International News

International News (385)

06
June

photo : the week

Fiji announced it was coronavirus free Friday after the island nation's last known infected patient was given the all-clear, continuing the Pacific's remarkable record of success against the virus. There was panic among Fiji's 930,000 population when the first COVID-19 case was reported in mid-March, but strict isolation measures and border controls kept a lid on infections, which peaked at 18 confirmed cases. Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama attributed the country's virus-free status to "answered prayers, hard work, and affirmation of science". He tweeted that Fiji has just cleared the last of our active COVID-19 patients. And even with the government testing numbers climbing by the day, it's now been 45 days since we recorded our last case. With no deaths, the country‚Äôs recovery rate is 100 percent. The Pacific islands were initially seen as among the world's most vulnerable to the virus, because of under-resourced health infrastructure and high rates of health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease//AFP

06
June

photo : mediaindonesia

Temperatures soared 10 degrees Celsius above average last month in Siberia, home to much of Earth's permafrost, as the world experienced its warmest May on record, the European Union's climate monitoring network said Friday. The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) said May 2020 was 0.63C warmer, than the average May from 1981 to 2010, with above average temperatures across parts of Alaska, Europe, North America, South America, swathes of Africa and Antarctica. C3S senior scientist Freja Vamborg told AFP that Western Siberia in particular has been unusually warm for several months running. She said that the really large anomalies started during January, and since then this signal has been quite persistent. Globally, the average temperature for the twelve months to May 2020 is close to 1.3C above preindustrial levels, the benchmark by which global warming is often measured//AFP

06
June

photo : euronews

Brussels and London pledged Friday to step up the pace of Brexit trade talks to try to strike a deal by the end of October, after the latest round of negotiations ended with no major breakthrough. European Union (EU) chief negotiator Michel Barnier accused Britain of backtracking on divorce terms agreed last year, as he reported "no significant progress" in four days of talks held by video link because of coronavirus. The former French minister set an October 31 deadline, to reach an agreement on future EU-UK ties, to give time for it to be ratified before the end of the year. Britain left the EU on January 31 and is now in a transition period until December 31, when it will leave the bloc's single market and customs union -- with or without a trade deal. Barnier's UK counterpart David Frost noted "limited" advances and asked that both sides "intensify and accelerate our work" in order to clinch the deal. Barnier said the next round of talks would take place in late June or early July as officials talked of a busy summer ahead for negotiations//AFP

05
June

photo : wearesocial

French winemakers will transform wine that went unsold during the country's two-month COVID-19 lockdown, into hand sanitiser and ethanol to make room for the next harvest, a farming agency said on Thursday (Jun 4). Wine sales and exports, particularly to the United States, plunged at the height of the coronavirus crisis, leaving winemakers with millions of litres of unsold wine. Didier Josso, head of the wine branch in the farming agency FranceAgriMer, at a video press conference, that from tomorrow, 33 licensed distillers will be able to collect the wine and distil it. The alcohol resulting from the distillation is exclusively reserved for the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry and the production of hand sanitiser, and for the production of ethanol. European public funds will finance the distillation of 200 million litres of French wine after Brussels gave its green light for the exceptional measure. Experts said 300 million litres were in-need of distilling. Major wine-producing countries such as Spain and Italy have resorted to similar measures to regulate the excess, as well as to the exceptional destruction of young grape vines//AFP/CNA

05
June

photo : olympic

Tokyo 2020 officials are looking at ways to scale back next year's postponed Olympics, the city's governor said Thursday, amid reports the opening ceremony could be streamlined and spectator numbers cut. Yuriko Koike told reporters that organisers were weighing up what could be "rationalised and simplified" as costs spiral for holding the first postponed Games in history. The International Olympic Committee announced in March the Games would be delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands and brought international travel to a virtual halt. The Games are now due to open on July 23, 2021, but organisers face the unprecedented headache of rearranging the event, which requires a costly rejigging of everything from venues to transport. The Yomiuri Shimbun daily quoted an unnamed source as saying that everyone including athletes, officials and spectators would be required to take a test for the virus. Tokyo 2020 spokesman Masa Takaya declined to offer further details as a press conference later on Thursday, saying only that discussions were ongoing//AFP

