BBC news 2020-02-08 (audio+transcript)

BBC news.

Hong Kong has introduced a mandatory quarantine of two weeks for anyone arriving from Mainland China to try to contain the spread of the new corona virus. Returning residents will have to stay at home, while foreigners will be sent to hotels or government-run centers. The World Health Organization has warned a chronic global shortage of protected equipment like face masks because of the outbreak. It says the demand is about 100 times higher than the normal rate.

A senior United Nations envoy said Spain is utterly failing people in poverty. Philip Alston has a 12-day tour of the country. He highlighted a housing crisis of what he called “stunning proportions”. He said a completely inadequate social protection system left large numbers in poverty by design.

A senior army officer in Russia has been arrested and remanded on charges of embezzling more than 100 million dollars. General Khalil Arslanov is deputy chief of the general staff. Military prosecutors said they requested custody to stop them intimidating witnesses.

Nearly 300,000 civilians fled fighting in northwest Syria in the last two months. Russian-back Syrian government troops have been advancing against rebel forces, which mainly made up of Jihadi fighters.

Apple has been fined 27 million dollars by the French authorities for deliberately slowing down older iPhones. Three years ago, the tech company admitted that it did reduce the speed of some models, but insisted it was only to prolong the life of the devices. French prosecutors opened an inquiry one month later.

Botswana has raised more than two million dollars from its first option of licenses to hunt elephants since lifting a ban last year. Companies registered locally to bid for the right to kill ten elephants. Botswana has the world’s biggest elephant’s population.

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