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Woman shot during Myanmar anti-coup protest dies.

Views expressed in this geopolitical news summary are those of the reporters and correspondents.

Content supplied by the BBC in London.  You can find the latest BBC World News video here:

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/10462520/one-minute-world-news

Accessed on 19 February 2021, 1119 UTC, Post 1004.

Source:   https://www.bbc.com/news/world

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Thanks for joining us today.

Russ Roberts

https://www.hawaiigeopoliticalnews.com

BBC News World

Latest Updates

  1. Magufuli calls for fasting to overcome Covid-19

    Tanzanian President John Magufuli
    Image caption: President Magufuli last year declared the country "Covid-19 free"

    Tanzania's President John Magufuli has termed the Covid-19 pandemic as a "test from God" and called for three days of prayers and fasting to overcome it.

    President Magufuli made the comments on Friday at the funeral of his chief secretary, John Kijazi, who died of an undisclosed illness while undergoing treatment.

    The government spokesperson tweeted the president's comments:

    Quote Message: "It is possible this is another test but with God we will win. Let's not scare each other because we will not overcome. It's possible we have offended God or we're being tested and I'm urging that we stand by God."
    Quote Message: I ask you Tanzanians if we have slipped let's continue praying to God and fasting from today, tomorrow and the day after. Religious leaders continue encouraging prayers, we will win. God cannot forsake this nation."

    For months the government has insisted the Covid-19 pandemic was under control and encouraged the use of herbal remedies.

    The vice-president of Tanzania's semi-autonomous islands of Zanzibar, Seif Sharif Hamad, died on Wednesday - nearly three weeks after his party said he had contracted Covid-19.

    He was the most prominent political figure in Tanzania to have openly declared that he had Covid-19.

    The government has not published data on coronavirus for months.

  2. UN expresses concern over Somalia clashes

    The UN has said it is "deeply concerned" by the clashes in Somalia between the opposition and security forces.

    It has called for "calm and restraint by all parties involved" and urged for dialogue.

    "The @UN in #Somalia notes that the clashes in #Mogadishu underscore the urgent need for Federal Government and Federal Member State leaders to come together to reach political agreement on the implementation of the 17 September electoral model," the UN tweeted.

    The UN and African Union urged Somali leaders to resume talks to resolve the impasse on how to proceed with elections.

    The term of President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo ended last Monday and opposition groups have said they no longer recognise him.

    Talks scheduled for 15 February failed to take place.

    AU Commission chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, and UN Secretary General António Guterres called for "a spirit of compromise".

  3. International flights to Somalia suspended

    International flights at the Aden Adde International Airport in Somalia's capital Mogadishu have been suspended following heavy gunfire and shelling on the perimeter wall of the airport.

    The BBC’s Bella Sheegow in Mogadishu says sources at the airport have confirmed that the Ethiopian Airlines flight that was due to land this morning is among those cancelled.

    She is trying to reach the authorities for more details.

    Opposition leaders defied a ban on public gatherings and are calling for the president to leave office.

    President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo's term ended last week, without the selection of a successor, throwing Somalia into a political crisis.

  4. Heavy gunfire in Somali capital amid protests

    Heavy gunfire has been reported in Somali capital, Mogadishu, as a group of opposition leaders defied a government ban on public gatherings and held protests.

    Security forces have closed most roads in the city over the planned protests.

    The opposition parties want President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo to leave office after his term ended last week - without the election of a successor.

    The BBC'S Bella Hassan reports that there has been heavy gunfire in several parts of the city.

    Opposition presidential candidate, Abdirahman Abdishaku, was among those who tried to lead a march.

    Security forces shot in the air to disperse some protesters.

    Former Prime Minister Hassan Ali Kheyre says on Facebook that he survived an "assassination attempt".

    The government has not yet commented on the protests and shootings.

  5. Decision day on Dutch Covid curfew: Latest around Europe

    Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on 18 Feb
    Image caption: Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte faces a decisive day on the future of the curfew

    A dramatic day awaits in the Netherlands as the government fights to maintain its overnight Covid curfew. Mark Rutte's caretaker government will appeal this morning against a court’s decision to lift the 21:00-04:30 curfew because ministers used national emergency legislation. In case the appeal fails, a new curfew law will be heard by the upper house of parliament to replace it.

    Germany has reportedly appointed a special commissioner to help speed up the supply of vaccines. Spiegel website says Christoph Krupp’s job will be to help companies accelerate production and act as their point man with the government. Germany has so far given almost three million people, 3.6% of the population, an initial dose.

    France has increased isolation periods for people infected with Covid-19 from seven to 10 days. Health minister Olivier Véran says some scientific studies suggest new variants mean you could be infectious for longer. France says one million people have now had both shots of the Covid vaccine.

    Italy’s new PM Mario Draghi easily won his confidence vote by MPs last night by 535 votes to 56. The former head of the European Central Bank won backing across the political spectrum, from the centre-left to the far right.

    If you work at the Vatican and refuse to get vaccinated you could lose your job under a new decree. The Vatican says staff will need to provide a medical reason for not having the jab or face the consequences.

  6. AU envoy in Sudan to defuse tensions with Ethiopia

    BBC Monitoring

    The world through its media

    African Union special envoy to Sudan has arrived in Khartoum to defuse mounting tensions between Sudan and Ethiopia, according to state-owned Suna news agency.

    Ambassador Mohamed El Hacen Ould Lebatt arrived in Khartoum on Thursday and met Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and head of the Transitional Military Council (TMC), Lt-Gen Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan.

    He also met Sudan's first vice-president Lt Gen Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo.

    Sudan and Ethiopia accuse each other of acts of aggression after clashes erupted last year over an area of fertile land settled by Ethiopian farmers that Sudan says lies in its territory.

    The two countries are also yet to agree on the construction of a huge dam on the River Nile.

  7. Africa Daily: How did bread get so expensive in Sudan?

    Alan Kasujja

    BBC Africa Daily

    Sudanese bakers prepare bread at a bakery in Sudan (taken December 16, 2019)

    Getting a sandwich shouldn’t be this hard. In Sudan, a shortage of bread has meant prices have gone through the roof.

    Long queues outside bakeries have become a common sight in the capital, Khartoum.

    “The cost has become so high that people aren’t buying in the same large quantities that they used to,” says Dalia Abdelmoniem, a baker in the capital.

    Some people are getting restless and have begun protesting - not just over bread, but also about the rising prices of fuel and medicine.

    “Many families cannot afford a meal a day,” says Hafiz Mohamed, an economist and human rights activist.

    In Sudan, bread and politics go hand-in-hand. Few can forget that, back in 2019, it was partly down to bread prices that people started demanding the removal of President Omar al-Bashir from power.

    So what’s behind this hike in prices? And what does it tell us about Sudan’s economic troubles?

    Find out in Friday’s episode of Africa Daily.

    Subscribe to the show on BBC Sounds of wherever you get your podcasts.

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