Protesters gathered in cities and towns across Myanmar on Monday as they answered the call for a general strike. The industrial action brought large parts of the country to a standstill even as the military junta warned that confrontation could cost lives. Despite the veiled threat from the military, people came out onto the streets as part of the "Spring Revolution" in support of the Civil Disobedience Movement — a nebulous organization that is pushing for open resistance to the junta in an effort to reinstate the civilian government under the democratically elected Aung San Suu Kyi. The military leadership had warned against Monday's general strike on Sunday in a statement broadcast over the state-controlled television channel MRTV. "It is found that the protesters have raised their incitement towards riot and anarchy mob on the day of 22 February. Protesters are now inciting the people, especially emotional teenagers and youths , to a confrontation path where they will … [Read more...] about Myanmar: General strike goes ahead despite threats
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Another 18 people have been reportedly killed on the streets of Myanmar as pro-democracy protests continue against the military coup, a human rights group says. Security forces have used tear gas, stun guns and grenades and opened fire with little warning in several towns and cities to break up protests, witnesses said. Two people were killed during clashes at a protest in the country's second-biggest city Mandalay, a witness and media reports said, while one person was reported killed when police opened fire in the main city of Yangon. The Monywa Gazette reported five people were killed in the central town when police opened fire. Student activist Moe Myint Hein, 25, said one person was shot and killed in the town of Myingyan, adding: "They opened fire on us with live bullets. One was killed, he's young, a teenage boy, shot in the head," Advertisement A spokesman for the ruling military council did not answer telephone calls seeking comment, Reuters … [Read more...] about Myanmar coup: Death toll of pro-democracy protesters rises to 18 as calls for peace from southeast Asian nations fail
Police have arrested 84 suspects and seized thousands of fake COVID-19 vaccines in raids in China and South Africa. It comes weeks after the head of Interpol warned that criminal networks would try to cash in on the global vaccination rollout. South African police seized 400 ampoules, providing 2,400 doses, of a fake vaccine in Germiston, Gauteng, along with a big supply of fake 3M brand masks. They arrested a Zambian national and three Chinese suspects. Brigadier Vish Naidoo, of the South African Police, said: "Since COVID-19 reached the shores of South Africa, the government has adopted an integrated multi-disciplinary law enforcement approach. "This is proving to be very effective as we have seen in the arrests for foreign nationals attempting to peddle fake vaccines to unsuspecting people within South Africa." Advertisement That raid led to a second on a manufacturing premises in China, where police seized 3,000 fake vaccines and arrested 80 … [Read more...] about COVID-19: Police arrest 84 people as thousands of fake coronavirus vaccines seized in China and South Africa
It has become something of a tradition that a chancellor pulls a "rabbit out of the hat" - a measure to surprise and delight - towards the end of a budget speech. Those viewing the 56-minute statement had, after all, heard many of the main announcements before through a flood of leaks from the Treasury in advance of Rishi Sunak's update to the Commons. Wednesday's bunny remained firmly in its burrow but a case can be made for freeports being among the most important measures in terms of building an economic recovery from COVID-19 and a new avenue for trade following Brexit . Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player The headlines of the hour-long Budget speech from the Chancellor. Here, we will explain what freeports are but first reveal the successful applicants, as outlined by the chancellor, following a bid process that launched last October. Where will these freeports be? Advertisement Mr Sunak told … [Read more...] about Budget 2021: The post-Brexit freeports at the centre of Sunak’s speech
The budget doesn't just have ramifications on the Treasury - other parts of the economy will feel the effects of the announcements for months and years to come. Taking a look at specific policies, Sky's specialist correspondents have broken down what Rishi Sunak 's headline speech means in their areas. Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player Budget 2021: What did Rishi Sunak announce? Get more live budget updates here Sunak wants to stave off unemployment and give confidence to businesses By Paul Kelso, business correspondent Advertisement Like the rest of us, Rishi Sunak probably wanted to look forward to life after COVID , but the continued grip of the virus on the UK did not give him, or us, that luxury. So this Budget was most significant for being yet another emergency statement, committing £65bn to broadly extend state support to business and individuals for another seven months to … [Read more...] about Budget 2021: Climate, health and culture – what are the wider impacts of the budget?