International News

International News (385)

24
May

The Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), plans to carry out quarantine efforts for banknotes and coins, which they receive from local and international sources. This is to anticipate and the prevention of the coronavirus spreading in Saudi Arabia. SAMA states the currency, along with electronic payment instruments, is considered a way that allows transmission of Covid-19. SAMA will isolate banknotes and coins in closed units for between 14 and 20 days, with duration depending on where the cash comes from. Additional steps will also be taken in SAMA to reduce the risk of health problems. SAMA, as reported by Arabnews, May 23 states, that banknotes and coins will undergo special maintenance mechanisms, to ensure they are safe to use//rri/trans:PTR

24
May

People arriving in France from the UK will have to self-isolate for 14 days from 8 June, the French government has announced. It comes after Home Secretary Priti Patel revealed, quarantine plans for visitors to the UK from the same date. France said it would impose reciprocal measures for any European country enforcing a quarantine. Travelers arriving in France from Spain by plane will also be asked to go into quarantine from Monday. Speaking at Friday's Downing Street briefing, Ms Patel said travelers to the UK will need to tell the government where they will quarantine, and face enforcement through random spot checks and £1,000 fines in England if they do not comply. Lorry drivers, seasonal farm workers, and coronavirus medics will be exempt. The requirement will also not apply to those travelling from the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man//BBC

23
May

President Donald Trump pressed for a further reopening of the United States as job losses mount from coronavirus shutdowns, while China's premier warned of "immense" economic challenges, even as the Asian giant emerges from the worst of the pandemic. As stated by Antara, calls to kickstart the world's two largest economies came as large parts of Europe continued to resume normal life as the crisis there abates, with more shops opening and beaches welcoming tourists. But the lifting of restrictions in some places comes despite virus cases passing five million globally, with the disease continuing its march in Latin America and Russia//Ant

23
May

Before the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ’s) May-23 deadline for Myanmar to file first report in the Rohingya genocide case, regional parliamentarians urged Myanmar to act promptly, to end discriminatory restrictions against the minority group. As quoted by Antara, ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) noted in a statement received in Jakarta on Friday, that authorities should also safeguard all civilians in the ongoing war in the states of Rakhine and Chin. Member of Parliament in Malaysia and APHR Chair Charles Santiago emphasized, that his side has yet to see any credible evidence of Myanmar taking steps to improve the situation for Rohingya//Ant

23
May

Pro-democracy campaigners in Hong Kong vowed Friday, to take to the streets in protest over what they said was China's fiercest assault, on the city's treasured autonomy with its move to impose a security law. As quoted by AFP.com, the proposal for the legislation -- expected to ban treason, subversion and sedition -- was introduced into China's rubber-stamp parliament at the opening of its annual session on Friday morning.

It followed repeated warnings from China's communist leaders, they would no longer tolerate dissent in Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous city that endured seven months of massive pro-democracy protests last year. Jimmy Sham, leader of the Civil Human Rights Front, which organised the million-person rally that kicked off last year's unrest. This is the largest nuclear weapon the Chinese Communist Party has used in its mutual destruction of Hong Kong//AFP

23
May

China warned Friday that its huge economy will suffer an immense hit from the coronavirus, as the ongoing pandemic and national lockdowns, cause massive global job losses and Russia faces a steep increase in deaths. As quoted by AFP.com, as Beijing's communist rulers failed, to set an annual growth target for the first time in decades, Asian markets fell, further battered by Chinese moves to crack down on Hong Kong's treasured autonomy.

China's e-commerce giant Alibaba added to the gloom by reporting an 88 percent drop in first quarter net profit, despite higher than forecast revenue. New coronavirus infections have begun to dip in much of the world, but the economic damage from the pandemic is only just beginning, and the disease is continuing its deadly march in Latin America and Russia//AFP

22
May

The US has announced it will withdraw from a major accord that permits unarmed aerial surveillance flights over dozens of participating countries. The Open Skies Treaty came into force in 2002 and is designed to boost confidence and assure against attacks. But senior US officials said the country was withdrawing due to repeated Russian violations of its terms. US President Donald Trump later said there was a very good chance we'll reach a new agreement with Russia.

The US will formally withdraw from the accord in six months, officials said. One official told Reuters news agency that during the course of this review it has become abundantly clear that it is no longer in America's interests to remain a party to the Open Skies Treaty. Some 35 nations are party to the treaty, including Russia, Canada and the UK//(BBC/Reuters)

22
May

China is proposing to introduce a new security law in Hong Kong that could ban sedition, secession and subversion. The move is likely to provoke strong opposition internationally and in Hong Kong, which was last year rocked by months of pro-democracy protests. China's delayed National People's Congress, its legislature, will debate the issue when it opens on Friday. Chinese media said the move defended national security, but opponents said it could be the "end of Hong Kong".

Demonstrators in Hong Kong have repeatedly protested against what they see as a gradual erosion of the territory's autonomy by the communist lead government in Beijing. The last British governor of Hong Kong, Chris Patten, called the move a "comprehensive assault on the city's autonomy". President Donald Trump said the US would react strongly if China followed through with its proposals//(BBC/AFP/Reuters)

22
May

Member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) have been advised, in a new policy brief to adopt an open trade policy to safeguard food security, in the region amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The brief has been drafted by the APEC Policy Support Unit, according to a press release issued by the unit, which was received here on Thursday. As quoted by Antara, the recent policy brief on export restrictions and food security in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, shows that the variety of movement restrictions implemented across borders have affected the supply of food, especially perishables such as fruits, vegetables, dairy, seafood, and meat.

Carlos Kuriyama, senior analyst with the APEC Policy Support Unit said, some governments have reacted to episodes of panic buying, by implementing export bans or restrictions on certain food products, hoping to secure the availability of food. Kuriyama, who is the author of the policy brief, explained that those measures (bans and restrictions on food trade) could threaten food security and increase food prices, which would be detrimental to citizens, especially the poorest households. The APEC region’s food security environment is in better shape today compared to the global food crisis of 2007–2008//Ant

21
May

 

 

Wearing masks is being made compulsory in Spain both indoors and out in public if social distancing is not possible. As quoted by BBC.com ( 20/5)  Only children under six and people with health issues are exempt from the law, which comes into force on Thursday. Many European countries have now made wearing masks a requirement on public transport but the Spanish decree goes further. Spain has seen one of the worst Covid-19 outbreaks in Europe but is now easing the lockdown gradually. It already requires the wearing of masks on public transport and is now strengthening the rules across the population.  Spain has reported almost 28,000 deaths and 232,000 infections since March but the rate of infection has declined. Spain had imposed some of the toughest measures on the continent, including keeping children indoors for six weeks. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez addressed parliament on Wednesday ahead of a vote on extending the state of alert for two more weeks//BBC

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