New York Trump inquiry now criminal and other stories

Image by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC

The New York attorney-general’s office has began a criminal investigation into Donald Trump’s company.

A spokesman for the state’s top prosecutor said it no longer considers an enquiry it started in 2019 a civil matter.

The state prosecutor has been investigating whether the Trump Organization falsely declared property values to secure loans and gain economic and tax benefits.

The announcement means there are now three criminal investigations of the former President, barely four months after he left office.

The Trump family has denied any wrongdoing and says the investigation is politically motivated.

French cafes reopen after six month Covid lockdown

A café in Paris. “Montmartre Cafes” by szeke is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Bars, restaurants and cultural venues in France are reopening today as part of plans for a gradual easing of the national lockdown enforced in October.

Groups of up to six can now eat together as restaurant terraces reopen at half their normal capacity.

In addition, the 7pm curfew has been pushed back to 9 pm from today.

Theatres, cinemas and museums can are also repoening at partial capacity.

A Twitter user on French cafés reopening

It is thought that the rainy weather expected today may dampen the impact of the easing of restrictions. The French government has warned that it could reverse the measures if infections start rising again.

Malawi destroys almost 20,000 AstraZeneca doses

A groundnut farmer in Malawi, one of the least developed countries in the world. Image credit International Livestock Research Institute.

Malawi, one of the world’s least developed countries, has destroyed almost 20,000 doses of expired AstraZeneca vaccines because it could not distribute them in time.

The government authorised the burning of 19,610 doses of the vaccine at a hospital in the capital Lilongwe, at a time when Africa and other poorer countries lag far behind countries like the UK and the US in the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines.

The destroyed doses were the remainder of 102,000 doses the African Union donated to the country.

The Malawian Health Ministry said the doses arrived in March but with just 18 days until their expiry.

The vaccines were destroyed despite appeals by the World Health Organisation for countries not to destroy Covid-19 vaccines after their expiry date, saying they were still safe for use.

Bodies recovered after India cyclone

Satellite imagery of a cyclone in India credit: NASA

The Indian navy has recovered the bodies of 22 people who were on a barge that sank after the most powerful storm to hit the country in decades.

Cyclone Tauktae developed winds of up to 130 miles an hour and the storm has left more than 50 dead in the states of Gujarat and Mahjarashtra.

An Indian navy spokesman said the search is continuing for 55 other missing people, adding that 184 people had already been rescued.

One survivor described how he jumped into the sea with his life jacket on before the navy rescued him.

With the weather improving, rescue efforts are intensifying and 35 crew members of another barge which ran aground were rescued in another operation.

The disaster comes as India continues to be badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

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