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New Zealand Extends Auckland Lockdown For 12 Days

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has on Friday announced that fresh restrictions in the country’s largest city Auckland would be extended for 12 days, after a cluster of cases grew to 29.

On Tuesday, the discovery of four new COVID-19 cases had ended New Zealand’s 102-day run with no new transmissions. Since then, the outbreak has grown to 30 persons and extended beyond Auckland.

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Announcing the lockdown extension, Ardern said Auckland would remain in Level 3 lockdown, and the rest of the country in Level 2, until 11:59pm on 26 August.

The country’s Health Minister Chris Hipkins said two of the 13 new infections reported on Friday were found in the North Island town of Tokoroa, around 210km (130 miles) south of Auckland, the site of the country’s latest outbreak.

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But Hipkins played down fears the virus could now be rampant elsewhere.

Ardern said “in terms of the ongoing investigation to identify where the virus originated from, there are still no clear connections at this point,” she emphasized that the extension of the lockdowns would buy authorities more time to stop the Auckland cluster from growing.

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Argentina Rising COVID-19 Delays School Reopening / ANN News

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Argentina Rising COVID-19 Delays School Reopening / ANN News

READ:  Estonia Reports First Confirmed Coronavirus Case
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Belarus President Closes Western Borders, Puts Army On High Alert

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Belarus President Closes Western Borders, Puts Army On High Alert

Protesters in Belarus are still angry in their sixth week of mass protests demanding the resignation of president Alexander Lukashenko.

The president has announced, in retaliation, he is putting troops on high alert and closing the country’s borders with Poland and Lithuania.  He also said the Belarusian border with Ukraine would be strengthened.

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Lukashenko insists the six weeks of protests are driven by the west. He faces increasing criticism from the united states and the European Union.

Demonstrations began after the disputed august presidential election official results gave the authoritarian leader a sixth term in office–results opponents say were manipulated.

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Bolivian Interim President Anez Withdraws From Election Race

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Bolivian Interim President Anez Withdraws From Election Race

Bolivia’s interim president Jeanine Anez has withdrawn from next month’s presidential election, saying she’s withdrawing in the interest of the party.

Anez, a former conservative senator, took office during the power vacuum that followed former president Morales’s departure after allegations of irregularities in last year’s election.  Those allegations fueled violent protests, and army pressure forced the country’s first indigenous president into exile in Mexico.

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Anez says if she does not step down, Morales would possibly return to power.

She declined to name the candidate for whom she will vote.

Next month’s election is the delayed rerun of last year’s ballot.  Anez’s candidacy had sparked controversy after she initially ruled herself out and pledged to guide the country to transparent new elections.

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By pulling out of the race, analysts say Anez could increase chances that the election will be pushed to a second round by consolidating the anti-Arce vote.

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To avoid a second round, the election winner requires at least 40 percent of valid votes in the first round and a 10-point advantage over the closest competitor.

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