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Israel police kill unarmed Palestinian in occupied East Jerusalem - Al Jazeera English
Iyad el-Hallak, 32, attended and worked at a special needs school in the Old City, close to where he was shot.
Israeli police have shot and killed an unarmed Palestinian near the Old City in occupied East Jerusalem. The slain man, 32-year-old Iyad el-Hallak, attended and worked at a school for people with special needs in the Old City, close to the spot where he was shot on Saturday morning, according to Palestinian news agency Wafa. More: A relative, who spoke to The Associated Press news agency on condition of anonymity, said el-Hallak was mentally disabled and was heading to the school. Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the officers "spotted a suspect with a suspicious object that looked like a pistol. They called upon him to stop and began to chase after him on foot, during the chase officers also opened fire at the suspect." Rosenfeld added that no gun was found in the area. Following the shooting, Israeli police sealed off the Old City and local media reported that medics were barred from entering the area. "[Palestinians] said he was shot by several bullets and that he was left on the ground bleeding for a while until he died," Wafa said. The police also raided el-Hallak's home in the neighbourhood of Wadi Joz, where members of his family were questioned. Israeli daily Haaretz said el-Hallak's family members denied claims that he was carrying a gun, and quoted them as saying "he wasn't capable of harming anyone". They said el-Hallak's body was transferred to the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute in Tel Aviv, which holds bodies of Palestinians killed in alleged attacks on Israelis, adding that the authorities have not provided them with further details. The institute is notoriously known as the place where Palestinian organs and body parts have been harvested. The shooting came a day after Israeli soldiers killed a Palestinian near the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah who they alleged had tried to ram them with his vehicle. No Israelis were wounded in either incident. A number of local and international human rights groups have raised concerns that Israeli security forces have used excessive force when confronting Palestinians who carried out attacks or were suspected of doing so. The incidents come as Israel presses ahead with plans to annex large parts of the West Bank in line with US President Donald Trump's so-called Middle East plan, which strongly favours Israel and was rejected by the Palestinians. The plan gives Israel the green light to annex Israeli settlements, illegal under international law, and strategic areas of the West Bank. For much of the international community, such a move by Israel would amount to a grave violation of international law and crush hopes of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Palestinian Authority (PA) said last week it was no longer bound by past agreements with Israel and the US and was cutting off all ties, including long-standing security coordination - a controversial practice that has repeatedly been criticised by Palestinian rights groups. Israel occupied East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza - besieged since 2007 - during the six-day Arab-Israeli war in 1967. Palestinian leaders want the territories to be part of their future state, with East Jerusalem as its capital, while Israel considers the entire city of Jerusalem to be its capital.
Merkel declines Trump invite for in-person G7 summit - Al Jazeera English
Spokesman says German chancellor cannot agree to travel to Washington 'considering the overall pandemic situation'.
A German government spokesman has confirmed that Chancellor Angela Merkel will not attend an in-person summit of world leaders that President Donald Trump has suggested he will host in the United States despite concerns over the coronavirus. Leaders from the G7 had been scheduled to meet by videoconference in late June after the pandemic scuttled plans to gather in-person at Camp David, the US presidential retreat. More: Trump last week, however, indicated that he could hold the huge gathering after all, "primarily at the White House" but also potentially parts of it at Camp David, in Maryland state. Merkel has declined, according to the spokesman. "As of today, considering the overall pandemic situation, she cannot agree to her personal participation, to a journey to Washington," the spokesman said, confirming an earlier report on the Politico website. "The federal chancellor thanks President Trump for his invitation to the G7 summit," he added. The G7 is made up of the US, Italy, Japan, Canada, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, as well as the European Union. Member states take turns organising the annual gathering, with participants normally sending large delegations with their leaders to the summits and journalists from all the world convene to cover their meeting, as well. The White House said it is putting the huge diplomatic gathering back on the agenda as a "show of strength" when global economies are gradually re-emerging from lockdowns imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Merkel is the first to give a firm no, while other world leaders have expressed vaguely positive responses. On Friday, the White House said Trump and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had spoken and "agreed on the importance of convening the G7 in person in the near future". Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who hosted the 2018 summit, said any in-person gathering would have to prioritise safety, while a French presidential official said President Emmanuel Macron, last year's host, was "willing to go to Camp David if the health conditions allow". European Council head Charles Michel, meanwhile, said through a spokesman that he would attend "if health conditions allow". The US is the worst-hit country for coronavirus infections, having registered more than 1,745,000 cases and some 102,000 deaths.
