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Wednesday 2nd September 2020

Starting in AFRICA today...

In Mauritius, a boat cleaning an oil spill has collided with another boat. Two people were killed, and two more are missing. 75,000 people marched this weekend in the capital city, Port Louis, demanding action from the government on the environment. It was the biggest public demonstration in Mauritius in 40 years.

Zimbabwe has announced that it will return land to foreign nationals taken by the government two decades ago. Thousands of white farmers were forced off their land. This is expected to have contributed to the country's economic decline and poor relations with the west. A compensation scheme has also been started for current local white farmers.


In Belarus, dozens of students are protesting outside their universities and in the city center of the capital Minsk for the fourth week. They are protesting President Alexander Lukashenko's rule. He has been in power for 26 years, and his government has recently arrested many protesters and opposition members.

In France, the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has republished cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. The publication comes before 14 people go on trial for the 7th January 2015 attack on the magazine's offices that killed 12 people.

Turkish police have arrested a top Daesh commander. Daesh (ISIL) announced its presence in Turkey in 2019 and has carried out many attacks, including a shooting in an Istanbul nightclub in 2017 that killed 39 people. The police are looking for more suspects.

In The UK- Education secretary Gavin Williamson called the reopening of schools this week "a massive milestone." He also apologized to students for the stress caused by the problems in awarding A-level and GCSE results. Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday spoke about the government's ability to deal with any future outbreaks of COVID19...

"People are going back to the office in huge numbers across our country and quite right too, and of course we know that there is still going to be more of this disease - this wretched COVID still to come and although we know there will be more outbreaks we're also absolutely confident that we are going to be able to deal with those outbreaks and bit by bit this incredible country is getting back on its feet and recovering from this crisis and we in this government are committed as you all know to do absolutely everything in our power to help, and that's what we've been doing over the last few months, and that's what we're going to continue"

In the AMERICAs now...

In Argentina, about 22,000 wildfires have started recently. They are burning in at least 12 provinces and there is concern that they are destroying biodiverse regions.

In Brazil, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a 9.7% fall in GDP from the previous quarter. Anti-coronavirus lockdown measures reduced activity in almost every sector, and the economy was reduced to the size it was in 2009.

The Venezuelan Maduro government announced yesterday that it plans to release 110 political prisoners who had been accused of conspiring against President Nicolas Maduro. It is seen as an effort by the government to increase participation in the parliamentary elections to be held in December 2020.

United States President Donald Trump visited Kenosha, Wisconsin yesterday, where Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, was paralyzed after being shot in the back seven times by police officer Rusten Sheskey. In an interview with Fox News on Monday night, Trump compared Sheskey to a golfer missing a putt. He also defended the teenager who shot two anti-racism protesters dead in the city last week.

"We're looking at all of it. That was an interesting situation, you saw the same tape as I saw and he was trying to get away from them I guess it looks like and he fell and then they very violently attacked him and it was something that we're looking at right now, and it's under investigation but uh I guess he was in very big trouble he would have been he probably would have been killed but it's under it's under investigation ..."

And ASIA finally...

India reported the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the world in the past week, with over 500,000 new cases reported. Yesterday almost 78,000 new infections were recorded. Former Prime Minister Pranab Mukherjee died this week after testing positive for coronavirus.

Yesterday, Indian and Chinese military commanders held talks for a second day to negotiate a removal of Chinese forces from the Himalayan Ladakh border. Since May, both countries have accused each other of not following the line of control. Thousands of troops have been gathered at the disputed border since 15th June when 20 Indian soldiers were killed in Ladakh's Galwan Valley.

And South Korean boy band BTS made history yesterday by becoming the first Korean pop band to top the Billboard 100 chart with their single Dynamite. The music video for the song reached 101 million views on YouTube in just 24 hours.

 Khadija Tahir and Stephen Devincenzi

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