Donald Trump, Yemeni President, Saudi King and Crown Prince sentenced to death

US President Donald Trump has been sentenced to death for alleged war crimes by a court in Yemen.

The US President was sentenced with nine other defendants including a Saudi King and Prince.

The case against the defendants went ahead in their absence today at Houthi-run Specialised Criminal Court in the Yemeni governorate of Saada, and resulted in the death penalty against the US leader.

The court issued death sentences against Trump, Saudi King Salman, the Saudi Crown Prince, Commander of the Saudi Air Force Turki bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz, and Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.

Yemen’s Vice President Ali Mohsin Al-Ahmar, Prime Minister Ahmed bin Dagher, Defence Minister Muhammad Al-Maqdishi, and former US Defence Secretary James Mattis were also sentenced to death.

The court also ruled that the accused should pay $10 billion to the families of those killed in the 2019 airstrike.

The charges related to an airstrike which reportedly hit a school bus, killing 51 people including 40 children.

Yemen’s internationally-recognised government has been battling the Iran-backed Houthi movement, which has seized most of the north of the country and the capital Sana’a, since 2014.

A Saudi-led military coalition joined on the side of the government the following year.

The United Nations has called the Yemeni conflict the world’s worst humanitarian disaster.

More than 100,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed and millions more displaced

The Yemeni government’s Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the Houthi-run criminal court should be shut down in 2018.

The leader insisted he felt great after his Covid-19 illness, describing it as “a blessing from God”.

In a video message on Wednesday, Mr Trump said all Americans should have access to the experimental treatments he was given.

The 45th President said: “This was a blessing in disguise – I caught it, I heard about this drug, I said let me take it and it was incredible.”

Confirmed: Paul Pogba Test Positive For Covid-19

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, has been left out of France squad for the Nations League games against Sweden and Croatia after testing positive for coronavirus.

The news was confirmed by France coach Didier Deschamps after he announced the squad for the games, with 17 year old midfielder Eduardo Camavinga of Rennes taken his place.

“I had to make a last minute change to the list because Paul Pogba was planned to be on this list but unfortunately for him, he took a test yesterday for Covid-19 which turned out positive, so at the last minute was replaced by Eduardo Camavinga.”

Manchester United in a statement said, “Pogba has been replaced in the France squad after testing positive for Covid-19. The midfielder will be unable to add to his 69 caps and 10 goals for his country in the games next month.

“Everyone at United wishes Paul a speedy recovery ahead of the new season.”

Pogba will have to self isolate for a 14 day period, ruling him out of France’s games but he will be available for selection when Manchester United begin their Premier League season against Crystal Palace on September 19

Confirm: Paul Pogba Test Positive For Covid-19

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, has been left out of France squad for the Nations League games against Sweden and Croatia after testing positive for coronavirus.

The news was confirmed by France coach Didier Deschamps after he announced the squad for the games, with 17 year old midfielder Eduardo Camavinga of Rennes taken his place.

“I had to make a last minute change to the list because Paul Pogba was planned to be on this list but unfortunately for him, he took a test yesterday for Covid-19 which turned out positive, so at the last minute was replaced by Eduardo Camavinga.”

Manchester United in a statement said, “Pogba has been replaced in the France squad after testing positive for Covid-19. The midfielder will be unable to add to his 69 caps and 10 goals for his country in the games next month.

“Everyone at United wishes Paul a speedy recovery ahead of the new season.”

Pogba will have to self isolate for a 14 day period, ruling him out of France’s games but he will be available for selection when Manchester United begin their Premier League season against Crystal Palace on September 19

Premier Li calls on China, U.S. to manage differences via consultation

On 21 July, the US made the unilateral provocation by making an outrageous demand that China close its Consulate-General in Houston. By so doing, the US has grossly violated international law, the basic norms of international relations, and relevant provisions of the China-US Consular Convention, and gravely damaged China-US relations. China has made legitimate and necessary response.

The US has been fabricating pretexts and spreading lies about its egregious decision. In a matter of just a few days, the US has churned out different versions of the story. Lies, however, will always be lies even if they are repeated a thousand times. The different versions of the story concocted by the US side have no factual base and mix black with white. In sum, the US has failed to present even one single piece of solid evidence. It is important that we list US false allegations vis-à-vis the facts. The purpose is to debunk the falsehoods and let people know the truths.

1. False: China has stolen intellectual property from the US, including the COVID-19 vaccine research achievements. Closing the Chinese Consulate-General is “to protect American intellectual property and Americans’ private information”.

True: The US side is talking sheer nonsense. It has failed to back its allegation with even one single piece of solid evidence. The reality is, China is a big country in terms of innovation and intellectual property. It has become a main source driving intellectual property growth in the world. On COVID-19 vaccine research and development, China has been at the forefront and has no need to steal from the US .

◆ China is a big country in terms of innovation and intellectual property. It has kept strengthening the protection of scientific innovation and intellectual property rights. China is now among the world’s leading players in terms of scale and growth rate of innovation input. Its R&D expenditure had grown from RMB 300.31 billion yuan in 2006 to RMB 1.96779 trillion yuan in 2018, an average annual increase of 17% and rising from the sixth to the second in the world. China has the world’s biggest number of researchers. China’s IP offices have received the highest number of patent applications for nine years in a row. China also registered rapid increase in international patent applications and has risen to the world’s second biggest filer via WIPO’s Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) System. As pointed out in the WIPO annual report, China has become a main driving force for the overall growth in the global demand for intellectual property rights.

◆ China is one of the global leaders in the research and development of COVID-19 vaccines. At the moment, Chinese scientists are working on multiple vaccine projects along five technical routes. Vaccines with China’s independent intellectual property have entered clinical trials. The Beijing Institute of Biological Products under the China National Biotec Group, a subsidiary of the China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm), has set up the world’s largest production plant for COVID-19 vaccines. China’s National Medical Products Administration and other competent authorities are working to facilitate the deployment of vaccines. China is also working with relevant countries on vaccine research and development, production and distribution.

The US accuses China of stealing its research outcomes. Such accusations are a total disrespect to the hard work of Chinese scientists and malicious slanders against China’s COVID-19 response. They have seriously undermined international cooperation on vaccine research and disrupted the global response against the disease.

◆ The Houston Chronicle, Cable News Network (CNN), Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), and British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) all called the reason “to protect American intellectual property”, as cited by the US State Department in its order to close the Chinese Consulate-General in Houston, suspicious.

The real aim of the US decision was to deflect people’s attention from the US administration’s poor handling of COVID-19. Closing the Chinese Consulate-General prior to the election was a measure by Trump to “play tough on China”, hold up his declining approval rating, and turn China into a convenient target to vilify and shore up votes. New moves acting on the absurd logic that “China is ripping off America” pop up almost every single day in the US.

In the midst of a presidential re-election campaign and with the US economy battered by the disease, Trump is convinced that playing the “China card” gives him political advantages. The actions taken by the US side, which are largely driven by internal politics, would only make China-US relations even more strained.

2. False: China is using its talent recruitment programs to steal scientific research and intellectual property from research institutions such as the MD Anderson Cancer Center and from energy and high-tech companies in the Houston area.

True: These are trumped-up charges made by the US under the presumption of guilt against the normal scientific and people-to-people exchanges and cooperation between the two countries. China’s efforts in attracting talent from abroad are no different in essence from customary practices of other countries. These efforts are above-board and beyond reproach.

◆ The cross-border movement of talent in the era of globalization has facilitated technological and economic advances worldwide. Countries are all actively carrying out international exchanges and cooperation on talent. What China is doing in this respect is in essence not different from other countries’ practices.

◆ Closer exchanges and cooperation between China and the US on science and technology serves the interests of both sides. According to the Global AI Talent Tracker released in mid-June by MacroPolo, the in-house think tank of the Paulson Institute, 29% of top-tier AI researchers working in the US received undergraduate degrees in China. Thus, the US global lead on AI has much to do with the talent supply from China.

◆ What the US government is doing conflicts with its self-claimed ideals of openness and freedom as well as the commitments publicly made by its leaders. It runs counter to the global trend of talent exchanges worldwide, and has brought grave negative impact on the normal people-to-people exchange and personnel inter-flow between the two countries.

3. False: The Chinese Consulate-General in Houston has a history of engaging in “subversive behavior”. It is the central node of the Communist Party’s vast network of spies and influence operations, and the epicenter of efforts by the Chinese military to send students to the US to obtain information that could advance its warfare capabilities. It has engaged for years in massive illegal spying and influence operations.

True: Since its opening, the Chinese Consulate-General in Houston has always observed international law and US laws, and stayed committed to promoting friendship between the two countries. There are no spying activities or influence operations as claimed by the US. By fabricating such claims, the US is simply “measuring others’ corn with its own bushel”.

◆ China always pursues the principle of non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs. Infiltration and interference is never in the genes or tradition of China’s foreign policy. Dedicated to advancing mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples, Chinese diplomatic and consular missions in the US abide by the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, bilateral treaties and US laws.

◆ The Chinese Consulate-General in Houston was the first consular mission opened in the US following the establishment of China-US diplomatic ties. In the past four decades and more, it worked hard to promote friendship and cooperation between the two peoples, and enhance mutual understanding and all-round cooperation between the two countries in various sectors. While COVID-19 raged on in the southern states of the US, the Consulate-General donated masks to Houston and Harris County, actively facilitated anti-virus cooperation between China and the southern states, and assisted Shanghai, Shandong and Shenzhen of China in donating medical supplies to Houston.

