Each Wednesday, we recap the most important headlines from our global community to keep you up to speed on world news.
For the first time in North Carolina’s history, a Muslim woman was elected to public office. Democrat Nida Allam made history last Tuesday night when she won a seat on the Durham County Board of Commissioners. There were five seats available, and Allam finished in fourth place with 39,523 votes. The other four seats were filled by women, all Democrats.
Nida Allam used her campaign to promote Muslim representation by including her hijab in her campaign logo. Allam’s campaign priorities include a $15 minimum wage for county workers, boosting mental health services in schools and investing in businesses run by women and people of color.
Joe Biden wins in Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri and Michigan, the state with the night’s largest delegate prize, CBS projects. Biden had been allocated 820 delegates so far in the race and Bernie Sanders had been allocated 670. Tulsi Gabbard, who remains in the race, has 2 delegates. Biden now would have to win 50% of the delegates that are yet to be allocated to win a majority outright. Sanders would need to win 56%.
Italy became the first nation to restrict movement throughout an entire country in a desperate bid to halt Europe’s worst coronavirus outbreak.
At least 631 people have now died from coronavirus in Italy, an increase of 168 in a single day. The 36% rise is the biggest since the COVID-19 contagion first came to light there on 21 February.
People can only move around for work, health needs or emergencies. Anyone travelling will have to fill in a document declaring their reasons and carry it with them.
A multi-billion Euro funding package in the fight against the virus was announced by the EU. The bloc pledged money to fund researchers seeking a vaccine, as well as to allow member states greater flexibility on providing subsidies to companies and invest €25bn in parts of the European economy worst hit by the epidemic, among other measures.
Globally, there are more than 116,000 confirmed cases, and over 4,000 deaths, according to figures collated by Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
The House has a right to see secret grand-jury evidence gathered in the Russia investigation, an appeals court ruled. The decision is a victory for Congress’s power to obtain information for an impeachment inquiry. The Trump administration is likely to appeal.
Usually, Congress has no right to view grand jury evidence. But in 1974, the courts permitted lawmakers to see such materials as they weighed whether to impeach President Richard M. Nixon. Last summer, as the House Judiciary Committee weighed whether to impeach Mr. Trump, the panel sought a judicial order to see certain Mueller grand jury materials, too.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has opened the door to constitutional changes that would allow him to remain in power until 2036, but said he favoured term limits once the country became politically “mature”.
Addressing the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, Putin gave his qualified blessing to a proposed change to the Constitution that would formally reset his presidential term tally to zero.
His stance handed him the option to run again in 2024 should he choose to do so and removed political challenges raised by what had been seen as his last term in the Kremlin, said Tatiana Stanovaya, a non-resident scholar at the Carnegie Moscow Center.
As countries around the world struggle to contain the coronavirus, scientists are warning of a more deadly viral outbreak in Africa. The people of Nigeria are dealing with what may be the world’s largest epidemic of Lassa fever, a viral disease killing more people than coronavirus.
Lassa fever is a severe viral hemorrhagic fever similar to the Ebola virus that affects areas of Nigeria throughout the year. It was declared an “active outbreak” by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in February. The epidemic usually occurs during the annual dry season, but this year, it has already spread across more than half the country.
There have been four Lassa fever epidemics in the past five years with many of the cases flaring up near the beginning of the year, according to Quartz Africa. In just two months, Lassa fever cases have reached 96% of the total number of cases at this time last year.