International News

International News (389)

28
May

 

 

Cyprus has pledged to cover the holiday costs of anyone who tests positive for the virus after travelling there. In a letter made public on Wednesday, the government said it would pay for accommodation, medicine and food for patients and their families. As quoted by BBC.com ( 27/5) tourists "will only need to bear the cost of their airport transfer and repatriation flight. It is part of a package of measures aimed at drawing visitors back to the island, which has reported few cases. According to Johns Hopkins University data, the country has confirmed 939 infections and 17 deaths. Tourism accounted for about 15% of the country's GDP last year, and so the government is straining to bring back travellers as soon as possible//BBC

28
May

 

 

Victims of Australia's catastrophic bushfires are still living in tents, garages and makeshift shelters months after the blazes ended, with efforts to rebuild their lives hampered by the coronavirus pandemic. As quoted by AFP.com ( 27/5)  inside a small tin shed on Australia's southeast coast, a family of six takes refuge from the cold as the southern hemisphere winter begins to bite. The structure -- chock-full of toys and beds -- has been home to 51-year-old Anita Lawrence and five of her children since February. She had been in Tasmania when fires ripped through the area, torching materials ready to build a new home and new life for her family//AFP

28
May

 

 

Equities were mixed Wednesday as profit-taking and worries about deteriorating China-US relations were weighed against optimism over the gradual reopening of economies around the world. As quoted by AFP.com ( 27/5)  Hong Kong extended losses as police fired pepper-ball rounds as anti-China protesters took to the city's streets, with investors fearing the demonstrations could erupt into the worst unrest since last summer. The broad trend across global markets has been upward for weeks as virus deaths and infections ease in most countries and governments begin to reopen their battered economies, fanning hopes for a recovery in the second half of the year. Confidence has also come from mind-boggling amounts of stimulus and central bank pledges of support, with the latest coming from the eurozone, where European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is due to unveil a trillion-euro revival plan for the bloc. However, there was little fresh desire for risk assets with eyes on the simmering row between the world's top two economies, fuelled by Donald Trump's barracking of China over its role in the pandemic, and made worse this week by Beijing looking to tighten its grip on Hong Kong//AFP.

28
May

 

 

US President Donald Trump threatened Wednesday to shutter social media platforms after Twitter for the first time acted against his false tweets, prompting the enraged Republican to double down on unsubstantiated claims and conspiracy theories. As quoted by AFP.com ( 27/5)  Twitter tagged just two of Trump's tweets in which he'd claimed that more mail-in voting would lead to what he called a "Rigged Election" this November. There is no evidence that attempts are being made to rig the election and under the tweets Twitter posted a link which read "Get the facts about mail-in ballots.  For years, Twitter has been accused of ignoring the president's breaking of platform rules with his daily, often hourly barrages of personal insults and inaccurate information sent to more than 80 million followers//AFP

28
May

 

 

The EU unveiled a proposed 750-billion-euro recovery plan Wednesday to get the continent back on its feet after the devastation wreaked by the coronavirus pandemic, as Latin America outpaced Europe and the US in the number of daily infections. As quoted by AFP.com ( 27/5) the massive European plan follows other unprecedented emergency measures introduced around the world to rescue economies shattered by the disease, which has claimed more than 350,000 lives while infections top 5.6 million. While the virus continues to wreak havoc in Latin America, Europe has slowly started reopening businesses as outbreaks on the continent slow, but Italy and Spain lack the firepower of richer European nations to rebuild their economies.The European Union put forward a 750 billion euro ($825 billion) proposal to the European Parliament and member states on Wednesday, aiming to help the worst-affected countries with a mix of grants and loans//AFP

27
May

 

 

Foreign visitors to Spain will no longer have to undergo a two-week quarantine from 1 July, the government has announced. It said the measure had been finalised in a cabinet meeting on Monday. Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya had previously said the requirement would be lifted in July, without giving a date. The news comes as the UK government prepares to bring in its own 14-day quarantine policy from 8 June. Travel firms and other industry bodies say the UK should relax the measure for visitors arriving from countries where people are at a lower risk of contracting the coronavirus. UK Prime minister, Boris Johnson stated during a press conference on Tuesday (26/05/20) that UK will reopen business sector on June 1st.

"Today I want to give the retail sector notice of our intention to reopen shops so they to can get ready. So I will announce that it is our intention to allow outdoor market to reopen from June the first subject to all premisis being made covid secure as well as car showrooms with often had significant outdoor space that generally easier to apply social distancing. We know that the transmission of the virus is lower outdoors. And it is easier to follow covid secure guidelines in open spaces. That means we can also allow outdoor market to reopne in a save way without the risk causing the second wave of the virus. Then from the 15th of June we intent to allow all other non essential retails ranging from department store to small independent shops to reopen. Again this change will be continue among progress againts the five test and will be only be permitted for those retail premisis which are covid secure" the prime minister said.    

