Tuesday 23rd February 2021
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Italian ambassador to the country was killed yesterday. Luca Attanasio died in hospital after being shot in an attack. An Italian military police officer and a Congolese driver who were travelling with Attanasio were also killed. It is not clear who was behind the attack. Mr Attanasio is the first ambassador to be killed in the country since 1997.
Yesterday in Algeria, thousands of Algerians marched to mark the second anniversary of the anti-government protest movement. Protesters chanted: "Peace, freedom and democracy”. The movement forced Algeria's long-time president Abdelaziz Bouteflika to resign. But protestors have continued to call for the removal of other powerful politicians.
In Uganda, opposition leader Bobi Wine says he is withdrawing his court case. Wine alleges that the judges at the Supreme Court are biased. His case was challenging the results of last month's presidential election. Bobi Wine asked the court to cancel the results as he believed there was fraud and violence involved. But Wine says that he will now rely on the public's opinion. President Yoweri Museveni won a sixth term in office at the poll, with 59% of the vote. More than 50 people were killed in violence ahead of the election.
In England, shops, hairdressers, gyms and outdoor restaurants will open on the 12th of April. This is if strict conditions and lockdown rules are followed. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said there will be a four step plan to end all restrictions on social contact by the 21st of June.
“With appropriate mitigations, we will aim to remove all legal limits on social contact and on weddings and other live events. We will re-open everything up to and including night clubs and enable large events such as theatre performances above the limits of step 3; potentially using testing to reduce the risk of infection.”
The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has asked rich countries to avoid ordering extra COVID-19 vaccine shots for themselves. The organisation said this may make it harder for poorer countries to get vaccines. Some wealthy countries have ordered enough shots to vaccinate their populations more than once, while poorer countries have not received vaccinations.
Yesterday In Myanmar, hundreds of thousands of protesters took part in one of the largest demonstrations yet against the country's military coup. Businesses closed as employees joined the peaceful protest, even though the military said that protesters could face imprisonment. Myanmar has seen weeks of protest since the military takeover on the 1st of February.
In India, the state of Maharashtra yesterday ordered new restrictions on people’s movement and set a night-time curfew in some cities. This is because of a a spike in coronavirus cases in recent weeks. Maharashtra – home to 110 million people – reported nearly 7,000 new cases on Sunday. This is a rise from the 2,000 cases earlier this month.
In the United States, President Joe Biden made changes to the main US coronavirus aid programme for small businesses. The changes will help smaller, minority-owned businesses. Starting tomorrow, the Small Business Administration will only accept applications or loans from companies with fewer than 20 employees. This is to make sure that loans are not only given to large companies.
“On Wednesday the Small Business Administration is going to establish a 14 day exclusive PPP loan application period for business and non profits with fewer than 20 employees. Small Business Administrations will also remove barriers that have stopped many businesses for being able to apply for these loans. For example, we’re making it so that a student loan default, or a non fraud related criminal record, does not prohibit someone for applying for the program.”
Colombia is granting nearly a million undocumented Venezuelans the right to stay in Colombia for 10 years. This is because Venezuela's current economy could lead to the biggest migration of people in the world in recent years. Colombia has allowed these Venezuelans to work legally in Colombia, and receive health care.
And finally, Nasa has released stunning videos of its Perseverance rover landing on Mars.
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