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.
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
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
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
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 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