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

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U.N. Calls For Covid Vaccine, Treatment Available For All

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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Pakistani Airliner Carrying 99 Crashes In Karachi, Many Feared Dead

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Pakistani Airliner Carrying 99 Crashes In Karachi, Many Feared Dead

At least 54 persons have on Friday been killed, with more feared dead after a Pakistan International Airlines Airbus A320 flying from Lahore crashed in the densely populated Model Colony residential area of Karachi.

Officials say the Airbus A320 passenger airliner carrying 91 passengers and eight crew crashed as it was about to approach the airport in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi.

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A health ministry spokesperson told Al Jazeera news agency that at least two male passengers of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight PK-8303 from the eastern city of Lahore to Karachi survived the crash.

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With many other feared dead, the pilot had reported a loss of engine power and subsequently issued a mayday.

An airline spokesman said the plane lost contact with air traffic control just after 14:30 local time (09:30 GMT).

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According to local media, witnesses said the plane rapidly lost altitude and crashed short of the runway into the Model Colony neighbourhood.

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China Moves To Impose Security Law On Hong Kong

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China Moves To Impose Security Law On Hong Kong

The opening day of China’s national people’s congress focused on a controversial security law for Hong Kong that would likely ban treason, subversion and sedition.

This new security law has already faced significant backlash from the US, Taiwan and pro-democracy figures in Hong Kong.

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Beijing tried to introduce a similar law in 2003 but shelved the initiative because of mass protests.

Experts say this new law is a major blow to the city’s freedoms which they say breaks china’s promise to allow Hong Kong freedoms not seen elsewhere in China.

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Pro-democracy activists have called for mass protests against what they describe as erosion of Hong Kong’s autonomy.

The draft law was submitted at the annual National People’s Congress (NPC), which largely rubber-stamps decisions already taken by the communist leadership, but is still the most important political event of the year.

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Brazil Coronavirus Deaths Surpass 20,000 After Record Daily Toll

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Brazil Coronavirus Deaths Surpass 20,000 After Record Daily Toll

Brazil has recorded its highest covid-19 death toll of eleven hundred, eighty-eight in one day, bringing the total fatalities to more than twenty thousand.

The country carries the brunt of the virus with three hundred and ten thousand confirmed cases in the whole of Latin America.

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The nation comes behind united states and Russia in number of infections and deaths, making it the third most affected country in the world.

Sao Paulo, Brazil’s economic and cultural capital, is the most affected with about a quarter of the recorded deaths and infections.

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Almost all of the country’s 27 states are under some sort of lockdown order.

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