India prepares to evacuate a million as Cyclone Amphan nears

West Bengal, Odisha and coastal areas of Bangladesh on high alert for super-cyclone

India is preparing to evacuate more than a million people, with a “super-cyclone” due to hit the country this week and cause devastation in vulnerable areas.

The Indian states of West Bengal and Odisha, as well as coastal areas of Bangladesh, have been put on high alert over Cyclone Amphan, which is gathering strength as it moves across the Bay of Bengal and is due to make landfall on Wednesday.

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Xi Jinping defends China’s handling of coronavirus and backs review of global response – video

The Chinese president is backing calls for an independent review of the global response to the Covid-19 pandemic, but only after the virus is under control.

Xi voiced his support in a video message to a virtual meeting of the World Health Organization's decision-making body, the World Health Assembly. He defended China's handling of the pandemic and pledged $2bn (£1.64bn) over two years to help with the response.

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China facing pressure over Covid-19 and Taiwan at World Health Assembly

More than 120 countries back call for inquiry into origins of virus while US-led coalition is lobbying for Taiwan to attend as an observer

Beijing is expected to face new levels of pressure at the World Health Assembly this week as dozens of nations push for an independent investigation into the coronavirus outbreak and the United States mounts a campaign over Taiwan’s status.

More than 120 countries have backed a draft resolution pushed by the European Union and Australia calling for an investigation into the origins of Covid-19, while a US-led coalition has been aggressively lobbying countries to support Taiwan’s bid to attend as an observer.

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Rights groups call for Fiji to investigate alleged prison beatings and culture of intimidation

Commissioner of corrections should be held accountable if reports of inhumane treatment prove correct, say rights advocates

International human rights groups have called on Fiji to launch an independent investigation into the commissioner of corrections, Francis Kean, after allegations from former officers that he routinely ordered the beating and mistreatment of prisoners.

The reports, published in the Guardian on Saturday, are based on detailed accounts from four former officers who have since come to Australia and claimed asylum.

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South Korean football team apologises for using sex dolls to fill stands

K-League club FC Seoul said the dolls, used to make stadiums look less empty, had been ordered inadvertently after a ‘misunderstanding’

A professional football team in South Korea has apologised after “mannequins” it used as substitute fans during a match at the weekend turned out to be sex dolls.

The K-League club FC Seoul said the dolls, which had been dotted around stands currently off-limits to supporters due to the coronavirus outbreak, had been ordered inadvertently after a “misunderstanding” with the supplier.

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Global report: US unemployment could hit 25%, warns Fed chairman, as Japan enters recession

India extends Covid-19 lockdown but eases many restrictions; South Africa reports highest daily new cases; World Health Assembly to begin

Unemployment in the United States could peak at 25% as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the chair of the Federal Reserve, amid warnings the June quarter economic figures will be “very, very bad”. The bleak prediction came as Japan slid into its first recession in five years, with forecasts that worse was to come.

In a sober assessment of the economic impact of coronavirus in the US, the Fed chair, Jerome Powell, estimated GDP contraction in the June quarter could be “easily be in the twenties or thirties”, as fallout from the global outbreak worsened.

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Coronavirus live news: India extends lockdown as Japan falls into recession

Daily death tolls fall in UK, Spain and Italy; South Africa reports highest daily increase; global infections pass 4.7 million. Follow the latest updates

Almost three quarters of Spain progressed to the second phase of the country’s lockdown de-escalation on Monday, allowing millions of people to meet up in groups of up to 10, and to have a drink or a meal on cafe and restaurant terraces.

The Madrid region and the Barcelona metropolitan area remain in the preliminary phase of what the government has called “the transition towards the new normality”.

It’s week two of the end of lockdown and on Monday it was the turn of the two lower secondary school years to return to classes in France but only in “green” areas on the Covid-19 map, meaning departments where the virus has stopped circulating widely and hospital intensive care units are not under pressure.

Classes in years 6ème (ages 11-12) and 5ème (12-13) opened on Monday with around 150,000 pupils expected back at one desk in two in 4,000 secondary schools. All staff and students must wear masks and schools are enforcing strict health measures, including distancing.

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Coronavirus live update Australia: students at NSW public schools will return to classrooms full-time from next Monday – latest news

Premier Gladys Berejklian to announce move tomorrow as Victoria’s Villa Maria Catholic Homes says most recent case was ‘inconclusive’ result. Follow all today’s updates

Students in New South Wales will be in classrooms full-time from Monday 25 May.

I’ve confirmed reporting by Nine and the ABC this evening.

The ABC is reporting that students in NSW will return to classrooms full-time from Monday.

They say premier Gladys Berejiklian will announce the change tomorrow.

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New Zealand braces for spike in child abuse reports as Covid-19 lockdown eases

Head of children’s welfare agency says toll could start to emerge after lockdown created ‘perfect storm’ of stress for struggling families

As hundreds of thousands of children return to classrooms around New Zealand, welfare services are bracing themselves for a spike in reports of abuse and neglect after weeks of “invisible” lockdown.

The country entered lockdown on 25 March and emerged late last week. During lockdown reports of family violence to police dropped, and reports of concern to Oranga Tamariki, the country’s welfare agency for children, fell by around 40%.

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New Zealand reaches population of 5m after citizens rush home amid Covid-19

Migration has been the chief driver for the population change, which increased by half a million people in the past six years alone

It was a much-anticipated milestone likely hastened by Covid-19: New Zealand has reached a population of 5 million people, after citizens and residents rushed home when borders began to close due to the coronavirus pandemic.

New Zealand grew from four to five million in 17 years, the quickest rate of growth in the country’s modern history, according to the government agency Statistics New Zealand. Migration has been the chief driver for the population of the isolated island nation, which increased by half a million people in the past six years alone.

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