International News

International News (385)

27
April

 

 

Following the 2018 unilateral withdrawal of the US from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and the re-imposition of sanctions against Iran, Washington has been issuing special waivers that permit some countries and companies to conduct business with Tehran. The US Department of State has extended a waiver for Iraq to continue receiving Iranian electricity for 30 days, a time significantly shorter than previous exemptions that varied from 90 to 120 days, the official said, referring to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, according to the outlet. The official reportedly said that the waiver would expire on 26 May, noting that the Trump administration would reassess renewing the exemption again once a “credible government” is formed in the Middle Eastern country//sputnik

27
April

 

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to hit global markets, oil prices have experienced dramatic falls. On 23 April, however, Brent and WTI crude reported modest gains, reaching $22.25 and $15.7 per barrel, respectively. The Brent crude price for July delivery rose to over $25 per barrel, according to market data. As of 02:54 Moscow time on Monday (23:54 GMT on Sunday), the price of July futures for Brent crude rose 0.93 percent, up to $25.04 per barrel. The price of June futures for Brent crude was $21.64 per barrel. The price of June futures for WTI crude fell 1.42 percent in the early hours of Monday, down to $16.7 per barrel//sputnik

26
April

 

India has allowed small local stores to reopen more than a month after the country went into lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic. The interior ministry said only half of staff should work and they had to follow precautions, such as wearing face masks and observing social distancing. However shopping malls must remain closed and businesses in coronavirus hotspots will also stay shut. The move is part of Delhi's attempt to gradually restart economic activity. India has nearly 25,000 confirmed cases of the virus and 780 people have died. All shops in rural areas except those in shopping malls were allowed to reopen from Saturday, as are stores in urban areas. However shops in markets are to remain closed. However officials said alcohol stores had to remain closed and online shopping platforms could only be used to buy essential items, Indian media reported//BBC

26
April

 

More than 100 demonstrators have been arrested in the German capital for violating the coronavirus restrictions.This was stated by the Berlin police on Saturday. Earlier in the day, several hundred people gathered in Germany’s capital to protest against coronavirus restrictions.The demonstration lasted for a little over an hour. Berlin protests against quarantine measures. In Berlin, as well as in the rest of Germany, demonstrations, as well as any public gatherings involving more than two people, with the exception of relatives, are prohibited until 4 May. Germany has over 156,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and the country’s COVID-19 death toll stands at over 5,800, according to Johns Hopkins University data. In Berlin, over 5,500 cases, including over 140 deaths, have been registered//Sputnik

26
April

 

 

More than 200,000 people worldwide have now died with the coronavirus, figures from Johns Hopkins University show. There are more than 2.8 million confirmed cases of Covid-19, according to the tally. It comes after the number of fatalities in the US passed 50.000 as Americans endure the world's deadliest outbreak. Chinese state media reported the first known death linked to the virus on 11 January. More than 210 countries and territories have since reported cases. Five countries have now reported death tolls above 20,000 although the way fatalities are counted varies widely. The US, Italy and Spain have seen the highest number of reported fatalities//BBC

25
April

 

 

China is in the throes of a multibillion-dollar splurge on new football stadiums, ramping up ambitions to be a superpower in the sport and host a World Cup as early as 2030. As quoted by AFP.com, the building spree is taking place despite the coronavirus pandemic, which has brought much of the world to a standstill, ravaging economies and putting live sport on hold. But with the outbreak receding in China, where it emerged in December, Chinese Super League (CSL) champions, Guangzhou Evergrande, last week began construction on their 12 billion yuan ($1.7 billion) new home. With a capacity of 100,000, the lotus flower-shaped stadium will for a time trump Barcelona's Camp Nou -- which is set for expansion -- as the world's biggest football arena, once it is completed by the end of 2022//AFP

25
April

 

 

Muslims across the world began marking the holy month of Ramadan, under unprecedented coronavirus lockdowns on Friday, as the US added another half a trillion dollars to an economic support package, and Europe groped towards its own huge rescue plan. Ramadan spirits have been dampened by movement restrictions on hundreds of millions of Muslims from Southeast Asia to the Middle East and Africa, with bans on prayers in mosques and large gatherings of families and friends to break the daily fast -- a centrepiece of the month. But despite the coronavirus threat, some clerics and conservatives in many countries including Bangladesh, Pakistan and Indonesia -- the world's largest Muslim-majority nation -- have pushed back against social distancing rules, refusing to stop gatherings in mosques//AFP

25
April
Brazil's popular justice minister has resigned from President Jair Bolsonaro's government, accusing him of political interference.
 
