Wednesday 10th June 2020.
Starting in Africa today… Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza has died of a heart attack. The government released a statement yesterday saying that the Nkurunziza died at hospital in eastern Burundi. On Saturday the president was taken to hospital after falling ill, however he appeared to recover, and left hospital on Sunday. There is speculation that he may have had COVID19, but this is not confirmed. Burundi had elections two weeks ago, in which Nkurunziza was not a candidate, although his party did win. Evariste Ndayishimiye is expected to become president on the 26th August. Pierre Nkurunziza was president since 2005 and has died at the age of 55. A week of national mourning has been announced.
Tunisia. At least twenty people are expected to have died after a boat carrying refugees sank on the Tunisian coast. The boat was probably on its way to Italy – a common route for refugees. Since 2014 20,000 refugees have died trying to cross the Mediterranean.
The leader of the Tanzanian opposition, Freeman Mbowe, is in hospital after being attacked in the street. The Chadema party has said that the attack was politically motivated. Mbowe has recently accused the government of hiding coronavirus data from the public. Tanzania will have an election in October.
Yesterday was the funeral of George Floyd, an African American man killed in Minneapolis by police. Reverand Al Sharpton spoke at the funeral – and said that this time should not be a new way of teaching sociology – but should be a time for real change…
“I hear people talk about what happened to George Floyd like there was something less than a crime. This was not just a tragedy, it was a crime. We cannot just act like this is some new way of teaching sociology, we cant act like this is some new need for some of us to add social justice to our programmes on Sunday morning”…
Floyd’s death has caused large protests around the world in the last two weeks. Presidential candidate Joe Biden said yesterday that this was a great inflection point in American history…
“What an incredible family. His little daughter was there. The one who said ‘Daddy’s going to change the world”. I think her daddy is going to change the world. I think whats happened here is one of those great inflection points in American history, for real, in terms of civil liberties, civil rights, and just treating people with dignity.”
Also in the United States, Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo has attacked Donald Trump for a tweet. Yesterday morning Trump tweeted that a video of a 75-year old protester being pushed by police could have been faked…
“what do you think, it was staged? Do you think the blood coming out of his head was staged? Is that what your saying? You saw his head hit the pavement you saw blood on the pavement… “Maybe he fell harder than he was pushed”. How reckless, how irresponsible, how mean, how crude! I mean if there was ever a reprehensible, dumb comment, and from the President of the United States. At this moment of anguish and anger. What does he do? Pours gasoline on the fire!”
Latin America is now the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the World Health Organization. Mexico is expected to be reaching its coronavirus peak. 120,000 cases have been confirmed in Mexico and 14,000 deaths have been recorded. However Mexico has started to relax its coronavirus lockdowns. Hugo-Lopez Gatell, the deputy Health Minister, said that Mexico must reopen, but that the situation will be monitored carefully…
“Mexico as in every country, that when you start opening, the epidemic takes up <back> again, we are prepared to monitor on a daily basis. Wherever in each state, in each locality, where the epidemic is active. If we see that things are not going well, we must act.”
Although Brazil has stopped officially publishing coronavirus deaths, the Johns Hopkins University has continued to publish Brazilian data. 720,000 cases have been confirmed in Brazil, second in the world after the United States, however, the real number in Brazil is expected to be much higher, as testing rates are low.
In the Philippines, the country’s largest organization of lawyers will try to stop President Duterte’s anti-terrorism law. They say that the law will give too much power to police to arrest people without charges.
China. A sturdy by Harvard Medical School has suggested that COVID19 may have started in Wuhan in August, and not December. Harvard found that was more traffic around hospitals, and more internet searches for coronavirus symptoms in Wuhan at the end of last year.
France will give 15 billion euros to save its airline industry. National airline Airfrance and plane maker airbus will receive large payments. The global airline industry is expected to lsoe 84$ billion dollars this year.
And in Belgium, a statue of King Leopold 2nd has been removed after it was covered in anti-racism graffiti. Protesters have targeted the statue because of King Leopold’s history of colonization in Africa. It is uncertain if the statue will return.