Global Review – 31st July

Pope tells political parties: “We need ‘civic responsibility”

Pope Francis is back at the Vatican from his apostolic trip to Canada. In his post-journey media conferene, he excluded he wanted to ‘retire’ but he explained that he was not comfortable with hisknee. However, he confirmed he still wanted to go to Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Sudan and Congo. On the flight home, he made an appeal to the political forces in view of the vote: we need “responsibility, civic responsibility”, he told them. “First of all I don’t want to get involved in Italian internal politics”, he said when asked about Draghi’s fall. “Second, no one can say that Prime Minister Draghi was not a man of high international quality: he was president of the (European Central) Bank, a good career, so to speak. But then, I only asked one question to one of my collaborators: Tell me: how many governments has Italy had in this century? He told me: 20. This is my answer.”

On his future he observes: “I don’t think I can go at the same pace as before. I believe that at my age and with this limitation I have to save a little to be able to serve the Church. It is not a catastrophe, no. You can change the Pope. You can change, there is no problem,” he observes.

He was asked whether he ever thought of retiring. “The door is open. It is one of the normal options. But until today I have not knocked on that door. I have not heard of this possibility. But maybe that does not mean that the day after tomorrow I begin to think about it. But at this moment, honestly, no! Knee surgery does not work. In my case the technicians say yes, but there is the problem of anesthesia that I underwent 10 months ago, six hours of anesthesia and there are still traces. You don’t play games, you don’t mess with anesthesia, and that’s why it’s not entirely convenient.”

Food prices in Italy shoot by 10.2%

The Italian National Consumers Union has processed the Istat data on the annual inflation of July to draw up the top 20 of the most expensive food products and the absolute top of all products and services other than food and drinks. As for the top 20 of food products, the record of annual increases has been for months now for oil, which due to the war in Ukraine, has risen by 66% compared to July 2021, with a increase in expenditure for an average family of €16.08. In second place is butter which stands out by 31.9% (+€8.92), followed by flour (+21.5%, equal to €8.72). Just down from the podium is pasta (fresh, dry and pasta preparations) which rises by 21.1% (+€29.62), rice (+18.8%, equal to €7.96) and margarine (+18.7%). In seventh place the symbolic product of the summer and the great heat: ice creams (+18.2%, equal to €12.23). Then preserved milk (+15.9%), poultry – the most expensive meat – which costs 15.7% more, equal to €36.32. Eggs are close the top ten: +13.8% (+ €10.30). Considering all food and non-alcoholic drinks, inflation at 10% translates into an average sting per family of €564 on an annual basis (€694 for a couple with one child, €769 for a couple with two children, €919 for a couple with 3 or more children). Food products alone are up 10.2%, or €529.50. Fruit, despite being out of the top 20 and costing “only” 8.4% more, determines an additional cost of €43.3.

Codacons, a non-profit association in defence of consumers and the environment, had drawn up a study to understand how the inflation recorded in Italy in the first seven months of the year is reflected in household budgets. According to Istat, the acquired inflation rate for 2022 is equal to +6.7%. This means that, with the same consumption, Italians suffer an increase in spending during the year equal to €53.5 billion for the purchase of goods and services compared to 2021, precisely due to the increase in prices and tariffs. For food spending alone, whose acquired inflation is equal to +7.5% in 2022, families spend a total of almost €10.9 billion more. The tourism sector was hit by heavy price increases in the last month. Similarly, the transport sector which in July recorded rates up +3.9% on an annual basis. For transport, a family today finds itself suffering an average of €481 per year compared to 2021. In July the rates of international air tickets rose by +160.2% on an annual basis, ferries by 9.1%, gasoline increased by 22.3% and diesel by 30.9%, while on average 15.8% more is spent on sleeping in a hotel. The increases for bars and restaurants accelerate, which in July adjusted their price lists by an average of +5%.

Chinese booster rocket makes uncontrolled return to Earth

A Chinese booster rocket made an uncontrolled return to Earth on Saturday, US Defence Department officials said, as they chided Beijing for not sharing information on the potentially-hazardous object’s descent. US Space Command confirmed the rocket re-entered over the Indian Ocean. The Long March 5B rocket was used last Sunday to launch an uncrewed spacecraft, named Wentian, carrying the second of three modules China needed to complete its new Tiangong space station. NASA administrator Bill Nelson criticised Beijing, saying the failure to share the details of the rocket’s descent was irresponsible.

Floods leave 80 dead and 30 missing in Iran

At least 80 people have died and 30 others are missing in floods that have wreaked havoc across Iran for more than a week, state media reported Saturday. That is in addition to flash floods caused by heavy rains in the normally-dry southern province of Fars that left at least 22 people dead. Reports said 60 cities, 140 towns and more than 500 villages across the country of around 83 million people have been affected by the floods.

‘Moscow to allow UN, Red Cross visits to Olenivka’

Russia says it will allow the United Nations and the Red Cross to inspect the prison where Ukrainian prisoners of war died in Olenivka, Donbass, hit in a devastating attack that Ukrainians attribute to Moscow, according to ‘Kyiv Independent ‘writes, Moscow.

Spain’s gay community acts agtainst monkeypox

Whether it’s abstinence, avoiding nightclubs, limiting sexual partners or pushing for a swift vaccine rollout, Spain’s gay community are on the front line of the monkeypox virus and are taking action. Spain on Saturday reported its second monkeypox-related death. Outside of Africa, the only other such death has been in Brazil. More than 18,000 cases have been detected throughout the world outside of Africa since the beginning of May, according to WHO. Spain is one of the world’s worst-hit countries with the number of infected people at 4,298.

‘Pressure on England for women’s Euro final’

Germany women’s manager Martina Voss-Tecklenburg said the pressure is all on England for today’s Euro 2022 final(6 pm) with an expectant home crowd of 87,000 at Wembley hoping to roar the Lionesses on to victory. England have never won a major tournament in the women’s game, in stark contrast to Germany’s record of winning eight of the previous 12 women’s European Championships.But the host nation is reaching fever pitch with senior politicians, royalty, celebrities and famous faces from the men’s game wishing Sarina Wiegman’s women well. “There is more pressure on England tomorrow than us,” said Voss-Tecklenburg at her pre-match press conference. “We’ve dreamt of this, a final against England at Wembley. I don’t know if there is a bigger moment for our players. We want to stay present and embrace everything.” Wiegman’s team are unbeaten in 19 games since the Dutch coach, who led the Netherlands to Euro glory on home soil five years ago, took charge in September. England’s goalkeeper Mary Earps said swapping tips with fellow Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea helped lift her performances to a new level at the European Championship. Earps made a number of early saves to keep Sweden at bay in the semi-final. The 29-year-old was called into action inside the opening 30 seconds and denied Sofia Jakobsson with an outstretched left leg at close range, in a save that bore all the hallmarks of Spanish international De Gea. She said she received a congratulatory message from De Gea after the final whistle at Bramall Lane. On top of a sold-out Wembley, a crowd of 7,000 is set to congregate to watch the final on big screens in London’s Trafalgar Square.

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