◆ The composition and number of the staff at the Consulate-General in Houston was open information to the US side. It runs counter to the common sense in diplomacy to accuse the Consulate-General of being the central node of the Communist Party’s vast network of spies and influence operations, and the epicenter of efforts by the Chinese military to send students to the US to obtain information that could advance its warfare capabilities. Such a claim is also very preposterous.

◆ Some staff of the US Embassy and consulates-general in China have been engaged in activities incompatible with their capacities, interfering in the internal affairs and undermining the security interests of China. The US Embassy often publishes on its website articles attacking China and China’s political system. It is reported that the staff of the US Consulate-General in Hong Kong met covertly with “Hong Kong independence” elements during the turbulence surrounding the proposed legislative amendments in Hong Kong to discuss US sanctions on Hong Kong, interfering in Hong Kong’s affairs. China has lodged representations on multiple occasions.

◆ In July 2018 and January 2020, the US side opened Chinese diplomatic bags twice without permission. This was a flagrant breach of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. It also grossly violated China’s diplomatic dignity and security interests.

Hence China’s diplomatic and consular missions lodged strong representations at the first opportunity. The US side did not deny what had actually happened, but kept exonerating its wrongful behavior with technical excuses in an attempt to shirk responsibility. The US behavior and response ran counter to international law and the norms of international relations, and therefore must be condemned. In addition to opening diplomatic pouches, the US side has since 2018 forcibly unpacked the office supplies of Chinese missions on at least 13 occasions.

 The New York Times questions the assertion that “the Houston Consulate-General had a history of engaging in ‘subversive behavior’ and was the ‘epicenter’ of research theft in the US”, and it believes that there is no evidence to support this allegation.

◆ An editorial of Houston Chronicle reads that China is the Houston region’s second-largest trading partner and it has benefited from having the Consulate-General in the city. For more than 40 years, the Chinese Consulate-General in Houston has served as a symbolic bridge, facilitating travel, trade and cultural ties between Houston and China. For decades, China has been an important trading partner of Texas in key sectors such as energy, oil, chemicals, science and technology, which will bear the brunt of the US move. The closure will also have a direct impact on passport and visa application in the regions covered by the Consulate-General, and will put a heavy damper on the desire of Chinese citizens to study, travel and work in the US. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner was shocked by the US decision. He expressed his hope that friction between the US and China, whatever it may be, can be resolved peacefully and that at some point in time the Consulate-General will reopen.

◆ According to US Congressman Al Green, communities of Asian Americans in Houston have already been discriminated against because of President Trump’s comments against China and their work and the safety of their families are under threat. The closure of the Chinese Consulate-General in Houston will make the situation worse. He called for not treating all Asian Americans as spies and fully evaluating the potential damage these words and actions may do to the American people and thinking more for their sake.

4. False: Chinese Consul-General in Houston and two other diplomats were recently caught using false birth information at the security check of an airport in Houston to escort Chinese travelers to the gate area of a charter flight.

True: The US allegation could not be further from facts. The staff of the Chinese Consulate-General in Houston have always followed international law and American local laws when performing their duties in the US.

◆ All diplomats and consular staff must obtain identification cards from foreign affairs authorities of the host country, thus their personal information including date of birth is no secret, but open information to such authorities. This is common sense.

◆ The said Chinese consular officers used consular ID cards issued by the US State Department and entered the restricted area of the airport upon approval from the US side to take care of Chinese nationals who were taking the temporary flight back to China due to COVID-19.

5. False: There is a complete lack of reciprocity between the US and China in the treatment of diplomatic and consular staff. The US concerns over the treatment of its diplomats and consular officers in China have gone unresolved.

True: China supports and provides necessary facilitation for the performance of all lawful, normal official acts in China by foreign diplomatic and consular officers including those from the US. It is the US that has imposed unjustified restrictions on and created barriers for Chinese diplomats and consular officers in the US.

◆ The US figure far outnumbers China’s when it comes to diplomatic and consular missions and staff. China has five diplomatic and consular missions in the US, while the US has six in China. It is reported that there are more than 1,000 staff in the US Consulate-General in Hong Kong alone.

◆ China supports and provides necessary facilitation for the performance of all normal official activities in China by foreign diplomatic personnel including those from the US. A former US ambassador to China visited each of China’s provinces within his three-year term.

◆ In October 2019 and June 2020, the US made unilateral provocations by imposing restrictions on the activities of Chinese diplomats and consular officials in the US. Such restrictions are a serious violation of the relevant rules of international law and the basic norms governing international relations.

For example, all Chinese members of China’s foreign missions in the US are required to submit a written notification to the Office of Foreign Missions (OFM) of the State Department of all official engagements with any local government representatives, as well as all official visits to any educational or research institutions. Such notifications must be submitted five business days prior to the planned engagement date. All Chinese military personnel assigned to the Chinese Embassy or a consular post, as well as those temporarily visiting, are required to provide OFM notification five business days prior to any travel plan, for official or private purposes, which is in excess of a 25-mile radius of their places of work or the US ports of their entry.

In the face of the unreasonable provocations of the US, China has no choice but respond with legitimate and reciprocal countermeasures as necessary.

6. False: The US demanded the closure of the Chinese Consulate-General in Houston because China did not accord facilities for the reopening of the US Consulate-General in Wuhan and the exemption of nucleic acid testing of returning US diplomats.

True: China has never set up obstacles for the return of diplomats and consular officials of other countries, including the US. Quite the contrary, China has provided necessary facilities for them to perform duties in accordance with law.

◆ On 25 January, the US unilaterally announced the temporary closure of its Consulate-General in Wuhan and the evacuation of the personnel therefrom. China accorded facilities for the departure of the personnel, for which the US expressed appreciation at different levels. Records are available for verifying the fact.

◆ In June, some US diplomats returned to Wuhan. Since then, China has accorded facilities to the US Consulate-General to perform its functions in accordance with law.

◆ On the basis of respecting their privileges and immunities, China has applied nucleic acid testing equally to all foreign diplomats and consular officials entering China. This arrangement is also accepted by the US. The so-called issue of nucleic acid testing is simply an excuse.

7. False: The US side claims that its demand to take over the premises of the Chinese Consulate-General in Houston is consistent with relevant US laws and regulations.

True: The outrageous and unreasonable demand of the US seriously violates a number of international laws.

◆ Both the land and the premises of the Chinese Consulate-General in Houston are properties of the Chinese government.

◆ According to Article 27 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, the sending State may entrust another consular post or diplomatic mission it has in the territory of the receiving State with the custody of the premises of the consular post which has been closed, together with the property contained therein and the consular archives. China is entitled to entrust its Embassy or other consulates-general in the US with the custody of the premises of its Consulate-General in Houston. The unreasonable demand of the US side to take over the premises of the Chinese Consulate-General in Houston seriously violates the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, and infringed on China’s legitimate rights and interests.

◆ Both the land and premises of the Chinese Consulate-General in Houston are China’s state property. Even if relevant premises are not covered by consular privileges and immunities, the relevant property is still protected by international law.

8. False: The Chinese Consulate-General in Houston threatened dissidents and refugees with the Fox Hunt operation.

True: Chinese law-enforcement authorities engage in international law-enforcement cooperation in accordance with international law and on the basis of respecting the sovereignty and laws of other countries. The targets are fugitive suspects, not “dissidents and refugees” as claimed by the US side.

◆ Combating transnational crimes is a broad consensus of the international community. China’s judicial and law-enforcement cooperation with other countries are aimed at repatriating fugitives, and upholding the sanctity of law and social justice. China will step up its efforts in fugitive repatriation and return of the criminal proceeds, and bring the suspects to justice.

◆ By portraying fugitives as dissidents and refugees, the US side is distorting basic facts and offering itself as a safe haven for criminals. Its deep-rooted Cold War mentality and ideological prejudice have been fully exposed.

9. False: Diplomats working in Chinese Consulate-General in Houston are Chinese spies. Chinese spies are stirring up trouble all over the world.

True: Meddling in other countries’ internal affairs is never in the DNA of China’s diplomacy. Chinese diplomats, who are working vigorously to advance China’s friendly exchanges and practical cooperation with other countries, have never engaged in activities incompatible with their status.

◆ China is committed to growing its relations with other countries on the basis of such principles as mutual respect and non-interference in internal affairs. Chinese diplomats have always followed the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and the laws of their host countries when they promote China’s bilateral ties, and friendship and cooperation with their host countries.

◆ The US allegation that Chinese diplomats at the Consulate-General in Houston have carried out espionage in Australia and other US allies is made up out of thin air. It is like measuring others’ corn by one’s own bushel. It is common sense for diplomats to rotate among different postings. The US has the world’s largest diplomatic service. It is reported that the US Consulate-General in Hong Kong alone has more than 1,000 employees. The Five Eyes intelligence alliance headed by the US has long been engaged in large-scale, organized and indiscriminate cyber-theft,wire-tapping and surveillance against foreign governments,companies and individuals in violation of international law and the basic norms governing international relations. This is an open secret.

◆ From Wikileaks to Snowden, from the arrest of former ALSTOM executive Pierucci to the Crypto AG scandal, there are enough facts to show who is the world’s largest spy factory and troublemaker.

◆ A Foreign Policy article noted that “Houston is an odd pick to target for intelligence allegations” and that “the activities cited by the administration are vague.”