Greece is also begin lifting quarantine restriction in an attemps to boost its flaging tourism industry. Greek are once again able to travel freely to the countries islands, the return of domestic travel is an important step towards restarting the wider tourism industry which make up at least fifth of greek economy. But tempature check and social distancing still the main rules as the Greek Deputy Foreign Minister, Miltiadis Varvitsiotis on the interview with bbc news revealed.

"Greece cope with covid 19 crisis pretty well. We had 160 people dead of the virus and only 2000 incidents accured in this country. So we actualy believe that we have contain the first wave of this pandemic and now we start to opening up. Today we opening up bars and restaurants, thank GOD we live in the country that has a good weather so we can use the outdoor spaces in order to gather and from June 15th we are going to open the international flights" the deputy said. 

Greece recorded its first Covid-19 case on 26 February and the government acted swiftly to impose a lockdown. On 28 April, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced a relaxation of lockdown measures in the weeks ahead. Churches opened for individual prayer on 4 May and religious services were allowed from 17 May, Schools reopened on 11 May for final-year students only, with special measures including students attending classes on different days, Shops are now all able to reopen and indoor shopping centres can do so on 1 June, Cafes and restaurants reopened on 25 May, but with social distancing, Beaches reopened on 4 May and Greece has declared that the tourist season will start on 15 June, with the opening of seasonal hotels on the same day and Travel to the islands resumed on 25 May for mainland Greeks, but not for foreign tourists; from 1 July Greece is set to lift the two-week quarantine rule for foreigners//NK

27
May

 

 

Tokyo and Brussels have agreed to strengthen the Japan-EU strategic partnership and enhance cooperation to combat the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, according to a statement released by the European Council on Tuesday. Earlier in the day, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and European Council President Charles Michel held a video conference and agreed that the strategic partnership between both parties will be vital to aiding the epidemiological and economic recovery from the COVID-19 outbreak. According to the European Council statement, the leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the Japan-EU strategic partnership. It will play an important role in recovering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and in tackling other common challenges that have not diminished.

Encouraged by the initial positive results, the leaders expressed their determination to continue implementing the Japan-EU Strategic Partnership Agreement and Economic Partnership Agreement. Tokyo and Brussels will also work to strengthen preparedness for any future pandemics and welcomed a resolution passed at the World Health Organization’s World Health Assembly that called for greater global solidarity to combat the disease//Sputnik

27
May

 

 

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he will not allow students to go back to school until a coronavirus vaccine is available, even as some countries resume in-person classes. Children were due to return to school at the end of August after classes for more than 25 million primary and secondary students were shut down in March as the contagion took off in the Philippines. But in a speech aired late Monday, Duterte said the risk was too great, even if it held students back academically. Though researchers have launched an unprecedented global effort to quickly develop a vaccine, it is not clear when a viable candidate will be proven and distributed on a large scale.   Public school normally runs from June to April in the Philippines, but authorities pushed back the start as cases rose and a strict lockdown brought most of the nation to a halt. In order to ease classroom crowding, the education ministry had already announced a mix of distance-learning measures, including online classes, would be used for the coming school year//JP

27
May

 

 

Luxembourg will ease its coronavirus restrictions on Wednesday, May 27th , reopening cafes and restaurants and allowing civil and religious ceremonies under strict conditions, the government announced. Prime Minister Xavier Bettel told a news conference recently that eateries could reopen terraces with a maximum of four people at a single table. Indoor dining in cafes and restaurants will resume on Friday, Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, with social distancing of 1.5 meters between groups.

Marriages and funerals will also be allowed if the attendees wore face masks and kept two meters distance from each other. Francois Koepp, the general secretary of the Horeca federation grouping hotels, restaurants and cafes, welcomed the announcement, saying the sector had greatly suffered from the confinement//JP

26
May

 

 

Privacy concerns over Qatar's coronavirus contact tracing app, a tool that is mandatory on pain of prison, have prompted a rare backlash and forced officials to offer reassurance and concessions. As quoted by AFP.com ( 25/5)  Like other governments around the world, Qatar has turned to mobile phones to trace people's movements and track who they come into contact with, allowing officials to monitor coronavirus infections and alert people at risk of contagion. The apps use Bluetooth radio signals to "ping" nearby devices, which can be contacted subsequently if a user they have been near develops symptoms or tests positive, but the resultant unprecedented access to users' location data has prompted fears about state surveillance. Qatar's version goes considerably further -- it forces Android users to permit access to their picture and video galleries, while also allowing the app to make unprompted calls//AFP

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