Global Review – 1st July

China: moderately prosperous society, focused and on target

President Xi Jinping has announced that China has achieved its first Centennial goal of building a “moderately prosperous society in all respects”. Xinhua news agency quotes him saying, at a speech in Tiananmen Square for the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party, “This means that we have brought to a historical solution the problem of absolute poverty in China.” He added that the “era of China being bullied is gone forever and now we are marching confidently towards the goal of the second centenary: to transform China into a great modern socialist country in all respects”.

Caged animal farming in EU to end by 2027

The European Commission plans to phase out caged animal farming across the bloc by 2027. It comes after a petition demanding an end to the controversial system collected more than 1.4 million signatures. EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides told Le Soir, “Animals are sentient beings and we have a moral, societal responsibility to ensure that on-farm conditions for animals reflect this.” Rabbits, young hens, quails, ducks and geese would be affected.

Bill Cosby freed after court overturns sexual assault conviction

The former US actor and comedian Bill Cosby has been released from prison after his sexual assault conviction was overturned by Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court. USA Today reports the judges said there had been a “process violation” by the prosecution. Cosby, 83, served more than two years of a three to 10-year sentence after he was found guilty in 2018 of drugging and molesting former basketball player Andrea Constand.

More unmarked graves found in Canada

CTV News says another 182 unmarked graves have been discovered at a third indegionous residential school. The First National community in British Columbia’s interior says ground-penatrating radar has found the human remains at the former residential school, which operated from 1912 to the 1970s.

Trudeau pays respects to heatwave victims

Globe & Mail says Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has offered condolences to the families of dozens of people who have died in a record-setting heatwave. Canada saw a new record at 49.6oC for the third day in a row. At least 486 sudden deaths were reported over five days during the heatwave.

Ex-US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld dies

Politico announces the death of former US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, one of the main architects of the Iraq war. He was 88. Serving under President George W. Bush, he was a leading proponent of the administration’s “war on terror”. US forces launched a campaign in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks and invaded Iraq in 2003. Rumsfeld resigned in 2006 amid the fallout of the conflict, but always defended his record.

2,000 Scottish fans test positive to COVID-19

The Guardian says a surge in Scottish COVID cases is raising Euro 2020 safety concerns. Public Health Scotland data showed 1,991 people who tested positive in the last two weeks after attending Scotland’s matches at the European football championships, at the stadium or in collective events. Estimates from the local health authorities of Public Health Scotland (PHS) indicate that two thirds of the infected (1,294) were in London during the England-Scotland match: 397 were at Wembley stadium, the rest participated in collective visions and celebrations between streets and clubs. About a hundred had attended the Scottish national team’s match against Croatia and the Czech Republic at Hampden Park in Glasgow. The aggressive Delta variant accounts for 99% of COVID infections in the United Kingdom, which yesterday notched up 26,068 cases in the last 24 hours – a record in the country since 23 January. The EU has called on UEFA “to consider very carefully” the possibility of playing “the semifinals and the final” of the EURO2020 “at Wembley” because of COVID-19.

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