International News

International News (385)

02
May

Kim Jong-un has appeared in public for the first time in 20 days, North Korean state media says.

Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reports that the North Korean leader cut the ribbon, at the opening of a fertiliser factory. It adds that people at the factory broke into thunderous cheers of hurrah, when he appeared on Friday.

The reported appearance,his first since an event on state media on 12 April - comes amid global speculation over his health. The latest reports from North Korean media could not be independently confirmed.

Asked about Mr Kim's reported reappearance, US President Donald Trump told reporters that he didn't want to comment yet.

Speculation about Mr Kim's health began, after he missed the birth anniversary celebrations of his grandfather, state founder Kim Il Sung on 15 April.

The anniversary is one of the biggest events in the North Korean calendar, and Mr Kim usually marks it, by visiting the mausoleum where his grandfather lies. Mr Kim had never missed this event//BBC

01
May

 

 

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has gone to hospital after he was diagnosed with coronavirus. His positive test came on the same day that Russia recorded a record 7,099 cases, taking the total number of infections above 100,000. Mishustin was given the role of prime minister in January and has been actively involved in Russia's handling of the epidemic. Russian TV showed him telling President Vladimir Putin of his diagnosis. Mishustin suggested that First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov should take his place and Putin agreed. Mishustin will now go into self-isolation//BBC

01
May

 

 

PM Boris Johnson said he will set out a comprehensive plan next week on how to restart the economy, reopen schools and help people travel to work following the coronavirus lockdown. He said the UK was past the peak of the virus outbreak, but stressed the country must not risk a second spike. Prime Minister Johnson said face masks will be useful as part of the strategy for coming out of lockdown. Some 26,771 people have now died with the virus in the UK, a rise of 674. The prime minister added that UK can now see the sunlight, but he insisted to avoid the disaster of a second peak//BBC

01
May

 

 

Los Angeles is offering free coronavirus tests to all residents, regardless of whether they are displaying any symptoms. Mayor Eric Garcetti made the announcement just hours after Los Angeles County reported its largest daily increase in new Covid-19 cases. Until now, only essential workers and those displaying symptoms could receive tests due to a scarcity of kits. Meanwhile, California ordered all beaches in Orange County to close. California is the most populous state in the US, and while some of its beaches have been closed for weeks, others have remained open with social distancing rules in place. Los Angeles County currently accounts for almost half of California's confirmed coronavirus cases. The state has so far reported over 48,000 cases and more than 1,900 deaths//BBC

30
April

The brutal economic impact of the coronavirus deepened Wednesday with dire news from the United States and Germany, increasing pressure worldwide to ease lockdowns and reduce the cost of the pandemic. As quoted by AFP.com (29/4) countries around the globe are balancing fears of the worst global recession for a century against the risk that lifting restrictions too fast will cause a second wave of the virus that has already killed 214,000 people. But with the United Nations warning that half the global workforce risks having their livelihoods destroyed and the United States announcing a dramatic end to a decade of growth, the economic pain caused by the outbreak is mounting by the day. The aviation industry also unveiled grim new tidings of the damage caused by worldwide travel bans aimed at halting the spread of a disease that has infected three million people worldwide//AFP

30
April

Two months after the US and the Taliban signed a deal Washington heralded as the way to end Afghanistan's war, violence is spiralling out of control and experts say a fragile peace process risks collapse//  As quoted by AFP.com (29/4) dozens of Afghan security forces and Taliban fighters have been dying almost daily with civilian casualties rising across the country as both sides ramp up operations// The insurgents have been emboldened by a deal that gave them many concessions in exchange for few commitments, fuelling their surge of attacks in recent weeks. The timing could hardly be worse, as Afghanistan also grapples with a coronavirus epidemic. A researcher at the Overseas Development Institute,  Ashley Jackson stated the peace process isn't dead yet, but it is on life support// AFP

30
April

Calls to mental health services have increased since the outbreak of coronavirus. But with physical visits to support services dropping due to social-distancing rules, Australians are not taking advantage of the extra services now available to them. Authorities are now urging people to make use of the resources available over the phone and online. Mental health services are part of a $1.1 billion funding boost designed to protect against widespread impacts from the pandemic. A million telehealth mental health consultations worth $35 million had taken place since mid-March, that was stated by Prime Minister Morrison during a press conference on Wednesday (29/04/20) in Australia.

 

"I noted that there was a 74 million dollars package that was putting place at the early stages of covid 19 outbreak and those packages support has been rolling out across the country and has been get a very good result. 50 percent of mental health consultation is now being done through telehealth as a result of the telehealth changes that we’ve made. And 1 million telehealth, mental health consultation have taken place since mid march and some 35 million dollar spesifically in mental heallth related consultation have been conducted over periode of time since telethealth was putting in place" Prime Minister said.

