Former President Sarkozy Charged Over Alleged Illegal Financing
This week former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was charged with alleged illegal financing surrounding his successful presidential campaign in 2007. The prosecutors to the case allege that Mr Sarkozy received millions of euros from the former Muammar Gaddafi regime to secure his election win. The charges come on top of allegations of “passive corruption,” "benefiting from embezzled public funds" and "illegal campaign financing" which were lodged in 2018. Mr Sarkozy defended himself in a statement saying that his “innocence had been tarnished” without “even the slightest [bit of] proof.”
Facebook Removes ‘Advance New Zealand’ Party Page Days Before Election
Facebook this week removed the account of New Zealand political party ‘Advance New Zealand’ on the grounds of “repeated violations” of the platforms policy particularly regarding the spread of misinformation surrounding Covid-19. The takedown of the page occurred when party co-leader, Billy Te Kahika was addressing followers. He said in a statement on his own personal Facebook page that “Facebook have now officially interfered with the New Zealand 2020 elections.” Facebook said when addressing the take down of the page which has included material that included claims such as that Covid-19 was a fake conspiracy theory to enslave people that “regardless of anyone’s political position or party affiliation” it would enforce it’s Covid-19 rules equally.
WHO Expresses “Great Concern” Over Rising Covid Cases in Europe
The WHO this week expressed “great concern” over the rising cases of Covid-19 in Europe but noted that the situation remains better than the peak of the virus in April. The WHO’s European Regional Director Hans Kluge said “Covid is now the fifth leading cause of deaths and the bar of a 1,000 deaths per day has now been reached" and "although we record two to three times more cases per day compared to the April peak, we still observe five times less deaths, and the doubling time in hospital admissions is still two to three times longer." Mr Kluge said that the increase in numbers could in part be due to the higher level of testing that has become more widely available and noted that if European countries intent to implement nationwide lockdowns they should first consider factors such as “domestic violence” and “mental health” whilst continuing to “keep schools open” and develop policies which support “at-risk children with special learning needs or health conditions.”
Largest Prisoner Swap Between Warring Parties in Yemen
The Saudi-lead military movement and Yemen’s Houthi movement last month agreed to the exchange of just over 1,000 prisoners and early this week two planes carrying these prisoners embarked to the Houthi-held capital, Sanaa and the Sayoun airport. This marks the biggest exchange of prisoners wince the stalled ceasefire in December 2018. In a statement ICRC regional director for the Middle East, Fabrizio Carboni said "The plane has just taken off in Sanaa. This operation that means so much to so many families is under way." The conflict between the two to date has claimed the lives of over 100,000 people and has been described by the United Nations as the “world’s largest humanitarian crisis.”