Argentines took to the streets on Wednesday to demand what they say is justice for Diego Maradona after the soccer icon’s death in November sparked investigations into how he died and whether there had been any negligence in his care. A medical board, at the request of the justice department, met on Monday to analyse Maradona’s death. The idol, who won the 1986 World Cup, had serious health problems and was recovering from brain surgery when he died in the suburbs of Buenos Aires. For more updates, here’s Mint Lite
NHS debate clouds school reopening
A row over a 1% pay rise for National Health Service (NHS) staff in England has overshadowed Boris Johnson’s push to re-open schools on Monday, with the nurses raising funds for possible strike action against the government. The low-level pay rise sparked fury among health unions after a year in which NHS hospitals have been deluged with huge numbers of critically ill covid-19 patients. The Royal College of Nurses has started fund-raising for possible strike action after calling for a pay rise of 12.5%. According to NHS Providers, an organization for the membership for NHS services, the government had already planned for a pay rise of 2.1% in its long-term plan. Meanwhile, England’s $32 billion test and trace system has not made a significant impact on the covid-19 pandemic and failed its key goals despite its “unimaginable” cost, a British parliamentary committee said on Wednesday.
Lobbyist paid to ‘explain’ coup
An Israel-Canadian lobbyist hired by Myanmar’s junta will be paid $2 million to “assist in explaining the real situation” of the army’s coup to the United States and other countries, documents filed with the US Justice Department show. More than 60 protesters have been killed and 1,900 people have been arrested since 1 February, when Myanmar’s generals seized power and detained civilian leaders including state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. Ari Ben-Menashe and his firm, Dickens & Madson Canada, will represent Myanmar’s military government in Washington, as well as lobby Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Israel and Russia, and international bodies like the United Nations. The Montreal-based firm will assist the devising and execution of policies for the beneficial development of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, and also to assist in explaining the real situation in the country.
Yemen hangar fire kills 44
A fire that earlier this week tore through an overcrowded detention center for migrants in Yemen’s rebel-held capital has killed at least 44 people, according to the latest death toll released Wednesday by the head of the Eritrean community in Yemen. New dramatic details also emerged about the blaze on Sunday, with survivors and leading figures in the migrant community saying the fire started when guards fired tear gas into a crowded hangar trying to end a protest by the migrants. Some 900 migrants, most of them from Ethiopia, were detained at the facility of the Passports and Naturalization Authority complex in Sanaa, which is controlled by the rebels, when the fire took place, the International Organization for Migration had said.
Can cheap tickets make Aussies fly?
Almost one million Australians will be able to enjoy half-price flights to domestic holiday destinations, under a government plan announced Thursday to boost tourism as covid border closures keep international travellers out, reports AFP. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the government would spend Aus$1.2 billion to subsidise 800,000 flights to areas outside major cities that were “heavily dependent on international tourists”. Half-price airfares will be offered to entice Australians to book holidays at places like the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru and the Gold Coast. Australia has been effectively sealed off from the rest of the world since shutting its border last March in response to the coronavirus pandemic, and is yet to announce when it will reopen to overseas visitors. International tourism was worth about Aus$45 billion a year to the country’s economy before the pandemic hit.
Environmental protection vs covid
At least 22 countries enacted or proposed changes during the coronavirus pandemic that weaken environmental regulation, endangering protected areas around the globe, according to a research paper published on Thursday. Brazil, India and the United States are the hotspots of covid-era rollbacks, said the paper published by the International Union for Conservation of Nature on how protected areas were affected by the pandemic, reports Reuters. “During a time when all eyes were obviously on covid … you had governments reducing budgets or weakening environmental protection,” said Mariana Napolitano Ferreira, head of science at WWF Brazil. The report showed that the pandemic significantly impacted protected areas around the globe beyond just rollbacks, with the crisis leading to job losses among protected area rangers, reduced anti-poaching patrols, and deaths.
Curated by Sohini Sen. Have something to share with us? Write to us at feedback@livemint or tweet to @shohinisen