Tuesday 1st September 2020
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has been blacklisted by several Baltic EU members. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania announced their sanctions yesterday. This is all in effort to support the pro-democracy protests in Belarus. The protests have been going on for four weeks, since the country's presidential election on August 9th.
In Scotland, swimming pools, gyms and indoor sports courts can now reopen after the coronavirus lockdown. First minister Nicola Sturgeon said that it is important the public follow the guidance that is in place.
The reopening of gyms and swimming pools is know something that many people have been looking forward to and it will be a major relief for people who work in the leisure sector. But it also obviously brings risks there's no getting away from that. So please as always in fact this is more important now than it has been at any time up until now make sure that you follow the guidance that is in place wherever you are and for any venue that you are visiting and cooperate with the staff working there. That's the only way we can make sure that these reopenings happen safely and that they don't spark an increase in transmission that will take us all back again.
In the US, following protests in several cities, US presidential candidate Joe Biden has said that Donald Trump is a "weak" and "toxic" leader.
Donald Trump adds fuel to every fire because he refuses to even acknowledge that there is a racial justice problem in America because he won't stand up to any form of violence he's got no problem with right-wing militia white supremacists and vigilantes with assault weapons often better armed than the police often in the middle of the violence at the protesters and aiming it there and because tens of millions of Americans simply don't trust this president to respect their rights to hear their concerns or to protect them
In Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said yesterday that he was "deeply disappointed" by the pulling down of the statue of Canada's first prime minister. This happened over the weekend, and was called an act “vandalism” by Prime Minister Trudeau. Activists in Montreal pulled down the statue of Sir John A Macdonald, who is connected to the killing many indigenous people in the 19th Century. Mr Trudeau said that, while he understands the "impatience and frustration" of Canadians, acts like pulling down the statue will not move Canada ahead as a society.
In Venezuela, President Nicolás Maduro announced he will be asking for volunteers to test the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Russia. Russia was the first country to officially register a vaccine against the coronavirus on 11 August. But experts have questioned whether it has gone through the necessary testing. The Venezuelan government, which has received billions of dollars in loans from Russia, said it would be willing to take part in clinical trials.
Paul Rusesabagina - known for saving more than 1,000 people in the hotel he managed during the Rwandan genocide - has been arrested. The Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) said yesterday that the 66-year-old government critic faces charges "of serious crime including terrorism, arson, kidnap and murder”.
In Kenya, Rising water levels along the Great Rift Valley have forced thousands of people to leave their homes. There are also fears of an ecological disaster as two lakes are getting closer - causing fear of contamination, and threatening wildlife and livelihoods.
Former Indian President Pranab Mukherjee has passed away at the age of 84. Mukherjee died of multiple organ failures yesterday after being admitted to hospital weeks ago, having also contracted coronavirus. He was a senior leader of India's Congress party who served in multiple cabinets during five decades.
In Russia, a well-known opposition blogger and radio host was beaten outside his home in Moscow. Yegor Zhukov was charged last year on “extremism" for making videos criticising President Vladimir Putin. This is just one of the many attacks on the opposition that have been rising in Russia.
And finally, in India, a top lawyer was ordered yesterday to pay a fine of 1 rupee - which is less than 2 cents - for criticising the supreme court. The judges said if he fails to pay the 1 rupee fine, he will be jailed for three months and debarred from practising law for three years.