5 international stories of the week

<p>A commuter wears a face mask April 13, 2020, to protect against coronavirus at Atocha train station in Madrid, Spain. Spain is cautiously re-starting some business activity to emerge from the nationwide near-total freeze that helped slow the country's grim coronavirus outbreak. <strong>(AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)</strong></p>

A commuter wears a face mask April 13, 2020, to protect against coronavirus at Atocha train station in Madrid, Spain. Spain is cautiously re-starting some business activity to emerge from the nationwide near-total freeze that helped slow the country's grim coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Editor’s Note: This listicle is part of a weekly series by The Ball State Daily News summarizing five stories from around the world. All summaries are based on stories published by The Associated Press.

Nations being pressured to ease virus restrictions, a nearly 10 million barrel production cut by oil producing countries, world militaries changing strategy, how the pandemic has affected the Russian president's agenda and a bail plea for the WikiLeaks founder make up this week’s five international stories.


In this  photo, Elderly residency workers feed a woman April 9, 2020, at "Las Praderas" elderly care home in the outskirts of Madrid. Daniel Agha Rodriguez, the head of the residency is worried about how this crisis can affect the residents psychologically. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Health or wealth? Nations pressured to loosen virus rules

As the pandemic throws millions out of work and devastates economies worldwide, governments struggle with the dilemma between keeping people safe and making sure they can still make a living. The decisions are complicated because each nation is on its own coronavirus arc — some seeing increasing deaths or infections, some hoping they are stabilizing at a high plateau of deaths, and others seeing declines in the rates of new deaths and infections.

Read more: Health


Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al-Saud, Minister of Energy of Saudi Arabia, chairs a virtual summit of the Group of 20 energy ministers April 10, 2020, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to coordinate a response to plummeting oil prices due to the pandemic. (Saudi Energy Ministry via AP)

OPEC, oil nations agree to nearly 10M barrel cut amid virus

OPEC, Russia and other oil-producing nations finalized an unprecedented production cut of nearly 10 million barrels, or a tenth of global supply, in hopes of boosting crashing prices amid the coronavirus pandemic and a price war. Oil prices have collapsed as the pandemic largely halted global travel and slowed down other energy-chugging sectors such as manufacturing, devastating the oil industry in the U.S., which now pumps more crude than any other country.

Read more: Virus outbreak


An Afghan National Army soldier stands guard at a checkpoint April 4, 2020, to enforce a curfew for the the fight against the coronavirus, on the Jalalabad-Kabul highway, in the Laghman province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, File)

World militaries face a new enemy in virus outbreak

The coronavirus pandemic has forced militaries and militias to adapt to an invisible enemy, even as traditional conflicts grind on. Armies have had to enforce social distancing rules among troops while helping with national outbreak containment and postponing maneuvers. Take a look at how the outbreak affects some militaries and conflicts when it comes to defending borders, bridging divides, balancing threats and making other critical military decisions.

Read more: Militant groups


Russian soldiers march May 7, 2019, along Red Square carrying the Victory in the WWII Flag during a rehearsal for the Victory Day military parade in Moscow, Russia. The parade will take place May 9 at Red Square to celebrate 74 years of the victory in WWII. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool, File)

Coronavirus upends Putin’s political agenda in Russia

A nationwide vote on April 22 was supposed to finalize sweeping constitutional reforms that would allow Russian President Vladimir Putin to stay in power until 2036, if he wished. But due to the pandemic, that plebiscite had to be postponed — an action so abrupt that billboards promoting it already had been erected in Moscow and other big cities. Now under threat is a pomp-filled celebration of Victory Day on May 9, marking Nazi Germany's defeat in World War II.

Read more: Vladimir Putin


Julian Assange's supporters hold placards Feb. 25, 2020, as they protest on the second day of a week of opening arguments for the extradition of the Wikileaks founder in south east London. U.S. authorities, want to try Assange on espionage charges. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

Assange’s partner reveals they had 2 children and urges bail

Julian Assange’s partner revealed she had two children with him while he lived inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and issued a plea for the WikiLeaks founder to be released from prison over fears for his health during the pandemic. Assange has been imprisoned in London since police dragged him out of the embassy a year ago. He is awaiting a May 18 hearing on his extradition to the United States, where he faces espionage charges.

Read more: Julian Assange

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