10. False: The Chinese Consulate-General in Houston openly criticized Hong Kong pro-democracy camp and supported nationalist counter protests on campus. The Consulate-General has planted informants on campus, tried to influence Chinese students through propaganda and undermined freedom of speech.

True: The “China-supported counter protests”, as claimed by the US, were spontaneous, rational patriotic actions by Chinese students in exercising their freedom of speech. It is the US who has intentionally condoned anti-China actions on campus by certain rioters seeking to destabilize Hong Kong.

◆ Certain anti-China elements seeking to destabilize Hong Kong openly made radical remarks and inflamed violence on campus in total disregard of law. The Chinese students only came together to express their outrage in what is spontaneous, rational patriotic action. In doing so, they are also exercising their freedom of speech.

◆ China firmly opposes any separatist rhetoric or action. We support Chinese students’ desire and aspiration to safeguard the unity of the country and the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong, and encourage them to abide by local laws and regulations and express their patriotic sentiments rationally.

◆ The US is using the pretext of “human rights” and “democracy” to whitewash the radical, violent criminal acts by anti-China forces seeking to destabilize Hong Kong, and condone their behaviors on US campus. The US has no interest whatsoever in the safety and well-being of Hong Kong residents. It only cares about its own selfish interests and hegemony, and has been using “human rights” and “democracy” as a fig leaf to interfere in other countries’ domestic affairs.

Story: Sheila Satori Meb

Gambia demands probe as US police again shoot dead diplomat’s son

The Gambia has demanded a “credible” investigation after the son of a diplomat was shot dead by US police.

Thirty-nine-year-old Momodou Lamin Sisay was shot after a car chase in Georgia on Friday morning, according to the preliminary investigation by Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI).

He was pronounced dead on the scene. The police said he had produced a gun.

The shooting comes amid widespread protests after a US police officer killed George Floyd last week.

What happened to Sisay?
Georgia investigators said that at approximately 03:49 in the morning, a police officer in Snellville, Georgia attempted to stop his vehicle but the vehicle did not stop, and a pursuit ensued.

“Officers approached the vehicle and gave verbal commands for the driver to show his hands. The driver did not comply… the driver pointed a handgun at the officers. Officers fired at the driver and pulled back to take cover behind their patrol vehicles,” investigators said.

A Swat team was called and “during the standoff, the driver pointed his weapon and fired at the SWAT officers. One GCPD SWAT officer fired his weapon”, they added.

Lare Sisay, the victim’s father who works at the United Nations, said the police did not do enough to peacefully resolve the situation, and also disputed that he had a gun, according to local media.

“We will do an independent autopsy and we want to get a private investigator to investigate the circumstances of his death and if necessary hire a lawyer to sue the Georgia state police. We’re not going to let it go,” The Point newspaper quotes him as saying.

On Tuesday The Gambia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs asked its embassy in Washington DC to “engage the relevant US authorities including the State Department to seek transparent, credible and objective investigation”.

Mr Sisay’s name has been used in social media posts this week supporting the campaign against US police brutality against black people.

Protests have been taking place across the US following the death of Mr Floyd, an African-American man, who died after a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, kept his knee on his neck for more than eight minutes.

Mr Chauvin has been sacked from the police force and charged with murder.

‘I want to commit suicide because no man wants to love or date me’ – Beautiful lady says as she cries over love In New Video

‘I want to commit suicide because no man wants to love or date me’ – Beautiful lady says as she cries over love In New Video

A beautiful lady has threatened to commit suicide because no man loves or wants to date her.

Love, they say, is a beautiful thing. What then happens if you’ve got the looks and qualities but no one comes nearer to you?

A beautiful lady has disclosed her intention to commit suicide because she is in dire need of true and genuine love.

She is bleeding internally and needs someone special that she can at least call her own.

In a viral video sighted by our team, a yet-to-be-known pretty lady was in tears saying if she takes her own life, those friends who claim to know her would be haunted.

She really wants a true love in her life but it seems she is getting the fakes and probably none at all.

Watch The Video Below:

Former boss of Indonesian Airline involved in the Airbus Bribery Scandal jailed 8 years

The Jakarta Corruption Court has sentenced Emirsyah Satar to eight years in prison after finding the former President Director of Garuda Indonesia guilty of accepting Rp 49.3 billion (US$3.4 million) in bribes and laundering Rp 87.5 billion related to aircraft procurement.

This is according to the Jakarta Post.

The court has also fined Emirsyah Rp 1 billion and ordered S$2.1 million in restitution, as reported by Antara news agency.

The sentence was smaller than what KPK prosecutors sought. They advocated for 12 years of imprisonment and a fine of Rp 10 billion based on Emirsyah having received bribes from British engineering company Rolls-Royce in connection with the procurement of aircraft parts and from European aviation giant Airbus in connection with aircraft procurement, among other sources.

According to the verdict, one of the reasons for the lighter sentence was Emirsyah’s role in “bringing Garuda Indonesia recognition as a prestigious airline in the world.” Judge Anwar read the verdict during a hearing on Friday.

Both the defendant and KPK prosecutors told the court they would take time to consider before appealing the verdict.

The KPK indicted Emirsyah for accepting Rp 8.8 billion, US$882,200, 1 million euros and S$1.18 million in bribes on five separate occasions while procuring airplanes and parts.

The antigraft body also named former Garuda engineering and management director Hadinoto Soedigno and former Garuda executive project manager Agus Wahjudo as Emirsyah’s co-conspirators under the bribery charge.

The KPK accused Emirsyah of laundering Rp 87.4 billion through multiple channels and also implicated Soetikno Soedarjo, the former president director of diversified retail holding company PT Mugi Rekso Abadi.

The antigraft body stated that a portion of the money was changed into several different foreign currencies and transferred to multiple overseas bank accounts in violation of Article 3 of the 2010 Money Laundering Law.

In a separate hearing on Friday, the corruption court gave Soetikno six years in prison and a Rp 1 billion fine for bribing Emirsyah and contributing to the money laundering committed by the former Garuda president director.

The verdict was lower than the KPK’s demand of 10 years in prison and a fine of Rp 10 billion. The bench did not grant prosecutors’ wish of US$14.7 million and 11.6 million euros in restitution for Soetikno.

Soetikno and the antigraft body’s prosecutors said they would take time to consider before filing an appeal against the verdict.

Emirsyah Satar
Source: The Jakarta Post

Couple arrested for using their son for ritual and burying him in a standing position

It is surprising how the world is becoming so cruel, how can a couple kill their son and use him for money ritual?They don’t worth to be called a parent

A couple has been arrested for killing their son and using him for a sacrifice. They buried him in a standing position after that.

A herbalist, Lajuwon Ogunleye and his wife, Adetutu Apalaya have been arrested by the Ogub State police for conspiracy and murder of their 7 year old son, pelumi Apalaya for ritual purposes.

Another woman, who is believed to be a partaker in this evil act was also arrested.

Police said they took action after they heard the child who didn’t show any signs of illness suddenly slumped and died.

Police Public Relation Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemj, while speaking to the media said: “The suspects led the policemen to where he was buried and it was discovered that the deceased was buried in standing position. In interrogation, the second suspect, Fatah sefiu, told the detectives that the boy was actually used for ritual by the stepfather in connivance with the deceased boy’s mother.

He futher stated that the couple have reached a conclusion before he was coopted into business.”

Housemaid Beaten To Death And Hanged To Cover The Cause Of Her Death By Madam

A woman named Nene Steve, has been arrested by the operatives of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department of the Lagos State Police Command for reportedly killing her housemaid, Joy Aboel.

Nene steve was accused of having beaten the housemaid to death went ahead to hang her in order to make it look more like a suicide.

The incident occurred at No18, Ogundola Street, Bariga, Lagos.

Speaking on the tragic incident, Aboel’s elder brother, Mr Philips Ejeh, said: “The deceased was an indigene of Benue State brought to Lagos through an agent.

“She started working with her as a maid in January 2020 through an agent.

“She reported that her boss has refused to pay her and anytime she asked her boss for her salary, she will start beating her.

“She was making arrangement to leave the place, but due to the total lockdown, she stayed there until Sunday when her boss said she caught her stealing one Indomie noodle and this led to her serious and beating, where her master hung her to death.

“The madam said she hung herself after so much beating.

“How can someone hang herself her legs remain on the ground?”

“My sister engaged herself for the job so that she will be able to further her education.

“Now she has killed solely because she doesn’t want to pay her salary.

“As I speak to you now, the case has been reported to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Panti, Yaba, while the police have deposited her body in the mortuary for autopsy.

“we urge the good people of Nigeria to come to our aide.”

The spokesman of the Lagos State Police Command, DSP Bala Elkana, also confirmed the incident.

Elkana said Steve and her husband were at Bariga Police Station to report that their housemaid had committed suicide.

He said when detectives visited the place and saw the position of the rope with which Aboel allegedly hung herself, and her position, they suspected a foul play.

This was in addition to the fact that she had various injuries all over her body, adding that this was an indication she may have been tortured to death and not that she committed suicide.

He said: “Police continued with their investigation and found a lot of signs of violence on her body, that she has been tortured before she put the rope on her neck.

“If it were to be ordinary suicide, how come wound and signs of beating are all over her body.”

Elkana added that the police had removed the corpse and deposited it in the mortuary for autopsy to know exactly the cause of the death.

However, the matter has been moved from Bariga Police Station to Panti for further investigation, while the couple have been arrested.

