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OIC to hold emergency meeting over Trump’s Middle East plan

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has said it rejects US President Donald Trump’s recently unveiled Middle East plan. The 57-member body, which held a summit on Monday  to discuss the plan in Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah, said in a statement that it “calls on all member states not to engage with this plan or to cooperate with the US administration…

OIC to hold emergency meeting over Trump’s Middle East plan

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has said it rejects US President Donald Trump’s recently unveiled Middle East plan.
The 57-member body, which held a summit on Monday  to discuss the plan in Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah, said in a statement that it “calls on all member states not to engage with this plan or to cooperate with the US administration in implementing it in any form”.
Requested by the Palestinian leadership, the meeting of the body came two days after the Arab League rejected Trump’s so-called “deal of the century”, saying: “It does not meet the minimum rights and aspirations of Palestinian people.”
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Why are Arab states ‘divided’ in the face of the US-Israeli plan?

A Rock and a Hard Place: What is it like to live in Jerusalem?
Addressing a pro-Israel audience at the White House with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by his side, Trump on Tuesday described his long-delayed plan for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a “win-win solution” for both sides.
The US president said his proposed deal would ensure the establishment of a two-state solution, promising Palestinians a state of their own with a new capital in Abu Dis, a suburb just outside Jerusalem. Trump also said Jerusalem would be the “undivided capital” of Israel. The Palestinians want both occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank to be part of a future state.

Palestinian leaders, who were absent during the announcement and had rejected the proposal even before its release, denounced the plan as “a new Balfour Declaration” that heavily favoured Israel and would deny them a viable independent state. 
The OIC said in a statement on Twitter on Sunday that its “open-ended executive committee meeting” at the level of foreign ministers would “discuss the organisation’s position after the US administration announced its peace plan”.
With member states from four continents, the OIC is the second-largest intergovernmental organisation in the world after the United Nations, with a collective population reaching more than 1.8 billion.
The majority of its member states are Muslim-majority countries, while others have significant Muslim populations, including several African and South American countries. While the 22 members of the Arab League are also part of the OIC, the organisation has several significant non-Arab member states, including Turkey, Iran and Pakistan. It also has five observer members, including Russia and Thailand.

What is in Trump’s Middle East plan?

Iran ‘barred’
Meanwhile, Iran on Monday accused its regional rival Saudi Arabia of blocking its officials from attending the OIC meeting.

“The government of Saudi Arabia has prevented the participation of the Iranian delegation in the meeting to examine the ‘deal of the century’ plan at the headquarters of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation,” Fars news agency quoted Abbas Mousavi, spokesman for Iran’s foreign ministry, as saying.
Mousavi said Iran – one of the countries to strongly condemn Trump’s plan – had filed a complaint with the OIC and accused its regional rival of misusing its position as the host for the organisation’s headquarters.
There was no immediate comment from Saudi officials.
Following the unveiling of Trump’s plan, the Saudi foreign ministry expressed appreciation for Trump’s efforts and support for direct peace negotiations under Washington’s auspices, while state media reported that King Salman had called Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to reassure him of Riyadh’s unwavering commitment to the Palestinian cause.
The announcement of Trump’s plan drew mixed responses from Arab states.
Observers said the reaction was indicative of the division among Arab countries and their inability to prioritise the Palestinian people’s plight over domestic economic agendas and political calculations in relation to the Trump administration.
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Coronavirus ’emergency’ puts Jakarta back in lockdown: Live news |NationalTribune.com

Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur. The Indonesian capital will go back into lockdown in a bid to contain an escalating outbreak that has pushed hospitals to the brink of collapse. Some 27.7 million people around the world have now been diagnosed with…

Coronavirus ’emergency’ puts Jakarta back in lockdown: Live news |NationalTribune.com

Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur.
The Indonesian capital will go back into lockdown in a bid to contain an escalating outbreak that has pushed hospitals to the brink of collapse.
Some 27.7 million people around the world have now been diagnosed with the coronavirus and 900,239 have died, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Some 18.6 million people have recovered.
Here are the latest updates:
Thursday, September 10 
01:10 GMT – COVID-19 widens gap between rich and poor: Save the Children
The COVID-19 pandemic has widened the gap between rich and poor, boys and girls, according to a new global survey by Save the Children.
In the six months since the pandemic was declared, the most vulnerable children have disproportionately missed out on access to education, healthcare, and food, and suffered the greatest protection risks, the UK-based group said.
The survey, based on the experience of 25,000 children and their caregivers across 37 countries, found:
Two thirds of the children had no contact with teachers at all during lockdown, while eight in ten believed they had learned little or nothing since schools closed.
Some 93 percent of households that lost over half of their income due to the pandemic reported difficulties in accessing health services.
Violence at home doubled to 17 percent when schools were closed.
“To protect an entire generation of children from losing out on a healthy and stable future, the world needs to urgently step up with debt relief for low-income countries and fragile states, so they can invest in the lives of their children,” Inger Ashing, Save the Children’s CEO said in a statement.
“The needs of children and their opinions need to be at the centre of any plans to build back what the world has lost over the past months, to ensure that they will not pay the heaviest price.” 
00:30 GMT – Jakarta heads back to lockdown amid coronavirus ’emergency’
Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan says the Indonesian capital will head back into lockdown as it steps up efforts to tackle what he said was an “emergency – more pressing than the start of the pandemic.”
From Monday, all offices will be closed except for businesses in 11 ‘essential’ fields. Entertainment venues will be shut down and all gatherings banned. Religious events will only be allowed at the village level for people who live in the area, he added.
Baswedan said the measures were necessary because modelling showed the capital’s hospitals would be overwhelmed by September 17 if no action was taken.
Indonesia has recorded 8,336 deaths from coronavirus, the most in Southeast Asia.
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Read all the updates from yesterday (September 9) here.
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FDA gives emergency approval to ‘game changer’ COVID-19 saliva test

The Food and Drug Administration gave emergency approval Saturday to a saliva test for COVID-19 that doesn’t require swabs or chemicals that have been prone to shortages, alleviating the strain on diagnostic capacity the U.S. fights the deadly pandemic. SalivaDirect was developed by the Yale School of Public Health in partnership with a program that…

FDA gives emergency approval to ‘game changer’ COVID-19 saliva test

The Food and Drug Administration gave emergency approval Saturday to a saliva test for COVID-19 that doesn’t require swabs or chemicals that have been prone to shortages, alleviating the strain on diagnostic capacity the U.S. fights the deadly pandemic.

