An Explosion in Beirut
The first story in today’s Daily Briefing is about the explosion that tragically happened in Beirut last night. So far around 100 are confirmed to have died, but more are expected. This comes at an already difficult time for Lebanon – with hyperinflation making it difficult for people to buy necessities such as food, and the coronavirus pandemic pushing hospitals in Beirut into near collapse.
Many different world leaders and countries have pledged support. Prime Minister Johnson’s government has pledged either financial or technical support and French President Emmanuel Macron has planned to visit Beirut on Thursday. This is in addition to the $2m pledged from Australia to help aid the country rebuild after the tragedy.
In UK news today, Aberdeen looks to be the next UK city to be placed under UK lockdown. One of the main changes there is the closing of pubs and restaurants – which have to be closed by 5pm tonight. This comes on the back of an increase of 54 people who have tested positive for coronavirus. This has qualified Aberdeen as a place that is experiencing a ‘local outbreak’.
In addition to the closure of pubs and restaurants, residents of Aberdeen are no longer allowed inside each others’ homes. They have also been told they cannot travel further than 5 miles for leisure purposes.
The Scottish government has advised that travelling for work or education purposes is allowed, but that any other travel is not advised. Those visiting the city do not need to leave, but have been told to be extra careful – especially when they return home.
Currently, the local lockdown will remain for a week, at which time the lockdown will be reviewed. There will also be an increased police presence to try and enforce the lockdown.
Chinese Uighur Internment Camps
In more global news, footage from inside a Chinese Uighur internment camp has been released showing shocking human rights violations. The video comes from Merdan Ghappar, who was a model. He showed that he was shackled to the bed in his cell. It also showed propaganda being broadcast from loudspeakers around the camp.
Alongside this video, Ghappar showed a letter to Muslim minority children, calling on them to “repent and surrender”.
He also claimed that he saw people having hoods put over their heads and then being beaten. This included teenage boys. He also claimed that when he was in an isolated cell, he could hear the screams of people being beaten.
Ghapar’s uncle claims that he is in the internment camp because he has family outside China who protest against Chinese human rights abuses.
This revelation will put pressure on China, who have denied the existence of such camps. The best example of this was on the Andrew Marr Show when the Chinese ambassador to the UK denied the existence of such camps.
This video will certainly make it more difficult to deny. You can also find out more about the wider issue in our full video on the topic.
For those of you who think the news is too long, have a read or listen to the next daily briefing tomorrow.