Sergio Moro, a former judge who oversaw the country's biggest anti-corruption probe, quit after the president fired the federal police chief.
 
Moro said Bolsonaro demanded someone who would provide him with direct intelligence.
 
In a public address, the far-right president called the claims "baseless".
 
"The appointment is mine, the prerogative is mine and the day I have to submit to any of my subordinates I cease to be president of the republic,"  Bolsonaro said flanked by most of his cabinet in the presidential palace in Brasília.
 
But Brazil's public prosecutor Augusto Aras asked the Supreme Court to allow an investigation into Mr Moro's allegations against the president.
 
The dismissal of federal police chief Mauricio Valeixo was announced, with no further details, in the official gazette on Friday.
 
On Thursday, Moro had threatened to resign if Valeixo - his ally - were dismissed, but then said he would stay if he were allowed to choose a replacement.
 
Earlier this month, the president sacked his Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta for his response to the coronavirus pandemic. The minister had advocated social distancing, which Bolsonaro has scorned.
 
Fighting corruption was a central issue for Jair Bolsonaro in his 2018 presidential campaign. (BBC)
 
25
April
Air France-KLM has secured at least €9bn (£7.9bn; $9.7bn) in government aid, as the Franco-Dutch airline group struggles to stay afloat because of the coronavirus outbreak.
 
The French authorities said Air France would get €3bn in loans and another €4bn in state-guaranteed funds.
 
Meanwhile, the Dutch government said it was preparing between €2bn and €4bn in aid to KLM.
 
Major world airlines all but halted passenger traffic around the world.
 
But they still have to pay to park and maintain planes that have been grounded.
Earlier this year, Air France-KLM estimated the outbreak would cost the group between €150m and €200m in February-April.
 
Company Chief Executive Ben Smith warned on Friday that the government aid was "not a blank cheque" and would require tough action on costs and performance, Reuters news agency reports.
 
"This financing will give us the opportunity to rebuild. Faced with the upheaval the world is going through, we are going to have to rethink our model immediately," he added.
 
The group is the result of a merger between Air France and KLM in 2004.
 
With a fleet of 550 aircraft, it covers 312 destinations in 116 countries around the world. In 2018, Air France-KLM's passenger traffic exceeded 100 million. (BBC)
23
April
Tashkent- President of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Miromonovich Mirziyoyev is bringing together the government and businesses to ensure social protection of the people at times of coronavirus outbreak.
 
Along with a number of other countries in the world, Uzbekistan is facing consequences of COVID-19 pandemic on the economy and social sector, including on the lives of people in cities and regions.
 
Amid novel coronavirus, the head of state puts a great emphasis on providing support to vulnerable segments of the population and ensuring full operation of industrial enterprises, construction area and country's infrastructure.
 
Bearing in mind historic and spiritual values of Uzbek nation, its generousity and attention to other people, the President of Uzbekistan recently suggested establishing Magnanimous and Support nationwide movement.
The initiative objective is to further ensure the supply of food and medical facilities to families in need and those who are in temporary jobless. Particularly, entrepreneurs are encouraged to take selfless responsibility to support families in their neighborhood. 
 
In light of upcoming the holy month of Ramadan, an act of goodwill is becoming more noble.
For instance, an entrepreneur, based on his capacity, could help 10 households, while the other one  20, or hire some family members. In return, the government will provide entrepreneurs tax, leasing, credit preferences as well as access to necessary resources. 
 
The initiative expects to be implemented in close collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Representative Offices, Banks and Social Protection related to Agencies.
 
The Head of state expresses confidence that Magnanimous and Support nationwide movement will become a bright example of the country's and nations strength. (Nia S. Amira)
 
* Nia S. Amira is an Indonesian author, journalist, and linguist. 
She writes on cultural, international affairs, multi-culturism and religious studies.
Her articles have appeared in over thirty newspapers that are published in Europe, Asia, and the United States.
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