30th April

According to The Times of Israel, at least 44 people have been killed and about 150 injured in a crowd crush at a Jewish religious gathering in northern Israel attended by tens of thousands of people, in one of the country’s worst peacetime disasters. Eli Beer, director of an Israeli volunteer ambulance service, Hatzalah, is quoted as telling Army Radio on Friday morning, he was shocked by the size of the crowds at Mount Meron overnight, estimated at around 100,000. Children were among the dead, he told. 

The EU’s border agency Frontex is coordinating with the Libyan Coast Guard, according to a joint-investigation between Lighthouse Reports with Der Spiegel, Libération and ARD Monitor. The agency has, in the past denied such links but “the investigation reveals back channels between Frontex and the Libyan Coast Guard, including Whatsapp groups where coordinates of refugee boats are shared.”

EU Observer reports that France is planning to almost-fully end its lockdown by July, in four phases starting with reopening schools on Monday, May 3. Bars, restaurants, and non-essential shops will reopen, but with social distancing rules, on  May 19. Sports and cultural events, as well as foreign tourism, will be allowed from  June 9, for those with a COVID Certificate. And all curfews will end on June 30, but nightclubs will remain closed for now.

All India Radio reports Delhi police have asked local authorities to identify more sites for COVID-19 cremations. A second wave of the Coronavirus is ravaging parts of India, overwhelming hospitals, morgues and crematoriums. The total number of infections passed 18 million on Thursday, with 386,452 more recorded, the biggest one-day increase on record for any country. There were another 3,500 deaths, with Delhi recording its highest single-day toll of fatalities at almost 400.

Jornal do Brazil says the number of deaths related to COVID-19 has passed 400,000 in Brazil, the second-highest in the world, as the country continues to struggle with its vaccination programme. There were 3,000 deaths in 24 hours, after a peak of more than 4,000 was reached at the start of April. Congress has opened an inquiry into the Government’s handling of the pandemic.

Deutsche-Welle quotes German police saying that a 51 year old woman detained on suspicion of killing four people at a hospital in the Eastern city of Potsdam is an employee at the clinic. Officers called to the Oberlin Clinic shortly before 9pm Wednesday found the victims and a fifth person who was seriously injured in patient rooms. Local newspaper Potsdamer Neueste Nachrichten reported the victims were residents of the Thusnelda von Saldern House, which cares for people with serious disabilities.

Award-winning actor and producer Noel Clarke has been suspended by BAFTA while it investigates allegations of sexual harassment and bullying made against him by multiple women. A Guardian investigation reports that the 45 year old, faces accusations of verbal abuse, bullying, harassment or unprofessional misconduct between 2004 and 2019. Clarke said in a statement that he “vehemently” denies any wrongdoing and intended to defend himself against these “false allegations”.

The Washington Post reports that five people have been arrested and indicted for their alleged involvement in February in the wounding of the man who walked Lady Gaga’s three prized French bulldogs and in their kidnapping. One of the suspects is the woman who “found” the dogs in the days following the shooting, after the star offered a $500,000 reward. 

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