Associated Press

Associated Press 21 May 2020

Pandemic As Muse

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Artists and writers from Edgar Allan Poe to Stephen King have long turned to pandemics as a source of creative inspiration. In this episode of "Ground Game," AP book and publishing reporter Hillel Italie explains why plagues prove such fertile ground for the artist's imagination.


An estimated 30% of the country's economy shut down and the GDP has fallen 4.8% in the first quarter of this year, the worst since the 2008 recession.

Briefing by Mahamat Saleh Annadif, Special Representative and head of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) during an open VTC of the Security Council.


Addressing the Security Council during the first video teleconference (VTC) open briefing since the Council stopped meeting in person due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Mali, Mahamat Saleh Annadif, today (7 Apr) said, "Mali is not an exception to the pandemic," as the country has recorded, 46 positive cases, and 5 deaths.

Saleh said the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and the Country Team have developed "a Contingency Plan with different scenarios which allows many of us to continue to work from our respective residences; and some others, for special reasons and on a voluntary basis, to return to their countries of usual residence while working remotely."

The Special Representative stressed that MINUSMA continues to fulfil its mandate and informed the Council that "the redeployment of the first reconstituted Units of the Malian Defense and Security Forces in the North, notably in GAO, Timbuktu, Kidal and Ménaka has become a reality with more than 1,000 elements deployed since February 2020."

He also told the Council that MINUSMA "continues to provide logistical support to the G5 Sahel Joint Force" and "construction work on the Joint Force headquarters in Bamako has started."

The G5 Sahel force includes Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania, Niger as well as Mali. Their Mali headquarters were attacked and destroyed in 2017.

The Council will continue holding open meetings via VTC, and for the time being only statements by briefers will be broadcast and Council members statements will not be part of the live feed.
Esports, organized video gaming, is finding a new role in the COVID-19 pandemic, as people locked down at home try to keep up their competitive skills. Mike O'Sullivan reports that students at two California colleges meet online weekly in virtual competitions, staying in training while staying at home.]

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