G20 summit in Rome dominates international media
Finance and health ministers from the Group of 20 leading and developing economies have called for 70% of the world’s population to be vaccinated against COVID-19 over the next eight months. The delegates announced a new task force to better fight the pandemic and kickstart economic recovery.IMF director Kristalina Georgieva warned that efforts to speed vaccinations to 70% of the world’s population were short of €17.3 billion.
Main two-day summit starts today
Friday’s gathering of finance and health ministers came a day ahead of the leaders’ summit set for this weekend. As well as the pandemic and its consequences, ministers are expected to discuss efforts to speed up the global economic recovery, address soaring energy prices and supply chain snarls, which have affected a number of key industries worldwide. G20 leaders will also sign off on a minimum global tax rate of 15% for big companies, a deal that was finalised earlier this month. Furthermore, climate is going to be a major topic of discussion at the summit, which is being held just days before the UN COP26 climate summit in Scotland, set to begin on Sunday. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who is in Rome for the talks, challenged G20 leaders to overcome “dangerous levels of mistrust” between developed and developing nations to try to avoid “climate catastrophe.”
Biden meets Pope for 75 minutes
US President Joe Biden arrived at the Vatican Friday for a meeting with Pope Francis. The two discussed global challenges ranging from the COVID pandemic to climate change, immigration and poverty. Later, official sources said that the meeting had gone well over its allotted time to 75 minutes, much longer than most papal audiences. Before he left the Vatican, said Biden thanked Francis for “his advocacy for the world’s poor and those suffering from hunger, conflict, and persecution”. The president then praised the pope’s “leadership in fighting the climate crisis, as well as his advocacy to ensure the pandemic ends for everyone through vaccine sharing and an equitable global economic recovery.”
Biden-Macron meeting on submarine deal
President Biden also met French President Emmanuel Macron and told him that the US was “clumsy” over a security pact signed between the UK, US, and Australia that lost France billions. It was the first meeting between the two leaders since the Aukus pact – which will allow Australia to build nuclear-powered submarines. Aukus caused a row with France, which lost a $37billion deal with Australia. Macron said it was important to “look to the future”.
COP26: Pope calls for ‘hope to future generations’
“The political decision-makers who will take part in the COP26 in Glasgow are urgently called to offer effective responses to the ecological crisis in which we live and, in this way, concrete hope for future generations”. In a message broadcast by the BBC, the Pontiff appealed to one and all “to play a role in modifying our collective response to the unprecedented threat of climate change and the degradation of our common home”.
EU Parliament sues Commission over rule of law
The European Parliament has instituted a lawsuit against the European Commission over what it perceives to be a lackluster attitude in applying a mechanism linking EU funds to rule of law breaches among member states. Before acting, the European Commission said it wanted to wait for an upcoming European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling on the legality of the tool linked to legal action brought by Warsaw and Budapest.
Former Ivana Trump husband dead at 49
Model and actor Rossano Rubicondi, Ivana Trump’s fourth husband and TV personality, died at the age of 49. It was Simona Ventura, who had worked with him on Isola dei famosi, to give the news. Trump dated Rubicondi for six years before they married in April 2008 when he was 36 and she was 59. Rubicondi was Ivana’s fourth husband after Alfred Winklmayr, Donald Trump, and Riccardo Mazzucchelli. They divorced less than a year later but their on-again, off-again relationship continued until 2019, when Ivana announced they had ‘called it quits’, even if they had been pictured together as recently as August in New York City. Although the cause of his death has not been revealed, Italian media suggests Rubicondi had been ill for the past year.