What is happening in the world?

A Brief Summarization of the Week 4/25-5/2

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Photo courtesy of Flickr user EU2017EE Estonian Presidency

Boris Johnson, UK’s Prime Minister, returns to work after a great battle with the virus.

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74-year-old Ecuadorian woman found alive 3 weeks after family was convinced by her deathIn the city of Guayaquil, the epicenter of Ecuador’s COVID-19 outbreak, families of the patients who died from the disease are only allowed to see their loved ones at a distance to prevent contagion. The family of Ms. Maruri was wrongly informed and, after a family member falsely identified her “corpse,” convinced by her death. Ms. Maruri awoke from a three-week-long coma earlier this week and was reunited with her family.

UK COVID-19 fatality number passed 20,000

UK has become the fifth country to pass this threshold number of COVID-19 related deaths. The other four countries, in chronological order, are: US (April 11), Italy (April 13), Spain (April 18) and France (April 20)

UK Prime Minister returns to work

UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, returns to work after his recovery from COVID-19, including three nights at the intensive care unit. He warns citizens to not let down their guard.

Spain daily death toll drops below 300

There are two things that might warm the hearts of the Spaniards: One, the daily death toll is showing a sign of decrease. Two, children were allowed to go on the streets last Sunday for an hour, the first time in six weeks, and every Sunday that ensues.

Aircraft company Airbus severely damaged

The European Aircraft company Airbus’ sales have decreased by 90% since the COVID-19 outbreak.

UN strongly opposes immunity passport

Opinions circulate on the idea of an immunity passport: rating people’s liability of getting COVID-19 based on their disease history. This type of policy is considered mainly by countries with a struggling economy. Nonetheless, the UN strongly dismisses the type of policy since antibodies of COVID-19 do not prevent a person from reinfection.

Russia to lift ban on Telegram

After years of unsuccessful attempts to block the Telegram app in Russia, the authority decided to use it for information release during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Iran plans to reopen mosques

Iran, the country hit hardest by the pandemic in the Middle East, plans to divide the country into white, yellow, and red regions, with white being the least infected. Iran will soon open the mosques in those regions.

Separatists declare independence in Yemen

Separatists with the Southern Transitional Council in southern Yemen, supported by the United Arab Emirates, have declared self-rule, allegedly breaking a peace deal signed with the Saudi-backed government in November.

Uganda pardons 800 prisoners

Uganda has an inmate population of 64,000, which is more than 1% of its population. President Yoweri Museveni has pardoned 800 prisoners in an effort to ease the prisons’ overpopulation.

Doctors in Pakistan arrested as they demand more equipment

A few weeks ago, in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta, 50 paramedics and doctors were arrested for attempting to enter the chief minister’s residence. Pakistan is reportedly not following the World Health Organization’s guidelines for medical workers’ protections.

Chinese government confiscates 89 million low-quality masks

Millions of face masks from China are being confiscated for their low quality. (Photo courtesy of NurseTogether.com)

As of April 24, officials in China have seized 89 million masks that do not meet the international standards. The country is installing tighter regulations on the exportation of medical products after Spain, the Netherlands, Czech Republic and Turkey were forced to recall hundreds of thousands of shady shipments.

Joe Biden, subject of sexual assault allegation, accepts investigation

Democratic presidential hopeful, Joe Biden, is accused by his former senate staff member, Tara Reade, for sexually assaulting her in a senate hallway 27 years ago. In an interview on Friday, Biden denied any wrongdoing but promised related documents to be reviewed by third-party investigators.

Michigan extends lockdown despite armed protests

Armed protestors gathered outside of the Michigan Statehouse and demanded the lockdown to be lifted. Despite the request, Governor Gretchen Whitmer decided to prolong the state of emergency. The state of Michigan, as this article is being written, has close to 3,800 deaths.

US COVID-19 cases exceed 1M in number

The US now has about a third of all cases worldwide. 30% of all the confirmed cases in the US are in the state of New York.

White House Health Specialist promotes Remdesivir, potential cure of COVID-19

Dr. Fauci said in a news briefing that Remdesivir, a US-developed drug to treat COVID-19 patients, is able to improve people’s recovery time by 31%. There is still a lot of questions surrounding the drug’s effectiveness. Keep reading What is Happening in the World to be updated!

Hillary Clinton endorses Joe Biden

Rumors are circulating that Joe Biden is likely to choose a woman as his Vice President candidate. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton recently announced her endorsement for Biden. Currently, Biden is striving to gain female voters’ support, despite the sexual assault allegation against him.

Canadian chopper crashed during NATO exercise

During a NATO exercise in the Mediterranean, a Canadian CH-148 Cyclone helicopter crashed into the water and one death was confirmed. Lieutenant Abbigail Cowbrough was 23 and a Nova Scotia native. Her death hit the community hard as it is also mourning 22 deaths from the shooting last week. Five passengers on board the Cyclone are still missing.

CO2 emissions to drop by 8% this year

A report by the Paris-based International Energy Agency predicted that, because of the worldwide lockdowns, the decline of tourism and closures of factories, the CO2 emission rate of the year is expected to decrease by 8%. According to climate scientists, however, it would require a similar decrease in CO2 emissions each year to successfully limit climate change.

Russian president’s mosaic removed under objection from himself

In a military church outside Moscow, a mosaic featuring Putin and his officials during the glorified moment of annexing Crimea is not going to be displayed. When the Russian president learned about the mosaic, he smiled and said: ‘Someday grateful future generations will appreciate our achievements, but it’s too early to do this now.’

Tripoli, Lebanon experiences continuous clashes

The clashes in Tripoli, the same incidents that were documented in the first What Happened In the World series, are still continuing. It is a clash between the government forces and the Jihadist group Haftar. The refugees struggle to cope with both the virus and the bullets.

Sudan bans female genital mutilation (FGM)

A horrendous cultural tradition and experienced by 200 million women worldwide, especially in parts of Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia, female genital mutilation, or FGM, has officially been banned by the Sudanese government. Nonetheless, experts expect limited initial effects of the regulation, as FGM is too embedded into the culture. Watch this video to learn more about FGM. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HN1mulqwv5g

Uganda Members of Parliament (MPs) illegally profit from COVID-19 funds

Members of the Ugandan parliament allocated themselves with $5,000 each from COVID-19 relief funds. After the public found out and demanded justice, some of the MPs refunded their illegal profit.

South Africa bans selling and transporting alcohol

In South Africa, alcohol abuse is estimated to be responsible for 40% of all emergency hospital admissions in normal times. As an effort to make hospital beds available, the government has enforced a ban on alcohol sales and transportation.

First COVID-19 cases in Tajikistan discovered

Tajikistan, a country bordering China, has become one of the last few countries to have their first COVID-19 case.

India extends lockdown for two more weeks

The biggest single lockdown in the world, limiting the entire 1.3 billion of India’s population, has officially been extended to at least two more weeks. This came with an announcement that regions with few or no new cases will experience “considerable relaxation.”

China declares no intentions in meddling in US election in November

“China will do anything they can to have me lose this race,” Trump said in an interview on Wednesday. “The U.S. presidential election is an internal affair, we have no interest in interfering in it,” was the response from the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang.

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