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Wednesday 15th July 2020

Updated: Jul 16

Starting in Europe…

The United Kingdom has said that the Chinese company Huawei cannot help build the UK’s 5G network. Huawei was a part of the UK’s 2G, 3G and 4G mobile networks, however, the British parliament has said that Huawei is too close to the Chinese government. Some members of the ruling conservative party want a complete ban on Huawei in public communication. The US, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan and Japan have made similar decisions about Huawei. Also in the UK, it will be against the law to enter a shop without a face mask after 24th July. Health secretary Matt Hancock said that this rule was necessary to boost public confidence around shopping… “We’ve therefore come to the decision that face coverings should be mandatory in shops and supermarkets. Last month we made face coverings mandatory on public transport and in NHS settings. This has been successful in giving people more confidence to go on public transport and to a hospital settings when they need to. Under the new rules, people who do not wear a face covering will face a fine of up to £100 in line with the sanction on public transport.”

Yesterday French president Emannuel Macron made the same announcement – that masks must be worn in shops. This is already the rule in Spain, Germany and Italy.


On the Armenia-Azerbaijan border, 14 people have now died in fighting since Sunday. The fighting is the latest in a 30 year conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, that is claimed by both Armenia and Azerbaijan.


Americas

In the United States there is a large debate on whether children should return to school. A recent poll by Axios showed that most American parents thought that it would be risky to send children to school this Autumn. The governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, criticised plans from President Trump to open all schools. He said that children cannot be used as ‘guinea pigs’…

“If you don’t have the virus under control then you can’t reopen, right? We are not gonna use our children as a litmus test, and we are not going to put our children in a place where their health is endangered. Its that simple. Common sense and intelligence can still determine what we do. Even in this crazy environment. We are not gonna use our children as guinea pigs.”

In a similar way, presidential candidate Joe Biden said that opening everything immediately is a bad idea… “Mr. President, open everything now isn’t a strategy for success. It’s barely a slogan. Quit pushing the false choice between protecting our health and protecting our economy. All its does is endanger our recovery on both fronts. Mr. President please listen to your public health experts. Instead of denigrating them.”

The Trump administration has cancelled a plan to deport international students. The plan was that students who had their classes online would not be able to stay in the United States. This plan was cancelled, after 100 universities and some states started legal challenges against the decision.


In Argentina long coronavirus lockdowns are stopping political alliances. Peronists and non-Peronists have generally agreed with lockdown measures, however after 4 months, Argentinians are now divided between those who want measures to continue and those who want to see an end to lockdowns. Argentina has now passed 100,000 COVID19 infections, however the infection rate is five times lower than Brazil’s, according to Johns Hopkins University.


Africa

In Libya the Eastern government with forces lead by Khalifa Haftar, have asked Egypt to directly intervene in the civil war. The Western government, recognised by the United Nations, has condemned this call. Turkey is supporting the Western government, and Egypt, Russia and the UAE support the Eastern government.


In Somalia 3 people have survived a plane crash. The United Nations plane was flying from Djibouti to central Somalia to deliver aid, and crashed after a failed landing in heavy rain. Local residents helped to rescue the three crew members.


Malian president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has freed 20 opposition leaders. The leaders were arrested during recent protests against president Keita. At least 11 people have died in protests since Friday.

Asia

Iran has executed a former staff member of the ministry of defence. Reza Asgari was convicted of spying for the United States, and selling information about Iran’s missile systems. Japan has accused China of using the coronavirus pandemic to make territorial claims. Tokyo said that Beijing was trying to extend its terrirtory in the South China Sea, in many regions that do not belong to China. Japan has also said that Beijing is spreading propaganda and disinformation when providing medical aid to other countries.

And In the UK graffiti artist banksy has left a new artwork in the London underground. An underground train now features Banksy’s rats, holding hand sanitizer and COVID face masks.

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