Globe Trot A summary of international news compiled by senior editor Mindy Belz

COVID-19 hammers Brazil

International | But Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro remains unfazed
by Mindy Belz
Posted 5/04/20, 06:53 pm

BRAZIL: As global deaths top 250,000, COVID-19 is hammering South America’s largest country. While critical cases outnumber the beds to care for them, President Jair Bolsonaro continues to shrug at the disease, enacting no isolation policies. Some observers argue he is simply federalizing the country’s response.

INDIA has ordered all public and private sector employees to use a government-backed contact tracing app and maintain social distancing as it begins easing lockdown measures. To be effective in a population of 1.3 billion, the app has to be on at least 200 million phones.

ITALY: The pizza ovens of Naples are burning again, as the country’s COVID-19 curve begins to fall, but some doctors in southern Italy’s Campania region are still encouraging residents to stay home.

PERU: More than 40 days after a sudden nationwide shutdown, perhaps thousands of Americans are still trapped in Peru, launching their own Facebook page to complain of U.S. diplomatic and other obstacles to their return.

GREECE: Authorities on Sunday moved hundreds of vulnerable refugees out of the overcrowded Moria camp on the Aegean island of Lesbos to reduce the risk of the rampant spread of the coronavirus. Built in 2015 as a temporary camp to house 3,000 refugees, Moria’s population has topped 19,000. My upcoming WORLD Magazine feature with Africa reporter Onize Ohikere looks at how aid workers are scrambling to stall the spread of COVID-19 in refugee hot spots.

ISRAEL is easing coronavirus restrictions, enabling malls and libraries to reopen and many activities to resume while sending children up to the age of 6 back to school.

TURKEY will begin to ease lockdown measures by allowing youth and the elderly to leave their homes for short walks in different four-hour slots.

CHINA: A U.S. Department of Homeland Security analysis suggests China “intentionally concealed” the extent of its coronavirus outbreak in January to preserve its medical supplies.

UNITED STATES: The Supreme Court today entered the coronavirus age, hearing arguments by teleconference and letting the public listen in live for the first time.

GLOBAL: Countries with gross domestic products that rely heavily on tourism face an immediate crisis with pandemic lockdowns and border closures.

NORTH KOREA: One day after North Korea reported the first public appearance by leader Kim Jong-un in nearly three weeks, North and South Korea exchanged gunfire across the Demilitarized Zone separating the countries. A photo released from North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency on Saturday reportedly showed Kim at an event in South Pyongan province with his sister Kim Yo Yong, whose standing has risen since rumors of her brother’s health problems.

SUDAN: The new transitional government has outlawed the practice of female genital mutilation, a first step and important victory in a country that’s practiced one of its most extreme forms.

CANADA: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the government is banning military-style assault weapons in the wake of the Nova Scotia mass shooting last month.

NETHERLANDS: How the Dutch dine out in the time of coronavirus.

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Mindy Belz

Mindy wrote WORLD Magazine's first cover story in 1986 and went on to serve as international editor, editor, and now senior editor. She has covered wars in Syria, Afganistan, Africa, and the Balkans, and she recounts some of her experiences in They Say We Are Infidels: On the Run from ISIS with Persecuted Christians in the Middle East. Mindy resides with her husband, Nat, in Asheville, N.C. Follow her on Twitter @mcbelz.

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