Elkana said they will be charged to court as soon as investigation was completed.

Too few patients, so China is canceling Covid-19 clinical trials

China has evidently done such a fantastic job of containing the spread of the coronavirus that it’s now having a hard time finding patients for clinical trials.

Doctor Zhong Nanshan, the respiratory specialist who leads a group of experts advising the Chinese government’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak, has said 45 trials have been canceled in China, mainly due to lack of test subjects.

“No one expected that China would control the epidemic so quickly,” Zhong said. “There is currently no opportunity for large-scale clinical drug and treatment-related research in China.”

Since the outbreak began, China has approved a total of 594 clinical trials, a number that Zhong touted as being much higher than during the SARS epidemic when he says that researchers were focused on finding a treatment rather than doing studies and publishing papers.

Zhong added that China had now contained the initial coronavirus outbreak and was doing well combatting a potential second wave.

China has reported more than 84,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and 4,642 deaths caused by the epidemic.

From Trump vs WHO to countries battling coronavirus as global cases cross 2 million

The world has almost come to a standstill as global novel coronavirus cases crossed 2 million and over 131,000 people have died due to the deadly Covid-19.

The first death due to the novel coronavirus came in the central Chinese city of Wuhan on January 9. It took 83 days for the first 50,000 deaths to be recorded and just eight more for the toll to climb to 100,000. The toll has been accelerating at a daily rate of between 6-10 per cent over the past week.

Some countries, including the US, Italy, France, Spain and Britain are reporting that more than 10 per cent of all confirmed cases have been fatal.

Meanwhile, nations around the world reacted with alarm to news that US President Donald Trump put a halt to American payments to the World Health Organization, pending a review of its warnings about the coronavirus and China.

The European Union said Trump has “no reason” to freeze WHO funding at this critical stage and called for measures to promote unity instead of division. Meanwhile, a senior Russian official said Trump’s freeze on funding for the WHO is a selfish response to the global pandemic.

The head of the World Health Organization lamented the US decision to halt funding for the UN agency, promising a review of its decisions while sidestepping Donald Trump’s complaints about its alleged mismanagement, cover-up and missteps.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was on the defensive after Trump announced a halt to US funding that has totalled nearly a half-billion dollars annually in recent years. Trump claimed the WHO had parroted Chinese assurances about how the virus is spread, failed to obtain virus samples from China, and made a “disastrous decision” to oppose travel restrictions as the outbreak spread.

Here are few developments from across the world:

Trump to announce guidelines for reopening economy

US President Donald Trump said that data suggested the county had passed the peak on new infections with coronavirus, and said he would announce “new guidelines” for reopening the economy at a news conference on Thursday.

“It is clear that our aggressive strategy is working. The battle continues but the data suggests that nationwide we have passed the peak on new cases. These encouraging developments have put us in a very strong position to finalize guidelines for states on reopening the country,” Trump added.

Meanwhile, Governor Andrew Cuomo said New York residents will be required to wear face coverings when they are out in public and coming in close contact with other people.

The new outbreak-fighting mandate will require a mask or face covering on busy streets, subways, buses or any situation where people cannot maintain 6 feet of social distancing. The promised executive order from Cuomo echoes recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a way to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

The order takes effect Friday, the governor said, and either a mask or a cloth covering such as a bandanna will work.

Germany sets out plan for cautious first steps to restart public life

Germany plans to let smaller shops reopen next week after a weeks-long coronavirus shutdown and to start reopening schools in early May, but Europe’s biggest economy is keeping strict social distancing rules in place for now.

After much-anticipated talks Wednesday with Germany’s 16 state governors, Chancellor Angela Merkel set out a plan for the first steps of a cautious restart of public life – following neighbouring Austria and Denmark and other countries in launching a slow loosening of restrictions. Germany has confirmed more than 130,000 coronavirus infections, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

New infections in Germany have slowed in recent weeks, but Angela Merkel cautioned that the country has achieved only “a fragile intermediate success” so far and doesn’t have “much room for maneuver.”

Angela Merkel said a ban on gatherings of more than two people in public and an obligation to keep at a 1.5-meter (five-foot) distance from others, which has been in place since March 23, will remain in place beyond Sunday when it was previously set to expire.

Nonessential shops, which have also have been closed for nearly four weeks, will be allowed to start reopening, with hygiene precautions, if they are up to 800 square meters (8,600 square feet) in area. So will auto showrooms, bike shops and bookshops, irrespective of their size.

Merkel said the decisions apply to the period from Monday through May 3, and officials will review the situation again on April 30.

Coronavirus deaths nearly double reported figures: Iran Parliament

The death toll in Iran from the coronavirus pandemic is likely nearly double the officially reported figures, due to undercounting and because not everyone with breathing problems has been tested for the virus, a parliament report said.

Iranian health officials offered no comment on the report, which represents the highest-level charge yet from within the Islamic Republic’s government of its figures being questionable, something long suspected by international experts.

Iran on Wednesday put the death toll at 4,777, out of 76,389 confirmed cases of the virus – still making it the Mideast’s worst outbreak by far.

UK coronavirus death toll rises to 12,868

Britain’s death toll from the coronavirus pandemic rose to 12,868, a daily increase of 761, as the government announced new plans to modify its guidance to allow close relatives to say goodbye to their sick relatives in care homes across the country.

The latest official figures also reveal that 98,476 people have tested positive for the virus, of 313,769 who have been tested across the country.

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the government will introduce new procedures to “limit the risk of infection” and allow people to say goodbye to loved ones “wherever possible” during the daily Downing Street briefing.

Pakistan’s coronavirus cases cross 6,300; death toll 111

The number of coronavirus patients in Pakistan rose to 6,383, with 395 new confirmed cases and 11 deaths during the last 24 hours.

As Pakistan’s coronavirus cases rose to more than 6,300, a top minister said it is a “difficult situation” for the government which is fighting a war at different fronts including Covid-19, poverty, hunger and a weak economy.

“This is a difficult situation,” Planning Minister Asad Umar said while addressing a news conference along with PM’s aide on health Dr Zafar Mirza and adviser on national security Moeed Yusuf following a meeting of National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) here.

“It is important to find a balance between slowing the spread of the virus and ensuring lower-income people don’t have to go hungry,” he said, adding that the country was “passing through a difficult situation.”

Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan extended the lockdown till April 30 but allowed several industries to open up.

France urges top powers to endorse UN coronavirus cease-fire call

French President Emmanuel Macron said he hopes that “in the coming days” the five permanent members of the UN Security Council can discuss and endorse UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ call for a cease-fire to all conflicts in the world in order to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

Macron, who has been pushing for more international cooperation in fighting the virus, said in an interview with French radio RFI broadcast that he is only waiting for agreement from Russian President Vladimir Putin to hold the 5-country video conference.

Over 17,000 people have now died in France from Covid-19, a top health official said on Wednesday, but the total number currently hospitalised has fallen for the first time since the epidemic began.

Nurses suspended after refusing to treat coronavirus patients without N95 masks

A group of nurses has been suspended, after they refused to treat coronavirus patients without N95 masks.

The nurses, based at the Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California , refused to treat the patients, after one of their colleagues tested positive for Covid-19.

They had previously asked for more N95 masks to be supplied to them, but were told by hospital administrators that they were not necessary, according to the Associated Press.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend the use of N95 masks for healthcare professionals, as it “filters at least 95% of airborne particles”.

The National Nurses Union told the AP that the nurses have been suspended.

The 10 nurses are still being paid, but are not allowed to return to work until an investigation into their actions is completed.

Angela Gatdula, the nurse who tested positive, told the AP that hospital managers said that they were following CDC guidelines by only offering nurses surgical masks.

Ms Gatdula tested positive for coronavirus shortly after she questioned the practice, and told the outlet that “when I got the phone call that I was positive I got really scared”.

She is hoping to go back to work next week, but added that “the next nurse that gets this might not be lucky. They might require hospitalisation. They might die”.

In a statement, the health centre said that “it’s no secret there is a national shortage”.

According to a tracking project hosted by Johns Hopkins University , the US has upwards of 639,733 people have tested positive for coronavirus. The death toll has reached at least 30,990.

Trump’s decision to pull World Health Organisation funding is ‘foolish’, says Helen Clark

Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark says US President Donald Trump’s decision to pull funding from the World Health Organisation is “foolish”.

Trump is freezing contributions to the WHO for up to three months, pending a review of the organisation and what he describes as its mismanagement of the spread of Covid-19.

He said the United States gives up to $US500 million ($NZ825m) a year to the organisation and he had deep concerns about whether that “generosity” was being put to the best possible use.

“I can’t think of anything more foolish in the middle of a global pandemic which has gone beyond being a health crisis to being a full-blown economic and social crisis,” Clark told Checkpoint.

The UN Development Programme administrator said Trump had “no substantive point” in making the move based on his concerns about the organisation’s management of the Covid-19 outbreak.

“At the end of this ghastly matter… for sure the WHO will do a full review and lessons learned as it did after Ebola. And after Ebola where it had initially not responded well, a whole lot of new mechanisms were put in place, and that has put the WHO in a much better position this time to be handling the epidemic.

“But this is a virus which we knew absolutely nothing about four months ago, almost nothing about three months ago, and everybody is scrambling to keep up.

“So in a sense to defund and make accusations against WHO is to shoot the messenger, that’s been trying to tell the world for several months, that this is serious, and countries need to prepare.”

