Global Review – 3rd May

India’s Pandemic backlash

The Times of India reports Prime Minister Narendra Modi has suffered a rare political defeat in the key state election in West Bengal, amid signs of a voter backlash over his handling of COVID-19. Mamata Banerjee, a powerful regional politician and prominent Modi critic, won a third term as Chief Ministeras his party clocked 216 seats in the 294-seat assembly. On Sunday, India’s new coronavirus cases fell slightly but there were a record 3,689 new deaths.

Check your sewege for COVID

The European Commission has called on EU Member States to regularly monitor sewage systems for fresh outbreaks of the coronavirus. “It is crucial that EU countries set up effective wastewater monitoring systems as soon as possible and ensure the relevant data is immediately available to health authorities,” Environment Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius told the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.

Military spending spree

Military expenditure worldwide rose to nearly $2 trillion in 2020, defying the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Aftonbladet quotes a report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute showing global military spending increased by 2.6% to $1.98 trillion in 2020, when global gross domestic product shrank by 4.4%. The world’s five biggest spenders in 2020 were the United States, China, India, Russia and the UK.

IS lead arrested

Turkish security forces have arrested a leading figure of the Islamic State in Istanbul, according to investigators very close to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the jihadist group killed in October 2019 in a US military operation in Syria. Anadolu Agency reports that a man of Afghan nationality was arrested on April 28 in an operation in Atasehir, in the Asian part of the metropolis. According to Turkish media, the man, codenamed ‘Basim’, would even be Baghdadi’s right-hand man.

Colosseum floor to be restored

The floor of Rome’s Colosseum, where gladiators once fought each other and wild animals, is set to be restored to its former glory. Il Tempo says Milan Ingegneria, a structural engineering and architecture firm, has won an €18.5million bid to build and install a retractable arena floor that will allow visitors “to see the majesty of the monument” from its centre. Italiam Culture Minister Dario Franceschini said the project was expected to be completed within the next two years.

Match postponed due to prostests

The British national press gives prominence to the postponement of the Manchester United – Liverpool match at Old Trafford yesterday. A planned peaceful protest against United’s US owners spilled into chaotic and violent scenes as a group of around 100 broke into the ground, causing criminal damage and forcing stadium staff to lock themselves into rooms for safety. Greater Manchester Police confirmed one cop was slashed across the face with a bottle needing hospital treatment.

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