Welcome to the Overnight News Digest with a crew consisting of founder Magnifico, current leader Neon Vincent, regular editors side pocket, maggiejean, Chitown Kev, Interceptor7, Magnifico, annetteboardman, jck, and Besame. Alumni editors include (but not limited to) Man Oh Man, wader, palantir, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse (RIP), ek hornbeck, ScottyUrb, Doctor RJ, BentLiberal, Oke (RIP) and jlms qkw.
OND is a regular community feature on Daily Kos, consisting of news stories from around the world, sometimes coupled with a daily theme, original research or commentary. Editors of OND impart their own presentation styles and content choices, typically publishing each day near 12:00 AM Eastern Time.
Please feel free to share your articles and stories in the comments.
Africa’s week in pictures from the BBC.
We begin with environmental news with this from the BBC:
The mass death of sea creatures off the coast of Kamchatka in Russia's far east was most likely caused by toxic algae and not man-made factors, Russian officials have said.
The find weeks ago raised fears of a major marine pollution incident.
Social media posts showed dead octopuses, seals and other sea life. Local people complained of sickness.
From The Guardian:
Experts warn of more encounters as animals forced into populated areas to find food
Justin McCurry in Tokyo
A spate of bear attacks in Japan has prompted calls to improve their natural habitat, as experts warned of more potentially dangerous encounters with the animals as they venture into populated areas in search of food.
Japanese media have reported several incidents of “ursine terror” in recent weeks, including an attack in Ishikawa prefecture last weekend that left four people injured, including a man in his 90s and two hunters called to confront the bear.
From the Washington Post:
DUBLIN — Fungie the dolphin is missing, and his disappearance has much of Ireland caught in a kind of collective grief.
From Africa Times:
Conservationists in Namibia are concerned over what they say is the unusual loss of Cape fur seals – sometimes called the South African seal – after thousands of seal pups born prematurely have died along the Atlantic Ocean coastline.
Naude Dreyer, a Walvis Bay resident and volunteer with Ocean Conservation Namibia, said he began to see pregnant seals giving birth too early at Pelican Point and other seal colonies in Ludentz, Cape Cross and Henties Bay. Some 1.3 million Cape fur seals normally live along 1200 kilometers of the Namibian coast, with seasonal “creche colonies” established when pregnant seals deliver their young.
by Tim Knight, Fauna & Flora International
Over a month has passed since a pair of pachyderms packed their trunks and went walkabout in West Africa, and their wanderlust shows no sign of being sated any time soon.
After leaving the relative safety of their long-term residence in Guinea's Ziama Massif in August, the two African forest elephants crossed the border into Liberia before trekking around 200 kilometers across the country, leaving a trail of astonished and enchanted onlookers in their wake.
From The Guardian:
Fikile Ntshangase was involved in legal dispute over extension of coalmine in KwaZulu-Natal
A South African environmental activist who opposed the extension of a coalmine near her home has been shot dead in her home.
Fikile Ntshangase, 65, was involved in a legal dispute over the extension of an opencast mine operated by Tendele Coal near Somkhele, close to Hluhluwe–Imfolozi park, the oldest nature reserve in Africa.
From the BBC:
By Claire Marshall
Moving ancient woodlands cut down to make way for HS2 is a fundamentally flawed idea, leading ecologists say.
The company behind the new rapid rail connection between London and the north of England is cutting down trees in the course of the construction.
HS2 say the best strategy for the environment is to move the woodland soils to other places.
COVID news now, beginning with the AP:
By PETER DEJONG and MIKE CORDER
ALMERE, Netherlands (AP) — A bright yellow helicopter rose into a blue sky Friday carrying a COVID-19 patient from the Netherlands to a German intensive care unit, the first such international airlift since the pandemic first threatened to swamp Dutch hospitals in the spring.
The clatter of the helicopter’s rotors as it lifted off from a parking lot behind a hospital 30 kilometers (20 miles) east of Amsterdam was a noisy reminder of how the coronavirus is again gripping Europe and straining health care systems that struggled for equipment and staff during the pandemic’s first wave.
BY ALEXANDRA ODYNOVA
Moscow — Russia confirmed a record 17,340 new coronavirus cases on Friday, but despite the rise, and mounting deaths, authorities pledged not to reimpose strict lockdown measures across the country and declared the epidemic "under control."
The increase in daily cases — Friday was the first time Russia has recorded more than 17,000 in a single day — brought the total number of confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses in the country thus far to 1,480,646. Russia remains the fourth worst-hit country in the world by the number of confirmed infections.
Wales is heading into a 17-day lockdown on Friday evening, as many parts of Europe reimpose safety measures because of rising coronavirus case counts.
The "firebreak lockdown" went into effect at 6 p.m. local time and requires that people remain home with few exceptions.
From The Guardian:
Violent enforcement of lockdown has led to legal action aiming to force police reform and accountability
A nervous energy filled downtown Mombasa on the afternoon of 27 March. It was the first day of Kenya’s dusk-to-dawn curfew to curb the spread of Covid-19, and baton-wielding police were patrolling the streets of the coastal city as people rushed to get home. Confrontation was expected. Kenya’s police have a reputation for being heavy-handed even without the excuse of enforcing a nationwide curfew. But no one anticipated the brutality that was about to take place.
