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Gambia president declares country an ‘Islamic state’

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President Yahya Jammeh has declared the Gambia “an Islamic state”, but stressed that the rights of the Christian minority in the tiny west African country would be respected and that women would not be held to a dress code.

Jammeh said Gambia will drop English as its official language, without specifying which of the country’s indigenous tongues would replace it.

The main opposition party on Saturday poured scorn on the president’s unexpected proclamation of an Islamic republic, saying it had no legal basis.

“President Yahya Jammeh’s pronouncement or declaration is unconstitutional, it has no constitutional basis and… it is an unlawful declaration,” Ousainou Darboe, the secretary general of the main opposition United Democratic Party, told

The announcement came as the president addressed supporters in the coastal town of Brufut on Thursday, and the comments were later broadcast on state television and repeated on his website.

“Gambia’s destiny is in the hands of the Almighty Allah. As from today, Gambia is an Islamic state. We will be an Islamic state that will respect the rights of the citizens,” he  said

In television footage of the address on GRTV, the president did not go into detail about what the change would mean for the country, but he reassured Christians and followers of other faiths they would be able to worship freely.

“Christians will be given their due respect. The way of celebrating Christmas will continue,” he said, adding that no one had the right to interfere with others’ “way of life”.

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Prince Charles out of self-isolation, in ‘good health’

His wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, 72, was also tested and did not have the virus, but also began self-isolating.

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Prince Charles

London, March 30 : Prince Charles, who had tested positive for coronavirus earlier this month, is out of self-isolation, his aides said on Monday.

A official of Clarence House, the Prince of Wales’ official residence, said he was in good health and was following the government’s restrictions.

“Clarence House has confirmed today that, having consulted with his doctor, the Prince of Wales is now out of self-isolation,” the spokesman said, the BBC reported.

Charles, 71, spent seven days self-isolating at his home in the royal Balmoral estate in Scotland after testing positive and displaying mild symptoms.

His wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, 72, was also tested and did not have the virus, but also began self-isolating.

Buckingham Palace previously said the Queen Elizabeth II last saw her son, the heir to the throne, on March 12, and was “in good health”.

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Health

20,000 ex-NHS staff return to fight virus: UK PM

Johnson’s announcement on Monday comes a day after England’s deputy chief medical officer Jenny Harries said on Sunday that it could be six months before life returns to “normal”, the BBC reported.

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Boris Johnson

London, March 30 : Some 20,000 former staff of the UK’s National Health Services (NHS) have returned to work to help the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has revealed in a video posted online on Monday.

Thanking the doctors, nurses and other former professionals who have returned to the NHS, as well as the 750,000 members of the public who have volunteered to help the country through the pandemic, Johnson said in the video posted on Twitter: “We are going to do it, we are going to do it together,” the BBC reported.

“One thing I think the coronavirus crisis has already proved is that there really is such a thing as society,” he said, while contradicting the view of late Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, that “there is no such thing as society”.

Johnson, who is self-isolating after testing positive for the virus last week, said the public appeared to be obeying the restrictions set out by government to slow the spread of the virus, adding that train use was down 95 per cent and bus use down 75 per cent.

In another development, a Downing Street source confirmed on Monday that Dominic Cummings, Johnson’s chief adviser, has developed symptoms of the virus and was self-isolating at home.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has also tested positive for the disease.

Johnson’s announcement on Monday comes a day after England’s deputy chief medical officer Jenny Harries said on Sunday that it could be six months before life returns to “normal”, the BBC reported.

Harries said this did not mean the country would be in “complete lockdown” for half a year, but distancing measures would be reviewed every three weeks and reduced gradually over a period of around three to six months.

However, she said it was “plausible” restrictions could continue for longer.

As of Monday, the UK has reported 19,784 confirmed coronavirus cases, with 1,231 deaths.

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Health

Trump extends US ‘social distancing’ guidelines to April 30

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Donald Trump MSNBC

President Donald Trump on Sunday extended the national social distancing guidelines to April 30 after suggesting that the coronavirus death rate would likely peak in two weeks.

“Nothing would be worse than declaring victory before the victory has been won,” Trump said at an evening press briefing. “Therefore we will be extending our guidelines to April 30.”

The president has previously said he wants to reopen the country for business by Easter, on April 12, despite warnings from public health experts that loosening restrictions would result in unnecessary death and economic damage.

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