SalivaDirect was developed by the Yale School of Public Health in partnership with a program that tests players in the National Basketball Association. It costs no more than $4 to run and can produce results within hours.

Researchers said the test is “highly sensitive” and yields similar results to those requiring a swab, which can be uncomfortable, and doesn’t require separate nucleic acid extraction step, which has led to kit shortages in the past.

Yale isn’t looking to make money off the test. It is providing the test as an “open protocol” that uses a variety of commercially available testing components, so labs across the country will be able to conduct tests by getting the instructions from Yale and following the FDA’s emergency-use authorization rules.

“The SalivaDirect test for rapid detection of SARS-CoV-2 is yet another testing innovation game-changer that will reduce the demand for scarce testing resources,” said Admiral Brett P. Giroir, the U.S. coronavirus testing “czar.”

The nation has clamored for cheap, easy-to-use tests to figure out who is spreading the disease and isolate them from society.

While the current testing regime is gradually improving, people seeking tests from commercial labs have reported lengthy turnaround times of multiple days, reducing the diagnostics’ usefulness as a public health tool.

The National Institutes of Health is supporting innovative test developers through a program known as “RADx.” It seeks to offer rapid, easy-to-use tests this fall, as schools seek better options and Americans wonder about household use.

It’s unclear how many labs will adopt the Yale test, or how quickly, but researchers said they were excited about the possibilities.

“This is a huge step forward to make testing more accessible,” said Chantal Vogels, a Yale postdoctoral fellow, who led the lab work and test-validation with Doug Brackney, an adjunct assistant clinical professor. “This started off as an idea in our lab soon after we found saliva to be a promising sample type of the detection of [the coronavirus], and now it has the potential to be used on a large scale to help protect public health. We are delighted to make this contribution to the fight against coronavirus.”

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Emergency teams race to contain virus spread in Rohingya camps

Emergency teams were moving swiftly on Friday to prevent a coronavirus “nightmare” in the world’s largest refugee settlement after the first confirmed cases in a camp housing nearly a million Rohingya in Bangladesh. Local government official Mahfuzar Rahman said on Friday an entire block in one camp, housing approximately 5,000 people, was shut off. More: First…

Emergency teams race to contain virus spread in Rohingya camps

Emergency teams were moving swiftly on Friday to prevent a coronavirus “nightmare” in the world’s largest refugee settlement after the first confirmed cases in a camp housing nearly a million Rohingya in Bangladesh.
Local government official Mahfuzar Rahman said on Friday an entire block in one camp, housing approximately 5,000 people, was shut off.
More:

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Coronavirus shutdown threatens Chicago’s Rohingya cultural centre

Coronavirus: Which countries have confirmed cases?

“We have locked down the block, barring anyone from entering or leaving their homes,” he said.
Rahman added that they were also trying to “contact-trace” people the infected person had met and they would all be brought to isolation centres set up in the camps.
A senior advocate for Refugees International, Daniel Sullivan, said the first COVID-19 case was the “realisation of a nightmare scenario”.
A senior US official who has visited the refugees said it was only a matter of time for the virus to reach them.
“The refugee camp is incredibly crowded. The COVID virus will spread through there very rapidly,” said Sam Brownback, the ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom.
On Thursday, local health coordinator Abu Toha Bhuiyan said two refugees had tested positive.
But the World Health Organization (WHO) later said one case was a Rohingya man, and the other was a local man who lived near the camp and was being treated at a clinic inside the area.
WHO spokesman Catalin Bercaru told the AFP news agency that “rapid investigation teams” were being deployed and that the men’s contacts were being traced for quarantine and testing.
Shamim Jahan from Save the Children said “we are looking at the very real prospect that thousands of people may die from COVID-19”, with “no intensive care beds” in the camps.
Virus warnings
There have long been warnings that the virus could spread like wildfire through the cramped, sewage-soaked alleys of the network of 34 camps in the Cox’s Bazar district bordering Myanmar.
Most of the Muslim refugees have been there since about 750,000 fled a 2017 military offensive in neighbouring Myanmar for which its government is facing genocide charges at the UN’s top court.
In early April, authorities had locked down the surrounding Cox’s Bazar district – home to 3.4 million people including the refugees – after a number of COVID-19 cases.
Bangladesh restricted traffic in and out of the camps and forced aid organisations to slash manpower by 80 percent.
The country of 160 million people is under lockdown and has seen a rapid rise in coronavirus cases in recent days, with almost 19,000 confirmed infections and 300 deaths as of Thursday.
Rights groups and others have also criticised Bangladesh for cutting internet access in the camps, which authorities say is to combat drug trafficking and other alleged criminal activities.
The lack of internet access has meant that information is hard to come by and that rumours abound, for example that coronavirus is always fatal.
“Open communication is critical to promoting hygiene awareness and tracking the spread of the disease,” Sullivan said.
“I have been calling on the Bangladeshi government to give internet access. It just seems to me ludicrous that they’re not,” Brownback told reporters in Washington, DC.
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