Continent has more than 1.6M cases, 40,690 deaths, with southern Africa hardest-hit region
African Union Chairperson Cyril Ramaphosa advised nations on the continent to be watchful in fighting the coronavirus to avoid a second wave of infections which could lead to new lockdowns.
“The pandemic has shown a great deal of resilience and countries that have experienced a decline in infections have also encountered surges in infections that have made them to revisit the lockdown measures,” Ramaphosa said at a virtual address to the Second African Union Mid-Year Coordination Meeting late Thursday.
Politics (not the US), from France 24:
By Yena Lee
Protesters are dispersed as tensions mount in Guinea ahead of the final results of the country's presidential election.Nigerian President Muhammdu Buhari admits "many lives have been lost" in recent protests against police brutality.And our team speaks to Ivorian voters in Bouaké as part of our series ahead of the country’s elections.
From the NYT:
A presidential race that many feared would end in uncertainty or violence concluded quietly, allowing Bolivians to hope that a year of turmoil and threats to democracy may be behind them.
LA PAZ, Bolivia — As Election Day neared, candidates fretted over the possibility of fraud. Voters across Bolivia questioned the solidity of the electoral process. And many worried that the result — any result — would provoke anger and violence from the other side.
But in the days that followed the vote, something unexpected happened.
From The Guardian:
Exclusive: European commission insists letting UK nationals use e-gates would breach EU law
Daniel Boffey in Brussels
Boris Johnson has clashed with Brussels over an 11th-hour attempt to save British passport holders from hours of delays at European airports from the end of the year.
The government is seeking continued use by UK nationals of the automatic e-gates used by EU nationals at airports and Eurostar terminals. The move is seen by the European commission as an attempt to keep Britons in faster lanes rather than having to queue up with the rest of the world after the end of the transition period.
And the rest of the news, beginning with this from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:
Local "bibi" among those featured in the new cookbook.
Hawa Hassan clears something up right away in her first cookbook, “In Bibi’s Kitchen.”
The book is “not about what is new and next,” she writes in the introduction, a daring departure for a food entrepreneur and recipe developer whose YouTube videos garner hundreds of thousands of views.
From CNN (Reuters):
Egypt has unveiled new visitor facilities on the plateau outside Cairo where the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Great Sphinx are situated, the country's most visited heritage site and the sole remaining wonder of the ancient world.
Developers late on Tuesday night opened a new restaurant, "9 Pyramids Lounge", which covers an area of 1,341 square meters and overlooks the Giza pyramids. There will also be a fleet of new environmentally-friendly buses to guide tourists around the plateau.
From the BBC:
By Zoe Kleinman
Footballer Marcus Rashford's campaign to provide free meals for children over half term has been turned into an interactive Google Map.
Joe Freeman has so far been manually inputting each individual venue offering to help provide food.
He is using tweets by Rashford, who is sharing messages from local businesses which have pledged to support his campaign.
From The Guardian:
Bodies, which public prosecutor said appeared to be stowaways, discovered when container opened on Friday
Authorities in Paraguay have found at least seven badly decomposed bodies inside a shipment of fertilizer that left Serbia three months ago.
The container, which came via Argentina, was unloaded earlier this week at a port on the outskirts of the Paraguayan capital, Asunción, and was collected by an agricultural company.
Also from The Guardian:
After an asteroid encounter, scientists scrambled to minimize the loss of space rocks as the craft belched rubble
A Nasa spacecraft is stuffed with so much asteroid rubble from this week’s grab that it’s jammed open and precious particles are drifting away in space, scientists said on Friday.
Scientists announced the news three days after the spacecraft named Osiris-Rex briefly touched asteroid Bennu 200m miles away.
News of the arts
(CNN) — Remember when you used to sneak a flashlight under the covers so you could read a book after bedtime? A bookshop in Taiwan promises you a similar experience.
From the Post and Courier:
DR. TOM MACK Columnist
Given the unprecedented impact of the current health crisis, it is not surprising that artists of all stripes should be deeply invested in creative responses. Editors at publishing houses are seeing, for example, a spike in submissions by self-isolated authors. Numerous musicians have written songs related to the pandemic; some like Bon Jovi’s “Do What You Can” are inspirational while others like Randy Newman’s “Stay Away” take a more jaundiced perspective.
Visual artists are also among those taking inspiration from how the virus has affected all our lives, and currently on view at the 701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia are two exhibitions that speak to current conditions.
From The Washington Post:
The Baltimore Museum of Art has faced intense criticism, including some trustee resignations, since announcing earlier this month that it would sell three paintings by Andy Warhol, Clyfford Still and Brice Marden to generate $65 million for diversity and equity programs. Now, two former board chairmen of the museum say they’ve rescinded planned gifts totaling $50 million.
From the Quad City Times:
Downtown Moline will soon be a little brighter, colorful and even thought-provoking once the city gets a boost from some outdoor public art projects as part of its downtown public art master plan.
During the planning phase, Renew Moline is seeking input from the public for a series of seven art installations that will be constructed or painted in seven locations throughout downtown Moline.
From the BBC:
Shakespeare's Globe, the Sage Gateshead and the company behind the Lady Boys of Bangkok are among the latest recipients of emergency government arts funding.
The replica Elizabethan theatre in London will receive almost £3m from the £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund.
The Birmingham Hippodrome, London's Old Vic theatre and the English National Ballet will all get the maximum £3m.