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World in brief: March 26, 2020

US: Refuse workers in Pittsburgh refused to report for work yesterday morning amid safety fears over the coronavirus pandemic as the city remained on lockdown.

They issued a list of demands they said must be met before they return to work, including the provision of protective equipment.

Despite the US becoming the new epicentre of the global pandemic, President Donald Trump insists he wants the country running again by Easter.

PALESTINE: Political prisoner Ayman Sharabati set fire to his cell in Nafha Prison yesterday in protest at the Israeli authorities’ failure to protect the health of detainees during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society warned that hundreds of Palestinians were “languishing” in prison with authorities accused of medical negligence.

Hamas- and Fatah-allied prisoners are set to start an indefinite hunger strike next month in protest at the conditions.

LIBYA: The UN-backed Government of National Accord launched a major military offensive yesterday in a bid to repel the forces of Benghazi-based General Khalifa Haftar as they try to take control of Tripoli.

Operation Peace Storm saw Libyan forces and thousands of jihadists supplied by Turkey retake the strategically important Al-Watiya airport south of the capital.

A fragile ceasefire brokered by world powers has been repeatedly broken, with arms supplied to both sides in breach of a UN embargo.

US: Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest person, has come under fire after the company asked for donations to its relief fund to pay sick pay to workers who contract the coronavirus.

It will provide two weeks’ sick leave to “all Amazon employees diagnosed with Covid-19 or placed into quarantine.”

But Amazon is not providing any sick pay for contract workers who deliver its packages, even if they test positive for coronavirus. They are being told to apply to the “Amazon Relief Fund" – with Amazon asking for public donations to fund it.


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