The Guardian

The Guardian 14 May 2020

Fighting a locust plague amid Covid-19 in east Africa

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The recent coronavirus pandemic is only exacerbating the problems currently facing herders, also known as pastoralists, in Kenya. They've seen their livestock devastated and crops destroyed after the worst locust invasions in 70 years and villagers are bracing themselves for another swarm, 400 times larger if left unchecked.  With less vegetation for grazing, herders can sometimes infringe on neighbours land, causing violent conflict. We follow Josephine Ekiru, a peace-builder, who is trying to help as economic insecurity caused by the pandemic fuels attacks


The federal government's emergency commercial rent assistance program is not expected to be in place until at least mid-May. Is that too late for some businesses struggling amid COVID-19 shutdowns? Two business owners - Ginger Robertson and Samantha Sherer - discuss.
London and the Midlands have the lowest COVID-19 infection rates in England, according to estimates by Cambridge University.

While the R number - the number of people an infected person passes the disease on to - is only an average of 0.4 in London, in the North East and Yorkshire it's an average of 0.80.

Other estimates in the study show that the coronavirus has infected 18% of those aged 5 to 14 but only 3% of those over 75, a sign that shielding measures have worked.

#coronavirus #COVID19 #uk
An anti-malaria drug is being given to patients with COVID-19 in Senegal.
The World Health Organization (WHO) warned against the use of Chloroquine, but some Senegalese doctors say it is a cheaper solution.
Al Jazeera's Nicolas Haque has more from the capital, Dakar.
On The Listening Post this week: From "herd immunity" to lack of testing, Britain's coronavirus response has needed more media scrutiny. Plus, Israeli surveillance under cover of COVID-19.

COVID-19 in Britain: The death toll and the media deference

As the coronavirus death toll in the UK continues to mount - there is a growing market for explanations. And it is not being met at 10 Downing Street.

Government officials at the daily briefings are dodging difficult questions. Journalists are failing to get answers. This has meant politicians have been getting away with vague or incomplete answers on some serious failings - such as the lack of testing, personal protective equipment for healthcare workers and ventilators - in a relatively prosperous country.

Then there are the questionable decisions that Prime Minister Boris Johnson took in the early stages. Johnson caught the virus - but has recovered. His personal story has received plenty of attention.

But how we got here - and who is responsible - is a larger story, yet to be properly told.

Contributors:

Hardeep Matharu - Editor, Byline Times

Karin Wahl-Jorgensen - Journalism professor, Cardiff University

Helen Ward - Professor of Public Health, Imperial College London

Carole Cadwalladr - Reporter, The Observer

On our radar:

Richard Gizbert speaks to producer Nicholas Muirhead about the novel methods those under lockdown are using to get their stories about COVID-19 heard on the outside.

Pandemic panopticon - Israeli surveillance under cover of COVID-19

Here at The Listening Post, we have been tracking how some governments are using technology to monitor the movements of their citizens and curb the spread of the coronavirus.

We examined some of the long-term implications of that - the concern that even if this pandemic is brought under control, those governments might prove reluctant to give up their new surveillance powers. Israel would be a case in point.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu now has the legal right to surveil Israeli citizens in new ways, and he acquired that right without even consulting the parliament. Israel already has expertise in this field. It has spent decades honing its ability - and the technology required - to monitor the movements of Palestinians.

The Listening Post's Tariq Nafi reports from home on the surveillance that Palestinians have been subjected to - and whether Israelis can see what's coming.

Contributors:

Yossi Melman - Writer, Haaretz

Marwa Fatafta - Policy manager, Access Now

Yael Berda - Assistant professor, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

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