Wednesday 24th June 2020.
Starting in the Americas…
United States infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci has warned of a “disturbing surge” in coronavirus cases across the United States. Yesterday President Donald Trump said again that high rates of testing were showing high numbers of cases. Fauci said that testing will continue to be high. Fauci also said that there could be a vaccine ready at the end of this year or the start of next year, but that the next few weeks are critical for controlling the virus…
“If you look at how we’ve been hit, we’ve been hit badly. Anyone who looks at the numbers now, over 120,00 deaths, we’ve had 2 and a half million infections. So it’s a serious situation. Right now the next couple of weeks are gonna be critical in our ability to address those surgings that we’re seeing in Florida, in Texas, in Arizona and in other States, they’re not the only ones having a difficulty…”
Twitter has flagged another Tweet by President Trump as abusive. The Twitter post said “There will never be an ‘autonomous zone in Washington DC, as long as I’m your President. If they try they will be met with serious force!”. This is the second time that Twitter has hidden a tweet by President Trump.
In Mexico a powerful earthquake has hit the Southern state of Oaxaca. At least one person has died and President Lopez Obrador has warned residents to prepare for further earthquakes.
In Brazil a judge has ordered President Jair Bolsonaro to wear a mask in public. During the last two months President Bolsonaro has continued to join rallies of fans, ignoring social distancing advice. Brazil has confirmed over a million coronavirus cases, but experts warn that the real number is probably much higher, as testing rates are low.
Chile’s President Sebastian Piñera has been criticised for breaking his own government’s rules. The government says that a maximum of 5 people are allowed to attend funerals, however when Piñera attended the funeral of his uncle, Bernadino Piñera – there were more than 20 people.
Malawi had a presidential election yesterday. President Mutharika was up against Lazarus Chakwera. At the time of recording this podcast the results have not been announced, but reports say that voting has been peaceful.
Libya. The Arab league has called for an end to foreign intervention in Libya. Arab foreign ministers said yesterday that foreign interference is making the crisis in Libya worse. Libya is currently divided between the Government of National Accord in the West backed by Turkey and recognized by the UN, and the forces of Khalifa Haftar in the East, supported by Russia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. On Monday The United Nations said that they would investigate human rights abuses in Libya.
In Kyrgyzstan the former president Almazbek Atambayev has been jailed. Atambayev was given 11 years in prison for corruption and ordering the release of a criminal from Chechnya.
In Yemen, the Houthis say that they have started their largest attack yet on Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh. Yesterday Saudi Arabia said that it stopped 3 missiles and some drone attacks within Saudi territory.
The United Kingdom will open pubs, restaurants, hotels, hairdressers and many other places from the 4th July. Yesterday Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the 2-metre distancing rule would be changed to a one-metre distancing rule.
“…that we will also open restaurants and pubs <hallelujah!> all hospitality indoors will be limited to table service and our guidance will encourage minimal staff and customer contact.”
Bulgaria’s Prime Minister has been given a fine for not wearing a facemask. Boyko Borrisov has been fined 300 Bulgarian Lev for visiting a church without a face covering.
Tennis World number one Novak Djokovic has tested positive for COVID19. Djokovic was criticised for hosting a tennis event last week without social distancing measures. The event in Croatia has lead to many of the tennis players becoming infected, including Djokovic.
Germany and Portugal have reinstated lockdowns in some areas. In Germany a rise in cases in some Western Provinces was related to a meat processing factory.
Also in Germany a smelly fruit has caused the evacuation of a post office. 6 workers were taken to hospital and police and firefighters were called after an extreme smell was thought to come from a dangerous gas. But after inspection, it was found that the smell came from a package of Durian – a fruit with a strong odour from south East Asia. Durian is extremely popular in China, where a single fruit can be sold for thousands of dollars.