Barry Cowen Sacked
On the evening of Tuesday, July 14th in an address to Dáil Éireann, Taoiseach Míchael Martin announced the sacking of the then Minister for Agriculture, Barry Cowen. This decision came after a little over two-week controversy surrounding Mr Cowen regarding a drink-driving conviction he received in 2016. In a statement on Twitter Mr Cowen said that he was “surprised and disappointed” with the Taoiseach’s decision and that it has now “undermined and potentially prejudiced [his] entitlement to fair process”. The next day the Taoiseach appointed Deputy Dara Calleary as his replacement.
Andrzej Duda wins Polish Election
In Poland this week Andrzej Duda won the Polish Presidential election with just over 51% of the vote with approximately 67.9% of the eligible voting population turning out on the day of the election. This election was described by the PiS Justice Minister, Zbigniew Ziobro as “a clash of two visions of Poland”. Duda is expected to be a major ally for the Law and Justice (PiS) party, the current ruling party in Poland. His election comes hot on the tail of the recent controversies surrounding PiS who to some critics have been chipping away at the hard-fought freedoms of the current democracy in Poland.
125 million in India go into lockdown
Thursday, July 16th saw more than 125 million people in the Bihar state, close to Nepal being put under a 15-day mandatory lockdown following India’s most recent recording of over 600 cases in a single day. This lockdown comes after the news that Covid-19 has now officially infected 13 million people worldwide and killed over 580,000 since its emergence last year.
Three French Police Officers Arrested
In France this week three police officers have been charged with manslaughter following the death of Cedric Chouviat, a 42-year-old delivery man. His death occurred after an altercation with police officers who pinned him to the ground for around 20 seconds while Chouviat still had his helmet on. Mr Chouviat pleaded to the police on multiple occasions that he was suffocating. He was pronounced dead in hospital two days later. The charges to these police officers come after protests in recent weeks against police brutality and racism in the country. Mr Chouviat’s family described the charge as being too lenient when taking into account the “violence and aggressiveness of the police officers”.
Britain and US under threat from Russian Hackers
In the UK the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has alleged that Russian cyber spies are attempting to steal coronavirus research from the UK. APT28 which stands for Advances Persistent Threat is commonly referred to as Fancy Bear and is believed to be the hacking division of the Russian military intelligence. Fancy Bear itself is known most notably for it’s hack of the Democratic National Committee servers in the mist of the 2016 US election. Recently the NCSC has accused APT29 also known as Cozy Bear of attempting to hack and steal information and research in relation to the coronavirus vaccines from Britain, Canada and the US. These investigations are still ongoing as of today but editor-in-chief of the Insider, Roman Dobrokhotov has asked that information be made available from Britain and the US so that investigative journalists would have the opportunity to dig further into this story.