Covid-19 – for the week ending 7 January, the number of new cases was roughly the same as the previous week (1,984 compared to 2,066), with 10 new fatalities reported. The number of active cases has fallen by nearly 1,000 to 2,086, with still 3 people in ICU, only 5 less in other wards, at 99. Mind you, testing now shows a positivity rate of 7.9%, down from 10.5% last week.
The good news, for me, is that the workmen yesterday were only pruning (albeit drastically) the giant mango tree, and the parakeets and other birds were still there this morning, although probably perplexed by what had happened…
On 11 January, OFAC advised that it had published a new FAQ about changes to a General License to further support the provision of communication tools to ordinary Iranians and assist in their efforts to resist repressive internet censorship and surveillance tools deployed by the Iranian government. It also issued updated versions of several existing FAQ.
On 10 January, an article from Insight Crime says that a new report has delved into the inner workings of extortion techniques across Latin America, showing the constant innovation needed to ensure numerous businesses pay out fees to criminal groups with little complaint. The report from the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime showed how gangs practicing extortion, as well as copycats, are continually trying out new techniques to guarantee that payments keep coming, and the COVID-19 pandemic intensified this evolution.
On 11 January, WION and others reported that Canada has imposed sanctions on 4 Sri Lankans including former presidents Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brother Gotabaya Rajapaksafor committing what Canada called “gross and systematic violations of human rights” during the country’s civil war.
SRI LANKA SUMMONS CANADIAN DIPLOMAT OVER SANCTIONS ON RAJAPAKSA BROTHERS
On 11 January, Devdiscourse reported that Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry summoned Canada’s top diplomat and expressed its displeasure over his country’s decision to impose ”unilateral sanctions” on its 4 citizens, including 2 former Presidents.