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Here’s the latest for Monday May 18th: Dems say Fired watchdog was looking into Saudi arms sales; Pensacola military base shooter linked to al-Qaida; Early coronavirus vaccine results are encouraging; Western NY begins phased reopening.

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Austrians discover farm work in coronavirus labour crunch | AFP

As in many Western countries, one of the shocks of the coronavirus crisis in Austria was how vulnerable farms were when suddenly deprived of foreign labour — but the country is having some success in getting Austrians to plug the gap. Instead of workers from the nearby Czech Republic, an Austrian student whose studies have been interrupted and a food wholesale buyer whose work hours have been reduced due to the pandemic now help plant vegetables, flowers and herbs, and pull out weeds.

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Nevada: Trump backers rally as Dem caucus ahead

Thousands of supporters rally in Las Vegas as President Donald Trump winds down his four day Western swing on the eve of the Democratic caucuses in Nevada. (Feb. 21)

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Video said to show plane on fire over Iran

Video has emerged said to show the moment a Ukranian jetliner plummetted and crashed into the ground near Tehran on Wednesday. Western leaders have said the plane appeared to have been unintentionally hit by a surface-to-air missile near Tehran. (Jan 10)

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Iran TV shows flight recorders from crashed plane

Iran’s state TV showed the flight recorder for a Ukrainian passenger plane that crashed outside Tehran, killing 176 people. Western leaders said the plane appeared to have been unintentionally hit by an Iranian-launched surface-to-air missile. (Jan. 10)

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Blair: Corbyn turned Labour Party into “glorified protest movement”

Former British prime minister and Labour Party leader Tony Blair says the party under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn showed “almost comic indecision” on Brexit, alienated traditional supporters, and displayed “deep hostility to Western foreign policy.”

Beating, homesickness: tough path to the top for Georgian sumo star | AFP

The sumo champion hauls his giant frame from the ground, sand and clay caking his sweaty back and fury flashing from his eyes as he chastises himself for his defeat. His 178-kilogramme (392-pound) body and white mawashi, or belt, are commonplace, but his bright blue eyes and Western features instantly mark out Georgia-born Levan Gorgadze as different in the traditional Japanese sport.

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Deputies use lasso to rescue deer from frozen pond

Using a common Western ranch and rodeo skill, two Wyoming sheriff’s deputies lassoed a deer that had fallen through ice and pulled it to safety. (Dec. 10)

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A round up of news and features | AFP

This week on Africa Weekly we begin in Burkina Faso in the city of Bobo-Dioulasso; once a magnet for tourists it’s now largely overlooked by Western travellers because of recurrent jihadist attacks. Then we head to the Democratic Republic of Congo, where after three years in the making, the country’s National Museum has opened its doors in the capital of Kinshasa.

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Five years after sanctions Russian cheeses getting top marks | AFP

Hundreds of artisanal creameries have cropped up across Russia since President Vladimir Putin banned Western food imports in 2014. Elvira Kovtun made her first cheese in a pot in her kitchen outside Moscow in 2015. Kovtun, a housewife and mostly self-taught cheesemaker, eventually became so good that she and her husband decided to turn her passion into a business.

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Burkina Faso tourist hub loses Western visitors to jihadist threat | AFP

The city of Bobo-Dioulasso, once a magnet for tourists to Burkina Faso, is now being neglected by Western travellers due to recurrent jihadist attacks in the country. The impact has been brutal for local businesses. The city’s hotels have emptied, its heritage sites are quiet and the souvenir shops shuttered.

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Israel navy seeks to boost Western profile with multi-national drill | AFP

Sailors from the United States, Greece and France join Israeli forces off the Israeli port city of Haifa for a multi-national naval drill, called Mighty Waves.

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