Mali protest

Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita dissolved the constitutional court after political tensions ignited anti-govt protests

President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita announced the dissolution of the constitutional court in an attempt to calm major civil unrest in the vulnerable African country.

Malian President Ibrahim Keita offered to form a Government of National Unity. The citizens have rejected that offer asking him to go.

Mali, protestors have spent four weeks on the streets demanding the resignation of President Ibrahim Keita and yesterday, they took over government buildings, including the state broadcaster.

The court has been at the center of controversy for months since it overturned provisional results for a parliamentary poll, triggering protests in several cities.

These demonstrations have recently intensified into deadly unrest, with thousands rallying in the capital to demand Keita’s resignation over a long-running jihadist conflict, economic woes, and perceived government corruption.

“I have decided to repeal the licenses of the remaining members of the constitutional court,” the president said in an evening television address.

“This de facto dissolution of the court will enable us, from next week, to ask relevant authorities to nominate new members so that the reformed court can quickly help us find solutions to the disputes arising from the legislative elections,” he added.

Some of the nine members of the court have already resigned, and one is dead.

Russia Khabarovsk protest

Khabarovsk governor Sergei Furgal was detained on Thursday, accused of having ordered the killing of several business people 15 years ago.

Mr Furgal defeated the candidate of Mr Putin’s United Russia party in elections two years ago.

His party, the ultra-nationalist Liberal Democrat Party of Russia, is usually seen as loyal to the Kremlin.

People are shouting “Putin resign!” at a spontaneous protest in Khabarovsk against the arrest of the region’s governor.

Protests in Khabarovsk region, Far East of Russia in support of governor Sergey Furgal who was arrested earlier this week on suspicion of ordering multiple murders. Thousands of people are out on the streets of Khabarovsk, Komsomolsk on Amur, Bikin and Amursk

People in Khabarovsk have come out to protest against the arrest of their governor, who is not from the ruling United Russia party.

Israel Protest on Relief

Netanyahu government with multiple coalition partners at Knesset find itself in covid lockdown economy at brink of crippling with protesters to remind early action to safeguard economy.

Protesters demand government action at a demonstrations in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square against Israeli economic policy in the wake of the economic crisis triggered by the pandemic.

Thousands of Demonstrators decry insufficient financial support to small business owners and independents, amid ongoing coronavirus crisis; scuffles, arrests reported.

Addressing the crowd at the protest, Ahinoam Nehmad, the owner of a domestic tourism company, said: “The fight began with the lockdown and continued with not receiving fair compensation. We fight for the present, for our livelihood, for our dignity as human beings — and that is no ‘bullshit,’” said Nehmad in what appeared to be a dig at Likud Minister without Portfolio Tzachi Hanegbi, who last week dismissed as “bullshit” claims that some Israelis don’t have enough money for food amid the economic crisis. Hanegbi later apologized for the comments.

A number of politicians took to social media to express their support for the protesters, including Defense Minister Benny Gantz of the Blue and White party, who wrote on Facebook Saturday that the demonstrators were expressing “real, justified distress.

Hundreds block roads, clash with police in Tel Aviv after economic protests.

Demonstrators at ‘non-partisan’ rally decry insufficient financial support to small business owners, independents, amid ongoing #coronavirus crisis.

Iran to continue Economy Activities

“I have been very disappointed… I have to worry about the economy more than people’s health. My crews had to write protocols on how to reopen & not how to close. Security reports say that [people] will erupt soon due to #poverty. This is serious”—#Iran Health Minister

Iran must continue “economic, social and cultural activities while observing health protocols,” President Hassan Rouhani said during a televised virus taskforce meeting.

Iran suffered a sharp economic downturn after US President Donald Trump withdrew from a landmark nuclear agreement in 2018 and reimposed crippling sanctions.

The International Monetary Fund predicts Iran’s economy will shrink by six percent this year.

“It is not possible to keep businesses and economic activities shut down in the long-term,” Rouhani said, emphasising that “the people will not accept this”.

