NEWS DIGEST 08.05.2020: Personal COVID-19 impacts in the Americas & Africa



Today marks the 75th anniversary of the cessation of hostilities in Europe in 1945, after the ending of the Second World War. It is VE (Victory in Europe) Day today, a national bank holiday in the UK (early May Bank Holiday). Our news comes via the official HEMNA Twitter account @halfeatenmind.

The United States Labor Department has released official unemployment benefit claims totals for the week ending 5th May, 2020 in the wake of the COVID-19 emergency. Initial claims for unemployment insurance were 3,169,000 for the week ending 5/2. The total number of Americans now seeking work and claiming insurance was at 22.6 million up until mid-April.

Fox News reports that the US Department of Justice has dropped its investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who was accused in 2017 of lying to the FBI. The announcement came in a court filing “after a considered review of all the facts and circumstances of this case, including newly discovered and disclosed information,” as the department put it. DoJ officials said they concluded that Flynn’s interview by the FBI was “untethered to, and unjustified by, the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into Mr. Flynn” and that the interview was “conducted without any legitimate investigative basis.” Evidence has been released that has called into question the nature of the DoJ investigation into the adviser, Fox News claimed – DOJ drops case against Michael Flynn, in wake of internal memo release (Fox News)

Canadian author D.G. Kaye @pokercubster via the blog Smorgasbord Blog Magazine announced the release of the latest paranormal novel by author Heather Kindt. The book, entitled “The Watcher”, is the second installment of Kindt’s The Weaver Trilogy series, and has already won glowing early reviews on Amazon – Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – #Paranormal – The Watcher (The Weaver Trilogy Book 2) by Heather Kindt (Smorgasbord Blog Magazine)

Medical journal The Lancet has published an article on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil, focussing on the handling of the crisis by its populist and controversial president, Jair Bolsonaro. Dubbed ‘Trump of the Amazon’, Bolsonaro has been condemned by critics for his dismissive stance towards the virus’ impact on his country. When asked by journalists last week about the rapidly increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases, he responded: “So what? What do you want me to do?”, the article says – COVID-19 in Brazil: “So what?” (The Lancet)

Kenya’s NewsTap reports on the harrowing and sad story of a local widow in the city of Mombasa who was forced to cook stones to pretend to her hungry children that dinner was being prepared so they could go to sleep. Penninah Bahati Kitsao, whose husband, the sole breadwinner of her family of nine, was killed in a gang attack, was struggling to feed her children. Tragedy struck further, when her youngest child, Mary, died in hospital from a fever. The only good news for the widow was that after her situation made the news, she received not only food donations but also help to pay her children’s school expenses – Mombasa Widow Who Cooked Stones For Kids, Lost Her Last Born. (NewsTap)

#AceBreakingNews and Breaking 911 reports on the horrific killing of a security guard in Michigan, US after telling a customer at a ‘dollar store’ that she needed to wear a face mask when entering the shop. Several witnesses said that Calvin James Munerlyn, who was working as a security guard at the Family Dollar in Flint and a female got into a verbal altercation after Munerlyn told her she needed to wear a mask inside the store – Michigan Security Guard Killed at Dollar Store For Telling Woman She Needed To Wear a Mask (Breaking 911)

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