Over 1,700 arrested in Sri Lanka for violating curfew

1,724 people have been arrested within a span of 24 hours for violating curfew. In total 19,441 individuals have been arrested for violating curfew since the restrictions were implemented on 20 March. The Daily Mirror has reported that the police have taken over 5,000 vehicles into custody as a result of these raids. Read more from the Daily Mirror.

Canada faces scrutiny on immigration policies during COVID-19

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is coming under fire for temporarily suspending US border crossings and releasing detained migrants who are exposed to a greater risk of the coronavirus by Canada’s migration policies. Canada continues to detain 64 migrants as of 1 April, many within maximum-security jails, where social distancing is an even greater challenge, reports Human Rights Watch (HRW). It should be noted that the detention of migrants is not based on a criminal conviction but in many cases simply their immigration status. Migrants are often placed in maximum-security prisons...

UN urges for joint action in Mali to curb coronavirus

The UN Security Council held a virtual conference to discuss the peacekeeping mission in Mali where 15,000 UN peacekeepers are stationed, and violence continues to escalate. Al Jazeera reports that in the northern city of Bamba in Mali, 25 soldiers were killed in a single attack this week. Mali has thus far reported 52 positive cases of coronavirus and 5 deaths. The UN is facing difficulties with respects to their peacekeeping operations as their soldiers as normal rotations have frozen and many are stuck in their host countries. There is growing concern over states unilaterally withdrawing...

WHO warns against easing COVID-19 measures too early

The World Health Organisation, whilst not issuing a blanket policy, has warned against easing measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus stating the importance of preventing a fall back again. This follows reversal from US President, Donald J. Trump, who previously pledged to get the country back to work by Easter, 12 April. Trump’s demands had been met with criticism given that a member of his own coronavirus task force, Dr Anthony Fauci, who warns that additional waves of the coronavirus are to be expected. The Guardian reports that US intelligence has shown that up to 1.2 million...

Taliban withdraw negotiators from prisoner exchange talks

Discussions between the Afghan government and the Taliban over a possible prisoner exchange have broken down following the withdraw of Taliban negotiators. Suhail Shaheen, a spokesman for Taliban told reporters that this withdrawal was caused by “intentional delays in the release of our prisoners”. As part of these discussions, both the Taliban and Afghanistan were set to release an approximate 6,000 prisoners in total. The on-going difficulties over peace negotiations follow the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, statement that the US would cut aid to Afghanistan by $1 billion dollars. He...

Brazil to pass war budget in response to COVID19

Brazil’s lower house of Congress has pushed forwards a “war budget” in response to the COVID 19 pandemic which aims to distinguish spending on the government’s response to the coronavirus from their main budget. The announcement of a war budget follows the rising number of confirmed cases in Brazil which has surpassed 10,000. In the lower house, the bill passed with two rounds of voting, both times gain the majority of support. The bill still needs to be approved by the Senate by a three-fifths vote in two rounds. Reuters reports that in addition to easing fiscal and budgetary constraints it...

Jammu and Kashmir medical workers threatened with sanctions for state criticism

Jammu and Kashmir medical workers have been threatened by the state they “will end up in jail for up to six months” if they speak against the government. Last week, the Directorate of Health Services in Kashmir issued a circular intimidating workers with “strict action” if they criticise the government’s efforts to combat the pandemic on social media, or to the press.

Yemen’s warring factions accuse each other of attacking pipeline

Tensions have escalated in Yemen where warring sides accused each other of attack an oil pipeline in the central province of Marib. The attack follows calls from the United Nations for a global ceasefire in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. Neither side has given details of the attack but it is known that the pipeline is operated by the Yemeni government’s Safer oil company. Reuters reports that no oil has been pumped for years as oil production has collapsed since 2015, when a Saudi-led military coalition attempted to restore power to Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi who was ousted by Houthi...

US plan $1 billion aid cut from Afghan security forces

US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, has announced the reduction of US aid to Afghanistan’s security forces by $1 billion which would hamper efforts by the Afghan government to combat the Taliban and weaken its negotiating position. The announcement follows Pompeo’s visit to Afghanistan where he spoke with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his political rival Abdullah Abdullah. During his trip, he was unable to resolve a dispute over Afghanistan’s September 2019 presidential election where both men claimed victory and held rival inaugurations. This has led to a political deadlock and has...

Indian police crackdown on jobless workers defying COVID lockdown

Indian police fired tear gas at approximately 500 workers in the western city of Surat after stating that they could not return home despite losing their jobs. According to Vidhi Chaudhari; “The police tried to convince them that it is not possible since buses or trains are not available...However, the workers refused to budge, and started pelting stones at police,” In response to a conflict between the jobless workers and police, 93 were arrested for violating curfew orders. The coronavirus has infected 1,071 separate cases and 29 people have died as a result. Health officials are warning...

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