Editor’s Note: This listicle is part of a weekly series by The Ball State Daily News summarizing five stories from around the world. All summaries are based on stories published by The Associated Press.
Boris Johnson is expected to support a 3-tier lockdown system for England, Brazil passes 150,000 COVID-19 deaths, COVID-19 patients fill French ICUs, a Malian politician is freed from al-Qaida captivity and North Korea reveals new weapons in a military parade make up this week's five international stories.
England to have 3-tier lockdown system amid 'tipping point'
Millions of people in northern England are anxiously waiting to hear how much further virus restrictions will be tightened in coming days as the British government confirmed Sunday that it will be introducing a new system for local lockdowns. In response to the virus’ resurgence, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce in Parliament on Monday a three-tier local lockdown system, formally known as “Local COVID Alert Levels,” for England, his office said. Under the new system, the country will be placed into “medium,” “high” and “very high” alert levels, working with local leaders to impose appropriate restrictions in the "very high" alert level.
Brazil reaches 150,000 deaths from COVID-19 milestone
Brazil’s count of COVID-19 deaths surpassed 150,000 on Saturday night, despite signs the pandemic is slowly retreating in Latin America’s largest nation. The Brazilian Health Ministry reported that the death toll now stands at 150,198. The figure is the world’s second highest behind the United States, according to the tally maintained by Johns Hopkins University. Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro played down the severity of the virus while deaths mounted rapidly in Brazil. The 65-year-old president flouted social distancing at lively demonstrations and encouraged crowds during outings from the presidential residence.
As virus fills French ICUs anew, doctors ask what went wrong
During a single overnight shift last week, three new COVID-19 patients were rushed into Dr. Karim Debbat’s small intensive care ward in the southern French city of Arles. It now has more virus patients than during the pandemic’s first wave and is scrambling to create new ICU beds elsewhere in the hospital to accommodate the sick. Similar scenes are playing out across France. COVID-19 patients now occupy 40% of ICU beds in the Paris region, and more than a quarter of ICUs nationwide as weeks of growing infections among young people spread to vulnerable populations. France hasn’t added significant ICU capacity or the staff needed to manage extra beds, according to national health agency figures and doctors at multiple hospitals.
Freed Malian politician details months as al-Qaida hostage
Malian politician Soumaila Cisse’s captors kept him constantly on the move in the inhospitable desert, he told French television, describing his six months with al-Qaida-linked militants as “near permanent physical and moral isolation.” His interview with TV5 Monde came as Swiss authorities confirmed that another hostage held by the same group was dead. The militants freed Cisse in the past week along with French hostage Sophie Petronin and Italians Nicola Chiacchio and the Rev. Pierluigi Maccalli days after Mali’s government released nearly 200 jailed jihadists in an apparent exchange.
North Korea unveils new weapons at military parade
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un warned that his country would “fully mobilize” its nuclear force if threatened as he took center stage at a military parade that unveiled what appeared to be a new intercontinental ballistic missile and other weapons. Kim, however, avoided direct criticism of Washington during Saturday’s event, which celebrated the 75th anniversary of the ruling party and took place less than four weeks before the U.S. presidential election. Instead, he focused on a domestic message urging his people to remain firm in the face of “tremendous challenges” posed by the coronavirus pandemic and crippling U.S.-led sanctions over his nuclear program.