Global

Germany’s coronavirus skeptics; Australia’s recession.

A look at how COVID-19 is impacting life around the planet.

by Stranger’s Guide
Germany

Images of protesters storming the Reichstag building prompted outrage in Berlin on August 1, so it’s unclear whether a third major “coronavirus skeptics’ protest” can take place after those crowds failed to abide by rules designed to limit the spread of COVID-19. Some say that flies in the face of a constitution, rewritten after WWII, that deliberately limits restrictions on free assembly. There are limitations on certain fascist symbols and clothing at public protests, but right-wing groups sometimes circumvent rules by using other controversial symbols from history. (Deutsche Welle)

Nigeria

Despite a collapse in crude oil prices, which earlier this year hit two-decade lows caused by the pandemic, Africa’s largest oil producer hopes its mining industry will grow tenfold in the next five years. Nigeria is banking on mining to revive its flagging economy. The country’s mining minister Olamilekan Adegbite said it aims to have 50 mines in operation by 2023 to make up for lost time caused by COVID-19. (Reuters)

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France

France’s health ministry says the country has seen an “exponential surge” in coronavirus cases days before millions of French children were due to return to school. Its daily tally of 7,379 new cases is only 200 less than the record it set in March. President Emmanuel Macron said his government was “doing everything to avoid another lockdown.”

(France 24)

Australia

Australia has entered its first recession in 30 years. Its economy shrunk by 6.3 per cent over the past 12 months, the most severe contraction since the Great Depression almost 100 years ago, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. From the end of September, wage subsidy payments are set to begin reducing. (The Age)

Italy

A rise in coronavirus cases is fueling a surge in anti-immigrant sentiment, even though the government says that migrants are just a small part of the problem. Sicily’s president, Nello Musumeci, ordered all migrant centers closed in order to prevent the spread of the disease, despite official data showing “minimal” effect from new arrivals. (New York Times)

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North America

Desert Heat

On July 10, 1913, California’s Furnace Creek (population 24) in Death Valley recorded a temperature of 134°F, making it the hottest place in the world—a record it still holds. What’s more, it boasts the highest recorded ground surface temperature (201°F in 1972). While the Mojave Desert temperatures vary widely with elevation, Death Valley this July endured average summer temperatures around 120°F; in winter, though, it can reach a chilly 20°F.