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.
Countries reopening as a possible resurgence of the virus is detected in China, France testing stun guns for wider use by the police, an American sentenced for spying in Russia, the Israeli prime minister’s corruption trial and a Philippine journalist being convicted for libel make up this week’s five international stories.
European countries reopened borders Monday after a three-month coronavirus shutdown and reopening continued in Mexico and Brazil just when the need for constant vigilance came into sharp focus as China, where COVID-19 first emerged last year, rushed to contain an outbreak in the capital of Beijing. The head of the World Health Organization said more than 100,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus have been reported globally each day in the last two weeks.
Read more: Virus Outbreak
Less than a week after France banned police chokeholds, the government responded to growing officer discontent by announcing it would test stun guns for wider use, adding to European law enforcement agencies that have recently adopted the weapons that many equate with excess police violence. Tasers, or other stun guns, are increasingly the weapon of choice for European law enforcement as they have been for years in the United States.
Read more: Law enforcement agencies
A Russian court convicted an American corporate security executive Monday of espionage and sentenced him to 16 years in prison after a closed trial that the U.S. denounced as a “mockery of justice,” and it angrily said his treatment in jail was “appalling.” Paul Whelan, a former Marine from Novi, Michigan, has insisted he was innocent, saying he was set up when he was arrested in Moscow in December 2018 while he was visiting Russia to attend a friend’s wedding.
Read more: Paul Whelan
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is on trial for accepting gifts from wealthy friends, but that has not stopped him from seeking another gift from a wealthy friend to pay for his multimillion-dollar legal defense. Netanyahu has asked an Israeli oversight committee to allow a $2.9 million donation from Spencer Partrich, a Michigan-based real estate magnate. The arrangement opens a window into the very ties that plunged him into legal trouble.
Read more: Benjamin Netanyahu
An award-winning journalist critical of the Philippine president was convicted of libel and sentenced to jail Monday in a decision called a major blow to press freedom in the Philippines. The Manila court found Maria Ressa of the online news site Rappler Inc. and former reporter Reynaldo Santos Jr. guilty of libeling a wealthy businessman. A 2012 Rappler story cited an intelligence report linking him to a murder, drug dealing, human trafficking and smuggling.
Read more: Philippines