World News Briefs For Wednesday, 26 February 2020
Hello Australia!! - When the messenger is the afflicted - A luxury resort is locked down because of the coronavirus - When Greta met Malala - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
Iran's deputy health minister appeared on TV wiping buckets of sweat from his brow - before it was revealed that Iraj Harirchi, too, had caught the Covid-19 coronavirus. Officials deny Tehran is covering up the scope of the Covid-19 outbreak in the country, upping the death toll to 16 out of around 95 confirmed infections. The death toll from the coronavirus is now more than 2,700 worldwide, with the vast majority in mainland China. There have been more than 80,000 global cases.
In Europe, the coronavirus had its way to the Spanish tourist island of Tenerife. Hundreds of guests at the ritzy "H10 Costa Adeje Palace" hotel were greeted with a note asking them "to stay in their rooms due to health reasons" as "the hotel has been locked down". An Italian couple tested positive in an initial test for the bug overnight - 25 people who came in direct contact are already being quarantined for two weeks. Italy continues to be the frontline in Europe's outbreak with 283 cases and seven deaths from the coronavirus. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte suggested malpractice at a hospital in the northern region of Lombardy may have fueled the outbreak - a tourist from the area was isolated in a hospital in Palermo, marking Sicily's first case.
The US and South Korea are expected to announce that a critical joint military exercise has been scaled back because coronavirus is severely limiting the ability of both nation's militaries to participate. US military personnel area being admised to limit their travel in South Korea, the hardest-hit country outside of China with 977 confirmed cases and ten deaths. Back at home, US health officials are advising Americans to get ready for Covid-19: "It's not so much a question of 'if' this will happen anymore, but more really a question of 'when' it will happen - and how many people in this country will have severe illness," said Dr. Nancy Messonnier of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Oh, and that goes for you too Australia: "We need to be aware that we are probably heading for that pandemic even if the World Health Organisation doesn't want to call it that yet," said University of Queensland virologist Ian Mackay to the ABC.
More than a dozen people died in riots over India's new citizenship law, which discriminates against Muslims from surrounding countries. The violence overshadowed the visit of Donald Trump to his friend Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak has died at the age of 91. Mubarak was the authoritarian president of Egypt for 30 years before being forced to step down amid the historic popular revolution in 2011 that was part of the Arab Spring. In 2017, Mubarak was acquitted on murder charges related to his violent crackdown on protesters in 2011, which killed hundreds of people. He spent six years behind bars before his release. His death comes less than a year after his successor, Mohamed Morsi, died after collapsing in court last June.
A British court has started deliberations on whether to extradite Julian Assange to the US, where he faces espionage charges and up to 175 years in prison for his role in publishing classified documents exposing US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. A verdict in Assange's extradition case is not expected until at least the middle of the year.
The United States Supreme Court will consider an LGBT+ rights case to decide whether the city of Philadelphia can exclude a Catholic agency that refuses to work with same-sex couples from the city's foster care system. Philadelphia stopped working with Catholic Social Services in 2018, and since then the courts ruled against the agency. "We already have a severe shortage of foster families willing and able to open their hearts and homes to these children," said Leslie Cooper, deputy director of the ACLU LGBT & HIV Project, "We can't afford to have loving families turned away or deterred by the risk of discrimination."
Swedish teenage climate campaigner Greta Thunberg went to Oxford to meet her "role model" Malala Yousafzai. Greta famously took a gap year from high school to protest nations not doing enough to stop global warming and in the process started a worldwide movement.
Malala - now 22 years old - said Greta is "the only friend I'd skip school for". Malala was awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for campaigning for girls' education after defying a Taliban bullet to the head in her native Pakistan just to go to school.