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Latin America coronavirus death toll tops 250,000 – Live updates | News

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  • The French health ministry reported 4,711 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, a new post-lockdown record and a level last seen during the height of the epidemic in France.

  • Germany confirmed 1,707 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, the highest daily toll since April, official figures showed.

  • Brazil expressed cautious optimism that the country’s coronavirus outbreak could be about to slow down, with cases and deaths on a weekly basis falling from their late July peaks. 

  • More than 22.5 million people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 around the world, and more than 14.3 million have recovered. More than 790,600 people have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Here are the latest updates:

Friday, August 21

00:57 GMT – Canada extends emergency aid

Canada announced a four-week extension of emergency aid for people who lost work due to the pandemic, and an easing of rules on qualifying for unemployment benefits when that expires.

Officials estimated the cost of the new measures at 37 billion Canadian dollars ($28bn) over one year.    

About 4.5 million Canadians, or 12 percent of the population, are currently receiving $2,000 a month in emergency support. That will now be place until September 27.

Afterwards, claimants will be shifted to an unemployment benefits programme.

00:33 GMT – Peru, Argentine economies post huge falls

Peru’s year-on-year GDP fell by 30 percent in the second quarter of 2020 due to coronavirus containment measures, the government said.

In Peru, mandatory confinement was in place throughout the whole of the second quarter and was only lifted in the majority of the country on July 1. The worst-hit sectors of the economy were mining, down by 20.9 percent, processing, down by 44.5 percent, and services, down by 28.3 percent, the state statistics and information institute said.

In Argentina, official data showed the country’s economy contracted by almost 13 percent in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the same period last year.

The year-on-year fall in GDP for June was 12.3 percent, although that was an improvement on April and May. 

Concerns over Brazil tourism curb amid COVID-19 pandemic (2:37)

00:27 GMT – Latin America’s death toll passes 250,000

The number of COVID-19 deaths in Latin America surged past 250,000 on Thursday, according to a Reuters tally.

The grim milestone was passed as Brazil reported 1,204 deaths from the virus in the past 24 hours.

Over the past week, the region has reported more than 3,000 deaths a day, while daily caseloads continue to rise in Peru, Colombia and Argentina.

00:16 GMT – Brazil’s cases top 3.5 million

Brazil reported 45,323 new cases of the novel coronavirus and 1,204 deaths from the disease caused by the virus in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said.

Brazil has now registered 3,501,975 cases of the virus since the pandemic began, while the official death toll from COVID-19 has risen to 112,304, according to ministry data.


Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Zaheena Rasheed in Male, Maldives. 

Go here for all the key developments from yesterday, August 20. 

SOURCE:
Al Jazeera and news agencies



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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FDC activists win Bank of Uganda pig case by simply keeping quiet

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FDC activists Augustine Ojobile and Robert Mayanja

Buganda Road Magistrate’s court has acquitted two opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) activists Augustine Ojobile and Robert Mayanja of common nuisance charges.

FDC deputy chief administrative officer Ojobile and Mayanja have been acquitted by the grade one magistrate Fidelis Otwao on charges stemming from their protest held in November 2018 when they carried pig heads to the central police station (CPS) in Kampala protesting the rot in the Bank of Uganda that had reportedly resulted into the closure of a number of commercial banks in the country for many years.


According to them, corruption at the Central bank had been the sole ingredient for the closure of commercial banks in Uganda over the years because it reportedly mismanaged them and made erroneous decisions that led to their closure.

With fresh pig heads tied around their necks and stinking blood oozing across their white T-shirts, Mayanja and Ojobile walked through the streets of Kampala to the police in a protest that was spearheaded by their pressure group known as the Jobless Youth.

One pig head had a placard bearing the name of the former and late BOU governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile and the other of his former deputy Louis Kasekende.

The protest at CPS came a few days after another that was staged at the Central bank where two piglets were dumped bearing the name of Juma Kisaame (a Muslim), the former managing director of DFCU bank. 

