Global community on steady path to post-coronavirus normalcy

The global community is taking measured steps towards a post-coronavirus normalcy. Above, a boy wearing a face mask drives a toy car across Piazza Navona in Rome on May 28, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 30 May 2020

Global community on steady path to post-coronavirus normalcy

DUBAI: The global community keeps a measured but steady path to normalcy as governments and people adapt to a new normal amid the coronavirus pandemic which ravaged economies and lives.

May 29, 2020, Friday (All times in GMT)

20:00 - Saudi Arabia has approved a plan to gradually reopen the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah from Sunday. 

19:00 - US President Donald Trump said that the US is “terminating” its relationship with the World Health Organization on Friday, and that the organization hasn't made coronavirus reforms.

17:43 - New York City is 'on track' to enter phase one of reopening on June 8, New York Governor Cuomo said on Friday as he announced that five upstate regions will now transition to phase two which includes businesses like barber shops and hair salons.

14:04 - The UAE announced that the operating hours for the national sterilization program will change to between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. as from Saturday. Previously, the program took place between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.  

12:50 - The UAE announced 638 news cases of coronavirus, 412 new cases of recovery and 2 deaths from the disease.

12:40 - Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health announced 17 more deaths from COVID-19, 1,581 new cases of the disease and 2,460 new cases of recovery from it on Friday. 

11:46 Worshippers in Turkey have held their first communal Friday prayers in 74 days after the government reopened some mosques as part of its plans to relax measures in place to fight the coronavirus outbreak.

11:14 – A pharmaceutical company in Pakistan plans to import the antiviral drug remdesivir, which has shown promise in treating coronavirus patients, from neighboring Bangladesh. READ THE STORY

11:02 Iranian health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said 2,819 new cases were confirmed across the country in the past 24 hours, bringing the overall total to 146,668.
That figure is the highest Iran has announced for a single day since April 2.

10:33 – The World Bank Group approved a $500 million loan for the Philippines to help it cope with the economic impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

09:14 – Malaysia reported 103 cases of new coronavirus infections on Friday, mostly involving foreigners, the health ministry said, raising the country's cumulative total to 7,732 cases.
The health ministry reported no new deaths, leaving the total number of fatalities at 115.

09:01 – Indonesia reported on Friday 678 new coronavirus infections, taking the total number of cases in the Southeast Asian country to 25,216, said health ministry official Achmad Yurianto.
Yurianto reported 24 new deaths related to COVID-19, bringing the total to 1,520, while 6,492 people have recovered. 

08:13 – Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar raised the prospect on Friday of halving social distancing rules from two meters to one if the rate of coronavirus infections comes down further in a potential boost to still shuttered restaurants and pubs.

07:59 – Turkey’s civilian aviation authorities are implementing safety regulations in airports when they reopen under the country’s normalization program amid the coronavirus pandemic.

07:48 – South Korea on Friday imposed limits on the number of pupils going to schools in and around Seoul. READ MORE

07:40 Russia reported 232 deaths from the new coronavirus in the last 24 hours, a record one-day amount that pushed the nationwide death toll to 4,374.

07:35 Egypt is adjusting its night-time curfew, from 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., for 15 days as the government implements measures to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

06:22 Britain cannot run its COVID-19 jobs protection scheme indefinitely and needs to start tapering it down as people slowly return to work, environment minister George Eustice said.

06:17 Indonesian officials are forcing social distancing violators to recite Qur'an verses, stay in ‘haunted’ houses and submit to public shaming on social media as the country battles to contain surging coronavirus infections.

05:50 – The death toll from the coronavirus spiked again in the United States, and Latin America’s pandemic crisis deepened, as Europe’s re-opening from lockdown grew bolder by the day. READ MORE

05:39Curbs in Japan’s capital of Tokyo to contain the coronavirus are to be eased further from Monday, Governor Yuriko Koike said, citing the recommendation of an advisory panel.


British student who joined Daesh killed in SDF prison

Updated 12 July 2020

British student who joined Daesh killed in SDF prison

  • Circumstances of death remain unclear
  • Conditions in SDF prisons for former Daesh fighters and their families have deteriorated rapidly this year

LONDON: A student who left Britain to join Daesh in Syria has died while being held in a prison run by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

There is conflicting information about the cause of Ishek Mostefaoui’s death.

One source told the BBC that the 27-year-old, who grew up in east London, was shot while attempting to escape custody, while another claimed he died during riots in a Hassakeh jail, which holds Daesh prisoners from various countries.

The SDF, a US-backed Kurdish-led militia with a significant Arab contingent, has not confirmed the cause of his death.

Mostefaoui was one of around 10 British men and 30 British women being held by the SDF, but he was the first to die in custody.

The former Westminster University student secretly traveled to Syria in 2014 after telling his father that he was going to Amsterdam.

His UK citizenship was revoked in 2018. The UK government has said citizens who fought for Daesh should be put on trial in the region.

Of the estimated 900 people who left the UK for Syria to join violent extremist groups, 20 percent have died, 40 percent have returned to the UK and 40 percent remain in the region.

The SDF has urged foreign states such as the UK to take responsibility for their citizens, warning that Daesh prisoners were “a time bomb” earlier this year.

The group said: “We need to set up international courts, under UN jurisdiction, and try them in northeastern Syria where they perpetrated their crimes.”

The resource-starved militia is responsible for hosting thousands of former Daesh fighters and their families in prisons across northeastern Syria.

Conditions in the prisons have deteriorated significantly in the past year, and several riots have broken out.

In March, foreign fighters in Hassakeh prison, where Mostefaoui was held, staged a major mutiny and seized an entire floor of the prison while attempting to escape. The prisoners cited concerns over COVID-19 as justification for the rioting.