Vanessa Tomassini

Trump does not give up: “Will appeal”
Americas

Trump does not give up: “Will appeal”

Trump does not give up: A Pennsylvania federal judge rejected Donald Trump’s lawsuit to suspend the certification of millions of votes in the state. According to Judge Matthew Brann, the case, based on allegations of irregularities, is “unfounded” as no merit legal arguments and speculative accusations were presented to the court. “In the United States of America, this cannot justify depriving a single voter of the right to vote, let alone all voters in its sixth most populous state,” the judge wrote. Joe Biden in Pennsylvania has an 80,000-vote lead. Trump, however, does not give up. “Will appeal!” He tweeted, announcing he will appeal to the Pennsylvania Third Circuit Court to eventually bring the case in front the Supreme Court.

The recount in Georgia

His legal team also called for a new recount in Georgia. After the state was awarded to Biden with a lead of 12,284 votes, compared to about 14,000 votes in the first count. A possible second recount will not be manual but will take place by scanning the cards. For the past 28 years, Georgia had always gone to the Republicans, the last Democratic candidate before Biden to win it was Bill Clinton in 1992. Already on Friday, President Trump received two setbacks. The authorities of Georgia certified the subtle victory by President-elect Joe Biden, and the Michigan Republicans said after a meeting in the White House that they had found nothing to justify the reversal of the vote in their state.

The lost appeals

Trump has already lost or withdrawn about thirty appeals aimed at blocking the proclamation of the Democratic challenger after the presidential elections on November 3, but that in Pennsylvania is perhaps the most significant defeat.

The endless campaign on Twitter

Trump’s rain of tweets is dense. “Dominion-izing the vote,” he writes in bursts: part one, two, and three of conspiracy theories for a vote he does not want to accept. The social network places red labels: “Untrusted content” writes under each presidential tweet. But the discussion is underway. User comments mostly urge Trump to surrender.

 “Why is Joe Biden rapidly forming” a new administration “when my investigators have found hundreds of thousands of illegal votes sufficient to overturn” the presidential outcome “in at least four states, and thus have enough votes to win the election? ” Trump asks. Then he hopes that lawmakers and courts will have the courage to do what necessary to maintain the integrity of our elections and America. “The world is watching,” he adds. 

Trump does not intend to step aside. According to the Washington Post, he could announce his candidacy for the 2024 presidential elections by the end of the year. He would explain to his collaborators that he wanted to remain an “omnipresent force” in politics and the media. Only one president in the history of the United States has managed to get re-elected after being defeated at the end of his first term: it happened to Grover Cleveland in 1892. Except that Cleveland belonged to the Democratic Party and was a strict observer of the American Constitution.

Biden on Twitter

The president elected remains composed. He still tweeted that of election day. The others are measured, one per day, one topic at a time. Calls for the transition, peaceful, at least to begin. “Anyone who wants a Covid-19 test should be able to get one. Period.”

RCEP, the largest trade agreement in the world has born
Geopolitics

RCEP, the largest trade agreement in the world has born

The largest trade agreement: The free agreement in history has been signed in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi. We are talking about Asia, and yes above all, about China. In fact, Beijing brings home an unprecedented result: a commercial alliance with the nearby “Asian tigers” and with Australia and Japan, long ago in the US orbit created by Obama thanks to the TPP, later abandoned by Trump. An abandonment that left the Land of the Rising Sun orphan of its major commercial partner and which therefore forced him to turn to the second on the list, namely China, with which, however, he had not yet signed any commercial agreement. 

And in addition to the unpublished agreements on duties, eCommerce, and intellectual property, what stands out most of all is precisely this newfound multilateralism in a region, that of Asia-Pacific, which has always been studded with differences and frictions. Thanks to the RCP, and to the end of America first, Beijing proves that it can become the new epicenter of multilateralism, by signing an agreement of historic significance. For the first time, three of the top four Asian economies – China, Japan, South Korea – will be part of the same free trade agreement.

For some time, China has been trying to establish itself in the Asian region as a champion of multilateralism. And not just in Asia; we think of the new Silk Road, of investments in Africa, of those in European ports and commercial hubs, Italy in the lead. The RCEP is nothing more than a – great – complement to a party strategy that starts from far away. In addition to its immense commercial grade, the agreement has a significant political value.

 In the competition with the United States for world supremacy, Beijing has patiently and determinedly pursued its diplomacy, and it has built, for now only on paper, an influence block which represents 30% of global GDP and which, nevertheless, welcomes Washington’s old allies. However, it is a success for the whole area. From Japan, which manages to defuse the ongoing trade war between China and Australia, to then move on to the same ASEAN area, which expects to benefit widely from the reduction in tariffs.

