Global Review – 25th July

Vatican publishes list of properties around the world

For the first time, the Vatican has released information on its real estate holdings, revealing that it owns more than 5,000 properties, 4,051 ( or 80%) of which are in Italy and around 1,120 abroad, not counting its embassies around the world. Only about 14% of its Italian properties are let at market prices while the rest have reduced rates, many reserved for Church employees. About 40% are made up of institutional buildings such as schools, convents and hospitals. According to the documents, the Vatican owns properties as investments in upscale areas of London, Geneva, Lausanne and Paris.Among them is a building in London’s upscale South Kensington area, which incurred huge losses after it was purchased by the Vatican Secretariat of State as an investment in 2014. The consolidated financial statement of the Holy See also shows a deficit of 64.8 million Euros in 2020, against 79.2 million in 2019.

FBI raises the alarm against cyber attacks during the Games

The FBI has warned of possible cyber attacks during the Tokyo Olympic Games. According to CNNand Fox News, in a warning sent to professionals dealing with cyber security, the heads of the investigative office underline how the Olympics provide actors sponsored by some states a great opportunity to sow confusion, ask for ransom and carry out objectives propaganda. There would be no concrete threat at the moment, but hackers could mainly target media, hotels, means of transport and ticket offices.

Biden approval rating falls to 50%

After six months in the White House, poll numbers come in bad news for US Prsident Joe Biden, who at the moment is worse than Donald Trump and Barack Obama. For Gallup, the approval rating of the oldest president in US history (78 years old) in July fell to 50% compared to 56% the previous month, while the number of Americans who disapprove of his work rises to 45%. Even the latest Rasmussen report published in these hours indicates that Biden is liked less than his predecessors: after six months only 51% of voters give a positive opinion on the president, compared to Trump’s 52% and Obama’s 55%.

Anti-COVID certificate demonstrations, clashes in Europe and Australia

There has been a widespread reaction in Europe and Australia against the COVID certificate, vaccinations and lockdowns. In Italy, demostrations were held from north to south against what protesters termed as ‘dictatorship of the slavery passport’. There was tension with the police in Rome while in Milan and Naples there were also insults to Prime Minister Mario Draghi, slogans against ‘Big Pharma’ and multinationals.

Tear gas, water canons in Paris

Anti-certificate marches were also held throughout France: according to the Interior Minister, 161,000 took part, including 11,000 in Paris. Scuffles took place in Paris between demonstrators and the police in the Champs-Elysées area with the police responding with tear gas and water cannons as shopkeepers lowered their shutters.

Protesters clash with Australian police over lockdown

Thousands marched through Australia’s two biggest cities in anti-lockdown protests on Saturday, sparking violent clashes. Dozens of protesters were arrested after an unauthorised march flouted public health orders in Sydney, as officers were pelted with pot plants and bottles of water. Thousands also crowded several streets in Melbourne.

Span imposes 10-day quarantine

Spain will impose a ten-day quarantine on travellers from Argentina, Colombia, Bolivia and Namibia from July 27, as a new measure to combat coronavirus infections. Spain also continues to impose a 10-day quarantine for travellers from India and restricts flights from Brazil and South Africa.

115 die in India moonsoons

The death toll from landslides caused by monsoons in India has risen to 115, while more than 135,000 people were evacuated and dozens are still missing. Torrential downpours have lashed India’s west coast in recent days, causing landslides near Mumbai and causing the worst flooding in decades in the state of Goa.

 

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