Vaccination: ‘a moral obligation’
Italian President Sergio Mattarella said Wednesday that it was a moral obligation for people to get vaccinated against COVID-19. “The pandemic is not yet behind us,” Mattarella said at the traditional ‘cerimonia del Ventaglio’ before parliament’s summer recess – the last of his seven-year term as Head of State. “The virus has mutated and it has become even more contagious. The longer it circulates, the more frequent and dangerous its mutations may become. For these reasons, getting vaccinated is a moral and civic duty,” he said.
UK revokes quarantine for vaccinated EU, US citizens
The British government has revoked the need of precautionary quarantine for those traveling to England from the EU and the US as long as they have already received the double COVID vaccine in the country of origin. Prime Minister Boris Johnson took the step despite Labour opposition.
COVID: ‘fourth wave’ in Germany
“The fourth wave” of the coronavirus pandemic has begun, Lothar Wieler, the president of the German public health institute, said yesterday. He was speaking in a video conference with the minister in charge of the Chancellery Office and the heads of the Chancelleries of the 16 German Laender. But a decision on how to proceed in the future will only be taken on August 10.
New COVID cases on the rise
There has been an upsurge of new COVID-19 infections in Europe and beyond, with numbers totalling 652,952 resulting in 10,010 deaths. According to the Johns Hopkins University, the worst hit was the US (84,186), followed by Brazil (48,443 and 1,366 deaths), Indonesia (47,791), India (43,211) and Iran (33,187). Japan clocked 7,630 new cases.
Peru: ‘government for the people with the people’
After nearly two months of waiting, amid baseless claims of fraud and even rumblings of a military coup, Pedro Castillo has taken his oath of office as Peru’s president. In his speech he greeted “all the members of my original peoples, my brothers ‘ronderos’ (self-defense peasants), my brothers teachers, brothers Quechua, Aymara and Afro-Peruvians”. Today, he continued, “on the day of the 200th anniversary of our Independence, there is a government for the people and with the people”.
Russian billionaires sue UK journalist over Putin book
A former Financial Times correspondent in Moscow and her publisher are facing defamation claims in a London court from billionaire Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich and other wealthy Russians over a book about the rise of President Vladimir Putin. Catherine Belton’s book, “Putin’s People: How the KGB Took Back Russia and then Took on the West” charts the rise to power (and wealth) of former KGB agent Putin and a circle of associates after the breakup of the Soviet Union.Abramovich says the book’s claim that he purchased Chelsea FC in 2003 at Putin’s direction was “false and defamatory.” He is suing Belton and publisher HarperCollins at the High Court. Belton is also being sued for libel by Russia’s state-owned energy firm, Rosneft.
Palestinian boy shot by Israelis dies
A 12-year-old boy, shot by Israeli troops yesterday, has died in hospital. The boy was hit in the chest while travelling in a car with his father in Hebron. He is the second young Palestinian to have died as a result of Israeli fire in recent days.
Olympic Men’s Football: Argentina eliminated
Argentina, gold winners in Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008, are out of the Tokyo Olympics football tournament. Yesterday’s match against Spain ended 1-1. With Egypt beating Australia 2-0, they hooked Argentina to second place in the group with four points and went through the round thanks to the best goal difference, while Spain won the group at five points. At the quarterfinals on Saturday, Egypt will face Ivory Coast. The other finalists are Japan, Mexico, S. Korea, New Zealand, Spain and Brazil. Semi-finals will be played on August 3, the Bronze medal match on August 6 and the Gold medal match on August 7.