Lufthansa agrees to give up airport slots for $9.7bn bailout - Aljazeera.com
German airline will remove up to four aircraft from Frankfurt and Munich airports to receive funds to survive pandemic.
Lufthansa has agreed on a compromise with the German government and the European Union on the way towards final approval of a nine-billion-euro ($9.7bn) bailout deal. The German airline said in a statement on Saturday its supervisory board had decided to accept the deal worked out between negotiators for Berlin and the EU Commission which involves the giving up several slots at Frankfurt and Munich airports. More: Late on Friday, government sources told DPA news agency the German government had also agreed to the compromise. Lufthansa said the scope of commitments required of it by the EU Commission had been reduced compared with initial plans. The company must remove up to four of its aircraft from Frankfurt and Munich airports to allow competitors to take those slots, which means giving up three takeoff and three landing rights per aircraft a day, according to Lufthansa. The vacated slots are reportedly only available to new competitors at Frankfurt and Munich airports for at least 18 months. If no new competitor makes use of the opportunity, it will also be extended to existing competitors at the respective airports. The slots are to be allocated as part of a bidding process - and only to be taken over by a European competitor who has not received any significant state recapitalisation due to the coronavirus pandemic. The EU said the compromise reflects commitments from Germany and Lufthansa "to preserve effective competition". "This would enable a viable entry or expansion of activities by other airlines at these airports to the benefit of consumers and effective competition," a spokesperson for the EU said on Saturday morning. Lufthansa's supervisory board has to approve the rescue package including these requirements, called for by the European Commission's competition watchdog. The company then plans to convene an extraordinary general meeting promptly to obtain shareholder approval for the package. The $9.7bn bailout deal provides for aid and equity measures for the ailing carrier. In addition to full approval from Lufthansa's supervisory board, the European Commission's competition watchdog still also needs to sign off. Germany's economy ministry also pointed out that the bailout has not had final approval yet. "In addition, talks with the EU Commission on state aid approval are ongoing," the ministry said in a statement on Saturday morning. Lufthansa is Europe's second-largest airline by passenger numbers. It was profitable before the pandemic grounded about 90 percent of its planes. At one point during the health crisis, the company was losing about 800 million euros ($888m) per month.
WHO sounds warning on coronavirus 'second peak': Live updates - Al Jazeera English
Warning comes as Europe and United States ease lockdowns and people flock to crowded beaches at start of summer season.
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera's continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I'm Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur.
- The World Health Organization has warned of the risks of an "immediate second peak" as countries ease up on lockdowns, urging governments in Europe and the US to step up surveillance, testing and tracking measures to keep the disease under control.
- Spain has revised its death toll downwards by nearly 2,000 people after checking data from the regions and discovering some deaths had been recorded twice while others had not been the result of the coronavirus.
- Public anger continues to simmer in the UK over Dominic Cummings, Prime Minister Boris Johnson's chief political adviser, who apparently flouted lockdown to drive from his home in London to his parents' house in the north when he suspected he had coronavirus. Cummings adopted a conciliatory tone at an extraordinary news conference on Monday but did not apologise.
- More than 5.4 million cases of coronavirus have been confirmed around the world, according to Johns Hopkins University. Nearly 345,000 people have died, while more than 2.2 million have recovered.
WHO halts hydroxychloroquine trial for coronavirus: Live updates - Al Jazeera English
UN agency says it's 'pleased to hear a very consistent message from China' as US and others pile on criticism.
- WHO has praised China for its eagerness towards the prospect of scientific inquiries into determining the origins of COVID-19.
- The number of coronavirus cases in Russia has climbed to 353,427, with 8,946 new infections in the past 24 hours.
- The United States has barred arrivals from Brazil, the country with the second-highest number of cases in the world after the US.
- More than 5.4 million people around the world have been infected with the coronavirus to date, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 344,000 people have died, while more than two million have recovered.
- Coronavirus cases in Russia have climbed to 353,427, with 8,946 new infections in the past 24 hours
- Japan has lifted a nationwide state of emergency
- The death toll from the outbreak in Sweden has topped 4,000
Volkswagen must buy back 'dieselgate' cars: Germany's top court - Aljazeera.com
Court ruling sets precedent for hundreds of thousands of car owners affected by VW emissions test cheating in Germany.