As a result, the duo was arrested and taken to Buganda Road court on charges of common nuisance and the prosecution adduced evidence from five witnesses who included police officers and Muslims who were reportedly angered by the protest.

According to the witnesses, the actions of Mayanja and Ojobile were annoying to the people whose names were mentioned and tagged on pig heads, and the smell that was coming out of the fresh pig heads was most likely to result in injury to a considerable number of the public by affecting their health, and the protest affected businesses since some shops allegedly had to close to see what was happening outside due to their commotion.

But when Mayanja and Ojobile were asked to defend themselves over the allegations, the duo that didn’t have legal representation chose to keep quiet as their defense and let the court make its decision based on what the prosecution witnesses had testified to.

In a judgement read today Friday by Otwao, he indicated that the evidence from the prosecution witnesses is wanting because none of the people alleged to have been annoyed by the actions of the activists testified in the case or recorded a statement with police.

According to Otwao, the testimonies were based on what the witnesses were feeling as individuals and that there were no abusive statements on the pig heads that the prosecution had indicated which would cause annoyance, save for putting the names of people only. 

As such, the court has ruled that such testimonies cannot be relied on to convict a person because the prosecution has failed to prove that there was common injury, danger to the public or destruction of property.

Consequently, the magistrate has acquitted the duo and directed that each of them starts the process to seek a refund of the Shs 500,000 that each had paid to be released on bail.

The activists have welcomed the ruling saying that the court has recognized that the citizens have a right to protest peacefully.

The pig protests have been commonly used by activists who subscribe to this group known as the Jobless Brotherhood which has since rebranded to the “Alternative”.

In 2016, their members including Luta Ferdinand who is now facing trial in the court-martial on different charges, and Joseph Lukwago were arrested for dumping piglets at parliament protesting the Shs 200 million given to each MP for buying personal cars.



Source – observer.ug

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Saudi Arabia executes 81 people in a single day | Death Penalty News

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The death penalty applied for a range of charges in the largest known mass execution carried out in the kingdom’s modern history.

Saudi Arabia has executed 81 men over the past 24 hours, including seven Yemenis and one Syrian national, on charges including “allegiance to foreign terrorist organisations” and holding “deviant beliefs”, state news agency Saudi Press Agency said, in the largest known mass execution carried out in the kingdom in its modern history.

The number dwarfed the 67 executions reported in the kingdom in 2021 and the 27 in 2020.

“These individuals … were convicted of various crimes including murdering innocent men, women and children,” SPA said on Saturday, citing a statement from the interior ministry.

“Crimes committed by these individuals also include pledging allegiance to foreign terrorist organisations, such as ISIS [ISIL], al-Qaeda and the Houthis,” it added.

Some travelled to conflict zones to join “terrorist organisations”, according to the SPA.

“The accused were provided with the right to an attorney and were guaranteed their full rights under Saudi law during the judicial process,” it said.

“The kingdom will continue to take a strict and unwavering stance against terrorism and extremist ideologies that threaten the stability of the entire world,” the report added.

The men included 37 Saudi nationals who were found guilty in a single case for attempting to assassinate security officers and targeting police stations and convoys, the report added.

Saudi Arabia’s last mass execution was in January 2016, when the kingdom executed 47 people, including a prominent opposition Shia leader who had rallied demonstrations in the kingdom.

In 2019, the kingdom beheaded 37 Saudi citizens, most of them minority Shia, in a mass execution across the country for alleged “terrorism”-related crimes.

Saudi Arabia’s human rights records have been under increasing scrutiny from rights groups and Western allies since the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

It has faced strong criticism of its restrictive laws on political and religious expression, and the implementation of the death penalty, including for defendants arrested when they were minors.

Saudi Arabia denies accusations of human rights abuses and says it protects its national security according to its laws.

SPA said the accused were provided with the right to a lawyer and were guaranteed their full rights under Saudi law during the judicial process.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Nigerian student in Ukraine: 'Mummy we keep hearing bombs'

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Hauwa’s son Suleiman is a Nigerian student in Sumy – she says the family are fearful and anxious.



Source – www.bbc.co.uk

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