Health Minister Said Namaki warned on Wednesday of a potential “revolt over poverty” and blamed US sanctions for the government’s “empty coffers”.

The reopening of the economy “was not over our ignorance (of the virus’ dangers), but it was due to us being on our knees against an economy that could take no more”, Namaki said on state television.

US sanctions targeted vital oil sales and banking relations, among other sectors, forcing Iran to rely on non-oil exports, which have dropped as borders were closed to stem the spread of the virus.

Henceforth, Iran to continue “economic, social and cultural activities while observing health protocols”, President Hassan Rouhani said during a televised virus taskforce meeting.

“The simplest solution is to close down all activities, (but) the next day, people would come out to protest the (resulting) chaos, hunger, hardship and pressure,” he added.

The Islamic republic has been struggling since late February to contain the country’s COVID-19 outbreak, the deadliest in the Middle East.

Health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari reported Saturday that 188 people had died from the respiratory disease in the past 24 hours, raising the overall toll to 12,635.

Lari raised the country’s caseload to 255,117, with 2,397 new infections recorded.

The outbreak’s rising toll has prompted authorities to make wearing masks mandatory in enclosed public spaces and to allow the hardest hit provinces to reimpose restrictive measures.

Media agencies.

Singapore Election PAP back

Singapore Votes on Friday 10 July the result of General Election is officially declared.

#Sagarmediainc

Singapore election PAP Wins.

The ruling People’s Action Party (#PAP) won 83 of the 93 parliamentary seats in #Singapore’s general #election, Returning Officer Tan Meng Dui said on Saturday.

 Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, in power since 2004, has secured one last term as national leader before he is set to retire.

The main opposition Worker’s Party picked up 10 seats in the general election.

One of the close races involved a constituency being contested by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, who is seen as the frontrunner to take over for Prime Minister Lee in future.

Finland Travel

Finland Government updates policies on internal border control and travel restrictions

Government Communications Department Ministry for Foreign Affairs Ministry of Social Affairs and HealthMinistry of the Interior.In its meeting on Wednesday 8 July, the Government also received a briefing on the epidemiological situation and heard a report on the safe entry of berry pickers.

The Government agreed that as of 13 July 2020, it would lift the restrictions on traffic at the internal borders between Finland and countries where the incidence of the coronavirus is similar to that in the countries where internal border control has already been lifted. As a general rule, the limit value is eight new cases of the disease per 100,000 persons in the previous 14 days.

Alternatively, the lifting of internal border controls and entry restrictions may be considered for countries with a maximum of 10 new cases of the disease per 100,000 persons in the previous 14 days. 

Traffic between the EU Member States.Based on the current development of the epidemic, border control at the internal borders would be lifted for the following countries: the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Austria, Greece, Malta, Germany, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. Finland has already abolished internal border control for traffic between Finland and Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as well as for leisure boating. 

The restrictions will continue to be in force to the extent that they are still necessary due to a serious threat posed by the epidemiological situation. Based on the current epidemiological assessment, internal border control and restrictions on entry into the country will continue at the land border between Finland and Sweden and for travel between Finland and the Czech Republic, France, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.

Insofar as internal border control continues at the internal borders, return traffic to Finland, commuting and other essential traffic will be permitted.


Restrictions at the external borders to continue with certain exceptions

External border traffic between Finland and EU countries that do not belong to the Schengen area, as well as the United Kingdom, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican, will be subject to the same assessment criterion concerning the incidence of outbreaks as internal border traffic. In this case, in line with the Government’s policy, unrestricted travel will be permitted between Finland and Cyprus, Ireland, Andorra, San Marino and the Vatican.

The restrictions will continue to be in force for travel between Finland and Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, the United Kingdom and Monaco.

On 30 June, the Council of the European Union approved a recommendation (‘green list’) on the lifting of restrictions on border traffic for non-EU countries, also known as third countries. The Council recommends that Member States lift the restrictions at external borders in a coordinated and gradual manner. The lifting of restrictions should begin on 1 July 2020 for the countries on the ‘green list’ in the recommendation.

