Dhaka Courier

The number of people infected with a new virus in China

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The number of people infected with a new virus in China tripled over the weekend of January 19-20, with the outbreak spreading from Wuhan to other major cities. There are now more than 200 cases, mostly in Wuhan, though the respiratory illness has also been detected in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen. Three people have died. Japan, Thailand and South Korea have reported cases. The new strain of coronavirus, which causes a type of pneumonia, can pass from person to person, China confirmed.

The sharp rise comes as millions of Chinese prepared to travel for the Lunar New Year olidays.

Although the outbreak is believed to have originated from a market, officials and scientists are yet to determine exactly how it has been spreading. The outbreak has revived memories of the Sars virus - also a coronavirus - that killed 774 people in the early 2000s. Experts in the UK told the BBC the number of people infected could be closer to 1,700.

 

World powers and other countries with interests in Libya’s long-running civil war agreed to respect a much-violated arms embargo, hold off on military support to the warring parties and push them to reach a full cease-fire, according to German and UN officials. The agreement came after about four hours of talks at the chancellery in Berlin. German Chancellor Angela Merkel hosted leaders of 11 countries, with Libya’s two main rival leaders also in the German capital but not at the main conference table.

Libya has sunk further into chaos since the 2011 ouster and killing of its longtime dictator, Moammar Gadhafi. It is now divided into rival administrations, each backed by different nations: the U.N.-recognized government based in Tripoli, headed by Fayez al-Sarraj, and one based in the country’s east, supported by  Khalifa Hifter’s forces.

 

Leaked documents revealed how Africa's richest woman made her fortune through exploiting her own country, and corruption. Isabel dos Santos got access to lucrative deals involving land, oil, diamonds and telecoms when her father was president of Angola, a southern African country rich in natural resources. The documents show how she and her husband were allowed to buy valuable state assets in a series of suspicious deals. Most were obtained by the Platform to Protect Whistle-blowers in Africa and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

They've been investigated by 37 media organisations including the Guardian and Portugal's Expresso newspaper. Ms Dos Santos says the allegations against her are entirely false and that there is a politically motivated witch-hunt by the Angolan government. She is already under criminal investigation by the authorities in Angola for corruption and her assets in the country have been frozen.

 

Malaysia is returning 42 shipping containers of illegally imported plastic waste to the UK, its environment minister has announced. Yeo Bee Yin said Malaysia would take "steps to ensure" the country "does not become the garbage dump of the world". She added Malaysia had sent back 150 containers to their country of origin. The UK government said it received a request from Malaysian authorities last year to repatriate the waste and some containers had already arrived back.

An Environment Agency spokesman in the UK said: "We continue to work with the shipping lines and Malaysian authorities to ensure all waste is brought back as soon as possible." The South East Asian country has seen a sharp rise in foreign plastic waste since China - once the world's largest importer - announced a ban in 2017. Malaysia said a total of a total of 3,737 metric tonnes of unwanted waste had been sent back to 13 countries.

  • DhakaCourier
  • World this week
  • Issue 29
  • Vol 36

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