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Current Affairs – 9 April 2020

Worldwide: Headlines

US records highest death toll in a single day

The US recorded the most coronavirus deaths in a single day with more than 1,800 fatalities reported on Tuesday.

It brings the total number of deaths in the country to nearly 13,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The US has more than 402,000 confirmed cases, the highest number in the world. Global cases have exceeded 1.4 million.

However, during a news conference President Donald Trump said the US might be getting to the top of the “curve”.

Full coverage: BBC

The porous borders where the virus cannot be controlled

As nations shut borders, a surge of people pouring unmonitored over international boundaries in a volatile and vulnerable part of the world has sparked warnings about the unchecked spread of the virus there.

In March, more than 150,000 Afghans spontaneously returned from Iran, one of the country’s worst hit by the coronavirus – thousands more arrive daily.

Tens of thousands have also recently returned from Pakistan, the worst affected country in South Asia.

Officials are struggling to control this unprecedented movement across what have always been porous and often lawless borders.

Full coverage: BBC

Yemen: Saudi-led coalition announces ceasefire

A Saudi Arabian-led coalition fighting Houthi forces in Yemen has declared a ceasefire, according to officials.

Sources told the BBC the ceasefire will come into effect on Thursday in support of UN efforts to end the five-year-old war.

The coalition, backed by Western military powers, has been fighting against Houthi forces aligned to Iran since March 2015.

It’s unclear if the Houthi forces will also observe the ceasefire.

Full coverage: BBC

Woman who revealed Clinton-Lewinsky scandal dies

An American civil servant whose disclosure of an affair between Bill Clinton and a White House intern nearly brought down his presidency has died.

Linda Tripp, 70, passed away after suffering from pancreatic cancer, her family told US media on Wednesday.

Recordings Ms Tripp made of her conversations with Monica Lewinsky became central to the 1998 impeachment trial of then President Clinton.

She was variously praised as a whistle-blower and denounced as a partisan.

The former civil servant, who worked at the Pentagon and had a friendship with Ms Lewinsky despite their 24-year age difference, learnt that the younger woman has had a sexual relationship with the president and began secretly recording their conversations in 1997.

Ms Tripp turned the tapes over to Kenneth Starr, the special prosecutor leading a broad investigation into the Clinton administration.

Full coverage: BBC

WHO chief urges end to ‘politicisation’ of virus

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has urged unity, as the agency comes under continuous fire from US President Donald Trump.

Speaking on Wednesday, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus defended the WHO’s work and called for an end to the politicisation of Covid-19.

Mr Trump said he would consider ending US funding for the UN agency.

The president accused the WHO of being “very China-centric” and said they “really blew” their pandemic response.

Dr Tedros has now dismissed the comments, insisting: “We are close to every nation, we are colour-blind.”

Full coverage: BBC

Virus could push half a billion people into poverty

The economic fallout from the coronavirus could increase global poverty by as much a half a billion.

This bleak warning comes from a United Nations (UN) study into the financial and human cost of the pandemic.

It will be the first time that poverty has increased globally in 30 years, according to the report.

The United Nations University study was written by experts at King’s College London and Australian National University (ANU).

“The economic crisis is potentially going to be even more severe than the health crisis,” said Christopher Hoy from ANU.

The report, which estimates a 400-600 million increase in the number of people in poverty across the globe, says the potential impact of the virus poses a real challenge to the UN Sustainable Development Goal of ending poverty by 2030.

Full coverage: BBC

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