Tuesday 28th July 2020
Starting in Africa today, where the total confirmed COVID-19 cases on the continent have crossed 8.5 million with over 18000 deaths.
Mali. West African leaders of the ECOWAS regional bloc met yesterday through video conference to discuss Mali's political crisis. The leaders have called for a unity government and fresh elections.
In Tanzania, opposition leader Tundu Lissu has returned from exile after three years. Lissu was shot 16 times in an attack in 2017 and was undergoing treatment in Belgium. He is expected to lead the opposition party in Tanzania's general election on 28th October this year.
In the United Kingdom, the coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University is showing promising results, but scientists say that it still needs to be tested on older patients.
Also in the UK the government recently launched a campaign to lower obesity rates in the country. Prime Minister Boris Johnson posted a video on his twitter in support of the campaign...
"I've always wanted to lose weight for ages and ages, and I think many people I struggle with it. My weight goes up and down, but since I recovered from coronavirus, I've been steadily building up my fitness... What we're doing now with our better health strategies just trying to help people a little bit. To bring their weight down, not in an excessively bossy or nannying way. I hope - we want this one really to be Sympathetic to people to understand the difficulties that people face uh with their weight the struggles that everybody faces or many many people face to lose weight and just to be helpful"
Ukraine's government has reached a deal with Russian backed separatists to start ar ceasefire in the east of Ukraine. The conflict has killed 13000 people since 2014 when Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula
In Austria, US and Russian officials met yesterday in Vienna to discuss security in space. The talks come after the US accused Russia of sending an anti-satellite weapon into space last week. The talks will continue for three more days to discuss nuclear weapons control.
President Trump's national security advisor Robert O'Brien has been diagnosed with the coronavirus.
Also, the US-based medicine company Moderna announced yesterday that its COVID-19 vaccine is in the last stages of the trial. There are about 150 vaccine candidates worldwide but Moderna’s candidate is probably the furthest in development. Vice President Mike Pence visited the University of Miami yesterday, where researchers are entering the third phase of the Covid-19 vaccine trial...
"The FDA cleared the way today for what will be the first phase three clinical trial in the United States. Eighty-nine sites across America with up to 30,000 participants, will begin the first phase three clinical trials on a vaccine for the coronavirus. And let me just say, the president and I are truly grateful for Dr. Hunt's leadership at the FDA. It is remarkable to think that Moderna, that will be initiating this phase three clinical trial actually entered phase one back in March."
Police in Chile are training dogs to sniff out Covid-19 in humans. The method is reported to be 90% accurate. Dogs are especially useful for finding people who do not show symptoms.
In Malaysia, 26 Rohingya refugees who were feared to have drowned were found alive near the island of Langkawi. The country has increased patrol on its sea borders as Rohingya refugees continue to try to arrive by boat. Malaysia has said that it cannot take more refugees.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the groundbreaking ceremony for a controversial Hindu temple. The temple is being built on disputed land where a 16th-century mosque was destroyed in riots in 1992. Also, the ceremony will be held on 5th August - the first anniversary of India's conroversial decision to remove the semi-autonomous status of Jammu and Kashmir province, Critics say that he is appealing to Hindu nationalists.
In India, Bollywood actress and former Miss World Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and her daughter left hospital yesterday after testing negative for Covid-19. Husband Amitabh Bachchan thanked fans for their support, despite remaining in hospital himself.
With Stephen Devincenzi and Khadija Tahir