by Harvey Oberfeld
May 17, 2020
Covid got you down? Too much of it on the news: every newscast; 24 hours a day: seven days a week? Depressing?
Take a break. Let me make you feel better about Covid in Canada …by bringing you up to day on what else has been going on in the world:
*Saudi Arabia executed 184 people in 2019, its highest number ever (up from 149 in 2018), including one man who was crucified; however AFTER he was beheaded … perhaps in the new spirit of humanity in the kingdom.
*But it’s China that had the most executions last year, according to Amnesty International … more than 1,000; followed by Iran, at least 251; and, Iraq, at least 100.
*Meanwhile, Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor have now spent more than 500 days in a Chinese prison … held hostage as Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou is allowed to enjoy her luxury Shaughnessy home, as US extradition attempts crawl through the Courts.
*An estimated 1 Million Rohingya Muslims have now been stripped of their Myanmar citizenship, according to Time Magazine, and most are now living in modern “concentration camp” setups in Bangladesh.
*In Yemen, an estimated 100,000 have been killed and more than one million displaced in a civil war pitting the U.S. and Saudi-backed coalition government against rebels, backed by Iran and the United Arab Emirates.
*Afghanistan has recorded more than 550 people killed in conflict in just the first three months of 2020.
*Iraq has its THIRD Prime Minister/government in five months, as it tries to balance its relationship with both Iran and the United States.
* Israel finally has a government: a coalition of EIGHT parties, held together with 36 Cabinet Ministers, after THREE elections in a year.
*Russia now has 1,200 “mercenaries” fighting in Libya, supporting renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar (also backed by France, Egypt and Saudi Arabia) against the UN-recognized government (backed by Qatar, Turkey and Italy).
*Around the world, more than 250 journalists are in jail … for trying to do their jobs. Among the worst countries for reporters trying to tell their stories are: China, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Eritrea, Vietnam, Somalia and Iran.
*Al Jazeera journalist has now spent 1,241 days (as of Sunday) in an Egyptian jail … without any charges being filed against him.
*And, in the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte’s government two weeks ago shut down completely the country’s largest broadcast television and radio network, ABS-CBN.
“The Philippine government shutdown of ABS-CBN reeks of a political vendetta by President Duterte, who has repeatedly threatened the network for criticizing his abusive ‘war on drugs,’” explained Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
Just imagine what Duterte would do to this blog/blogger and anyone whose comments on here he would not appreciate!
There’s the state of the world on this Victoria Day holiday weekend.
Now perhaps, Canada’s Covid fight, situation … and progress doesn’t seem so bad!
Always look on the bright side of life … (now whistle!)