Prime Minister added that the stay at home has been important but it does come with an increase in anxiety and an increase in pressure on individuals, their mental stress, and that also takes a toll, that’s why Australian Government prepares services to handle the issue. On the same occasion, National Health Commission CEO Christine Morgan said people need to reach out on mental health online services.

"We did come in to this scenario, we did come in to Covid 19 with mental health challenges many of us, with mental health illness. You do still need to contact your mental health services, you can do it now through telethealth, you can do it to the digital services but part of getting through this whole crisis is the way we actually address our mental health and our well being so reach out we will continue to do that" Christine Morgan explain.  

She added that Last month, Beyond Blue received $10 million from a $75 million federal mental health package for a dedicated mental health support service. It offers free information, counselling and referrals online and over the phone. Resources at Head to Health were boosted at the end of March and the website had seen an "enormous" spike in visits. The website brings together a range of apps, online programs, online forums, and resources in one location//NK.

29
April

 

 

As part of support for partner countries around the world, European Union will distribute assistant worth 350 million euros to fight transmission and to decrease impact of COVID-19 in Southeast Asian regions. Ambassador of European Union to ASEAN, Igor Driesmans in press release which was received in Jakarta recently, said that in difficult times, ASEAN can count on the European Union. European Union and ASEAN is regional organizations which are tied by solidarity and partnership for 42 years. Driesmans added that European Union will give the assistant bilaterally or regionally to support the efforst to hanle the health crisis currently, to strengthen health system, and also to decrease economic and social impact.//trans-yati//ant

29
April

South korean Presiden Moon Jae-In has call on the government to go on a national crisis voting by concentrating all it’s capacity to overcome the economic crisis trigered by Covid-19. Speaking at the cabinet meeting on Tuesday (27/04/20) the president liken the situation economic to war time and warn the condition could get worsten in second quarter. South Korea economy contracted on 1,4 percent on quarter in the first three month of this year, the biggest quarterly slumping over 11 years.

"The economic shock is becoming apparent across all industries. Economically this is a war time situation. As government, we need to be swift above all. The damage will become greater and the difficulties of the people and business more severe if the implementation of measure is delayed" the President said. 

The President order official authority prepare so house hold can quickly to apply for monthly relief payment. The national assembly is expect to vote on extra budget bill tha will be use to fund the scheme on Wednesday. The president also highlight the need for agressive investment and the swift implementation of scheme that spur comsumption adding that the third extra budget will be use to finance a comprehensive plan to promote spending.

"We must not lose this opportunity for a third suplementary budget. The time has come for measure to revive consumption, because now quarantine and our daily life must go on the same time. People will start their normal socio economic activities while abiding to quarantine guidelines and regulation" President added. 

In addition President Moon emphasized need for South Korean version of a new deal to stimulate job creation. Calling on official to use a country strength directively carry out at large scale project on information and technology//NK  

28
April

Southern Yemeni separatist security members patrol a street during a campaign to arrest unlicensed motorcycles in Aden [File: Fawaz Salman/Reuters]Southern Yemeni separatist security members patrol a street during a campaign to arrest unlicensed motorcycles in Aden [File: Fawaz Salman/Reuters]

A Saudi Arabia-led military coalition has rejected a separatist group's declaration of self-rule in Yemen's south, demanding "an end to escalatory actions" and return to a peace deal signed in November last year.

The Saudi statement on Monday comes a day after Yemen's Southern Transitional Council (STC) declared a state of emergency and announced "self-administration rule" in regions under their control, including in the port city of Aden.

The key city serves as the interim capital of the internationally recognized and Saudi-backed government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

The STC and Hadi's forces are supposed allies in Yemen's complicated conflict and both have fought together in the Saudi-led coalition's war against the Houthi rebels, who overran parts of northern Yemen in 2014, including the capital, Sanaa. 

But the STC turned on Hadi's government in August last year and seized Aden. The fighting stopped when the two groups reached a deal in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

In its statement on Monday, the Saudi-led coalition urged the council to return to the terms of the Riyadh agreement. That deal had called for all sides to remove heavy military equipment from Yemeni cities under their control and form a unity government that included equal representation.

But that had yet to be implemented as the war continued and enormous floods struck Aden, killing at least 21 people earlier this month. Compounding the troubles, Yemen on April 10 announced its first case of the COVID-19.

The Saudi-led coalition said it "demands an end to any escalatory actions and calls for a return to the agreement by the participating parties".

The deal "entails forming a competent government that operates from the interim capital Aden to tackle economic and developmental challenges, in light of natural disasters such as floods, fears of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, and work to provide services to the brotherly people of Yemen". (Al Jazeera)

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