Global Review – 27th July

Libyans want to vote, foreign forces fuelling the conflict

Tripoli’s National Unity Government spokesman Mohamed Hamuda told a media conference in Romethe Libyan population wants to go to the vote as soon as possible but the electoral process is hampered not only by internal conflicts, but also by the presence of foreign countries that feed them for their interests. Hamuda denied that to get in the way was also the executive headed by Abdul Hamid Dbeibah. “The GNU continues to work for the elections; we are waiting for indications from the electoral authority. We are not divided between East and West, Libya is a single people that over time has amalgamated together.” He underlined that “there is a conflict for power due to the lack of solid political institutions and external countries who want to fulfill their personal interests without asking the Libyans what they want. Three million people have taken the electoral card, the Libyans want to vote.” Hamuda sp0okes on the challenges of security: from immigration to the recovery of the oil sector, from the crisis in Ukraine to cooperation in the Mediterranean. He said the security situationwas not only undermined by the clash between the Gnu and the forces of Cyrenaica led by General Haftar but also by internal clashes on the Tripoli front, as evidenced by the recent clashes in the capital between two militias both loyal to Dbeibah. The government is pursuing the goal of “bringing these groups together”. In addition, he continued, a police and army reform has been carried out which is making it possible to place many young people in regular formations trained with the help of allied countries. On oil production, the envisage three million barrels a day within five years.

EU members strike deal to cut Russian gas use

The European Union reached agreement on Tuesday on how to cut member states’ consumption of gas by 15 percent and reduce their dependence on Russian supplies. The 27 EU members, which have imposed economic sanctions on Russia to punish it for its invasion of Ukraine, met to agree a way to cut gas use and share the burden of shortages. “In an effort to increase EU security of energy supply, member states today reached a political agreement on a voluntary reduction of natural gas demand by 15 percent this winter,” the council of ministers said. “The Council regulation also foresees the possibility to trigger a ‘Union alert’ on security of supply, in which case the gas demand reduction would become mandatory,” the statement continued. “The purpose of the gas demand reduction is to make savings ahead of winter in order to prepare for possible disruptions of gas supplies from Russia that is continuously using energy supplies as a weapon.” Russian state-run giant Gazprom will slash supplies to Europe from Wednesday. Malta has assured an exemption from the mandatory regulationafter Energy Minister Miriam Dalli argue that as a small island distanced from the network of European gas, Malta had a specific case where a change of fuels is not viable and a mandatory reduction would be a detriment to enterprise and families. Malta is not connected to the European network for the use of gas and the use of LNG is exclusively restricted to the generation of electricity. In fact, Malta receives consignments on an agreed schedules basis of gas provisions.  

Moody’s cuts EU’s GDP estimates

Moody’s has cut its growth estimates for the Eurozone from 2.5% to 2.2% in 2022 and from 2.3% to 0.9% in 2023, due to a revision down the GDP of the main European countries. Moody’s explained the cuts with a number of factors including gas supply disruptions and demand-side adjustments to address uncertainty about flows from Moscow, the brake on consumption of higher inflation, support from the ECB, the tightening of global liquidity and weak external demand.

US calls on Ukraine to pick prosecutor to fight corruption

The United States on Tuesday urged Ukraine to pick a credible top prosecutor to replace one sacked by President Zelensky, calling for action on corruption. State Department spokesman Ned Price said, “The independence and impartiality of the prosecutor general is vital to ensuring the integrity of accountability efforts in Ukraine.” He said that the fight against corruption, long a major concern in Ukraine, was critical as the country seeks membership in the European Union.

Powerful 7.1 earthquake hits northern Philippines

A 7.1-magnitude earthquake hit the northern Philippines this morning, the US Geological Survey said, shattering windows of buildings at the epicentre and shaking high-rise towers more than 300 kmsaway in the capital Manila. The shallow but powerful quake struck the mountainous and lightly-populated province of Abra on the main island of Luzon at 8:43 am (0243 in Malta), the USGS said, after initially measuring the quake at 6.8 magnitude. Shallow earthquakes tend to cause more damage than deeper ones. In Dolores, which felt the full force of the quake, terrified people ran outside their buildings as windows of the local market were shattered.

US Justice Department investigates Trump

The US Justice Department has opened an investigation into the conduct of Donald Trump during the attack on Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021, sources report to the ‘Washington Post’. Investigators are examining the conversations of the former US president and seized the phone records of his closest advisors. Meanwhile, President Biden responded to Trump’s attacks during a speech at a conservative convention in Washington. “We have made America great again, now it has been brought to its knees,”Trump said. To which Biden responded: “Call me old-fashioned, but inciting a riot against police officers doesn’t seem to me to respect the law.”

Tunisian new constitution approved by 96.4%

A new Tunisian constitution was approved by 96.4 percent of participants in a referendum, the head of the ISIE electoral commission said Tuesday. Just over 2.6 million out of the country’s 9.3 million voters backed the new draft, ISIE chief Farouk Bouasker told journalists in Tunis. The new charter will enshrine sweeping powers in the office of President Kais Saied, who eclared earlier on Tuesday that the country was moving “from despair to hope.” But the president’s rivals accused the Saied-controlled electoral board of “fraud” and said his referendum – which was marked by an official turnout of little more than a quarter of the 9.3 million electorate – had “failed”. Monday’s vote came a year to the day after the president sacked the government and suspended parliament in a dramatic blow to the only lasting democracy to have emerged from the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings.

$500-reward for a black-paw teddy bear

The parents of a girl from Marseille “devastated” by the loss of her favourite black-paw teddy bear, are offering a $500-reward to anyone who finds the stuffed toy and returns it to them. Caroline-Marie lost her teddy bear while on holiday in Rome. But the drama broke out on the way back home. And this loss represents such a serious loss for the whole family that mum and dad had the centre of Rome plastered with photos of the “wanted man”. The message also mentions the reward for those who find it and adds: “My parents will return to Rome for me.” The father told ‘La Republica the teddy bear “is very old and worn” and has “a particular sign: a black paw, which is a kind of patch”. So many Romans are looking for the teddy bear to bring back the smile on the face of little Caroline-Marie.

England cruise past Sweden to each Euro 2022 final

England reached their first major women’s tournament final since 2009 in stunning fashion as they put four past Olympic finalists Sweden at Euro 2022 in Sheffield last night. The Lionesses, who extended their unbeaten run to 19 games under manager Sarina Wiegman, will play either Germany or France for the ultimate prize. Victory for the Lionesses ends a 13-year wait to return to the final of a major tournament and they are the favourites to lift the trophy for the first time at Wembley on Sunday.France and Germany clash today at 9 pm.

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