One of the issues Trump has raised is the lack of travel restriction advice from the WHO and the scrutiny of information from China.

“Of course, he has half a point around the travel restrictions. WHO doesn’t advise those, and I think one of its concerns is that countries might be less honest and transparent if they knew they were going to be, those sorts of consequences,” Clark told Checkpoint.

“Obviously New Zealand also moved by the end of January to stop people who were not New Zealand citizens or residents coming from China, or even transiting through China in the previous 14 days,” she said.

“I understand the kind of sensitivities in the WHO around travel bans but countries like the US, New Zealand and many others have got on and put them on anyway.

“On the issue of transparency, yes, of course, with an authoritarian society which doesn’t operate the way the US does or New Zealand does – with our free and open media, and the ability to say what you want and raise whatever questions you want – things are different.

“And the reality is there was knowledge in Wuhan at least a month before the notification of the disease to the WHO.

“I might say from my experience of dealing with China with such a critical issue, which was over the milk powder scandal back in 2008, our experience was that when we blew the whistle in Beijing, Beijing moved at the speed of lightning.

“Down at the regional level they’re not always so keen to tell Beijing about a problem. But if you go in at the top, Beijing can act very quickly, and my impression is that it may well be that the regional people withheld knowledge from Beijing, as well.”

Clark said there could be a small number of countries who follow Trump’s move.

“But it seems to me that the overwhelming majority of countries are just going to say: ‘Look let’s not start blame games on WHO right now. Let’s get in behind it as it endeavours to deal with the health aspects of this’.”

Regarding the United Nations’ response to the pandemic, Clark said senior level coordination was not high enough.

“There has been a crisis mechanism that was activated by WHO some weeks ago but it’s at the Mike Ryan director level. What Dr David Nabarro – who used to advise Ban Ki-moon on pandemic response – has recommended is that the Secretary-General should convene a pandemic emergency coordination council.

“I think that should be a standing body to be activated whenever something like this arises.

“This is the sixth public health emergency of international concern since 2003. On average, these horrible events are going to come around every three years.

“So a standing capacity, which would be the Secretary-General, the heads of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank and the Director-General of the WHO.

“Their networks are huge – the IMF and World Bank – they have the ears of every finance minister in the world.

Former Prime Minister Helen Clark. Photo / Dean Purcell

“And what’s going to release money now for a response that will fight the health aspects of the virus, and the economic crisis and social crisis, is the finance ministers.”

Clark said another action the UN could make would be for the Secretary-General to go the Security Council to formally state the pandemic was a threat to global peace and security, and ask it to make a resolution to that effect.

“Security Council resolutions are binding. If it says that, as it did with Ebola six years ago, and calls on all member states to use all necessary means to fight it, that really ups the ante for global coordination.”

In her various roles, Clark has been a constant traveller around the world, but she is now enjoying lockdown in her own home and neighbourhood for a long period of time. She said she had not been home this long since she was leader of the Opposition.

“But the downside is I haven’t been able to drive down and see my dad who is 98. I’m not going to the supermarket, Peter gets sent out on that errand.

“But I am getting a lot done, and I think we’re going to be looking at the way we work through this and thinking yes, we could do a lot through Zoom, Skype, Teams and these other mechanisms. Maybe we don’t need to get on that plane.

“It is definitely not going to be the same. We’re going to be using these platforms for connecting virtually a great deal more. I have major meetings coming up of international boards, for Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and the Partnership with Maternal Newborn Child Health.

“We’re doing it in the way I’m talking to you now,” Clark told Checkpoint’s Lisa Owen. “And maybe we’ll be doing that for a while, because until there’s a vaccine, who of us can travel and get insurance?

“In busy lives, you don’t really want to be coming back from a week-long meeting and sitting in a hotel at Mangere for two weeks, so we’re going to have to get used to working like this.”

Earlier today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said New Zealand will not be following the US in halting funding to the World Health Organisation.

Ardern said the organisation had provided advice that can be relied on and New Zealand would continue to support it and make its contribution.

Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said the global response to the pandemic will require a strong World Health Organisation.

All you need to know as The Securities and Exchange Commission of the US charged Asante Berko with orchestrating a bribery scheme to help a client win a contract to build and operate a power plant in Ghana.

The Managing Director of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), Asante K. Berko has been charged under the United States Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

In a press release issued Monday April 13, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the US charged Berko with orchestrating a bribery scheme to help a client win a contract to build and operate a power plant in Ghana.

The SEC’s complaint which has been filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York, charges Berko with violating the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA and federal securities laws. The SEC is seeking monetary penalties against Berko among other remedies.

The SEC alleges that 46-year-old Berko, a dual US and Ghana citizen who is a former executive of Goldman Sachs in London, a subsidiary of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. of the US, helped his firm’s client, a Turkish energy company, to funnel at least $2.5 million to a Ghana-based intermediary to pay illicit bribes to Ghanaian government officials in order to gain their approval of an electrical power plant project.

The SEC in its complaint, further alleges that Berko helped the intermediary pay more than $200,000 in bribes to various other government officials, and Berko personally paid more than $60,000 to members of the Ghanaian parliament and other government officials.

The SEC indicates that, Berko took deliberate measures to prevent his employer from detecting his bribery scheme, including misleading his employer’s compliance personnel about the true role and purpose of the intermediary company.

Berko who is currently living in Ghana was appointed the MD of the country’s only refinery at Tema in January 2020 following the resignation of its former MD, Mr. Isaac Osei.

“As alleged in our complaint, Berko orchestrated a scheme to bribe high-level Ghanaian officials in pursuit of firm business and his own enrichment. Berko’s misconduct was egregious and individual accountability remains a key component to our FCPA enforcement efforts,” said Charles Cain, Chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s FCPA Unit. “The firm’s compliance personnel took appropriate steps to prevent the firm from participating in the transaction and it is not being charged,” the SEC said in the release.

Among others court documents state the following:

On April 14, 2015, the Intermediary Senior Executive emailed Berko an invoice for $500,000 owed by the Energy Company, along with a schedule for funding the bribery scheme:

$1.5 million when the parties signed the Power Purchase Agreement;

$1.5 million when the Energy Company received a Letter of Credit from the government;

and $1.5 million when the power plant began operations.

The invoice contained specific instructions for the funds to be wired to the Ghana account of a shell company controlled by the Intermediary, via a New York correspondent bank.

On April 18, 2015, the Energy Company CFO updated Berko and the Intermediary Executive on the negotiations with the government:

“Hopefully once we have the green light tomorrow, we’ll send the contract for [the power plant] with all changes.”

He added: “[We are] planning to come on Monday with an extended team to have meetings [with the Government Electricity Company] on Tuesday.”

On April 19, 2015, the Intermediary Executive again urged Berko and the Energy Company CEO for the $500,000 in bribe money because “the intended recipient” – [Government Official 1] – “is on my case.”

The Intermediary Executive added:

“I am going to part with [$250,000] to [Government Official 1] on the basis that I will receive the same in due course. This will represent part payment to him as discussed.”

The Intermediary Executive then pressed “to have the [$1.5 million] also here in Ghana no later than end of this week or early part of the following [week]” because “[a]s agreed, certain payments will be made on signing [of the Power Purchase Agreement] and I believe all will be covered if you follow the above guidelines.”

The Energy Company CFO quickly agreed to the initial $500,000 fund transfer for Government Official 1, but expressed some confusion on the schedule.

Responding to the Intermediary Executive and Berko, he stated: “I have an invoice for $500k. That’s what you are referring to right, to be paid within this week? Then . . . [$1 million] at signing [the Power Purchase Agreement] and [$1.5 million] at [the signing of the Letter of Credit from the government].”

He then voiced concern about the lack of information from Government Official 1: “Why is there no news from [Government Official 1] [about the] extension and meeting on Tuesday, any news you can share?”

Replying to the Energy Company CFO and Berko that same day, the Intermediary Executive again emphasized the necessity for the bribe money:

“Please proceed as I stated earlier. It is in all our interest to make the necessaries [sic] are done now. [$500,000] now!!!”

He then reiterated the proposed schedule: “[$1 million] on signing [the Power Purchase Agreement] and $1.5 million on [signing the Letter of Credit]. As stated, I am getting concerned with [Government Official 1] and his resistance. I’ve decided to sort him out this week following recent developments and would advise that you have the same ready for me immediately upon signature.”

On Monday, April 20, 2015, the Energy Company’s CFO responded, copying Berko: “Money is ready, [but the Energy Company CEO] wants to talk to [the Intermediary Senior Executive] and [the PEP].” Shortly thereafter, he again emailed the Intermediary Executive and Berko to confirm the bribes:

“[$500,000] is coming today or tomorrow. [Please]pay [Government Official 1]. Let’s do the meeting on Tuesday and agree on 370 and the rest. Send [the] contract to [government official] and prepare for signing before Friday.”

On May 12, 2015, the Energy Company and the Ministry of Power signed the Power Purchase Agreement, triggering another milestone payment.

Berko, the Intermediary Executive, and the Energy Company Executives almost immediately arranged the next tranche of funding for the bribe scheme:

On May 12, 2015, the Intermediary Senior Executive emailed the Intermediary Executive an invoice for the Energy Company to provide an additional $1.5 million of funding that was intended to be used to further the bribery scheme.

