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World in brief Saturday May 30

INDIA: A troop of monkeys mobbed a lab assistant in Delhi and made off with Covid-19 test samples from three patients, the Times of India reported yesterday.

The red-faced rhesus macaques have taken over many public spaces during India’s lockdown and reports of their “mugging” people for their food or mobile phones are common. 

Following the raid one macaque was observed in a tree chewing one of the samples. Indian authorities worry that if the virus spreads to macaques it could mutate.

GERMANY: EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager denied yesterday that she was “creating extra hurdles” for airline Lufthansa after the airline rejected a €9 billion (£8.1bn) German bailout, apparently because of EU conditions.

The EU said Lufthansa should give up its prized landing slots at Munich and Frankfurt airports in return for the assistance. 

The rescue package would give Berlin a 20 per cent stake in the company, require it not to pay dividends and restrict on management pay.

PAKISTAN: A plague of locusts is devastating crops and orchards and posing a threat to food security, officials said yesterday.

Aircraft and spraying machines filled with pesticides mounted on vehicles have been deployed to try to counter the swarms.

A Chinese scheme to deploy 100,000 ducks to eat the locusts, which worked against a similar plague in China two decades ago, was rejected after experts said the ducks would not tolerate the heat in Pakistan.

SPAIN: A new benefit aimed at establishing a minimum monthly income has been approved.

Citizens over 21 whose monthly income is below a certain level — between €461 (£414) and €1,015 (£912) depending on family size — will have it topped up.

Ministers say the measure will benefit 100,000 people right away and another 750,000 in the next few months.

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