Category Archives: World

politics news

Venezuela Socialist Party Leader Tests Positive for Coronavirus

The leader of Venezuela’s ruling Socialist party, Diosdado Cabello, is self-quarantining after testing positive for the coronavirus, making him the highest-ranking official in the South American nation to contract the virus.Cabello announced his infection in a tweet Thursday. He vowed to overcome the disease, writing, “We will win!”President Nicolas Maduro said Cabello is fine but added he will need several days of treatment and recovery.Cabello’s diagnosis comes a few days after the governor of Venezuela’s Zulia state, Omar Prieto, tested positive for the coronavirus after being treated for a respiratory illness.Venezuela has confirmed more than 8,000 COVID-19 cases and more than 75 deaths. 

your ad here

Latin America, Caribbean Are New Pandemic Hot Spot, UN Says

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Latin America and the Caribbean have become “a hot spot” for the coronavirus pandemic, with several countries tallying the highest per capita infection rates in the world.During his video briefing report Thursday, Guterres said COVID-19’s impact on countries in Latin America and the Caribbean is expected to result in the deepest recession in living memory.Guterres said in the short-term response governments should consider providing people living in poverty with emergency basic incomes and anti-hunger grants.He said the novel coronavirus is having an especially hard impact on Latin America and the Caribbean’s most vulnerable groups, who lag in access to health care services and stable employment.Guterres said indigenous people of African descent, migrants and refugees are also suffering disproportionately.In his report, Guterres said some unnamed countries in the region are not prepared to address the health and human crises created by the pandemic.The U.N. chief said the international community must provide financial help and debt relief for Latin America and the Caribbean. 

your ad here

Notre Dame Cathedral to be Rebuilt Without Modern Touches

Notre Dame Cathedral will be rebuilt just the way it stood before last year’s devastating fire.No swimming pool or organic garden on the roof of the medieval Paris monument, or contemporary glass spire, or other modern twists. And to stay historically accurate, it will again be built with potentially toxic lead.That’s the verdict reached by French President Emmanuel Macron, the cathedral’s present-day architects and the general in charge of the colossal reconstruction project for one of the world’s most treasured landmarks.Macron, who wants Notre Dame reopened in time for the 2024 Olympics, had initially pushed for a contemporary touch atop the cathedral, prompting eye-catching proposals from architects around the world.Rebuilding of Paris’ Notre Dame Stalled as Pandemic RagesCOVID measures stop reconstruction plans, and one year after it was heavily damaged in a fire, no one knows when the iconic cathedral will be repairedBut Macron came around to the traditionalists’ argument, and approved reconstruction plans for the 12th century monument that were presented Thursday, according to a statement from the state agency overseeing the project.The plan includes recreating the 19th century spire designed by architect Eugene Viollet-le-Duc that collapsed in the fire and “favors fidelity to the monument’s form and a restoration of the cathedral in its latest state,” the statement said.That means how Notre Dame was on the afternoon of April 15, 2019, before the fire broke out, consumed the roof and threatened the rose-windowed twin towers that keep the cathedral upright.More than a year later, the structure remains unstable. It took nearly a year to clear out dangerous lead residue released in the fire and to get to the point where workers could start removing scaffolding that had been in place for a previous renovation effort. Actual reconstruction won’t start until next year.The reconstruction plan presented Thursday says the project will replicate original materials “to guarantee the authenticity, harmony and coherence of this masterpiece of Gothic art.”  Those materials included tons of lead, which is raising concerns among health and environmental groups. Lead particles released during the fire forced schools in the area to close and prompted a lengthy, painstaking cleanup effort of the cathedral’s historic neighborhood on an island in the center of Paris. 

your ad here

28 Georgian Soldiers in Afghanistan Infected with Coronavirus

The novel coronavirus has reportedly infected 28 Georgian soldiers in the NATO Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan.  
 
The infected soldiers have been transported back to their country and are undergoing treatment in a military hospital, local media quoted Georgia’s Ministry of Defense as saying. It described the health condition of the soldiers as “satisfactory.”
 