Traffic between Finland and the countries on the green list will be opened up subject to certain restrictions if the number of new infections in the country on the list does not exceed 8 per 100,000 persons during the previous two weeks.

This means that as of 13 July, travel between Finland and Algeria, Australia, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay and China would be permitted for work and other essential purposes for residents of these countries with similar restrictions as travel at internal borders. 

For countries on the green list where the number of infections exceeds the criterion (Canada, Montenegro, Morocco, Serbia) and other third countries, the existing restrictions on external border traffic would remain in force.

Return traffic to Finland and other essential traffic will be allowed at the external borders. In addition, transit traffic will be allowed at airports. Family members of Finnish citizens may enter the country regardless of nationality. 

Bolivia Anez Test Positive Covid

Bolivia’s interim president Jeanine Anez.

Bolivia’s interim president, Jeanine Anez, announced on Thursday she had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, becoming the latest in a long list of world leaders and politicians who have contracted the infection. 

COVID-19 has now claimed more than 550,000 lives across the planet, and infected more than 12 million people since it first emerged in China in late 2019 — among them Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and now Bolivia´s Jeanine Anez.

In a video on Twitter Anez said she was “fine” and would continue working from isolation. Bolsonaro said he was feeling “very well” on Thursday after announcing he had the virus earlier this week, and Johnson, who contracted the respiratory disease in March, has recovered.

Bolivia is gearing up for a general election, despite the country of 11 million recording almost 43,000 virus infections and more than 1,500 deaths.

By the time the polls are held in less than two months, the government expects there to be 130,000 cases.

US-Thai on Cordial terms

US Army chief of staff signs ‘strategic vision’ pact with Thailand at Bangkok meeting with PM

US Army Chief of Staff General James McConville met with Thailand’s PM Prayuth Chan-ocha and its army chief Apirat Kongsompong in Bangkok on Friday. It was the first high-level visit by a foreign delegation to Thailand since the coronavirus pandemic disrupted international travel.

A Strategic Vision Statement was signed during the meeting, the US Embassy said in a statement, as Washington looks to reassure allies about its commitment to the region. The embassy said McConville and Apirat “discussed modernization, interoperability, joint training, and doctrine.”

The US has sought to counter China’s influence in Southeast Asia, while Thailand is Washington’s oldest ally in the region. However, relations were strained by a 2014 military coup led by then-army chief Prayuth that ousted an elected civilian government. The US scaled back some military exchanges with Thailand, and Bangkok responded by forging closer ties with China.

Rejuvenated relations after last year’s general election that officially restored civilian rule while keeping Prayuth on as a civilian leader.

The development resulted in an arms deal for US-made armored personnel carriers and light attack helicopters last year,

Italy emergency beyond 31 July

To contain Covid epidemic is essential.

State of emergency in Italy likely to be extended beyond July 31 deadline .

The Italian government will likely extend a state of emergency beyond its current deadline of July 31 due to the coronavirus crisis, Italian PM Giuseppe Conte has warned.

“The possible extension simply means that we are in a position to continue taking the necessary measures” to face the epidemic, Conte said Friday, on the sidelines of a ceremony in Venice.

Italy declared a six-month state of emergency at the end of January, after two Chinese tourists tested positive for the new coronavirus in the first cases detected in the country. The government said the special powers allowed it to cut through red tape quickly if needed.

On Thursday, Italy banned entry to people coming from 13 countries that it said presented an excessive rate of coronavirus infections.

China threat to US IPR & Eco

China posing greatest long-term threat to intellectual property, economic vitality of US: FBI director Wray

Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI director Christopher A. Wray has said that China is posing the greatest long-term threat to intellectual property and economic vitality of the US. 

Speaking to the Hudson Institute in Washington yesterday, Wray highlighted the significance of the threat. The FBI Director informed that the Attorney General William Barr and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will also be addressing the issues in the next few weeks.