Here is today’s headline news from around the world on May 20th, 2020. The global coronavirus death toll at 323,956, with more than 4,927,487 confirmed cases around the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. remains the world’s worst-hit country, with more than 91,983 deaths.
United States Headlines
Washington DC – President Trump signs and executive order to suspend regulations impeding economic recovery. In his afternoon remarks in the Cabinet Room, President Trump announced he was instructing federal agencies to weigh and suspend any regulations that impede economic recovery amid the pandemic.
“In a few minutes, I will sign an executive order instructing federal agencies to use any and all authority to weigh, suspend, and eliminate unnecessary regulations that impede economic recovery. And we want to leave it that way. We want to leave it that way. In some cases, we won’t be able to, but in other cases, we will.”President Donald Trump
Washington DC – Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell fully declassified Tuesday a January 2017 email Susan Rice, then President Barack Obama’s national security adviser, sent to herself about a brief Jan. 5 meeting about incoming National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
“Reading the records only confirms that the outgoing administration was struggling to do the right thing in the face of a deeply corrupt and compromised incoming team.”David Frum – Senior Editor at the Atlantic
Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, more than half of the 15.8 million travel-related jobs in the U.S. have disappeared, according to a new report from the U.S. Travel Association.
The unemployment rate for tourism jobs is 51 percent, more than double the 25 percent rate the country experienced at the height of the Great Depression.
Beijing – China’s President Xi Jinping addressed the WHO’s decision-making body. During his remarks, Xi supported an international review after the pandemic ends. He also said China would donate $2 billion to global coronavirus aid.
Jilin and Heilongjiang Provance – Chinese doctors are seeing the coronavirus manifest differently among patients in its new cluster of cases in the northeast region compared to the original outbreak in Wuhan, suggesting that the pathogen may be changing in unknown ways and complicating efforts to stamp it out.
Patients found in the northern provinces of Jilin and Heilongjiang appear to carry the virus for a longer period of time and take longer to recover. Doctors have also noticed patients in the northeast cluster seem to have damage mostly in their lungs, whereas patients in Wuhan suffered multi-organ damage across the heart, kidney and gut.
Beijing – Beijing will “never tolerate” Taiwan’s separation from China, a spokesman at the mainland’s top Taiwan body said Wednesday, after President Tsai Ing-wen was inaugurated for a second term.
China considers the democratic, self-governing island as part of its territory, and has repeatedly advocated for its eventual reunification with the mainland — using military force if necessary.
Berlin – The German government is poised to approve better protections for workers in the meat industry. The squalid living quarters and unsafe working conditions aren’t new, but COVID-19 has prompted politicians to finally act.
Following coronavirus outbreaks at several German meatpacking facilities, Germany’s labor minister is leading the charge to give more protections to workers — in a plan that could radically change the way Germany’s meat industry operates.
Berlin – Germany’s Constitutional Court ruled yesterday that Germany’s intelligence service (BND) violated the constitution by monitoring non-Germans abroad. The Court disagreed with the BND’s long-held argument that Germany’s Basic Law (Grundgesetz) does not protect everyone and found that the agency’s core activities require a major overhaul.
While the court agreed that “the protection of individual fundamental rights may differ at home and abroad,” they claimed that “the Basic Law does not allow global and blanket surveillance, even for the purpose of foreign intelligence.”
Brussels – Belgium’s Poison Control Centre has recorded an increase of 15% in the number of calls it receives since the COVID-19 outbreak in mid-March, as people have increasingly started experimenting with hazardous substances.
“The consequences of the coronavirus crisis are making themselves known, according to our figures. Compared to the same period last year (April 2019) almost eight hundred more calls were handled,” said Patrick De Cock, communication coordinator of Belgium Poison Control Centre
Tula – A nurse on an all-male coronavirus ward in Russia has been disciplined for only wearing ‘lingerie’ beneath her highly transparent protective gown.
Her revealing picture went viral after being taken by a patient at a hospital in Tula, 100 miles south of Moscow, who said there were ‘no complaints’ from his bedfellows.
But hospital chiefs were not amused and punished the nurse for ‘non-compliance with the requirements for medical clothing’.
Islamabad – Representatives of Pakistan, China, Russia, and Iran held a virtual meeting on peace in Afghanistan.
According to a statement issued by Foreign Office Spokesperson Ayesha Farooqi, peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan were discussed at the meeting, and participants reiterated their respect for the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Afghanistan, and the decision of its people on their future and development path.