Global Review – 8th July

COVID-19: Delta variant present in 104 countries

The COVID-19 ‘Delta’ variant, which started in India, has reached 104 countries, seven more in the last week alone. This was revealed by the WHO Weekly Epidemiological Update, the weekly report that monitors the pandemic globally. The variant, identified for the first time last October, is considered more contagious and destined to represent the majority of future infections.

IMF chief calls for more vaccines

Il Gazzetino reports IMF director general Kristalina Georgieva has called on the nations forming the G20 for “urgent action” to ensure the provision of anti-COVID vaccines. Ahead of the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in Venice, she said that “faster access to vaccinations for populations at high risk could save more than half a million lives in the next six months”.

Risk of Delta outbreak following Wembley football audiences

The British government is “confident” that it will be able to keep at bay the risk of an outbreak of COVID infections fueled by the Delta variant in light of the semifinals of the EURO 2020 and the final on Sunday. Minister of Productive Activities, Kwasi Kwarteng, was asked on LBC radio on the 60,000 spectators admitted to these latest Euro2020 matches at Wembley stadium and on the impact of rallies and celebrations on the streets of London. Kwarteng said people and businesses cannot have “at the same time” the reopening they are asking for and the demand for absolute security on COVID.

Hungary locks horns with EC over LGBTIQ law

Echo TV says Hungary has put into effect its controversial new law restricting teaching on LGBTIQ issues. At the eleventh hour, Budapest dismissed a demand from the European Commission to repeal the Bill, which bans schools from using materials deemed to promote homosexuality. Meanwhile, at the plenary debate in the European Parliament on the conclusions of the last European Council, EC President Ursula von der Leyen, who called the law “shameful”, said, the EC cannot stand by when there are regions that declare themselves free from LGBTIQ people. “We will never let part of our society be stigmatised because of what they think, ethnicity, political opinions or religious beliefs”.

Haiti: President Moïse’s killers arrested, killed

Le Matin quotes Haiti’s national police saying they had killed four “mercenaries” involved in the murder of President Jovenel Moïse and had two others in custody. Three policemen who had been taken hostage have been released. President Moïse was assassinated by an armed commando in his home in the middle of the night. His wife was injured.

Zuma turns himself in

Channel Africa says former President Jacob Zuma is in custody after handing himself in to the police to serve 15 months in jail for contempt of court. His surrender came shortly before a midnight deadline after he remained defiant with supporters surrounding his home.

Explosion reported in Jebel Ali seaport in Dubai

An explosion occurred in the Jebel Ali seaport in Dubai late yesterday. A Dubai official told Alarabiya TV the fire was caused by a natural accident due to a container that had flammable materials. The fire broke out on a container ship anchored at the Dubai port, and civil defence are working to put out the blaze.

England reach Euro 2020 final

Battling England came from behind to beat Denmark 2-1 after extra time and reach a first major men’s tournament for the first time since 1966. The BBC says before 66,000 fans and in a frenzied, thunderous atmosphere, England battled their way out of adversity to secure a meeting with Italy in the final at the same venue on Sunday (9pm kick-off). There were tears among Denmark’s players as the final whistle sounded on their Euro campaign, one which began with the trauma of Christian Eriksen’s cardiac arrest in their opening match against Finland.

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