Global community eases into normality amid coronavirus pandemic

Above, shoppers inside the Dubai Mall wear masks for protection against the coronavirus on April 28, 2020 after the shopping center was reopened as part of moves to ease lockdown restrictions. (AFP)
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Updated 22 May 2020

Global community eases into normality amid coronavirus pandemic

DUBAI: The global community is easing back into normality despite the coronavirus pandemic still taking a toll on human lives and the world economy. With no vaccine against the virus on the horizon countries are betting against a second wave of the infection as they slowly reinvigorate their economies hit hard by the virus, which has affected nearly 5 million people and killed almost 330,000.

May 21, 2020, Thursday (All times in GMT)

17:10 - US airlines announce new safety measures for flights. Watch below...

 

 

16:50 - France's coronavirus death toll in hospitals and nursing homes rises to 28,215 from 28,132 on Wednesday.

16:00 - The UK's daily coronavirus briefing from Downing Street, with a vaccine and whether it should be mandatory or not if discovered among the talking points.

14:30 - The International Monetary Fund has approved emergency coronavirus funding for 59 countries, with a 29 further requests to be considered.

13:30 - The UK's death toll from the COVID-19 virus rises by 338 to 36,042 on Thursday.

12:30 - Scientists in Argentina might have a cheap answer to the COVID-19 crisis...

 

 

09:30 - Iran’s health authority says 10,000 medical workers were infected with coronavirus.

08:00 - Sudan confirms 401 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of infected people to 3,138.

07:44 –British health care workers will on Thursday begin taking part in a University of Oxford-led international trial of two anti-malarial drugs to see if they can prevent COVID-19, including one US President Donald Trump says he has been taking.

06:38 – Lebanon is at risk of a major food crisis and many Lebanese may soon find it hard to afford bread because of an acute financial crunch and the fall-out of COVID-19, the prime minister warned.

06:06 – 2022 FIFA World Cup organizers are apprehensive football fans will not travel to Doha to watch games if the coronavirus pandemic continues to hold the global economy in dire straits.

04:16President Donald Trump threatened to hold up federal funds for two election battleground states that are trying to make it easier and safer to vote during the coronavirus pandemic.

03:42 – The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 745 to 176,752, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed.

03:37 – Australian state and territory leaders bickered over whether to reopen internal borders, a major step to rejuvenating the country’s $50 billion domestic tourism industry, as part of measures to ease coronavirus restrictions.

02:41Japan will lift its state of emergency in Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo as the number of new coronavirus infections drops, economy minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said.

02:26 – After nearly two months sidelined in Guam with a coronavirus outbreak, the USS Theodore Roosevelt has gone out to sea for training, in preparation to return to duty in the Pacific.


First arrests in Iraq PM’s anti-corruption drive

Updated 3 min 9 sec ago

First arrests in Iraq PM’s anti-corruption drive

  • The arrests represent a rare instance in which current officials — usually deemed too well-connected to touch in Iraq’s graft-ridden system — are subject to judicial procedures
  • Iraq’s court system is known to be profoundly corrupt, with judges paid off to ignore evidence or make certain verdicts

BAGHDAD: Two Iraqi officials and a businessman have been arrested as part of a new anti-corruption drive spearheaded by Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhemi, government sources said Friday.
The arrests represent a rare instance in which current officials — usually deemed too well-connected to touch in Iraq’s graft-ridden system — are subject to judicial procedures.
Last month, Kadhemi formed a new committee to fight “major corruption files,” which made its first arrests this week, according to two Iraqi officials with knowledge of the committee’s work.
The head of Iraq’s Retirement Fund, Ahmad Al-Saedi, and the chairman of Baghdad’s Investment Commission, Shaker Al-Zameli, were detained on Wednesday.
Bahaa Abdulhussein, the head of electronic payment company Qi Card, was arrested upon arrival at Baghdad Airport on Thursday, the sources confirmed.
The officials declined to reveal any further details, including the charges against the men, where they were being held or what the judicial process would be.
“The committee is looking at portfolios that have been suspicious for a while, then its judicial commission issues arrest warrants,” one official told AFP.
Iraq’s court system is known to be profoundly corrupt, with judges paid off to ignore evidence or make certain verdicts.
Asked whether the courts could be trusted to see the process through, the official said the committee’s judges were building “solid” cases.
Both officials said the campaign was not targeted against any particular individuals, parties or business sectors.
“There is no target list — but you can expect more names to come,” the second official said.
Iraq is ranked one of the top 20 most corrupt countries in the world, according to Transparency International.
Some $450 billion in public funds have vanished into the pockets of shady politicians and businessmen since the 2003 US-led invasion, a study by parliament found.
Every premier since the invasion has launched their own anti-corruption initiative, with varying degrees of success.
Kadhemi has made new appointments at the Central Bank of Iraq, the Integrity Commission and the Investment Commission in a bid to stem government graft.