On May 19, 2015, the Intermediary Executive forwarded the invoice for $1.5 million to the Energy Company CEO for payment. When, or soon after, this invoice was sent, Berko also knew, or was reckless in not knowing, that the funds requested by the Intermediary Company were to be used to bribe government officials to approve the Power Plant Project.

On May 22, 2015, the Energy Company wired $1.5 million to the Intermediary Company. These funds were wired from the Energy Company’s bank account in Turkey, through a New York-based correspondent bank, to a shell company bank account in Ghana under the control of the Intermediary Company.

On May 26, 2015, the Energy Company CEO emailed the Intermediary Executive a copy of a bank document confirming the payment. At or soon after the time of this payment, Berko knew that it had been made.d.On May 28, 2015, the PEP received $30,000 from the same bank account into which the Energy Company had transferred the $1.5 million and which the Intermediary Company used to facilitate the bribery scheme.

On June 11, 2015, Berko received $75,000 from the same bank account into which the Energy Company transferred the $1.5 million and which the Intermediary Company used to facilitate the bribery scheme.

On July 15, 2015, Berko emailed Intermediary Employee 1 his bank account information along with fund transfer instructions so that the Intermediary Company could wire him funds for the bribery scheme.

Berko’s fund transfer instructions specified that funds should be routed through a New York-based correspondent bank to Berko’s account at a bank in Ghana.

On July 17, 2015, the Ghanaian parliament ratified the Power Purchase Agreement, another of the milestones that triggered additional funding for the bribery scheme. That same day, Intermediary Employee 1 forwarded Berko’s bank account information and fund transfer instructions to the Intermediary Executive with the note: “[Berko] payments $33,800.”

Berko planned to use these funds to bribe (or to reimburse himself for bribes already made to) government officials, including members of parliament, to advance the Power Plant Project.62.On July 20, 2015, the Senior Intermediary Executive emailed the Intermediary Executive and Berko apprising them on the progress of their corrupt scheme:

“Just a quick update from my side and anything we can do to get some of the outstanding deliverables happening . . . .

Caught up with [Government Official 1] and I think we are aligned on how to proceed. He claims to have resolved the [Government Utility Company] issue so no problem from there and I agreed with him to do the needful for the boys there . . . .

I presume [Government Official 2] will do most of the required memo’s [sic] to get things moving.”

He then noted that “[the Intermediary Company is] due to issue a milestone invoice on parliamentary ratification” as “Funds [were] urgently required for next crucial steps.”

At that point, a dispute arose between Berko and the Intermediary Senior Executive concerning the amount of funding the Energy Company was obligated to provide to the Intermediary Company.

In particular, the Intermediary Senior Executive claimed that the Energy Company had agreed to fund $5 million for the bribery scheme and demanded a $1.5 million “milestone payment” of that agreed amount. Berko, however, maintained that the Energy Company had only agreed to fund a total of $3 million, and that no more funds were due.

Email communications on July 20, 2015 documented this dispute:

Berko, who was then in New York, promptly responded to the Intermediary Senior Executive’s July 20, 2015 email requesting a $1.5 million milestone payment. First, Berko stated that “a deal will be reached as [the Energy Company] is not in a position to renege as long as I am working on the project,” adding that “we need to also agree my split vis a vis [the Intermediary Company].”

Then Berko asserted that all milestone payments due had already been paid:

“With regards to invoices there is not one that can be raised at this stage . . . .

Based on the schedule [$1 million] was for signing and [$1 million] was for parliamentary approval . . . and last will be based on [the receipt of the Letter of Credit].”

The Intermediary Senior Executive continued to demand the additional payment. Later that day, he emailed Berko:

“[The] deal is for [$5 million] and hence the historical [$500,000] + [$1.5 million] and not [$1 million] + [$1 million] . . . .

[Therefore] there is [$1.5 million] due now (parliament) and another [$1.5 million for the Letter of Credit].”

Berko again disputed the amounts owed: “As far as I was concerned [the Energy Company] did not agree to 5 million and they are also saying the same thing. I will chalk down to misunderstanding rather than a devious attempt to screw anyone out of cash. I am doing my best to manage a relationship that will pay everyone millions of dollars and I hope it is appreciated as [it] is not easy to get counterparts that will pay out 2 million without a transaction closing.”

Berko knew, or was reckless in not knowing, that the funds discussed in these email communications were to be used to bribe government officials and/or otherwise facilitate the bribe scheme.

Covid19: India’s race against time to save doctors

India needs more PPE kits for the safety of its doctorsIndia, like most parts of the world, is in a race against time to procure personal protective equipment (PPE) for the safety of its medical teams fighting to halt the spread of coronavirus.

The country has reported more than 8,500 coronavirus cases and at least 289 have died. The first 100 cases were mostly reported in cities, but now more people have tested positive in smaller towns and cities.

This has generated a huge demand for protective equipment for doctors and health workers across the country, and state governments are struggling to cope with it.

In some cases, doctors were forced to use raincoats and motorbike helmets .
One doctor, who is working in the state-run hospital in the northern city of Lucknow, said: “We are not getting PPE kits as fast as we should.”

Policemen say they also need PPE kits”This is really a war and we are being compared to soldiers. But you don’t send soldiers to fight a war without ammunition,” she told the BBC.

Several doctors and nurses have tested positive in cities like Delhi and Mumbai and the hospitals where they worked have been shut down .
This has raised serious concerns about the safety of frontline medical staff.

But PPE kits are also needed for law enforcement agencies who are helping health workers with contact tracing and the management of quarantine facilities.

A senior police officer in Uttar Pradesh told the BBC that policemen are also “directly exposed to the risk of coronavirus infection”.

“Recently a man who had tested positive ran away from a quarantine facility. The police had to bring him back. So, we also need to protect ourselves,” he said.

The policeman added that “we have PPE for now” but more will be “needed in the near future”.

Several state chief ministers have also said that more PPE are needed to protect emergency workers.

“We urgently need PPE kits and have written to the central government about it. I do not want the doctors and nurses to work without the protective gear,” Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal recently said.

India needs at least a million PPE kits, as well as 40 million N95 masks, 20 million surgical masks and a million litres of hand sanitisers at the moment, according to HLL Lifecare Limited, a government-owned body that has been tasked to procure PPE.

The federal ministry of health on 9 April said that it had placed orders for 17 million PPE kits – which is way more than the HLL Lifecare Limited’s estimates.

The ministry said it has approved 20 domestic manufacturers to produce protective gears.

But it’s unclear how quickly the manufacturers can meet the demand. The ministry said in a press release on 30 March that the suppliers were able to produce a total of 15,000 kits per day.

It also added that orders are being placed with foreign manufacturers from countries like Singapore and China, and some have come in the form of donations.

But the fear is that even this supply may not be enough if the pandemic spreads widely in smaller districts and towns.

Face shield prevents people from frequently touching their faceSeveral smaller firms and self-help groups have come forward to bridge the gap – but they are mostly making masks and face shields.

Maker’s Asylum, a collective that provides tools and space to designers, came up with the idea of face shields for frontline workers.

Richa Srivastava, the collective’s managing partner, said “we usually provide tools and space for designers”.

“But we took on manufacturing because the country needs it. The face shield stops people from touching their faces frequently,” she told the BBC.

Ms Srivastava added that they have activated 12 such labs across the country and have so far manufactured 100,000 face shields.

More domestic firms have now been asked to make PPEsWomen-led groups in several states, including Kerala in the south and Indian-administered Kashmir in the north, are also making cloth masks.

But it’s the production of medical-grade PPE that India desperately needs to ramp up.

Public health expert Anant Bhan told the BBC that the government should have taken decisions quickly.

“We knew in January that the pandemic was coming and we should have started stockpiling sooner,” he said.

The government released production specification for PPE only on 23 March.

Mr Bhan said that “it was too late for manufacturers” to quickly ramp up production.

“They need to source raw material and adjust production lines to meet the specification. And that takes time,” he said.

Experts say that there are other areas where the government can look into to meet the demand.

Rajiv Nath, of the Association of Indian Medical Device Industry, told the BBC that the government should import raw material quickly and sign up more manufacturers.

“Garment exporters, manufacturers of army uniforms should be roped in because specifications are now available,” he said.

But Mr Bhan feels it’s not going to be easy.

“It’s admirable that clothes-making factories are coming forward to help. But PPE manufacturing requires specific skills and expertise,” he said.

He added that quality control is the key because “there is no point in having bad PPEs”.

“This virus is highly contagious and the only defence medical teams have is good-quality PPEs,” he said.

Smaller firms are making masksBut quality control is not the only issue.

The country is in a complete lockdown. Exporters say it is difficult for them to get workforce and procure raw material.

Mr Bhan says that such “worries are real”.

“PPE manufacturing has to be taken as an emergency. Entire state machinery has to come together. Passes have to be given to factories and their workers so they can move easily,” he said. Ensuring supplies to remote corners of the country is another challenge.

Mr Bhan say there is no point in making PPE if they “can’t reach the one who need them the most”.

“It’s okay to compare our doctors with soldiers – but they shouldn’t be asked to make this heroic choice of going to work without proper protection,” he added.

“Covid-19 will not overcome us” – Queen tells UK in first-ever Easter Address

The Queen has issued what is believed to be her first-ever Easter message to tell the UK that “coronavirus will not overcome us”.

Elizabeth II also hinted at the importance of maintaining the lockdown during the bank holiday weekend, saying that “by keeping apart we keep others safe”.

