Myanmar coup; UK eases lockdown; China's Mars mission

In today’s episode, we revisit the coup-hit Myanmar which has come under a flurry of fresh sanctions from western nations as internal violence sees no signs of slowing, examine the UK’s opening up of businesses despite the threat of a new coronavirus strain, and explore China’s Mars mission.
Today on The Leaders' Brief -
  • The USA, along with allies - UK and Canada, announced more sanctions against Myanmar's military government this week. The latest sanctions attempt to increase pressure by directly targeting the State Administrative Council, or SAC, the official name of the military government formed in February. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken underscored USA’s resolve and that of its partners to apply political and financial pressure on the regime as long as it fails to stop violence and take meaningful action to respect the will of the people.

  • Most parts of the United Kingdom saw a semblance of normalcy this week as the country continued the easing of lockdown measures. Last month, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had announced the country’s plans to reopen its economy, starting with the reopening of all shops, gyms, hairdressers, and outdoor hospitality areas in England. This week, most areas across Scotland, England, and Wales saw businesses such as pubs and restaurants, cinemas, and sports venues open for the first time in months.

  • China became the second country in the world to successfully land on Mars, after its Tianwen-1 spacecraft successfully deployed its rover - Zhu Rong, onto the red planet’s surface. Despite all of the economic and medical trouble the COVID pandemic has caused, the year 2020 saw several major landmarks in space research, including China’s Tianwen 1 probe. Among the three mars missions, China’s Tianwen-1 probe is the first space mission that sent a shuttle to Mars with a lander, a rover, and an orbiter. 

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