Outside our box

In east Africa, the region is suffering from torrential rains with flooding, swarms of locusts and the corona virus lockdown.  Border closures have made getting pesticides to fight the locusts scarce.  Floods have forced over a million people to flee from their homes. Food is in short supply. 

Meanwhile in central Asia police states are expanding with an app called STOP COVID-19. In theory of course these apps are intended to slow the spread of the virus, but in reality, apps can and are being used to trace people.   The STOP COVID-19 app has the ability to listen to phone conversations, monitor data usage, and even take over the phone.  People in Kyrgyz are being pressured to install the app. 

China has cracked down on Hong Kong, taking away what was left of its semiautonomous status which was supposed to last for 50 years after the British turned the city over to China in 1997. In case you didn’t know, Great Britain got Hong Kong Island from China in 1842, when the Treaty of Nanking was signed at the end of the first Opium War (1839-42).  Now on account of China’s actions toward the city, the UK has offered the nearly 3 million residents of Hong British national overseas citizenship status (BNO) the right to settle in the UK. China wasn’t pleased.

In Mexico, a dozen armed men fired 150 rounds at the armored car of García Harfuch, chief of police. Three people, including two of his body guards died in the attack. Harfuch survived his gun shot wounds and tweeted from his hospital bed, “Our Nation has to continue confronting cowardly organized crime.”  Heroin and the synthetic opioid fentanyl continue to cross the border into the US, leading to an increase in overdose deaths. The cartels are branding themselves as helping the poor during the pandemic, passing out food and supplies with labels like “Gulf Cartel.”

Just a few things to think about if the nightly US news talking about face masks is numbing your senses.

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