Global Review – 20th June

Iran election: Raisi’s win sparks concern

Ebrahim Raisi’s win in the Iranian presidential election received praises from Iran’s allies but human rights groups and Israel pointed to his bloody past. Leaders of Russia, Syria, Iraq, Turkey, the UAE and Hamas sent messages of support and congratulations. Harretz reports Israel called him “an extremist with blood on his hands”, in reference to the mass execution of thousands of political prisoners in 1988. They also warned he would increase Iran’s nuclear activities. The US said it would continue negotiating with Iran to revive the internaional nuclear deal. Raisi’s win came on the same weekend as negotiations to try and save the Iran nuclear deal continue in Vienna.

Biden goes to mass after the bishops’ challenge on abortion

US President Joe Biden went to church as usual on Sunday in his city of Wilmington (Delaware) in the aftermath of the challenge launched by the American Catholic bishops, who aim to ban the Eucharist to politicians in favour of the right of abortion. The President and First Lady Jill attended mass in St Joseph Church and then paid homage to the graves of Biden’s first wife and two of his children.

Brazil protest as COVID deaths surpass 500,000

O Globo reports thousands have taken to the streets across Brazil to protest against President Jair Bolsonaro’s pandemic response, blasting their leader for not acquiring vaccines fast enough and for questioning the need for mask-wearing. Brazil surpassed 500,000 deaths from COVID-19 on Saturday – the world’s highest death toll after the United States. Only 11% of Brazilians are fully vaccinated and 29% have received a first dose.

COVID cases in the UK, Moscow up again

According to Metro, the UK has recorded more than 10,000 daily cases for the third day in a row, with a top scientist warning that the country is in the grips of a third wave. The country confirmed 10,321 new cases on Saturday, bringing the overall caseload to over 4.6 million. A further 14 deaths pushed the total to 127,970. And Moscow Times says the city registered 9,120 new coronavirus infections in 24 hours – a second consecutive high, topping the previous day’s total of 9,056 cases. The highly infectious Delta variant, first identified in India, represents nearly 90% of new cases.

EU founding father on path to sainthood

Pope Francis has put Robert Schuman, who paved the way for the founding of the European Union, on the path to sainthood. Avvenire quotes a Vatican statement saying the Pope approved a decree recognising the “heroic virtues” of the 20th-century French statesman who died in 1963. Schuman now has the title “venerable” – one of the earliest milestones of the process that could lead to canonisation.

Final round of EURO 2020 group matches starts today

UEFA EURO 2020: Matchday 3, the final round of group matches, starts today at 6 pm as Group A’s top two sides – Italy and Wales – face off in Rome. Turkey take on Switzerland in Baku.

Yesterday, Germany’s 4-2 win over Portugal and Hungary’s surprise 1-1 draw with France blew Group F wide open, meaning it is all to play for in Wednesday’s final group games when the Germans host Hungary and the French meet holders Portugal (both matches at 9 pm).

Robert Lewandowski cancelled out Álvaro Morata’s opener to give Poland a draw against Spain, Gerard Moreno missing a penalty for the hosts in Seville. Spain tried to push for a winner but Poland dug in and held out for the point that takes their Group E qualification hopes into Matchday 3 on Wednesday when they meet Sweden, and Slovakia play Spain (both matches at 6 pm).