KTEP - El Paso, Texas

World News

China's leaders have declared the coronavirus outbreak largely under control within its borders. Now, the authorities are working to control the narrative of how the country contained the virus by questioning and even detaining people who might possess information that challenges the official line.

Those being questioned include Internet-savvy archivists; families and their legal counsel suing the state for damages from the coronavirus epidemic; and even lauded volunteers who staffed critical emergency services from the epicenter city of Wuhan.

Germany's federal government says the Bundesliga will be the first of Europe's major soccer leagues to resume its season later this month, after play was postponed in March. The German League said the first matches would take place on May 16.

The league has nine matches remaining, and it's committed to end the season by June 30. According to its agreement with Germany's Federal Health Ministry, players will submit to frequent COVID-19 testing and fans will have to watch matches on TV. The public will not be allowed inside or outside stadiums to watch the matches.

Iraq finally has a new government. More than five months after the country's caretaker prime minister announced he would resign amid anti-government protests, Parliament early Thursday approved intelligence chief Mustafa al-Kadhimi and most of his Cabinet.

Kadhimi, 53, has the backing of both the U.S. and Iran. He has struggled in recent weeks to win support from influential Iran-backed Shiite political factions. In the end, Kathimi won enough support from Parliament without the backing of at least one key former prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, who opposed his nomination.

In mid-April, when President Trump declared, "Today I'm instructing my administration to halt funding of the World Health Organization," Jimmy Kolker did a double take.

"We were already in arrears before he said anything," says Kolker, who was an assistant secretary for global health affairs during the Obama administration.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NOEL KING, HOST:

In Baghdad today, Parliament approved a new Iraqi prime minister and Cabinet after almost six months of a caretaker government. NPR's Jane Arraf has the story from Amman, Jordan.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Myanmar's Muslim minority Rohingya had few friends before COVID-19, and now they have even fewer. Boats full of refugees are being turned away by Malaysia over fears that they will spread the virus onto its shores. Michael Sullivan reports.

Democracy is weakening across Central and Eastern Europe as well as Eurasia amid the rise of Chinese and Russian influence, according to a new report by Freedom House, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C.

The annual report — Nations in Transit 2020, Dropping the Democratic Facade — covers 29 countries from Central Europe to Central Asia and says there are now fewer democracies in the area than at any point in the past 25 years.

In a purported interrogation video released Wednesday by the Venezuelan government, one of the two former U.S. service members detained earlier this week in Venezuela acknowledged plans to help carry out a coup. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro revealed the video at a televised address in the capital, Caracas.

President Trump on Wednesday vetoed a resolution that would have suppressed his ability to unilaterally take military action against Iran, calling the bipartisan bill an "insulting" attack on his presidential powers.

"This was a very insulting resolution, introduced by Democrats as part of a strategy to win an election on November 3 by dividing the Republican Party. The few Republicans who voted for it played right into their hands," the president said in a statement.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

States across the country are easing stay-at-home restrictions this week, but the pandemic is far from over here in the U.S. The rate of new coronavirus cases is going up in some states, and the number of deaths has climbed past 70,000.

When liquor stores reopened across India on Monday for the first time in nearly six weeks, little circles painted on the pavement were supposed to help customers maintain a safe distance. But Indians paid them little heed.

Human Rights Watch is accusing China of discrimination against African communities during the coronavirus pandemic.

Authorities in China's Guangdong province, home to China's largest African population, have singled out people of African descent for testing, the rights group alleges. It characterizes the tests as forcible, and says that as many Africans were forced to quarantine, landlords evicted them.

In a video recently sent to journalists from an Afghan prison, an inmate leans against a blue wall, struggling to breathe. "What's wrong with him?" one man asks. "Corona," another says.

Videos showing Afghan prisoners suffering from COVID-19-like symptoms have angered the Taliban, which has thousands of loyalists in government lockups.

As British scholar Richard Evans researched the history of pandemics for a book more than 30 years ago, he was struck by the uniformity of how governments from different cultures and different historical periods responded.

"Almost every epidemic you can think of, the first reaction of any government is to say, 'No, no, it's not here. We haven't got it,'" he says. "Or 'it's only mild' or 'it's not going to have a big effect.'"

The COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly driving the European Union into a "deep and uneven recession," with national economies contracting because of widespread disruptions in work, daily life and the movement of goods, the European Commission said Wednesday. The EU economy is predicted to shrink by 7.5% in 2020 — far worse than the 2009 contraction of around 4.5% during the so-called Great Recession.

In the ancient city of Petra, Jordan's best-known tourist destination, bird song echoes against the multicolored rock and the elaborate monuments instead of the din of tour groups and souvenir sellers.

The coronavirus pandemic has done what war did not — bring this Middle Eastern country's vital tourism industry to a dramatic halt, and with it, the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of workers.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NOEL KING, HOST:

Researchers in France say that they have found evidence that the country had cases of the coronavirus a month earlier than was previously known.

The findings were announced in a pre-proof article in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents.

Over 32,000 people have died from the new coronavirus in the United Kingdom, according to the Office for National Statistics, marking the first time in the pandemic that it has led Europe in the number of deaths.

The country has surpassed Italy in COVID-19 deaths. The U.S. still leads the world in the highest number of coronavirus deaths; over 70,270 had died from the disease as of Tuesday.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

It's 5 o'clock somewhere, and it is opening day somewhere, too.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER: First pitch of opening day in the Korea Baseball Organization - ball one.

Copyright 2020 KERA. To see more, visit KERA.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

As COVID-19 sweeps through many of the world's prisons and jails, the Philippine Supreme Court has ordered the release of nearly 10,000 inmates in one of the world's most congested prison systems.

Chief Justice Diosdado M. Peralta said in the order, released over the weekend, that granting bail and releasing indigent prisoners on "recognizance" would help staunch the spread of the novel coronavirus that has infected both prisoners and staff.

The Gulf countries and Saudi Arabia are struggling to contain the COVID-19 outbreak among migrant worker populations on whose labor the countries rely.

Even amid stringent lockdowns, the disease has continued to spread through migrant communities, with many workers living in cramped labor camps, where they share bunk beds in tightly packed rooms.

In Saudi Arabia, non-Saudi residents comprised 76% of the more than 3,000 new confirmed coronavirus cases this week, according to the country's Health Ministry.

A global alliance responded to calls to fight the coronavirus pandemic on Monday, as world leaders pledged some $8 billion to develop vaccines and treatments to fight COVID-19. The cavalcade of donors did not include the U.S., which did not participate despite being a major contributor to global health initiatives.

Copyright 2020 WABE 90.1. To see more, visit WABE 90.1.

NOEL KING, HOST:

Believe it or not, there is a place in this world where no one is thinking about social distancing at all. Here's Molly Samuel of member station WABE.

Pages