Screenshot 2020 11 21 at 5.41.55 PM 1024x575 - RCEP, the largest trade agreement in the world has born

Even with India absent, the numbers of the agreement are impressive. We are talking about an area that, as we have seen, produces almost a third of world GDP and hosts 2.7 billion people. It includes all ten ASEAN countries, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, plus China, Australia, South Korea, Japan, and New Zealand. Observers estimate that it will strengthen economic ties within the region and add about $ 200 billion a year to the global economy. In terms of the GDP of the signatory countries, it will also have a greater weight than NAFTA in North America and the European Union itself. The result for Asia will be the strengthening of regional supply chains. An aspect on which Beijing is increasingly aiming to reduce Asian dependence on the United States.

Screenshot 2020 11 21 at 5.42.03 PM - RCEP, the largest trade agreement in the world has born

The focal point of the agreement reached is the commitment to progressively reduce duties by up to 90% on goods in circulation over 20 years – to 65% in the short term. That means goodbye to the many bilateral agreements in Asia that limited the circulation of goods and caused costs to rise. Thanks to the RCEP, it will no longer be necessary to conclude specific agreements between two states each time to remove duties on traded goods. From now on, a member country of the RCEP producer will be able to trade freely with all the other 14 nations of the agreement. According to analysts’ estimates, 86% of Japanese industrial exports to China and 92% of exports to South Korea will benefit from the cancellation of existing tariffs.

 The most important novelty is represented by the “rules of origin,” as the rules officially define the origin of a finished product. Today, a product made in Thailand that contains New Zealand parts, for example, could be subject to duties in some Asian states. Under the RCEP, on the other hand, the components of any member country would be treated in the same way, giving companies in the area an incentive to seek suppliers within the commercial region.

Giuliani claims evidences of U.S. electoral fraud, but he can’t reveal it
Americas

Giuliani claims evidences of U.S. electoral fraud, but he can’t reveal it

Giuliani claims evidences of U.S. electoral fraud: All the fault of the press: “It covers Biden’s misdeeds” directly accused of being “the mind of fraud prepared in advance.” Endorsed by the FBI: “Where have they been in the last four years?”. And then, of course, the usual George Soros who, according to conspiracy theorists, is plotting in the shadows to overturn the world order. Together with the ceased Hugo Chavez, this time he would have hatched a big global scam to make Donald Trump lose the election. Helped by the Philadelphia mafia, organized “Antifa” groups from China, and even the Clinton Foundation. Tool of the mega-fraud would be the company Dominion Voting System which developed the software of the voting machines used in 27 states: it would have linked “with communist companies founded in Venezuela.”

urreal. That is how many American observers have defined the press conference of Rudy Giuliani.  The former mayor of New York City and personal lawyer of Donald Trump, flanked by Sidney Powell, the lawyer of that general Michael Flynn, whose head was the first to fall into the field of Russiagate. Together, from the headquarters of the Republican committee in Washington, they tried to explain why the defeat of the incumbent president would be the result of electoral fraud. Without presenting even a piece of evidence to support the odd thesis. And indeed, reacting to the journalists’ questions accusing them of being in bad faith and ignoring the complaints made: “I have a lot of evidence, but I can’t reveal it. I don’t find witnesses willing to testify in court because they receive intimidation and death threats. They fear that their career will be destroyed. And it’s your fault that you hysterically and biased four years of the Trump administration,” Giuliani said.

The former mayor of New York, 76, is the same one who suggested to the president to play the “Law and Order” card in the wake of the racial protests. Only to be framed by the satirist Sacha Baron Cohen in a scene of the new Borat while lying on the bed of a hotel room full of hidden cameras. He slips his hands in the pants, thinking he is alone with an allegedly underage journalist, initially attacked Biden head-on: “He planned everything.”

Then he corrected himself: “I don’t know if Biden is aware of the fraud or not, I don’t even know how much control he has of the party.” Going to argue that the entire mail-order vote is a fraud: “It could be Mickey Mouse; it could be a dead person. The ballots could have been filled in 30 times by the same person. All of these things have happened. And you don’t want to tell.” And never mind if the 2020 electoral process has been called “the safest in American history” by the Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council made up of Homeland Security officials. That statement two days ago prompted President Trump to react in anger, firing the head of the facility, Chris Krebs.

And to think that it was announced as the presentation of the path to victory, the new legal initiatives aimed at demonstrating that Biden victory is only the result of fraud. Instead, it went even worse than the one organized in Philadelphia in the aftermath of the elections. When instead of booking a space at the Four Seasons, the Republican delegation, the usual Giuliani in the lead, accidentally found itself in the backroom of a garden shop in the suburbs.

