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400 million jobs affected by COVID and other news of the week

Tensions in Venezuela and the covid work crisis were among the most important news this week

Empty office, Nicolas Maduro and Vladimir Puttin.

We tell you the most relevant news of this week. / Photo: Pexels, Reuters

LatinAmerican Post | Juliana Suárez

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Leer en español: 400 millones de empleos afectados por COVID y otras noticias de la semana

Nicolás Maduro and the European Union

On Monday, June 29, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro expelled the ambassador of the European Union, Isabel Brilhante, and gave her 72 hours to leave the country.

The Venezuelan leader's drastic decision came after the EU imposed new sanctions against 11 Venezuelan officials. Despite the fact that the EU has not broken relations with Venezuela as other countries around the world have, the latest sanctions were imposed by accusing these officials of lashing out at democracy and the rule of law.

In response, the head of the EU Diplomacy, Josep Borell, expressed his rejection of Maduro's order and assured that they should take reciprocal actions. At the time of Venezuela's decision, the EU cited Venezuela's ambassador to the EU, Chavista Claudia Salerno, where it was speculated that she would be withdrawn from the embassy as her namesake in Caracas.

However, days later, both the EU and the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry announced that they would continue to work together to facilitate political dialogue. On past occasions, Borell had previously stated that the solution to the Venezuelan crisis is not to isolate the country but a negotiated solution. After Salerno's summons, in an attempt to continue relations with diplomacy, the Venezuelan government decided to nullify the decision it had made to declare the EU ambassador as persona non grata.

Trump arrest warrant

The death of the Iranian general Qasem Soleimani at the hands of the United States started a turbulent year for relations between the two countries. After tensions, woes, and even attacks on military bases, six months later, the Iranian government issued a capture order against Donald Trump.

With the allegation of murder and terrorism, the Tehran prosecutor issued the order against the US president and 35 other people implicated in the death of the elite force leader Quds . He also asked for Interpol's help to catch Trump so that he would be extradited and could appear before Iranian justice.

However, Interpol affirmed that it will not intercede or consider the request since the organization, according to its Constitution, cannot interfere in any political, military, religious or racial framework. Meanwhile, the reaction from the US at the head of Brian Hook, special representative for Iran, affirmed that this is an action for propaganda purposes to interfere with international peace and national security, since it is known that the request for an order of Capture against President Trump would not be taken seriously.

400 million lost jobs

The International Labor Organization (ILO) released the results of the evaluation of the second quarter of 2020, a quarter in which most countries were quarantined, production slowed and global economies were stagnant.

After estimating approximately a month ago that job loss (full time, that is, 48 hours a week) would reach 10.7%, the results were surprising, as it was even higher than the estimate; reaching 14%. That percentage is equivalent to the loss of around 400 million jobs.

According to EFE, "America (is) the continent most affected, with a total loss of working hours of 18.3% so far." From there, South America has had an impact of 20% and North America (where Mexico is included), 15%.

Despite the fact that for the next quarter it is expected that the economies will begin to open up again and little by little the numbers will begin to drop, even “93% of the world's workers are in a country that maintains restrictions and partial closings of workplaces ”, which has made it impossible to return to normality. In estimates for the second half of the year, the ILO expects job losses to be limited to 140 million through gradual revivals, investments and consumption.

Also read: Anne Hidalgo, the first immigrant mayor of Paris

 

Putin's triumph

During this week, the Russians were at the polls voting in a constitutional referendum that ended up giving their current president, Vladimir Putin, free rein to extend his mandate until 2036.

According to the Russian Constitution, the president could be re-elected for only one term (ie two in total), although Putin has so far 4. After his first term as president, he had one as prime minister, where he also played the role of president, followed by the last two terms. This, in theory, would be his last term, but the referendum, proposed by Putin himself, opened the possibility of running for two other elections. If he won both, Putin would be in power for more than 30 years.

The scrutiny showed 78% in favor of the Constitutional reform proposed by the current president. Despite the strong support that Putin has had both in this referendum and in the last 2018 elections, the opposition begins to increase criticism as the president failed to fulfill what he had always promised: not to rewrite the Constitution in order to remain in power. But now, his critics speak of possible fraud in the elections while the majority of the Russian people seem to support it.

The violations of the Colombian army

The rape of an Embera indigenous girl in Colombia by 7 army uniforms perplexed the country and the entire world. Those implicated pleaded guilty but public opinion continues to ask that the case not go unpunished as members of the army.

When this complaint became public, others came to light. This has caused rejection not only for the alleged violations themselves but for the handling that justice gives to the cases and the cover-up that the institution has given to protect the uniformed.

Another case that began to resonate, of an  Embera girl in another department of the country by a sergeant, a corporal, and six soldiers returned to cause indignation just days later. This case had become known to the authorities more than 8 months ago by the Ombudsman's Office. The entity that presented the investigation to the Prosecutor's Office stated that this is not an isolated case and finally the Prosecutor's Office announced that dozens of similar cases are currently being investigated.

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