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Tuesday 26th May 2020.


The World Health Organization has suspended its study of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID19, after noticing a rise in deaths rates in patients given the drug. The drug, normally used for malaria, has been recommended by Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro, and American president Trump has said that he is taking it now as a preventative measure. Dr Tedros Adhanom of the WHO spoke yesterday…

“the executive group has implemented a temporary pause of the hydroxychloroquine arm, within the solidarity trial, while the data, the safety data is reviewed by the data safety monietering board. "

Lots of news from Africa

Burundi’s ruling party has been declared the winner of the presidential election. Evariste Ndayishimiye was declared the winner, receiving 3 million votes, with the opposition winning only 1 million. Ndayishimi had been chosen by the outgoing president Pierre Nkurunziza, who has been president for 15 years. Opposition candidate Agathon Rwasa said that the elections were not free and fair, and that they would dispute the results in court. According to the World Bank, Burundi is the third poorest country in the world.

Nigeria’s President Buhari has called on farmers to expand their production. Buhari has said that Nigeria has no money to import food….

“I hope the rainy season will be bountiful, Iwe get a lot of food, I wish the farmers will produce what we need, sufficient, so that we don’t have ot import, in any caes we don’t have any money to import food, so we must grow what we are going to eat”

In South Africa President Rhamaphosa has announced that the country will move to lockdown level 3. Rhamphosa described some relaxations of rules…

“People will also be able, with this level 3, to exercise at any time during the day, providing this is not done in groups. The curfew on the movement of people will be lifted. Alcohol will be sold for home consumption only under strict conditions, on specified days and for limited hours. The sale of tobacco products will remain prohibited during alert level 3 due to the health risks associated with smoking.”


India has started internal flights again with passengers following strict safety guidelines. India recorded another record of COVID19 cases yesterday, with the total now at 145,000. West Bengal is still trying to recover from the destruction of cyclone Amphan.

Afghanistan is releasing some Taliban prisoners. President Ashraf Ghani said that this was to help the peace process. Afghanistan is currently in a 3-day ceasefire between the government and the Taliban.

Japan has declared the end of its state of emergency. Prime Minister Shnizo Abe said that COVID19 infections were now below 50 a day, and the time had come to adapt to a ‘new normal’.

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In the United Kingdom the Prime Minister’s chief advisor has refused calls to resign, for breaking coronavirus lockdown rules. Politicians from all parties said Dominic Cummings should resign, and over 600,000 people signed a petition asking for his resignation. Yesterday afternoon, he said that he did not regret his actions…

“Now obviously I’ve thought a lot about what I did over this period. What things I could have done better, what things I could have done better, in dealing with the whole crisis. There’s definitely lot fo things that I could’ve done better over the las few months but I think what I did in these 14 days, I think that I behaved reasonably..”

Quickly, the rest of Europe. In the UK non-esstenial shops can open on June 15th. Spain has lowered its confirmed death toll by almost 2000, saying that some deaths were attributed to COVID19 incorrectly. Tourists will not need to quarantine in Spain after 1st July. And Sweden’s death toll has passed 4000. Sweden took a very different approach to the rest of Europe, by never imposing a lockdown. And In Germany, car maker Volkswagen must pay compensation to some car owners, after they have been convicted of cheating emissions tests. Volkswagen installed software into a vehicle to make it seem less polluting that it was.

Americas, Suriname held parliamentary elections yesterday. Votes are being counted. The United States has suspended all travel from Brazil. Brazil’s confirmed COVID19 cases are over 363,000, although experts say the real number is in the millions. And in the United States, a golf match, including Tiger Woods, raised over $20 million for charity.

And in New Zealand an interview with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was interrupted by an earthquake. The 5.8 magnitude earthquake did not stop Ardern from finishing the interview…

We’re just getting a bit of an earthquake here Ryan. Quite a decent shake here, if you see things moving behind me…… … Ur, yeah no its just stopped. .. we’re fine Ryan, Im not under any hanging lights, I look like im in a structurally sound place.”

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