Dick Pound, the longest-serving member of the IOC, says that the Tokyo Olympics scheduled for this year could get cancelled due to coronavirus outbreak. Pound said that there is a three-month window for the organizers to decide the fate of the mega sporting event, which is scheduled to open on July 24, and ruled out the possibility of changing its venue.
Assange’s lawyer Edward Fitzgerald claimed that the US plotted to kidnap and kill the WikiLeaks founder as he hid out at the Ecuadorian embassy in London — aiming to make it look like an accident. Fitzgerald, who is battling a case to avoid his client’s extradition to Virginia, said Assange’s extradition to an American prison would expose him to inhuman condition leading to a high risk of suicide.
In 2003, a Chinese fisherman boat found one of their diesel-electric submarine, the Ming-class 361, drifting with all crew members dead. Military commissioner and former president Jiang Zemin acknowledged the tragic incident, vaguely characterizing the cause as ’mechanical failure.’ An official inquiry resulted in the dismissal of several officers for ’improper command and control.’
A four-star hotel on the Canary Islands, Spain, was placed in quarantine Tuesday after an Italian doctor and his wife staying there tested positive for coronavirus. The couple had been moved to a hospital isolation ward, and other hotel guests and staff would be tested for the virus, a process that will take some days, health authorities said.
Major cities in China are known to be clogged up with smog but the levels of pollution have seen a dip recently due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Factories have been shut due to the outbreak of the recent virus hence pollution levels in the country are dropping. The daily coal consumption was less than 42.5% the same period last year on the 20th of February.
The teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg has met Malala Yousafzai at the University of Oxford where the Nobel peace prize winner is a student. Thunberg is in the UK to join a school strike in Bristol on Friday. ’So… today I met my role model. What else can I say?’ Thunberg wrote on Twitter. Yousafzai shared the post, too, joking, ’She’s the only friend I’d skip school for.’
The President of the United States of America, Donald Trump refused to speak out publicly against the citizenship law that has been pushed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The law pushed by Modi has caused deadly protests in India as the law is deemed to be discriminatory against Muslims.
Egypt’s ousted former President Hosni Mubarak has died at the age of 91. Mubarak ruled Egypt for 30 years until he was ousted following mass protests against his rule in 2011. He spent six years in jail following the protests, but was released in 2017.
The government of Hong Kong is proposing a nearly $1,300 cash handout for each resident over 18 years old to help alleviate hardships brought on by the spread of coronavirus and prolonged political protests. This subsidy was among a slew of emergency measures in a budget presented to the city’s legislature Wednesday. Other measures include tax cuts, electricity rate cuts and so on.
In the 3 days of communal rioting in parts of Delhi, several journalists have faced the brunt of the mob’s ire. While a TV journalist received bullet injuries, 4 others were beaten up while covering the riot. Recalling his experience, a TOI’s photojournalist wrote that a mob surrounded him and threatened to pull down his pants to confirm his religion. He had to plead to the people to escape.
Nearly 90 percent of the 200 cities with the highest levels of deadly micro-pollution are in India and China researchers reported on Tuesday (Feb 25). Bangladesh, Pakistan, Mongolia, Afghanistan and Indonesia also had extremely high levels, according to the 2019 World Air Quality Report, jointly released by IQAir Group and Greenpeace.
Iran’s deputy health minister and head of the counter-coronavirus task force, Iraj Harirchi, has tested positive for the virus. Iran said that death toll from the virus is 15 out of 95 infected. The UAE meanwhile on Tuesday banned all flights to and from Iran over the outbreak. The flight ban will last at least a week.
A hearing will be held next week by a US commission on international religious freedom. The hearing will revolve around the topic of how legal protection is denied to religious minorities in countries like India and Myanmar. This makes minorities vulnerable to exploitation, discrimination and mass atrocities.
The US has granted asylum to Guatemala’s ex-attorney general Thelma Aldana after her country issued a warrant for her arrest over alleged embezzlement, a charge she claims is in retaliation to her anti-corruption campaign. Aldana had already been living in the US for almost a year after Guatemala government refused to allow her to run for president in 2019 because of an arrest warrant against her.
Authorities in Myanmar charged nine students for staging a protest Sunday against an eight-month-long internet shutdown in Rakhine and Chin states, home to fighting between ethnic insurgents and Myanmar’s military. A case has been filed under section 19 of the Peaceful Assembly Law, which carries a maximum three-month prison sentence. Six of the students have been taken into police custody.
Paramount Pictures has halted production on its film ’Mission: Impossible VII’ starring Tom Cruise in Italy, as a coronavirus outbreak continues to spread across the country. Shooting of the film was due to take place in Venice over the coming weeks. Cruise was not in Italy for the shoot, but the production crew were sent home. There have been 200 cases and seven deaths in Italy due to the virus.
The carnival has been cancelled in Haiti after streets were barricaded in the capital, Port-au-Prince by Anti-government protesters. The army headquarters in the city were attacked by the police as they demanded better working conditions. The attack has been called as being ’a coup attempt’.
According to the Washington Post, a letter has been signed by dozens of reporters at the Wall Street Journal as they protested against the refusal of the newspaper to apologize for a headline which was deemed racist by the Chinese government. The headline that appeared in an opinion column in the newspaper read- ’China is the real sick man of Asia’.
Clashes broke out on the Greek island of Lesbos on Tuesday between police and residents protesting the construction of a detention centre. As per reports, some 500 people attempted to block the unloading of heavy machinery accompanied by police reinforcements. Clashes followed with residents attempting to block access to the construction site.