President Donald Trump gives World Health Organisation a 30 day ultimatum
In a four page letter addressed to the director general of The World Health Organization (WHO), President Trump has accused the organization of ‘consistently ignoring’ what the President describes as ‘credible reports’ of the Coronavirus having spread in Wuhan in early December.
The President also mentions the organization’s failure to act swiftly to combat the virus in its early days, further accusing the organization of possessing an ‘alarming lack of independence’ from China.
This is the letter sent to Dr. Tedros of the World Health Organization. It is self-explanatory! pic.twitter.com/pF2kzPUpDv
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 19, 2020
Public health experts have noted that the president’s public denials of the severity of the virus slowed the Americans responsiveness to the outbreak – including the delay of stay at home orders and failure to acquire enough medical equipment for essential workers.
Trump said on Twitter late Monday evening that without changes from the organization he will make his temporary freeze of US funding permanent.
Trump officially announced last month that he will freeze payments – with the U.S. being the largest single benefactor to the organization.
This accounts for just less than 15% of its funding in the last financial year.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the World Health Organization, told reporters earlier in May that the WHO ‘didn’t waste time’.
However, on Monday, Dr. Tedros has agreed to an independent review of WHO’s actions and behaviors.
India and Bangladesh evacuate millions ahead of Cyclone AmphanEmbed from Getty Images
Super Cyclone Amphan is predicted to reach the Bay of Bengal on Wednesday.
This is the first super cyclone to hit the costal regions since the 1999 storm that hit the Orissa coast- killing more than 9,000 people.
#Cyclone #Amphan now has maximum sustained winds of 165 mph – a Category 5 equivalent on the Saffir-Simpson scale. Amphan is tied with Gonu for the strongest #cyclone on record (since 1972) in the North Indian Ocean per Joint Typhoon Warning Center records. pic.twitter.com/yfhzByOz3L
— Philip Klotzbach (@philklotzbach) May 18, 2020
Forecasters are predicting that the surges of water could be as high as 3-5 meters (10-16ft).
India’s weather department also warned of rough seas and winds gusting up to 185km/h (115mph).
More than 20 relief teams have been set out to the coast but the coronavirus outbreak is making it difficult to evacuate people safely in more densely populated regions.
Regions have asked for schools and large buildings to be turned into temporary shelters – needing more space than normal to adhere to social distancing regulations.
India’s meteorological department has issued a ‘yellow alert’ for the regions, advising not to ‘venture into the south Bay of Bengal during the next 24 hours, and north Bay of Bengal from 18th – 20th of May.’
Polish public radio station accused of censoring hit songEmbed from Getty Images
Kazik Staszewski’s chart topping song ‘Your Pain is Better than Mine’ is widely seen as anti-government and chastising to Poland’s ruling nationalist party and leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski.
Even though the song doesn’t mention the head of the party by name – Kazik’s target is ‘pretty clear’ states BBC Warsaw correspondent Adam Easton.
The song features themes of grieving and the shutdown of Poland’s cemeteries during the coronavirus pandemic.
After the chart show aired on Poland’s public radio station, Trojka, online links were disabled from the website.
Station director, Wojciech Kowalczewski, said the chart, which is determined by listeners, was manipulated to have the song reach the number one slot.
However, officials from both the opposition and the ruling party described the song’s removal as ‘unjustified censorship’.
Host of the chart show for three decades, Marek Niedzwiecki, resigned along with two other popular DJs.
The news sparked other Polish musicians to demand Trojka no longer play their songs in solidarity with Kazik.