What’s happening in the world?

A Brief Summarization of the Week 4/13 -17


Courtesy of Heretiq, a photographer active on Wikipedia

Tripoli of Lebanon, home to 1.1 million, has lots of compact spaces. Not ideal for social distancing.

India to ban chewing and spitting tobacco in public
In an effort to combat the virus outbreak, India has banned the chewing and spitting of tobacco in public spaces all across the country.

Pakistan to employ thousands for tree planting project amid COVID-19 crisis
As an effort to relieve the unemployment rate in Pakistan, the Pakistani government decided to employ daily wagers, resuming the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami campaign.

Emirates Airline to become first airline to provide onsite rapid testing for COVID – 19
Emirates Airline, based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, started to provide rapid on-site blood tests for passengers. The test result is said to be produced within 10 minutes.

Lebanon city Tripoli under attack, refugees to deal with compact space amid virus outbreak
Attacked by the Haftar forces in Tripoli, refugees are struggling to cope with both the virus and rockets in midair.

Saudi Arabia deports thousands of undocumented Ethiopian workers
As an effort to relieve its urban population, Saudi Arabia deported thousands of undocumented workers back to Ethiopia. The African government struggles to put the huge number of arrivals under quarantine.

Tour de France postponed
Considered one of the greatest bicycling events of the year, Tour de France is postponed as the quarantine continues in Europe.

Greenland may be losing more ice than previously expected
Scientists found that Greenland may be losing more ice than the previous year, which had caused the sea level to rise 1.5mm on average worldwide.

Retail sales in the US to plummet
Retail sales, the most important factor of consumer spending, which composed 66% of the US’s economy, has dropped by 8.7% in the month of March.

US to suspend funding to the WHO amid world health crisis
US President Donald Trump, after accusing the World Health Organization of being unable to handle the crisis correctly, suspended the US’s funding to the WHO. The US has stopped paying the 2020 bill and any donations to the COVID-19 relief fund.

South Korea to hold parliamentary election amid virus outbreak
With a special poll system that separates the sick from the healthy, South Korea miraculously conducted a parliamentary election with the greatest turnout rate since 1992. (The turnout rate this year was 66%)

Barack Obama to endorse Joe Biden as next US President
In a video clip, Obama endorses the latest Democratic presidential candidate: “Join us\; join Joe… I will see you on the campaign trail as soon as I can.”

Western United States to experience historical drought
A two-decade-long dry spell is turning into a megadrought that the Western United States has never seen in the past 1,200 years. Human-induced global warming contributes to more than 50% of the factors, studies show.

NASA to launch first manned mission on US soil in past ten years
On May 27, 2020, NASA and SpaceX will launch a manned rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to the International Space Station. It will be the first manned space mission conducted on US soil since the Space Shuttle program’s retirement in 2011. The US had relied on Russia’s space program to send astronauts to space ever since.

COVID-19 cure proven effective in trails
Remdesivir, an antiviral medicine by the US pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences, has shown promise in treating COVID-19 patients. Further testing is underway.

Dow Jones to increase in value
On Friday, Dow Jones saw a 3% increase, showing a sign of economical recovery.

UN predicts severe COVID-19 casualties in Africa
According to a report by the U.N. Economic Commission for Africa, even under intense social distancing and the best measures, the continent could still see 122 million infections and over 300,000 deaths.

Malawi high court to rule against nationwide lockdown
In response to a challenge by a human rights group in Malawi, a high court ruled against the three-week shutdown period posted by the government until further measures are taken to protect the poorest sectors of society from poverty and unemployment.

European Union apologizes to Italy for failing to provide aid in early period of crisis
The EU commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, extended a “heartfelt apology” to Italy for not being at its side since the beginning of the virus outbreak.

Saudi Princess confronts King of arbitrary detention via Twitter
A Saudi Princess, Princess Basmah, “beseeches” her uncle, King Salmen, to review her case and bring an end to her detention.

Ukraine and Russia conduct third prison swap in President Zelensky’s term
As an effort to end the six-year war in Eastern Ukraine, Ukraine and Russia conducted their third prison swap in President Zelensky’s term. The formal comedian was elected last year and vowed to bring peace to his country.

Swedish restaurants remain open
Despite international criticism, with loose measurements enforced by the government, restaurants remain open in Sweden. “We have never had a strategy for herd immunity,” said Swedish Health Minister Lena Hallengren.

Chinese officials revise Wuhan virus death toll with 50% increase in number
On Friday, Chinese officials released a new death toll for COVID-19 related mortalities in the Chinese city of Wuhan. The revision added around 1,500 lives taken, including those who died at home.