It follows the monarch’s televised address to the nation about the coronavirus pandemic last Sunday, which ended with her telling the country that “we will meet again”.

With the Covid-19 outbreak making church services impossible, the Queen pre-recorded her new audio message at Windsor Castle on Good Friday.

“Many religions have festivals which celebrate light overcoming darkness,” the Queen begins.

“Such occasions are often accompanied by the lighting of candles. They seem to speak to every culture, and appeal to people of all faiths, and of none. They are lit on birthday cakes and to mark family anniversaries, when we gather happily around a source of light. It unites us.

“As darkness falls on the Saturday before Easter Day, many Christians would normally light candles together. In church, one light would pass to another, spreading slowly and then more rapidly as more candles are lit.

“It’s a way of showing how the good news of Christ’s resurrection has been passed on from the first Easter by every generation until now.

“This year, Easter will be different for many of us, but by keeping apart we keep others safe. But Easter isn’t cancelled; indeed, we need Easter as much as ever. The discovery of the risen Christ on the first Easter Day gave his followers new hope and fresh purpose, and we can all take heart from this. We know that coronavirus will not overcome us.

“As dark as death can be – particularly for those suffering with grief – light and life are greater. May the living flame of the Easter hope be a steady guide as we face the future. I wish everyone of all faiths and denominations a blessed Easter.”

Covid19: US overtakes Italy to have highest coronavirus death toll in the world after 2,000 deaths in a day

The United States has reached a grim milestone in the fight against coronavirus, passing Italy to become the country with the most deaths in the world.

A tally by Johns Hopkins University showed Saturday that 18,860 people have now died in the U.S. since the start of the outbreak. On Saturday, 2,108 people died in the U.S. in the past 24 hours – the first country in the world to record more than 2,000 deaths in a single day.

As a result, the U.S. has now overtaken Italy’s total of 18,849. It has recorded more than 503,000 cases.

Covid19: India’s helping hand to the world – India Today

Covid-19: The bitter truth about using hydroxychloroquine as a preventive drug India Today. InsightIndia pledged $10 million towards a COVID-19 emergency fund and is putting together a rapid response team of doctors and specialists for South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) nations as part of a Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led initiative

A look at how India is helping SAARC countries, in one graphic

Covid19: Follow this excellent summary to avoid contagion – John Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University has sent this excellent summary to avoid contagion, share it because it is very clear:

1. The virus is not a living organism, but a protein molecule (DNA) covered by a protective layer of lipids (fats) which, if absorbed by the cells of the ocular, nasal or mouth mucosa, changes their genetic code. (mutation) and converts them into multiplier and attacker cells.

2. Since the virus is not a living organism but a protein molecule, it is not killed, but decays on its own. The disintegration time depends on the temperature, humidity and the type of material in which it is found.

3. The virus is very fragile; the only thing that protects it is a thin outer layer of fat. That’s why any soap or detergent is the best remedy, because the foam BREAKS THE GREASE (that’s why you have to rub so much: for at least 20 seconds or more, and make a lot of foam). By dissolving the fat layer, the protein molecule disperses and breaks down on its own.

4. HEAT melts the fat; then use water above 25 degrees to wash your hands, clothes and everything else. In addition, hot water produces more foam which makes it even more useful.

5. Alcohol or any mixture with alcohol greater than 65% DISSOLVES ANY FAT, especially the external lipid layer of the virus.

6. Any mixture with 1 part of bleach and 5 parts of water directly dissolves the protein, breaks it down from the inside.

7. Hydrogen peroxide helps a lot after soap, alcohol and chlorine, because peroxide dissolves the proteins of the virus, but you have to use it pure and it hurts the skin.

8. NO BACTERICIDES. The virus is not a living organism like bacteria; one cannot kill with antibiotics what is not alive, but rapidly disintegrate its structure with all that has been said.

9. NEVER shake used or unused clothing, sheets or clothing. While it is glued on a porous surface, it is very inert and disintegrates only between 3 hours (fabric and porous), 4 hours (copper, because it is naturally antiseptic; and wood, because it removes all moisture and does not let it detach and disintegrates), 24 hours (cardboard), 42 hours (metal) and 72 hours (plastic). But if you shake it or use a duster, the virus molecules float in the air for up to 3 hours and can settle in your nose.

10. Viral molecules remain very stable in external or artificial cold like air conditioners in homes and cars. They also need moisture to remain stable and especially darkness. Therefore, dehumidified, dry, warm and bright environments will degrade it more quickly.

11. UV LIGHT on any object that may contain it breaks the virus protein. For example, to disinfect and reuse a mask is perfect. Be careful, it also breaks down collagen (which is a protein) in the skin, eventually causing wrinkles and skin cancer.

12. The virus CANNOT go through healthy skin.

13. Vinegar is NOT useful because it does not break the protective layer of fat.

14. NO ALCOHOL or VODKA. The strongest vodka is 40% alcohol and you need 65%.

15. LISTERINA (it’s an American mouthwash) IF YOU NEED IT! It’s 65% alcohol.

16. The more space is limited, the higher the concentration of the virus. More open or naturally ventilated, less.

18. This is super said, but you have to wash your hands before and after touching the mucous membrane, food, locks, knobs, switches, remote control, cell phone, watches, computers, desks, TV, etc. And when using the bathroom.

19.You must HUMIDIFY DRY HANDS, for example wash them a lot, because molecules can hide in micro wrinkles or cuts. The denser the moisturizer, the better.

20. Also keep your SHORT NAILS, Shave off Bushy Beard, so that the virus doesn’t hide there.

Ghanaian bus driver, Paul Aheto, 13 others die of covid19 in UK

The widow of one of at least five London bus drivers or workers feared to have died from coronavirus today paid tribute to him as a “hero on the frontline”.

Nadir Nur, 48, who drove a No 394 from a depot in Hackney, died in hospital on Thursday, leaving a 10-month-old daughter Sahra and four other children.

Wife Bishara Maye, 23, today said she was “heartbroken”, adding: “Nadir was a hero on the frontline helping healthcare workers to hospitals. He was a loving kind, caring, helpful person who everybody loved. Bus drivers must have more protection or more families will lose their loved ones. Safety must come first.”

Mr Nur’s death follows official confirmation that five bus drivers or workers have died so far amid claims, that were yet to be verified, that another three have also lost their lives. The Unite union responded today by calling for further action to limit the numbers using buses, including the possible introduction of certificates for travellers to show that their journey is necessary.

There have also been calls for passengers to be told to use only the middle or back doors of buses so they can avoid passing the driver and for only vehicles with protective screens to be used.

Mr Nur’s bereaved wife told how her husband had continued to work despite being fearful. She said: “He started coughing and had symptoms and was admitted to hospital. He said he had been worried about going to work and the lack of protection and the number of people on the bus and now he has died,” she said.

Another bus driver, 33, from east London, speaking anonymously, said he and others were now scared of going to work. “I’m due back at work tomorrow and it’s a scary situation, the fact so many colleagues have lost their lives,” he said. “My wife is pregnant with our first child due in June and my family are really worried.”

Peter Kavanagh, general secretary of Unite, said: “Bus drivers come to work because nurses, care workers, delivery drivers need to get to their place of work. They need to know that everything has to be done for their safety. We have to go further and faster.”

Bus operator Metroline confirmed three members of staff had died during the pandemic, including Paul Aheto, a controller at its Willesden garage. Died of COVID-19, Paul Aheto-Tsegah was a Transport For London. (TFL), and Old Boy Of Mfantsipim Cape Coast and Hecta International School. Father is late Mr Tsegah, Akim oda

A spokesman said: “We are devastated by this loss and we offer our support and condolences to the families at this incredibly difficult time. The safety of our employees has always been our priority and we continue to do everything we can to make sure our workforce is as protected and as safe as possible.”

Claire Mann, Transport for London’s director of bus operations, said: “We have been extremely saddened to hear of the recent passing of our colleagues in the bus industry.

“The safety of our staff and customers is our absolute priority and we have been working closely with the bus companies, the Mayor and Unite to implement a range of changes and improvements to keep the bus network and garages safe for those operating and using it, in accordance with Public Health England advice.”

Former world boxing champion Nigel Benn was today mourning his brother Mark. London-born Benn, 56, revealed his loss on Instagram last night. Benn, who is one of seven siblings, wrote: “My brother Mark passed Away 2day (Covid 19), as we all were growing up Mark was the Joker of the Benn household.”

“We will meet again” – Queen Elizabeth’s speech to the nation

Queen Elizabeth addressed her nation for only the fifth time in her reign. She thanked the frontline workers and told them they will succeed.

Her Majesty evoked memories of Britain’s Blitz spirit as she likened the pain of the coronavirus lockdown to wartime separation, but promised the nation, “We will meet again.”

“We will be with our families again. We will meet again,” she said.

This follows the bad news that Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to the hospital after suffering from coronavirus for ten days.

Covid19: Six weeks old baby dies of Coronavirus

A six-week-old baby in Connecticut has died from coronavirus and is believed to be the youngest confirmed fatality from the illness anywhere in the world.

The infant was taken to the hospital unresponsive last week and could not be revived. Their death was announced on Wednesday by Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont. No other details were given other than that.

Lamont said he believes the infant is the youngest fatality ‘anywhere’.

‘It is with heartbreaking sadness today that we can confirm the first pediatric fatality in Connecticut linked to #COVID-19.

‘A 6-week-old newborn from the Hartford area was brought unresponsive to a hospital late last week and could not be revived.

