It’s been another tumultuous week in international news ahead of Easter. Dozens have died after a train derailed in Taiwan, an April Fool’s prank went terribly wrong in Brussels and Europe has been called out for its slow vaccine rollout.
Here are five notable stories from across the globe in Lovin Malta’s international news roundup in case you missed them.
1. Dozens have been killed after a train derailed in Taiwan.
More than 50 people have died after a train crashed near Hualien City in Taiwan today.
According to BBC News, an eight-carriage train was derailed after hitting a construction vehicle that slipped onto the tracks. The train was crammed with people heading for a long weekend for Easter break. At least 50 people were certified as dead, while 66 others were taken to hospital.
Rescuers searched the tunnel to find survivors, who smashed the train’s windows to escape. The crash is Taiwan’s worst rail accident in decades.
2. Myanmar military restricts internet access for civilians.
Myanmar’s military has tightened restrictions on internet access in the nation, as tensions between protesters and the junta continue to escalate.
Hundreds of people have been killed or disappeared following a coup in February. The military later took power and declared a year-long state of emergency, accusing Suu Kyi’s party of fraud following their recent landslide electoral win.
On Thursday, people rushed to share links to radio channels and communication apps that function without the internet. Mobile data was previously cut for 18 days across the country. Meanwhile, new restrictions affect wireless broadband.
At least 535 people have been killed by the military since the coup, while more than 2,500 people have been detained. However, protestors are determined to keep standing their ground.
3. Thousands were dispersed with water cannons in Brussels after April Fool’s concert prank.
Police in Brussels used water cannons to disperse a crowd of thousands on Thursday, after a large gathering assembled for a fake concert announced on social media as an April Fool’s Day prank.
Several people were arrested while at least one officer was injured according to France 24.
Brussels law enforcement had issued a warning that the announcement was illegal and against COVID-19 restrictions and that the organiser could be prosecuted. It seemed people didn’t take it as an April Fool’s prank.
4. Dutch government will allow thousands to attend the Eurovision Song Contest as part of COVID-19 trial.
Up to 3,500 people will be allowed to attend this year’s Eurovision Song Contest as part of a trial to reopen venues during the pandemic, Euronews reported.
Last year’s edition was cancelled as Europe grappled with the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Each spectator will have to produce a negative PCR test to attend, while the size of the audience will depend on the epidemiological situation at the time.
2021’s edition of Eurovision is set to be held in Rotterdam after Dutch singer Duncan Laurence won the competition in 2019.
Check out Malta’s Eurovision representative Destiny’s song here.
5. WHO slammed Europe’s slow vaccine rollout.
The World Health Organisation warned that Europe’s rollout of COVID-19 vaccines is “unacceptably slow” as the region records rising cases for the sixth consecutive week.
Officials from WHO’s European office said that more than 1.6 million people contracted the virus in WHO Europe’s 51 countries last week. However, just 10% of the region’s population have received at least one dose of a vaccine and 4% are fully immunised.
Nearly 578 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered throughout the world according to data collected by Our World Data. 250 million of those were given out in the US, UK and Europe.
Is there an international news piece you think we’ve missed? Comment below