Volkswagen (VW) must reimburse German car owners who bought vehicles fitted with devices able to cheat emissions tests, but the buyback amount will depend on mileage, Germany's top court has said, in principle upholding a lower court decision. Monday's ruling by the Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe set an important precedent for hundreds of thousands of German people affected by the "dieselgate" scandal that has rocked VW since 2015. More: About 60,000 similar individual German VW owners' cases are already open. "Volkswagen now aims to soon bring these cases to a close in agreement with the plaintiffs," the company said in a statement, promising "appropriate offers" to affected owners. The mileage discount limited VW from a significantly higher financial blow. Monday's case involved 65-year-old Herbert Gilbert from the southwest German state of Rhineland-Palatinate who sought a full refund for a used Sharan minivan he bought in 2014.
China drops 2020 economic growth target: Coronavirus live updates - Al Jazeera English
Country records some 6,000 new cases, largest jump in 24 hours, as New Delhi eases lockdown.
- India has registered its biggest jump of coronavirus cases in 24 hours with 6,000 new cases as the country loosens a nationwide lockdown.
- Russia has reported 150 new deaths, a record daily rise, taking the country's official national death toll from the virus to 3,249.
- China will not set an annual growth target for 2020 as it tries to rebuild its economy in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
- More than five million people around the world are now confirmed to have the coronavirus, according to data compiled by the Johns Hopkins University. More than 328,000 people have died globally while some 1.9 million people have recovered.
- Japan's central bank is launching a $279bn programme to boost lending to small firms
- New Zealand's opposition switched leaders to counter soaring support for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern over her handling of the coronavirus
- The IMF and Ukraine agreed in principle on a new $5bn aid package
Brazil coronavirus deaths surpass 20,000 after record daily toll - Al Jazeera English
Country registers 1,188 deaths in 24-hour period, as President Bolsonaro continues calls to scrap lockdown measures.
More than 20,000 people have so far died from COVID-19 in Brazil as the country registered its highest one-day toll. The health ministry said on Thursday the 1,188 deaths recorded over the previous 24-hour period pushed the overall tally to 20,047. More: Brazil, the epicentre of the pandemic in Latin America, has now recorded more than 310,000 confirmed cases - but experts say a lack of testing means the real figures are probably much higher. With its curve of infections and deaths rising sharply, the country of 210 million ranks third in the world in terms of total cases, behind the United States and Russia. The death toll - the sixth highest in the world - has doubled in just 11 days, according to ministry data. Despite the worrying spread of the disease, far-right President Jair Bolsonaro on Thursday continued his calls to scrap lockdown measures to revive a flagging economy. But almost all of the country's 27 states are under some sort of lockdown order, though Brazilians are wearying of the restrictions in place since the end of March. The state of Sao Paulo, the economic and cultural capital of Brazil, is by far the most affected, with about a quarter of the country's deaths and infections. Hospitals in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and various states across northern and northeastern Brazil are near collapse. The authorities have been racing to set up field hospitals with more beds, but are struggling to build them fast enough. Sao Paulo Governor Joao Doria, who has clashed often with the president over containment measures, has said the country has to fight both coronavirus and "Bolsonarovirus". But Bolsonaro and the governors sounded a conciliatory note on Thursday as they held a video conference on coordinating the response to the pandemic. The president called it "a great victory for the Brazilian people". Doria, for his part, urged unity. "Brazil needs to be united. If we're at war, we all face defeat. Let's go together in peace, Mr President, together for Brazil," he said. Bolsonaro, who has famously compared the virus with a "little flu", appears to have pinned his hopes on the anti-malaria drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to stop it. The drugs have shown inconclusive results against coronavirus, and scientists say further studies are needed to determine whether they are safe and effective for COVID-19. But like his US counterpart Donald Trump, Bolsonaro sees them as potential wonder drugs. His government recommended on Wednesday that all COVID-19 patients receive one of the drugs as soon as they show symptoms. "There is still no scientific proof, but (chloroquine) is being monitored and used in Brazil and around the world," Bolsonaro wrote on Twitter. "We are at war."
Cyclone Amphan leaves trail of destruction in Bangladesh, India - Al Jazeera English
At least 20 killed, thousands of houses destroyed and millions without power as cyclone batters the region.