A spokesman for the non-combatant military alliance in Afghanistan, when contacted for comments Friday, referred VOA to Georgian defense officials to talk about the status of their forces.  
 
“Resolute Support does not confirm individual case numbers. Protection of the force from all threats, to include COVID-19, remains our top priority,” said the spokesman.
 
Georgia is said to be the largest non-NATO contributor to the 38-nation military mission in Afghanistan with around 900 soldiers.   
 
The military alliance has reported several cases of infections since the pandemic reached Afghanistan four months ago without disclosing the nationalities of those suffering from the virus.
 
As of Friday, the official tally of coronavirus cases in Afghanistan stood at about 34,000, with nearly 1,000 deaths.
 
Afghan public health officials, however, have warned that the actual numbers are much higher, citing limited testing capacity, among other challenges facing the war-hit health care system. They anticipate that more than half of the country’s estimated 37 million population could become infected in the coming months.
 
NATO has lately stepped up cooperation with Afghan national security forces to help them fight the pandemic by providing supplies of personal protective medical equipment, including 1.4 million masks, 500,000 gloves and 460,000 gowns.
 
The virus is reportedly sweeping through Afghan military and police forces. The Afghan defense ministry, however, denies any large scale infections among security forces.  
 

your ad here

Latin America, Caribbean ‘Hot Spot’ for Pandemic, UN Chief Says

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Latin America and the Caribbean have become “a hot spot” for the coronavirus pandemic, with several countries tallying the highest per capita infection rates in the world.During his video briefing report Thursday, Guterres said COVID-19’s impact on countries in Latin America and the Caribbean is expected to result in the deepest recession in living memory.Guterres said in the short-term response governments should consider providing people living in poverty with emergency basic incomes and anti-hunger grants.He said the novel coronavirus is having an especially hard impact on Latin America and the Caribbean’s most vulnerable groups, who lag in access to health care services and stable employment.Guterres said indigenous people of African descent, migrants and refugees are also suffering disproportionately.In his report, Guterres said some unnamed countries in the region are not prepared to address the health and human crises created by the pandemic.The U.N. chief said the international community must provide financial help and debt relief for Latin America and the Caribbean. 

your ad here

Venezuela’s Leader of Ruling Socialist Party Tests Positive for Coronavirus

The leader of Venezuela’s ruling Socialist party, Diosdado Cabello, is self-quarantining after testing positive for the coronavirus, making him the highest-ranking official in the South American nation to contract the virus.Cabello announced his infection in a tweet Thursday. He vowed to overcome the disease, writing, “We will win!”President Nicolas Maduro said Cabello is fine but added he will need several days of treatment and recovery.Cabello’s diagnosis comes a few days after the governor of Venezuela’s Zulia state, Omar Prieto, tested positive for the coronavirus after being treated for a respiratory illness.Venezuela has confirmed more than 8,000 COVID-19 cases and more than 75 deaths. 

your ad here

Bolivia Interim President Self-Quarantines After Testing Positive for Coronavirus

Interim Bolivian President Jeanine Áñez says she is self -quarantining and feels fine after testing positive for the cororonavirus.Áñez said Thursday she was tested for the virus last week after members of her staff became infected.She said she will remain in quarantine for 14 days before taking a new test to monitor her condition.The Bolivian leader said she feels strong and will continue working from isolation.Áñez became president in November after her predecessor, Evo Morales, left the country amid weeks of protests over his controversial reelection to an unconstitutional fourth term.Voters will decide on September 6 if Áñez will become the permanent president.Áñez’s infection comes as hospitals treating coronavirus patients in Bolivia’s two largest cities, La Paz and El Alto, are overwhelmed by the demand.So far, Bolivia has confirmed more than 42,000 coronavirus cases and more than 1,500 deaths.  

