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US Indicts Venezuela’s Maduro On Narco-Terrorism Charges

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US Indicts Venezuela's Maduro On Narco-Terrorism Charges

The United States Department of Justice has on Thursday indicted Venezuela’s socialist leader Nicolas Maduro and several key aides on charges of narco-terrorism.

Attorney General William Barr, announcing the charges accused them of conspiring with Colombian rebels “to flood the United States with cocaine”.

In what seems as a latest escalation of the Trump administration’s pressure campaign aimed at ousting the socialist leader, the state department said “we estimate that somewhere between 200 and 250 metric tonnes of cocaine are shipped out of Venezuela by these routes. Those 250 metric tonnes equates to 30 million lethal doses.”

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Announcing the cash rewards, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said  the State Department would offer  up to $55m for information leading to the arrests or convictions of Maduro and four of his associates. The rewards, up to $15m for Maduro and up to $10m each for the others, are being offered under the department’s Narcotics Rewards Program, which has paid more than $130m in awards for information regarding some 75 drug traffickers since it was created in 1986.

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The US and dozens of other countries have recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s legitimate president. But Maduro who is already under U.S. sanctions has remained in power, backed by the country’s military and by Russia, China and Cuba.

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13-Year-Old Boy Dies In London After Testing Positive For Coronavirus

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13-Year-Old Boy Dies In London After Testing Positive For Coronavirus

A 13-year-old boy from London who tested positive for COVID-19, becoming Britain’s youngest victim of the pandemic.

The family said in a statement on Tuesday “Ismail was only 13 years old without any pre-existing health conditions and sadly he died without any family members close by due to the highly infectious nature of Covid 19.”

The teen’s family said he started showing symptoms and had difficulties breathing and was admitted to Kings College Hospital. “He was put on a ventilator and then put into an induced coma but sadly died yesterday morning. To our knowledge he had no underlying health conditions. We are beyond devastated.”

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Ismail whose dad died of cancer, leaving his mum to care for seven children – didn’t have any family with him at the time due to the highly infectious nature of the virus.

A GoFundMe page set up by Wednesday morning to help the family pay for the child’s “janazah”, or Muslim funeral, had raised more than 51,000 pounds (about $63,000), with 2,700 persons donating – well over the goal of 4,000 pounds (about $4,944).

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A family friend who set up the page said any extra funds would be given to the family.

Spokesman for King’s College hospital NHS foundation trust expressing condolence said “sadly, a 13-year old boy who tested positive for Covid-19 has passed away, and our thoughts and condolences are with the family at this time.” adding that “the death has been referred to the coroner and no further comment will be made.”

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London Mayor Sadiq Khan paid tribute to the young boy on Wednesday

Khan said “pause and reflect how devastating that is for his family who will probably never recover.” He further warned “young people should not believe they were immune from catching the virus.”

More than 25,000 cases of coronavirus and at least 1,789 persons have died after testing positive in the UK.

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U.N. Calls For $2.5 Trillion Covid-19 Support Package For Developing Countries

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The United Nations is calling for a two and a half trillion-dollar covid-19 support package for developing countries.  The world body says one trillion dollars should be made available through the expanded use of special drawing rights.  It is also calling for the cancellation this year of one trillion dollars of debts owed by developing countries.  The U.N. also says half a billion dollars would be needed to fund a Marshall plan for health recovery and dispersed as grants.

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The U.N. says such a support package would turn expressions of international solidarity into meaningful global action for two-thirds of the world’s population living in developing countries.

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A report by UNCTAD, the UN trade and development body, says the pandemic has dramatically hit developing countries with economic shockwaves, even when compared to the 2008 global financial crisis.  The trade body says fiscal and foreign constraints will tighten further over the course of the year and would require a two-to-three trillion dollars financing gap for developing countries over the next two years.

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UN Chief Says Coronavirus The Worst Global Crisis Since World War II

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UN Chief Says Coronavirus Is Worst Global Crisis Since World War II

The United Nations secretary-general, António Guterres has warned the coronavirus pandemic is the biggest challenge to face the world since World War Two.

Speaking at the UN headquarters in New York, the UN chief said it could bring a recession “that probably has no parallel in the recent past”.

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Guterres said “the new coronavirus disease is attacking societies at their core, claiming lives and people’s livelihoods”.

On Tuesday, Johns Hopkins University said 865 persons had died in the past 24 hours in the US and in all more than 189,000 people in the country had been infected.

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The UN report estimates that up to 25 million jobs could be lost around the world as the result of the outbreak. It also projects an up to 40% “downward pressure” on global foreign direct investment flows.

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