A powerful cyclone has hit Bangladesh and eastern India killing at least 20 people and destroying thousands of homes, officials said, leaving authorities struggling to mount relief efforts amid a surging coronavirus outbreak. Authorities began surveying the damage on Thursday after millions spent a sleepless night which saw up to 170 kilometre (105 miles) an hour winds carrying away trees, electricity pylons, walls and roofs, and transformer stations exploding. More: Millions across India and Bangladesh were left without power in the wake of the most powerful cyclone to have hit in more than 20 years. The eastern Indian state of West Bengal took the brunt of Cyclone Amphan. The state's Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said at least 12 people had died in the state, and two districts been completely battered. "Area after area has been devastated. Communications are disrupted," Banerjee said, adding that the state authorities had not entirely anticipated the ferocity of the storm. 'Everything is destroyed' In neighbouring Bangladesh, officials said eight people had died, including a five-year-old boy and a 75-year-old man, hit by falling trees and a cyclone emergency volunteer who drowned. Bangladesh officials said they were waiting for reports from the Sundarbans, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famed for its mangrove forest and population of endangered Bengal tigers, which bore the brunt of the storm. "We still haven't got the actual picture of the damage. We are particularly concerned over some wild animals. They can be washed away during storm surge in high tide," forest chief Moyeen Uddin Khan told AFP news agency. The ecologically fragile region straddling the Indian-Bangladesh border is best known for thick mangrove forests that are a critical tiger habitat. Houses "look like they have been run over by a bulldozer", said Babul Mondal, 35, a villager on the edge of the Indian side of the Sundarbans, which is home to approximately four million people. "Everything is destroyed," he said. Widespread relief that the evacuation of more than three million people from coastal villages had averted the horrific death tolls of past storms was tempered by fears of the coronavirus pandemic spreading in crowded shelters. Authorities in both countries sent masks and sanitiser but social distancing was virtually impossible as families packed into reinforced schools, government buildings and community halls. Kolkata awoke to flooded streets West Bengal capital Kolkata awoke to flooded streets with some cars window-deep in water. Much of the city of 15 million people was plunged into darkness as transformer stations exploded. The cyclone weakened as it moved along the Bangladesh coast but still unleashed heavy rains and fierce winds in Cox's Bazar, the district which houses about one million Rohingya refugees from violence in Myanmar. The cyclone brought a storm surge - a wall of ocean water that is often one of the main killers in large weather systems - that roared inland. In southwest Bangladesh, a 1.5 metre (five-feet) surge broke an embankment and swamped farmland, police told AFP. Cyclones are an annual hazard along the Bay of Bengal coast. Amphan was the first "super cyclone" to form over the Bay of Bengal since 1999. In 2007 Cyclone Sidr left more than 3,500 dead in Bangladesh. Bangladesh's low-lying coast, home to 30 million people, and India's east are regularly battered by cyclones that have killed hundreds of thousands of people in recent decades. A 1999 super cyclone left nearly 10,000 dead in India's Odisha state, eight years after a typhoon, tornadoes and flooding killed 139,000 in Bangladesh. In 1970, half a million perished in Bangladesh - a nation of 160 million. Faster evacuations, better technology While the frequency and intensity of storms have increased - blamed partly on climate change - casualties have fallen thanks to faster evacuations, better technology and more shelters. Enamur Rahman, Bangladesh's junior minister for disaster management, told AFP 2.4 million people and more than half a million livestock were brought to shelters. India evacuated more than 650,000 in West Bengal and Odisha states. Because of the coronavirus, authorities used extra shelter space to reduce crowding, while making face masks compulsory and setting aside isolation rooms. Infection numbers are still soaring in both countries.
Coronavirus battleground shifts to Latin America: Live updates - Al Jazeera English
Brazil expected to overtake Russia as the country with second-highest infections as cases in Peru surpass 100,000.
- Brazil's coronavirus outbreak worsened on Wednesday and the South American nation could soon have the second-highest number of cases in the world as the Health Ministry reported 888 new deaths and nearly 20,000 new infections in a single day, pushing the total cases to 291,579 and almost 19,000 deaths.
- Peru's number of confirmed coronavirus cases surpassed 100,000, making it the country with the second-highest number of cases in South America after Brazil. It has more than 3,000 deaths.
- Mexico has recorded more than 54,000 cases and 5,666 deaths, while Chile has 53,617 cases and 544 deaths.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) reported 106,000 cases globally, the highest in a single day yet, raising concerns over the spread of COVID-19 in poor nations.
- Globally, there have been more than 4.96 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 326,000 people died, according to the Johns Hopkins University. More than 1.7 million people have recovered.