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Africa 54 - July 2, 2020

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You are watching Africa 54, your daily news and feature magazine-style program, from the Voice of America. Host Esther Githui-Ewart and a team of correspondents zero in on the big stories making news on the continent and around the world with context and analysis.

Top Stories:
The menacing coronavirus is showing no signs of relenting in some parts of the world. For the first time since COVID-19 arrived in the United States, the nation on Wednesday topped 50,000 new coronavirus infections for a single day. The record-setting figures were led by the state of California, which posted nearly ten-thousand new cases, according to the COVID Tracking Project operated by The Atlantic magazine.

The World Health Organization says 60% of the world’s ten-million coronavirus cases since December came in the month of June – a sign that the pandemic is getting worse and not slowing down. WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says that more than 160,000 new cases are reported every day. Tedros says countries must "find, isolate, test and care for every case; trace and quarantine every contact; equip and train health workers; and educate and empower communities to protect themselves and others.”

The Nigerian government says it is set to resume domestic flights from July 8th as the country eases its COVID-19 lock-down restrictions, according to Reuters. The announcement comes amid rising infections and deaths. No date was given for the resumption of international flights.

Security was plentiful and tight in Ethiopia’s Ambo town Thursday for the funeral of singer Haacaaluu Hundeessaa, whose killing earlier this week triggered two days of protests that killed more than 80 people. The farewell ceremony began with well-wishers laying wreaths in Ambo stadium. A live broadcast showed that the numbers of people in the stadium were sparse. But police were turning people away from the stadium, according to one Ambo resident who tried to attend but met crowds of people who had been told to return home.

The death of the prominent Oromo singer and revered artist Haacaaluu Hundeessaa has sparked protests in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Authorities say they have arrested suspects in connection with his death but didn't give further information. Laetitia Bader, the Human Rights Watch Horn of Africa director spoke to VOA's Salem Solomon and says his killing and the demonstrations that followed need an immediate government response to de-escalate a tense situation.

In a 7-2 decision on June 25, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that non-citizens whose asylum appeals are denied by immigration officials have no constitutional right to appeal the decision in federal court. This allows the administration of President Donald Trump to move ahead with deportations of a number of asylum seekers.

#COVID19 #Coronavirus #UnitedStates #WHO #Nigeria #Ethiopia #HaacaaluuHundeessaa #AddisAbba #HumanRightsWatch #USSupremeCourt #Asylum #DonaldTrump

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