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
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Covid deaths in England are falling faster than gloomy SAGE advisers thought they would, official data show — and scientists claim lockdown rules could be loosened faster. Models produced by the SPI-M group of scientists predicting the future of the Covid outbreak in February suggested the daily death count would stay above 200 until mid-March. But the average number of victims recorded each day had dropped below this level before the end of February, statistics show. Experts told The Telegraph the progress is 'better than expected' and suggested the Government's 'data not dates' approach could see relaxations brought forward. The vaccine rollout has made immense progress, with 20million people now vaccinated across the UK, and studies suggest the jabs are working better than expected, preventing between 85 and 94 per cent of hospitalisations. SPI-M's prediction was more pessimistic about how well the vaccine would work and whether it would stop transmission, which may … [Read more...] about Lockdown ‘could ease earlier’ in England because Covid deaths are falling FASTER than SAGE predicted thanks to vaccine success
Millions of children are facing a "catastrophic education emergency" as coronavirus lockdowns have closed schools worldwide , the UN's main organization for children said on Wednesday. UNICEF said schools for more than 168 million children in 14 countries had been completely shut for almost an entire year because of the pandemic. It warned that 214 million children globally — or 1 in 7 — had missed more than three-quarters of their in-person learning since March 2020. UNICEF chief Henrietta Fore said pupils were paying the heaviest price "As we approach the one-year mark of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are again reminded of the catastrophic education emergency worldwide lockdowns have created," UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said. "With every day that goes by, children unable to access in-person schooling fall further and further behind, with the most marginalized paying the heaviest price," she said. "No effort should be spared to keep schools open, or … [Read more...] about Coronavirus: UN warns of ‘catastrophic education emergency’
At least 38 people died after security forces tried to disperse anti-coup protesters in Myanmar on Wednesday, a United Nations envoy said. Multiple reports from several cities and towns said police used live ammunition, as well as tear gas and rubber bullets, as the military quelled protests in the most violent day since demonstrations against last month's coup first broke out. "Today it was the blackest day since the coup happened on the first of February. Today, 38 people died," UN special envoy Christine Schraner Burgener said. She said videos showing violence against journalists, and an obvious shooting of a protester, were "very disturbing." "It seems that the police used weapons like nine millimeter submachine guns. So live ammunition," Schraner Burgener said. The UN special envoy called on member states to employ all tools available "to stop this situation" and called for unity among the international community, just one day after neighboring countries called for … [Read more...] about Myanmar protests: Dozens killed in ‘blackest day’ since coup
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced several measures to support people affected by COVID-19 lockdowns. Much of Wednesday's budget (summed up here ) focused on the pandemic, with some schemes being extended and some new ones introduced to the tune of an extra £65 billion, bringing the total spend on COVID-19 since March 2020 into the next financial year to £407bn. Here are all the COVID -related announcements: Furlough Mr Sunak has extended the furlough scheme to 30 September. It was due to expire at the end of April after starting last March when the crisis began. Wages for millions who are unable to work due to the restrictions will continue to have up to 80% of their salary subsidised by the government, with a maximum of £2,500 a month. This will gradually be lifted, with the government reducing its contribution to 70% from July and employers having to pay 10% for hours not worked. In August and September, the government will pay 60% and employers 20%. … [Read more...] about Budget 2021: What COVID-19 support measures were announced and extended?