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Headline News 08/04/2020
• Doctors Arrested for Protesting
• Taliban Walk Out of 'Fruitless' Talks
• Four out of Five People's Jobs Hit by Pandemic
Doctors Arrested for Protesting
Police arrested over 150 doctors and medical personnel in the Pakistani city of Quetta after protesting against the lack of proper protective equipment they’ve been provided to treat COVID-19 patients. The protests and the subsequent crackdown highlight Pakistan’s struggle to manage its escalating COVID-19 crisis. Such arrests and continuing lack of medical equipment will spur additional protest activity in other parts of the country, which could in turn lead to a wider spread of the virus. The protests come after more than a dozen Pakistani doctors reportedly contracted COVID-19 while treating patients. Pakistan now has over 3,200 confirmed cases of the virus, 50 of whom have died.
Taliban Walk Out of 'Fruitless' Talks
The Taliban have walked out of landmark talks which were supposed to help pave the path to peace in Afghanistan. A spokesman for the group said the first face-to-face discussions with the government had proved "fruitless".
Talks have broken down over a prisoner swap agreed between the US and Taliban. According to Matin Bek, a member of the government's negotiating team, the Taliban wanted the release of 15 commanders believed to be involved in what were referred to as big attacks. "We cannot release the killers of our people," he said. But the Taliban spokesman accused President Ashraf Ghani's administration of delaying the prisoner release "under one pretext or another". The government says it's willing to release up to 400 low-threat Taliban prisoners as a goodwill gesture in return for a considerable reduction in violence.
Four out of Five People's Jobs Hit by Pandemic
A total of 81% of the global workforce of 3.3 billion people have had their workplace fully or partly closed. Restrictions on daily life have led to the closure of many companies and the laying off of staff - either permanently or temporarily. The International Labour Organization (ILO), an agency of the United Nations, has been looking at the global impact with a series of charts. Their work shows the global scale of the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. "Workers and businesses are facing catastrophe, in both developed and developing economies," said ILO director general Guy Ryder. "We have to move fast, decisively, and together. The right, urgent, measures, could make the difference between survival and collapse." The global medical and health pandemic is now officially an economic crisis.
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