05
June

photo : nytimes

U.S. President Donald Trump met with his top campaign advisers on Thursday, officials said, amid polls showing his tumbling prospects for re-election, as the U.S. economy suffers from a global pandemic and protesters gather in cities across the country. The president had a second, larger meeting with a broader group of campaign and RNC officials where he discussed attack lines for use on his opponent in the Nov. 3 election, Democrat Joe Biden, a campaign official said. Trump was described as upbeat and engaged at the meeting, but one source familiar with his thinking said he has been frustrated as he struggles to respond to a crushing set of problems, most recently mass protests resulting from the death last week in police custody of African American man George Floyd in Minneapolis. Trump on Friday cancelled a planned weekend visit to his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, an FAA advisory said, thus sparing him criticism about the optics of such a trip//Reuters

05
June

photo : ABC

 

 

Thousands of Hong Kong protesters lit candles and chanted democracy slogans as they defied a ban on Thursday, Jun 4, against gathering to commemorate China's Tiananmen incident, with tensions seething in the financial hub over a planned security law. Crowds streamed into Victoria Park, which has hosted huge Tiananmen anniversary vigils for the past three decades, chanting slogans such as "End one party rule" and "Democracy for China now". Smaller rallies took place across Hong Kong. Police made arrests in Mong Kok as they sought to disperse protesters. Reuters reported that pepper spray was fired in Mong Kok. The Jun 4 anniversary has struck an especially sensitive nerve in the former British-ruled city this year, after China's move last month to impose national security legislation and the passage of a bill outlawing disrespect of China's national anthem//Reuters/CNA

04
June

photo : msn

 

 

Brazil surpassed 30,000 deaths from the outbreak of Covid-19 as the disease continued to rip through Latin America, while Italy -at one point the hardest-hit country -prepared to reopen its borders in time for the European summer. As quoted by AFP.com (03/6) after chalking up devastating human losses in Europe, the virus has now taken a firm grip in Latin America where Brazil surpassed a chilling landmark late Tuesday. The latest official Covid-19 death toll of 31,199 is the fourth-highest in the world, after the US, Britain and Italy. The figures come as some Brazilian states began to emerge from weeks of economically-stifling quarantine measures despite warnings from the WHO and epidemiologists it is too much, too soon. An expert of infectious diseases at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro stated in the current situation, relaxing the measures is adding gasoline to the fire//AFP

04
June

photo : italy

 

Italy reopened to travelers from Europe on Wednesday (3/6), three months after going into corona-virus lockdown, but sparse arrivals dimmed hopes of reviving the key tourism industry as the summer season begins. As quoted by AFP.com ( 03/6),Gondolas are ready to punt along Venice's canals; lovers can act out "Romeo and Juliet" on Verona's famed balcony, and gladiator fans can pose for selfies at Rome's Colosseum.Prime Minister of Italy, Giuseppe Conte said that his country was clearly on the mend, adding latest contagion data was "encouraging. He added that the time had come to lure tourists back and there's enthusiasm in the air, a renewed sociability//AFP

04
June

photo : gulftoday

 

 

Kira, a two and a half year-old tigress, arrived at a zoo in Mexico's northeast in April after her owner could no longer feed her due to the corona-virus-induced economic collapse. As quoted by AFP.com (03/6), the imposing 130-kilogram tigress was sedated and transported in a cage by truck to her new home in Culiacan zoo in Sinaloa state. Her owner had responded to a campaign by Mexico's Association of Zoos, Nurseries and Aquariums (AZCARM) to avoid abandoning wild animals during the lockdown. President of AZCARM, Ernesto Zazueta stated that abandonment happens when people can't cope with their animals any more, and in this pandemic, faced with the lack of economic resources and places to keep them, they prefer to get rid of them//AFP

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