 2,000 Armenians.
In Pakistan, more than 1,000 protesters blocked a major highway in the capital, Islamabad, yesterday. The protestors demanded the removal of the French ambassador and to cut ties with France over issues relating to Islamophobia. The protesters were from the far-right political party, TLP, who have spoke on the issue of getting rid of blasphemy against Islam. This all comes a day after violent clashes with the police.
In India, the government has announced the ways in which it will stop the spread of the coronavirus in its capital New Delhi. The government will fly doctors in from other parts of India, double the number of covid tests and increase the amount of hospital beds. India’s daily cases have been decreasing since the middle of September, but its capital New Delhi is facing a rise, recording more new cases than any other state in India.
Yesterday, Ethiopian fighter jets bombed the capital of the Tigray state, despite several countries pressuring the government to restore peace. There has been no information on any deaths or damage and there was no comment from the Ethiopian government. Around 25,000 refugees have fled to neighbouring Sudan and hundreds of people have been reported dead since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered attacks on November 4 against Tigray’s local rulers for going against his authority. Both sides have been accused of violence against civilians.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, musician Tshala Muana was arrested yesterday. Muana’s latest song, Ingratitude, is the reason behind her arrest. In the song, the lyrics describe a person, who had been given a lot in life but has forgotten to use his power for good. Many believe that the award-winning musician is talking about current President Félix Tshisekedi - but Tshala Muana hasn't confirmed this.
In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he is in “good health” after coming into contact with someone who had COVID-19. The prime minister said he would lead the government via Zoom while in self-isolation in Downing Street.
"The good news is the NHS Test and Trace is working ever more efficiently; the bad news is they've pinged me and I've got to self isolate, because somebody I was in contact with a few days ago has developed Covid. And it doesn't matter that we're all doing social distancing, it doesn't matter that I'm fit as butchers dog, feel great, so many people do in my circumstances, and actually it doesn't matter that I've had the disease and I'm bursting with antibodies. We've got to interrupt the spread of the disease and if NHS Test and Trace contact you and say you've got to self isolate then follow the rules; thats what I'm going to do, and I've got plenty more to say in the course of the next few days by zoom of course and other means of electronics communications."
In Sweden, the government has reduced the size of groups allowed to meet in public, as it prepares for Sweden’s second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Sweden has not been following the coronavirus recommendations and now public gatherings will now be limited from the previous 300 to eight people. This was announced by Prime Minister Stefan Lofven at a news conference yesterday. Sweden has seen increasing daily numbers of new cases and growing pressure on hospitals.
In the United States, former president Barack Obama said that if Donald Trump wants to be remembered as someone who 'put the country first' then he must accept the election results.
"My advice to President Trump is if you want at this late stage in the game to be remembered as somebody who put country first, it's time for you to do the same thing, i think it was time for him to concede probably the day after the election. The president doesn't like to lose and never admits loss. I'm more troubled by the fact that other republican officials who clearly know better are going along with this, are humouring him in this fashion. It is one more step in delegitimising not just the incoming Biden administration, but democracy generally"
In Central America, Hurricane Iota is getting closer, with experts warning that there will be extremely dangerous winds and "life-threatening storms.” Hurricane Iota is now a category five storm - the strongest on the scale. Iota was expected to hit north-eastern Nicaragua and eastern Honduras late last night.
And finally, New Zealand has voted the kakapo its Bird of the Year. There were even allegations of election rigging when hundreds of votes came from a single address. But in the end, the kakapo won, marking the second time New Zealanders crowned the chubby parrot their number one bird.