your ad here

Competition Heats Up to Host US Troops in Europe

There may be some additional competition for the thousands of U.S. troops that could soon be on their way out of Germany. Poland is already in line to receive some of the 9,500 troops that U.S. President Donald Trump plans to withdraw from Germany following disagreements over defense spending levels. Now, Latvia says it, too, would like to be under consideration. FILE – Latvian Defense Minister Artis Pabriks attends a meeting at NATO headquarters, March 10, 2011.Latvian Defense Minister Artis Pabriks said Thursday that his country is willing to host U.S. forces, though he hopes it will not have to be at Germany’s expense. “We are ready to invest, to receive also a certain amount of American troops on Latvian soil,” he said during the virtual European Union Defense Forum. “We are not trying here to punish Germans,” Pabriks added. “We understand there must be a push for Germans to do more, but a presence in Germany is vital for global security.” “We must be capable to react very quickly to these accusations and false news. We should transmit them extremely fast in mass media & also in social media” per #Latvia DefMin @Pabriks
— Jeff Seldin (@jseldin) FILE – Poland’s President Andrzej Duda listens to U.S. President Donald Trump during a joint news conference in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, June 24, 2020.Still, European officials are wary, concerned that the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Germany could lead to a reduction of the U.S. presence on the continent. “If I’m asked by anybody if I am ready that Poland receives more U.S. troops in our country, of course, I am ready,” Duda said during his stop in Washington. But he added, “I requested Mr. President that he would not withdraw U.S. forces from Europe, because the security of Europe is very important to me.” Latvian officials, likewise, want to see U.S. forces stay in Europe. “We think that American military presence in Europe actually should be increased and not decreased,” Defense Minister Pabriks said Thursday, suggesting deployments at various possible sites in Northern Europe, the Baltics or Poland could all serve to better contest what Washington’s European allies see as a growing Russian threat. Germany, while not happy with the prospect of losing U.S. forces, appears to be resigned to some reduction of the U.S. military footprint but seems to hold out hope that if troops do leave, they will not go too far. FILE – The propeller of a so-called “raisin bomber” airplane from World War II is seen in front of German and U.S. flags at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany, June 24, 2020.”What we are discussing is the security of the (NATO) alliance,” German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said Wednesday. “If they [U.S. troops] were redeploying within Europe, then that would mean that the strong commitment of the United States in the transatlantic partnership and the focus on Europe would remain, and that would be an important message.” U.S. defense officials say that under the current proposal, the military footprint in Europe will become more flexible, enhancing the ability of NATO to push back against Moscow. But some former U.S. military officials warn that any redeployment would be a mistake, especially with intelligence suggesting that Russia may have paid bounties for Taliban militants to target U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan. “With respect to Russia, we should suspend any troop withdrawals from Germany,” retired General John Nicholson, the former commander of U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, told lawmakers Thursday. “These troop withdrawals play into Russian desires to undermine and weaken NATO,” he said. “If carried out despite these bounties, this will be viewed as a sign of American weakness in the face of Russian threats.”

your ad here

Brazil to Ban Fires in Amazon for 120 Days

Brazil will ban fires in the Amazon forest for 120 days, heeding the demands of global investors upset over environmental destruction, the government said Thursday. A formal decree banning fires will come next week. Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourao made the announcement during a virtual investment conference Thursday with several European firms. He cited a letter signed by 29 firms — some of whom are threatening to cut all investment in Brazil unless the environmental degradation stops. “It’s a positive first step, and we need to continue the dialogue, and hopefully we’ll all see some results on the ground,” said Jeanett Bergan, head of responsible investments for KLP, Norway’s largest pension fund. The investors told Brazilian authorities they monitor deforestation rates, prevention of forest fires, and enforcement of Brazil’s forest code when assessing their investment strategy in Brazil. FILE – Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro leaves his official residence of Alvorada palace in Brasilia, May 25, 2020.Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, has come under global condemnation for his promise to open the vast Amazon rainforest to development and his opposition to assuring that some parts are reserved for Indigenous peoples. Environmentalists say deforestation in the Amazon reached its highest levels in 11 years last year. Some European Union nations threatened not to ratify a long-negotiated free trade deal with a group of Latin countries that includes Brazil unless Brazil’s attitude changes. Mourao said Brazil has been unfairly criticized and said the Bolsonaro government was handed understaffed environmental agencies by the previous administration. Brazilian officials have said they are working to overcome Brazil’s current image as being indifferent to the Amazon and hostile to those who want to save it from destruction. 

your ad here
1 2 3 595