Global Review – 17th October

World COVID-19 cases exceed 241 million

Coronavirus cases have globally exceeded the threshold of 241 million, while almost 6.6 billion doses of vaccines have been administered so far. According to Johns Hopkins University, since the beginning of the pandemic the confirmed infections were 241,150,666, including 4,909,653 deaths; 218,394,433 people have recovered. Over 5,358 deaths were reported on Saturday. With 1,002, Russia yesterday recorded its highest daily number of deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. Other deaths reported were 472 in Brazil, 464 in the US, 434 in Mexico, 350 in Romania and 212 in Turkey.

Pope asks for ‘an economy with a human face’

Pope Francis has asked for an economic model with a “human face”. In a video message for the meeting of the Popular Movements, he asked to turn the page after the pandemic as “returning to previous patterns would be truly suicidal,  ecocide and genocidal”. He has proposed the introduction of “the universal wage and the reduction of the working day”. He has appealed to the big laboratories toliberalise patents and, as a gesture of humanity, allow every human being to have access to vaccines. He asked financial groups and international credit organisations to allow poor countries to guarantee the basic needs of their people and to forgive debts made against the interests of their peoples.

200,000 in Rome pro-democracy march

“No” to fascism and violence, “yes” to work, security, rights. The three main Italian unions – CGIL, CISL and UIL – and prominent members of the centre left, took to the streets of Rome to defend democracy after last Saturday’s attack on the CGIL headquaters by neo-fascist activists, demonstrating in Rome against the government’s Green Pass. They considered the “squad” assault on the CGIL headquarters last Saturday an attack on the entire confederal trade union, the world of work and democracy. Meanwhile, there was tension at the No Green Pass march in Milan when a leading groupof anarchists, tried to break through the security cordon of riot police, who used batons. Over 10,000 demonstrators took part. And Trieste dockers have given an ultimatum to the Draghi government: “withdraw the Green Pass until October 30 or we will block all of Italy”. The head of the dockers is confident that “representatives of firefighters, journalists and health professionals will come with us”.

Italians voting in 65 municipalities

The polling stations have opened in Italy for today’s and Monday’s ballot in 65 municipalities. Fivemillion are eligible to vote in 10 cities, including Rome, Turin and Trieste. In seven municipalities they will also choose their mayor.

11 children drown during a school trip in Indonesia

Eleven middle school children drowned in a river in Indonesia, during a school trip. Ten others were rescued while the search for the bodies in the Cileueur River, in the province of West Java, is still ongoing. Rescuers reported 150 students from an Islamic school were participating in the cleanup of the river when 21 of them fell into the water.

450 kilos of heroin seized in Australia

Australian police have seized one of the largest shipments of heroin ever recorded in the country, worth approximately 104 million Australian dollars. The authorities said the cargo weighed 450 kg and included 1,290 packages of heroin that were hidden in a container of tiles. The seizure was carried out in the port of Melbourne, Australia’s largest, in late September. A Malaysian has been arrested.

‘Squid Game’ to be worth $900 million

Netflix estimates that its latest megahit ‘Squid Game’ will create almost $900 million in value for the company, according to figures seen by Bloomberg. The series stands out both for its popularity and its relatively low cost. The South Korean show, about indebted people in a deadly contest for a cash prize, generated $891.1 million in impact value, a metric the company uses to assess the performance from individual shows. It cost just $21.4 million to produce – about $2.4 million an episode. About 132 million people have watched at least two minutes of “Squid Game” in the show’s first 23 days. Netflix estimates that 89% of people who started the show watched at least 75 minutes (more than one episode) and 66% of viewers, or 87 million people, have finished the series in the first 23 days. All told, people have spent more than 1.4 billion hours watching the show.

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