Panama Covid-19 update – another 1,166 cases added today, the fourth time the daily number has been over 1,000 (all in a 2-week period), with a total of 39,149 cases to date, of which 19,416 are said to be currently active. The number of total cases is rapidly approaching 1% of the population, albeit that more than half the total are now said to be “recovered”. The country had a bit of good news too, in that Panamanian boxing legend, Roberto (“Hand of Stone“) Duran had been released from hospital, the 69-year-old having been taken in as a precaution after apparently testing positive. Meanwhile, however, there were 27 additional fatalities, the second-highest daily total to date, and taking us to 747 in total – although, to take a “glass half-full” attitude, this works out to a roughly 1.9% death-rate for those infected and 0.017% of the country’s 4.3 million population. But it is still not over, and to be frank, shows no immediate prospect of being over – even if it is ticking over at a modest and low level when compared to other, worse-affected countries.
5 July 2020
NEO-NATIONALISM IS A THREAT TO ACADEMIC COOPERATION
On 4 July, an opinion piece from University World News said that, with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting international higher education in different forms, the fall-out resulting from neo-nationalism is globally evident. It says that one element that seems to be increasingly under threat due to recent nationalist governmental policies is international academic cooperation – which it says requires the willing participation of national governments in policy-making related to higher education with the purpose of achieving globally desirable outcomes. It explains that cooperation may be formal (including agreements and contracts) or informal cooperation between academic researchers and may include international research collaboration, international research funding structures and the pooling of expertise and resources as well as student exchanges. However, it says that the rise of populist nationalism over the past few years has prompted scholars across academic fields to raise concerns about possibly diminished support for the internationalisation of higher education.
IRAN FILES LAWSUIT AT INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE AGAINST US OVER SANCTIONS AMID COVID-19 PANDEMIC
On 5 July, Republic World and others reported that Iran has filed a lawsuit in the ICJ against the US over the effects of sanctions on the Middle Eastern country’s fight against the Coronavirus pandemic.
GHANA: 1,000 BAGS OF SMUGGLED FERTILISERS INTERCEPTED
On 4 July, Ghana Web reported that a security task force formed to monitor the activities of accredited suppliers to ensure that no fertiliser is smuggled outside the district has intercepted 1,000 bags of fertilisers being transported to neighbouring Togo.
NORTHERN IRELAND: TYRONE GAA STAR CHARGED IN MULTI-MILLION DRUGS PROBE
On 5 July, the Belfast Telegraph reported that Peter Loughran, 45, an all-Ireland winning GAA Gaelic football star is at the centre of the UK’s biggest-ever investigation into organised crime. He is one of 6 Northern Ireland men facing charges.
BELGIUM: POLICE SEIZE 18 LORRIES AND IMPOSE €40,000 IN FINES IN SUSPECTED TRANSPORT FRAUD
On 5 July, the Brussels Times reported that the operation targeted a transport company which is registered in Lithuania, and employs drivers from Belarus, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan. The company, whose trucks are registered in Lithuania, Poland and Estonia, is suspected of being in breach of road traffic laws regarding its vehicles, as well as employment and health and safety laws regarding its drivers.
IS THE US LOSING THE AFRICAN SPACE RACE?
An article on War on the Rocks on 23 June said that since 1999, 11 African countries (Algeria, Angola, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, and Sudan) have successfully launched 38 unilateral and 3 multilateral satellites into orbit. It says that Africa’s space programmes account for a very small part of the world’s space activity, but is growing, and if decision-makers in the US don’t start paying closer attention to Africa’s orbital ambitions, it will see itself outpaced in this critical space race by China and Russia. The Space in Africa organisation has estimated that, by 2024, at least 19 African countries will have launched at least one satellite into space, with the total number of satellites launched by African countries rising to over 90.
THE FUTURE OF VENEZUELA INITIATIVE NEWSLETTER
On 5 July, CSIS in the US commemorated Venezuela’s Independence Day with a newsletter containing a number of interesting articles about Venezuela and its potential future(s). These include, from 16 April –
Illegal Mining in Venezuela: Death and Devastation in the Amazonas and Orinoco Regions
From 14 May –
Potential Scenarios for Venezuela’s Future in 2020
From 24 June –
Corruption in Venezuela: The Alex Saab Case
From 4 June –
Understanding the Iran-Venezuela Relationship
From 22 June –
Can Sanctions on Venezuela Be Improved?
POLITICAL WILL AND ANTI-CORRUPTION IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA
In its 6 July edition, the DevPolicy website from the Crawford School of Public Policy at the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific in Australia about the situation in PNG, saying that, when it comes to fighting corruption in PNG, it seems the more things change the more they stay the same.
BANGLADESH FIU ANNUAL REPORT: SUSPICIOUS MONEY TRANSACTION REPORT DROPS 7.86% IN FY19
In its 6 July edition, New Age reported that the number of STR about money laundering and terror financing dropped by 7.86% in the fiscal year 2018-2019 compared with that of such reports in the previous year. The country’s FIU published its annual report on 5 July. Of the total reports submitted to the BFIU in FY 2018-19, the number of STR and SAR were 2,084 and 1,489 respectively while the figures were 2,069 and 1,809 respectively in the FY 2017-18.
The FIU annual report is available at –
If you would like to say thanks by making a small contribution, in case I need to upgrade or replace my computers and other paraphernalia, I have a page at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y