Hong Kong’s democracy supporters were dealt a blow this morning

Hong Kong’s democracy supporters were dealt a blow this morning as authorities postponed local elections for a year, capping a month of political disqualifications, arrests for social media posts and activists fleeing overseas. “Today I announce the most difficult decision in the last seven months . . . to postpone the Legislative Council election,” said Carrie Lam, the chief executive. She said a spike in coronavirus cases in the territory had forced the decision. One dog, who was recovering from a car accident, had a nail pushed into its eye during the night of torture. Italian-born Tiziana encouraged stray dogs … Continue reading Hong Kong’s democracy supporters were dealt a blow this morning

Fire ravages the Amazon again

Fire ravages the Amazon again, burning the planet’s biggest rainforest on a terrifying scale even before the region’s dry season kicks in. It means that 1,900 sq miles – more than half a million football pitches – of rainforest have already been reduced to ash so far this year alone, even before the dry season starts this month. In a statement, authorities said the candidates were disqualified for advocating Hong Kong independence or self-determination, lobbying foreign governments, objecting to the national security law and failing to recognise Beijing’s sovereignty over the territory. Mr Wong, 23, tweeted: “Beijing shows a total … Continue reading Fire ravages the Amazon again

Mere days before a key federal programme

Mere days before a key federal programme for the millions of Americans rendered jobless by the coronavirus pandemic expires on Friday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have ratcheted up their combative rhetoric to full volume. The personal attacks were particularly brutal on Wednesday as the two leaders appeared as far apart as ever from a deal to stimulate the economy, buttress the health care system, and help get American children safely back to school this fall. The hideaway was said to be under a hut on the allotment being searched by police. Police today found the … Continue reading Mere days before a key federal programme

The head of Germany’s disease control agency has blamed negligence

The head of Germany’s disease control agency has blamed negligence for a worrying rise in cases in the country, while the World Health Organization has counselled against treating Covid-19 as a seasonal phenomenon or talking about waves of the virus. The warnings came as Madrid’s regional government imposed new restrictions to halt the spread of the virus in and around the Spanish capital, and the German foreign ministry advised people not to travel to the hard-hit Spanish regions of Aragon, Catalonia and Navarre. It comes as the head of the World Health Organisation warned the pandemic “continues to accelerate” with … Continue reading The head of Germany’s disease control agency has blamed negligence

Groups of British tourists have enjoyed a raucous night

Groups of British tourists have enjoyed a raucous night of drinking in Benidorm despite the the government’s new quarantine rules for Spain.  Crowds of merry holidaymakers were photographed in bars and restaurants drinking beers last night, while ignoring social distancing entirely.   Late on Monday, the Foreign Office said it would instead toughen up its advice and extend its recommendation against travel to mainland Spain to include the Spanish islands, based on an assessment of the risk. A Foreign Office spokesperson said: “We have considered the overall situation for British nationals travelling to and from the Balearic and Canary islands, including … Continue reading Groups of British tourists have enjoyed a raucous night

A woman has told how her brother went missing

A woman has told how her brother went missing in China for four years, as the country comes under growing scrutiny for its alleged torture and detention of Uighur Muslims. Rayhan Asat’s brother Ekpar disappeared three weeks after returning to the northwestern province of Xinjiang after finishing his studies in New York in 2016. “She couldn’t stop crying,” he told The Times. “Whether through her fear of the Chinese authorities monitoring the call, or my words that were hurting her, I don’t know. She said that if I wanted my father, my mother and my sister to live well and … Continue reading A woman has told how her brother went missing

Donald Trump has pulled the plug

Donald Trump has pulled the plug on holding part of the 2020 Republican National Convention in Jacksonville, saying a spike in coronavirus cases in Florida means “the timing for this event is not right.” The president said GOP delegates will gather in Charlotte, and that he will still give a speech accepting the Republican nomination. That address, he said vaguely, will be given “in a different forum.” The woman and her five-year-old grandson, identified as Morn Kakakda, struck a wasps’ nest and were immediately attacked, according to police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Chuon Samang. The 62-year-old woman remains in hospital after … Continue reading Donald Trump has pulled the plug

Spain has suffered at least 200 coronavirus outbreaks

Spain has suffered at least 200 coronavirus outbreaks since it lifted the lockdown while France today revealed it has up to 500 active ‘clusters’ of the disease.    Fears of a second wave are growing in Spain after it identified 5,695 new cases last week, a sharp increase from 2,944 a week earlier, while some areas have been forced to re-impose lockdown measures just as British tourists start to arrive again. Colombia’s government has estimated it will reach its peak of cases in August. Several cities, including the capital Bogota, are close to full occupation of beds in intensive care units. … Continue reading Spain has suffered at least 200 coronavirus outbreaks

A father and his three-year-old daughter

A father and his three-year-old daughter are fighting for their life after being found in a gas filled room by a “frantic” wife. Shaun Mate and his daughter Eloise were discovered unconscious inside the room on Thursday before the man’s wife called emergency services. Soon a whole row of skeletons emerged, exposed by the team of forensic pathologists who worked alongside the woman, scratching and brushing at the soil on a bank abutting a forest track near the ruined hamlet of Cerska, 17 miles northwest of Srebrenica. It was day one of work on the first of numerous suspected mass … Continue reading A father and his three-year-old daughter

Turkey’s President Erdogan

Turkey’s President Erdogan has formally converted the world-famous Hagia Sophia back into a mosque and reopened it for worship as he drums up support for his Islamic-rooted party – sparking fury from Christian groups and the US.  The move came hours after Turkey’s highest administrative court issued a landmark ruling that unanimously annulled the 1934 cabinet decision to renovate the site into a museum.   There is growing evidence from Europe, the US and China that dirty air makes the impact of Covid-19 worse. But the study of the outbreak in the Netherlands is unique because the worst air pollution there … Continue reading Turkey’s President Erdogan