‘Testing confirmed last night that the newborn was COVID-19 positive.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said on Wednesday that a six-week-old baby had died. He believes it is the youngest known fatality’This is absolutely heartbreaking. We believe this is one of the youngest lives lost anywhere due to complications relating to COVID-19.

‘This is a virus that attacks our most fragile without mercy. This also stresses the importance of staying home and limiting exposure to other people.

‘Your life and the lives of others could literally depend on it. Our prayers are with the family at this difficult time,’ he said in a string of tweets.

Connecticut has 3,128 cases and 69 deaths as a result of coronavirus.

It is unknown if the baby had any respiratory problems or underlying health conditions.

It reinforces what doctors have been saying; that the virus is unpredictable and while is mostly attacking the old or vulnerable, it has been known to strike people who otherwise seem healthy.

Around the world, the vast majority of stories of deaths have involved older or immuno-compromised people.

National Guard troops set up a field hospital at the Southern Connecticut State University’s Field House in Connecticut

Troops move medical supplies through the Southern Connecticut State University’s Moore Field HouseThere are few known instances of it affecting babies, however much of the problem in knowing just how deadly the virus is is down to inconsistent or lack of reporting.

It has been widely claimed, for example, that China – where the virus originated – had many more deaths than the 3,000 they reported.

The US has now far exceeded China’s death toll; as of April 1, 4,300 people had died and the country is still weeks behind China’s trajectory in terms of how long the virus will last.

The Surgeon General warned on Wednesday that 30 days would not be long enough to stop the spread of the virus in some states and that others would need longer.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said he has ‘no idea’ how long the pandemic will go on and that the state will not reach its apex until the end of April.

He is urging other states to prepare themselves for a similarly traumatic experience as New York is enduring now.

Between Tuesday and Wednesday, the number of infections in New York State rose to 83,712 – an increase of 7,941 – and the death toll surged from 1550 to 1941.

Cuomo said the ‘apex’ – when the most will die and become infected – has still not hit and that it will come at the end of April.

A patient arrives at the newly constructed field hospital in Central Park, New York City, on WednesdayHe is urging other states to pay attention to what is happening in New York and plan ahead now, saying in a direct appeal to people in more rural states during a press conference in Albany: ‘This is not just a New York problem.

‘People watch their nightly news in Kansas and say, “it’s a New York problem.” Well it’s not.

‘It’s a New York problem today. Tomorrow, it’s a Kansas problem, a Texas problem, a New Mexico problem. Look at us today, see yourself tomorrow,’ he said.

He also urged the NYPD to down on the crowds of ‘selfish, reckless’ people who continue to flout social distancing guidelines by gathering in large groups.

‘The NYPD has got to get more aggressive. Period. If you’re going to force me into a position where I have to mandate it and make it a law, a social distancing law – which I think is absurd – it has to be enforced.

‘How reckless and irresponsible and selfish for people not to do it on their own? What else do you have to know?

‘Who else has to die for you to to understand you have a responsibility in this?’ he fumed.

Earlier on Wednesday, Surgeon General Jerome Adams said: ‘The original 15 days was designed to slow the spread and for us to have some time to reassess.

‘We learned good and bad things. No state has been spared, but when you look at places like Washington and California that aggressively mitigated with social distancing, they were able to flatten their curve.
‘We’re looking at it as an opportunity for the entire country to say, if we do these things, we can flatten the curve.

Asked if 30 days would be long enough, he replied: ‘It will be for some places. It won’t be for others, depending on where they are on their curve.’

In a different interview with Today, he said: ‘What we’ve always said is that everyone is on a different place in their curve.

‘Some places that leaned in early may relax their guidelines.’

‘In my opinion, in 30 days, we will still be telling the country in general that you still have to practice these measures but they may not have a shelter-in-place order.

‘We’ll go on the data,’ he said.

Philippines: President Duterte gives “shoot to kill” order amid pandemic lockdown response

Responding to orders from President Duterte to police, military officials and barangay officials to shoot ‘troublemakers’ protesting during community quarantine, Amnesty Philippine Section Director, Butch Olano, said:
“It is deeply alarming that President Duterte has extended a ‘shoot to kill’ policy to law enforcement agencies. Deadly, unchecked force should never be used in an emergency such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The abusive methods used to punish those accused of breaching quarantine and the vast number of mass arrests that have been carried out to date, against mainly poor people, are further examples of the oppressive approach the government takes against those struggling with basic needs.
The violent police response to calls for help is heartless and unjustifiable, especially while millions of Filipinos are prevented from earning a living.
Butch Olano

“This includes the violent police dispersal of residents of San Roque, Quezon City who were protesting the lack of relief support from the local government. The violent police response to calls for help is heartless and unjustifiable, especially while millions of Filipinos are prevented from earning a living.

“We call on the President to immediately cease his dangerous incitement to violence against those critical of the government during the COVID-19 pandemic. The local government must initiate a dialogue with residents and deliver much-needed relief especially to the poorest communities.

“We also urge the concerned agencies to investigate members of the police that resorted to disproportionate violence, release San Roque residents under arrest and conduct a probe into the broader incident. The lives of those most at risk must be considered a priority, in the effort to minimize the threat of the virus.

Background

On 1 April 2020, in a televised address President Duterte admonished those who may cause ‘trouble’ during the imposition of the community quarantine amid the COVID 19 pandemic. Referring to the political left, but also seemingly others who may protest or question government measures, he openly gave orders to the police, military and local officials to shoot them dead saying, “I will not hesitate. My orders are to the police and military, also the barangay, that if there is trouble or the situation arises that people fight and your lives are on the line, shoot them dead. Do you understand? Dead. Instead of causing trouble, I’ll send you to the grave.”

Based on latest information from the Philippine National Police, over 17,000 people have already been arrested for violations related to lockdown and curfew orders declared in various regions in the country, including in Metro Manila, in response to the pandemic. Given the elevated risks of transmission of COVID-19 in places of detention, using prison sentences to enforce quarantine restrictions in the name of safeguarding public health is counterproductive and as such disproportionate. Reports have also appeared of inhuman punishments those breaching quarantine have been made to endure, including sitting for hours in the hot sun or being detained in dog cages.

On 1 April 2020, residents of San Roque village in Quezon City gathered along a portion of EDSA – a major highway in Metro Manila – upon receiving news that relief items were to be distributed there. According to the group Save San Roque Alliance, when the distribution didn’t happen, the residents decided to stay in the area and stage a protest to demand relief from the Quezon City government. Members of the police supposedly asked the residents to leave the area, according to reports, and arrested them when they refused to do so.

The residents’ alliance, however, told Amnesty International that police resorted to violently dispersing the protestors and hit them with wooden sticks. According to one official of the group that the organization talked to, the victims included a man with his baby who was in the area to collect financial aid from his company whose office was also along EDSA. The baby was likewise hit in the violence that ensued, according to the official.

A total of 21 protesters were brought and detained at the headquarters of Quezon City police. Supporters and relatives were prevented from talking to them or delivering food for them following several hours of detention, the group’s official said.

Coronavirus Cases in India Cross 1,000-Mark, Rise to 1024; 29 Dead Due to COVID-19

New Delhi, March 29:The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in India crossed 1,000 on Sunday. According to data provided by the Health Ministry, the number of positive cases of COVID-19 reached 1,024. Out of the total confirmed cases, 96 people have been recovered from the disease, while 29 people lost their lives.

Coronavirus Death Toll in India Rises to 29 as 45-Year-Old Man, Who Tested Positive For COVID-19, Dies in Buldhana; Eighth Casualty in Maharashtra.

At present, there are 899 confirmed cases in the country. Maharashtra is the worst-hit state, where 186 people were tested positive, and eight people also lost their lives, followed by Kerala. In the southern state of the country, until now, 182 positive COVID-19 cases have been reported. Meanwhile, no cases have been reported from Assam till now.

Delhi Government to Pay House Rent of Migrant Labourers During Coronavirus Lockdown, Arvind Kejriwal Urges Workers to ‘Stay Wherever They Are’.

ANI’s Tweet:

To avoid the spread of COVID-19, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day countrywide lockdown. India will remain under complete shutdown till April 14. The Central and state government assured people that there would not be any shortage of essential food items in the country.

Coronavirus, which originated in China’s Wuhan, has now spread across more than 150 countries. Globally, the death-toll crossed 25,000 due to the outbreak of COVID-19. The maximum number of deaths were reported in Italy, where over 10,000 people lost their lives.

Covid19: Prime Minister Boris Johnson test positive

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for coronavirus, the government has said.

Mr Johnson has mild symptoms and will self-isolate in Downing Street, after being tested at No 10 by NHS staff.

“He was tested for coronavirus on the personal advice of England’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty,” a statement said.

He will still be in charge of the government’s handling of the crisis, the statement added.

In a tweet, Mr Johnson said: “Over the last 24 hours I have developed mild symptoms and tested positive for coronavirus. I am now self-isolating, but I will continue to lead the government’s response via video-conference as we fight this virus.

“Together we will beat this.”

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Mr Johnson was last seen on Thursday night as he clapped outside No 10 as part of a nationwide gesture to thank NHS staff.

There are more than 11,600 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK, and 578 people have died.

It comes after the Prince of Wales also tested positive for the virus earlier this week.

Prince Charles, 71, is to be displaying mild symptoms “but otherwise remains in good health”, a spokesman said.