Weekly Report May 8 2020


May 8, 2020


In a recent discovery, researchers have found that the coronavirus “can persist in men’s semen even after they have begun to recover.” Professionals have yet to confirm whether or not the virus can be transmitted sexually, but studies will be taking place in the near future. There are also plans to further research fetal development and whether or not the virus can cause birth defects. 


Coup: Two American veterans were arrested on Monday after a failed “raid purportedly aimed at capturing the socialist leader” President Nicolás Maduro. Venezuelan politicians are blaming the United States and Colombia for the raid, saying that both governments were somehow involved in the “defeated raid.” Over 300 people were involved, and several people were killed by security forces. One of the American detainees has already claimed responsibility for the failed coup. 

Riot: At least 40 people died after a prison riot erupted in central Venezuela on May 1st. The riot originally began as a peaceful protest led by inmates at Llanos Penitentiary Center who were asking that their visiting family members be allowed to bring them food. Human rights groups have been concerned with violence and overcrowding at Venezuelan prisons.  


ISIS: On Sunday night, ISIS targeted several different Iraqi areas hitting tribal Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) and a local administrator, resulting in the death of three men. The PMF “organized a unit alongside the Iraqi army and police to raid the site resulting in four deaths and five injuries” following the attack. As a result of ISIS’s ambush, Iraq’s government declared that a military operation would be going after the Islamic State operatives who currently reside in western Iraq. 

Prime Minister: Former head of the Iraqi National Intelligence Service, Mustafa al-Kadhimi, was sworn in as the new prime minister, ending five months of “deadlock” in Iraq. Al-Kadhimi is “a political independent and a pragmatist” who has stated that “his government ‘will provide solutions, not add to the crises’ facing Iraq.” 


Despite the rising tensions between Iran and the United States, the two countries are in the midst of negotiating a prisoner release. The American detainee, veteran Michael R. White, has been in Iran for two years. The Iranian prisoner’s identity has yet to be released. Currently, Iran supposedly holds at least four Americans and claims that “about two dozen Iranians are held by the United States.” A conclusion has yet to be reached regarding the prisoner exchange. 


The looming threat of famine has driven Lebanese citizens to defy the government-mandated lockdown. The economic collapse has made necessities unaffordable, lessening the frequency of food donations. Charities are also losing money. Protesters have been shot as the poverty rates continuously skyrocket. 


On Monday, the Libyan military targeted seven oil tankers belonging to militias that openly support Khalifa Haftar. The tankers were supposed to meet Haftar’s militia in Tarhuna, “a major focal point for Haftar’s militia in their onslaught against Tripoli.” 


Myanmar’s police have used the coronavirus as an opportunity to increase “its attacks on ethnic minorities… killing dozens of civilians in shellings and airstrikes.” The military has yet to deny these claims and has instead stated that the lives lost are simply “collateral damage.” 

North Korea 

Kim Jong-un: Kim Jong-un has returned to the public eye after about a month of remaining out of the media’s view. News outlets had originally claimed that the leader was on his deathbed, but such claims have been disproven after Kim Jong-un was pictured cutting the ribbon at a fertilizer company earlier this week. 

DMZ: North Korean guards at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) exchanged gunfire with South Korea on Sunday. Mike Pompeo, the UnitedStates’s Secretary of State, said “that initial reports indicated the gunfire from the North was ‘accidental.’” 


On May 4th, Facebook deactivated 52 profiles that belonged to Palestinian journalists and activists, claiming that the content of the pages did not follow its “Community Standards.” Facebook failed to “provide any specific reason” and said that it has “already reviewed this decision and it can’t be reversed.” Censorship on social media platforms in Palestine is no new occurrence – Palestinian activists have experienced many cases of censorship from the Israeli government in the past. As the fight for Palestine’s statehood trudges on, it can be expected that cases similar to these deactivations will occur. 


Over the past two weeks, three health care professionals treating coronavirus patients have fallen out of hospital windows; two have died and one is still being treated. One of the medical professionals, Alexander Shulepov, is an ambulance doctor who was treated for COVID-19 but was also being forced to work despite his diagnosis. His colleague, Alexander Kosyakin, had uploaded a video of himself critiquing “hospital administration for protective gear shortages… and was questioned by the police for allegedly spreading fake news.” Kosyakin confirmed Shulepov’s story to news outlets, resulting in the hospital releasing a statement contradicting Shulepov’s experience. Shulepov took back his original story and the head doctor of the hospital claimed that his staff has an adequate amount of protective equipment. 


Violence between Arabs and non-Arabs broke out in Darfur on Wednesday, leaving more than 30 people dead and a dozen injured. The Sudanese transitional government has attempted to resolve riots and rebellions such as this one but has failed to do so, as was apparent on Wednesday. The clashes between Arabs and non-Arabs have been present since 2003 when the “Arab-dominated Sudanese government” was accused of discrimination by “ethnic Africans.” 


An unknown gunman killed nine Syrian police officers in the province of Daraa, where an uprising against the government began in March 2011. The Interior Ministry stated that police officers were killed “after a terrorist group attacked them as they were performing their job,” using the government’s term for rebels and fighters.” For now, no one has claimed responsibility for the attack.


China is one step closer to building a space station after a “large carrier rocket made its first successful flight Tuesday.” The rocket has spent ten years in development, and with the threat of coronavirus slowly decreasing in the nation, more attention has been placed in fields other than medicine. Currently, China is not only planning on launching its own permanent space station by 2022 but also on sending a person to the moon in the 2030s. 


The opposition party has boycotted parliament to “protest against the dismissal of four of its legislators at the behest of a faction opposed to the party leadership.” It is likely that the dismissal of the legislators could “trigger a by-election,” but the coronavirus has made it difficult to predict what is next for the Zimbabwean government.


Nicaragua has been very slow to respond to the spread of the coronavirus, endangering not only its population but also that of its neighbors. The government has claimed that quarantine measures are “alarmist and extremist,” and has yet to discourage large social gatherings. Schools have remained opened, and the government has started to clean them weekly. 

Hong Kong

Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters are planning a march for this upcoming Sunday, resuming a campaign that began a year ago. After several prominent pro-democracy activists were arrested last month, the movement has gained serious momentum. 

China’s Hong Kong Affairs Office said that the Hong Kong protests are a “political virus” and warned that the city will never be calm unless “black-clad violent protesters” are removed. Although protesters do not expect to get permission for the rally, many young people have planned on attending the rally because social distancing controls have relaxed.

United States

Many states have begun to reopen despite the fact that over 76,000 people have died from the coronavirus. Small businesses are being forced to close, and 33 million people have filed for unemployment. As people begin to travel between states, more cases are being reported. Recently, researchers have discovered that the “outbreak in New York City became the primary source of infections around the United States.”