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Tuesday 4th August 2020

Starting in Europe today...

In France, the pharmaceutical company Sanofi was charged by a court for manslaughter yesterday. Sanofi made an epilepsy medicine called Depakine, which is believed to have caused disabilities in 15-30,000 children born to mothers who took the medicine while pregnant.

Also, in France, comedian Dieudonne has been permanently banned from Facebook and Instagram for anti-Semitic comments. He was banned from YouTube for the same reason in June this year.

In Ireland, Politician John Hume died yesterday at the age of 83. Hume won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end sectarian violence in Northern Ireland.

The UK is planning to use rapid test kits, which will give results for coronavirus in just 90 minutes. The tests do not require medical training to carry out and will increase testing capacity in the UK. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that people without symptoms may be tested...

“These technologies which deliver these rapid turnaround tests, will mean that we can expand testing capacity further and into settings where, for instance, in schools we have a currently, we have survey testing, so we have some testing, that would also be able to be expanded, but also looking across the community, where we want to test people who don’t have symptoms, to find out where the virus is...”

Italy opened the new Morandi bridge yesterday in Genoa. The original Morandi Bridge collapsed on 14th august 2018 killing 43 people. There were celebrations yesterday at the opening of the new Morandi bridge.

AMERICAS

In Mexico, the leader of the Santa Rosa de Lima gang has been arrested. More on this story from Khadija Tahir...

 “Jose Antonio Yepez Ortiz, also known as ‘The Sledgehammer,’ was the leader of the Santa Rosa gang, which spread violence through north-central Mexico. The Mexican police had taken his mother and sister into custody, after which he released a tearful video declaring war on the security forces. He was arrested early Sunday morning, as well as eight other people who are suspected to be gang members. A kidnapped local businesswoman was also rescued during the operation. One way Yepez made money was by drilling into pipelines and selling the fuel on the black market.”

In the US, President Donald Trump has agreed to give China’s ByteDance 45 days to decide about the sale of TikTok to Microsoft. If a deal is a greed, Microsoft would control TikTok’s operations in the United States.

1300 firefighters are battling an extreme fire in southern California, known as the “Apple Fire”. The fire has burned 20,000 acres of land, and around 7800 people have been told to leave the area.

ASIA

In the Indian state of Punjab, at least 105 people have been killed due to toxic liquor poisoning. Twenty-one deaths were first reported on Friday, leading police to carry out a raid on the illegal alcohol trade. Around 1000 people in India die each year due to illegally produced alcohol.

The US consulate in the Chinese city of Chengdu has been closed by Chinese authorities. The staff were given 72 hours to evacuate on Friday. The Chinese authorities said it was in response to the closure of the Chinese consulate in Texas.

Vietnam has placed a second city into lockdown due to a rise in coronavirus infections; after being virus-free for almost 100 days. The pandemic has spread across the country over the past two weeks, including in three cities. More than 600 people are now confirmed to be infected in Vietnam, and six deaths have been reported.

In Northern Thailand, floods have killed at least two people and have caused many people to leave their homes. The tropical storm Sinlaku caused heavy rains in 18 provinces over the weekend.

AFRICA

In Mali, at least 5 soldiers have been killed in rebel attacks. Attacks in central and Northern Mali are common, despite the presence of French and United Nations soldiers.

In Tanzania, an independent miner who suddenly became a millionaire in June for selling two tanzanite stones has sold another gem for 2 million dollars. Tanzanite is one of the rarest stones on earth. Mr. Lazier, who found the stones, said in an interview yesterday that he will use the money to make a school and a health facility for his community.

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