US accounts for 25% of world COVID-19 toll after recording 2,494 new deaths

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Madison Square Garden displays the Northwell Health Hope Tracker during the coronavirus pandemic on April 25, 2020 in New York City. (Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images/AFP)
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Supporters of a group called "Open Texas" rally to re-open Texas businesses, schools and religious services shut down by restrictions put in place to address the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as they gather in a park outside of the City Hall in Frisco, Texas, on April 25, 2020. (REUTERS/Jeremy Lock)
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Updated 26 April 2020

US accounts for 25% of world COVID-19 toll after recording 2,494 new deaths

  • US overall death toll rises to 53,511 as the world total passed 200,000
  • Number of infections nears 1 million in the US as the world total approached 3 million

WASHINGTON: The United States recorded 2,494 more coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours, according to figures reported Saturday night by Johns Hopkins University.
The country now has an overall death toll of 53,511, with 936,293 confirmed infections, according to a tally by the Baltimore-based university at 8:30 p.m. (0030 GMT Sunday).
The United States is by far the hardest-hit country in the global pandemic, in terms of both confirmed infections and deaths.
The toll of 2,494 was a jump from Friday, when the US recorded the lowest number of virus deaths — 1,258 — in nearly three weeks.

The world total for number of people infected by the virus, and the death toll passed 200,000 late Thursday.


Ethiopia says suspects confessed to killing popular singer

Updated 4 min 31 sec ago

Ethiopia says suspects confessed to killing popular singer

  • Hachala Hundessa became a symbol of the Oromo struggle during years of anti-government protests that swept Abiy to power in 2018
  • Though Abiy is Ethiopia’s first Oromo head of state, Oromo nationalists accuse him of insufficiently championing their interests since taking office

ADDIS ABABA: Ethiopia’s attorney general said Friday that two men had confessed to killing a popular singer from the Oromo ethnic group as part of a plot to topple Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government.
Hachala Hundessa became a symbol of the Oromo struggle during years of anti-government protests that swept Abiy to power in 2018.
His shooting death last week sparked days of protests and ethnic violence that killed 239 people, according to police figures.
“The assassination was intended to be a cover to take power from the incumbent by force,” attorney general Abebech Abbebe said in a statement Friday aired on state television, without providing details.
Though Abiy is Ethiopia’s first Oromo head of state, Oromo nationalists accuse him of insufficiently championing their interests since taking office, a complaint echoed by many protesters last week.
Abebech said that along with the two men who have allegedly confessed to the crime, the government has identified a third suspect who remains on the run.
One of the men in custody identified the masterminds of the alleged plot as members of a rebel group the government believes is affiliated with the opposition Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) political party, Abebech said.
The OLF, a former rebel movement, returned to Ethiopia from exile after Abiy took office and has repeatedly disavowed any links to armed insurgents.
The Internet remained shut off Friday for an 11th consecutive day, though Addis Ababa remains calm and Abiy’s office issued a statement saying the surrounding Oromia region had “returned to calm and citizens have resumed normal activities.”
In her statement, however, Abebech said unnamed agitators were calling for additional protests and road blockages in the coming days.
“There are those that have hidden themselves in nice places but are calling on Ethiopian youth to fight each other, close roads and to cease working as part of a rebellion call,” Abebech said.
“Above all we call on our people to disobey this rebellion call and to thwart it.”