Global Review – 22nd May

Health Summit agrees on global vaccination

Ansa reports leaders of the Group of 20 nations – the world’s largest economies – have agreed to fight COVID-19 with an immediate global vaccination campaign. They were taking part in the virtual Global Health Summit in Rome, which gave concrete answers, starting with the solidarity redistribution of vaccines available to the rich West at the expense of poor countries, sharing patents, knowledge and production. The International Monetary Fund also unveiled a $50 billion proposal to end the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, WHO has said the real number of world Coronavirus-related deaths was likely to be much higher than the 3.4 million officialy reported. It estimates it was more likely between six and eight million. 

Biden advocates two-state solutuon for ME

The Washington Times quotes US President Joe Biden pledging to help organise efforts to rebuild Gaza and said creating a Palestinian state alongside Israel was the “only answer” to the conflict. The idea of a two-state solution – with a sovereign Palestinian state alongside Israel and Jerusalem as their shared capital – has been the cornerstone of decades of international diplomacy aimed at ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Biden also said he had told the Israelis to stop “intercommunal fighting” in the flashpoint city of Jerusalem. 

Nigeria’s army chief killed in crash

Voice of Nigeria reports the country’s army chief, Lt-Gen Ibrahim Attahiru, has been killed in a plane crash in the north-western state of Kaduna. The military said the incident happened as the plane was planning to land in bad weather. Lt-Gen Attahiru, 54, only took up his post in January in an overhaul of the military’s top brass. An unknown number of his aides were also killed.

Hungary to block EU’s Africa-Pacific deal

Reuters says Hungary’s foreign minister has said his country could not approve a new European Union trade and development accord with 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries because it would bring more migrants into the bloc. The pledge to block the treaty is Budapest’s latest step in holding up EU policies ranging from China to Lebanon. On Tuesday, Hungary declined to support an EU call for a ceasefire in violence between Israel and the Palestinians.

Japanese bullet train driver in trouble for going to toilet

According to the Kyodo News Agency, the driver of a Japanese bullet train is facing disciplinary action after he left his cab to go to the toilet. The unnamed driver left the train, which was travelling at 90 miles an hour with some 160 passengers on board, under the supervision of a conductor who was not licensed to drive the train. He was only caught after an inquiry was launched by bosses as the train arrived one minute late at its destination.