The head of the outgoing president’s legal team, $ 20,000 a day in fees, therefore pitted the content of affidavits, partly already cited previously, many already rejected by individual courts, insisting that the dem “stole the elections.” And he did it by sweating profusely, to the point of even dripping the dye from his hair – obviously freshly made – down his cheek. Send Twitter users into raptures. Another topic of his tirade was the social distance imposed on the observers: “That in this way they could see little and nothing,” he insisted, even citing a scene by the 1992 movie “My cousin Vinny”.

Meanwhile, Trump’s campaign tries to make yet another federal appeal in Michigan, calling for a halt to the certification of the vote in Wayne County, which includes Detroit. In this country, the ball was unanimously certified by the representatives of the polling station. But now, the two Republicans claim to have done so under threat. The backtracking of the two, however, will hardly invalidate the certification of the vote. The president, determined not to give up until the end, has invited the Republicans of Michigan to the White House for tomorrow. It is not yet clear how many will accept it, but it is an unprecedented step.

Macron to form a council of Imams
Europe

Macron to form a council of Imams

Macron to form a council of Imams: Europe continues to seek solutions to radical Islam sponsored by the Muslim Brotherhood in the wake of the recent attacks that have bloodied Paris, Manchester, and Vienna. The biggest problems occurred in France, where the government has chosen a hard line against political Islam, ordering the closure of some mosques and Islamic centers considered to be at high risk. Turkey and Qatar were financing most of them.

 In these places were taught ideas not in line with the secular principles of the Republic. To find a solution to the crisis, French President Emmanuel Macron received, on Wednesday evening, officials of the Islamic religion in France. Who presented, at his request, guidelines for the formation of a national council of imams in charge of issuing or withdraw credits when necessary to religious Muslims in France.

The French presidency said Macron also asked his interlocutors to draw up, within 15 days, a “republican charter of values” to which the French Council of Islamic faith and the nine federations that make it up must abide. The Elysée stressed that Macron gave Parliament officials two weeks to prepare this Charter, confirming information published in the newspapers “Le Figaro” and “Le Parisien.”

The French president asked his interlocutors to include in the treaty the recognition of the values ​​of the Republic, specifying that Islam in France is a religion and not a political movement, putting an end to interference or affiliations with foreign countries. The head of the French Council of Islamic Religion, Mohamed Moussaoui, the dean of the Paris mosque, Shams El-Din Hafez, as well as representatives of the nine federations of the French Council of the Muslim religion attended the meeting.

After the two attacks that killed the teacher, Samuel Patty, near Paris, and the killing of three civilians in a cathedral in Nice, Macron has increased his pressure on the leaders of the Islamic religion in France to clean it of foreign influence, from the extremism and political tendencies of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Macron expected that with the formation of the National Council of Imams, the presence of 300 foreign imams in France with scholarships allocated by Turkey, Morocco and Algeria would end within four years. In his meeting with leaders of the Islamic religion, Macron told representatives of the nine federations affiliated with the French Council of Islam that he was aware that some of them had ambiguous positions on these issues, stressing that the time had come to “get out of this confusion.”

Macron warns Islamic organizations and, according to the Elysée, among these nine unions that represent a large portion of French Muslims, there are three that do not adopt a republican view. The president therefore warned his interlocutors that “if some people do not sign this charter, we will conclude,” stressing that he has taken note of their proposals. The Council of Imams will not only be authorized to issue permits to imams and give them an official card, but it can also withdraw them if they violate the “Charter of Values ​​of the Republic,” and the moral code reached by exponents of French Islam. 

Depending on the role of each of them: a prayer imam, a mosque preacher, and a preacher, each imam will need to be familiar with a different level of French and possess academic qualifications equivalent to the university level to fill such positions on French territory. In early October, Macron denounced radical Islam and “Islamist separatism” after a knife attack near the former Charlie Hebdo office.  Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, fuelled the fire by delivering controversial remarks in defense of terrorists and Muslims offended by Charlie Hebdo caricatures, representing the prophet Mohammed.

The geopolitical challenges for the U.S. 2020
Geopolitics

The geopolitical challenges for the U.S. 2020

The geopolitical challenges for the U.S. 2020: Although not yet accepted by Trump, the victory of Joe Biden appears to be quite consolidated, with about 3% more voters than his opponent and having surpassed the 270 main seats, is preparing to lead the United States for the next four years. A divided, angry America, worried about the persistence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Undecided whether to follow the Trump slogan “America first” or whether to resume the thread of multilateralism. That has ensured its support for everything from the West for the past 75 years. An America that has a deep need for reconciliation, especially with itself and its contradictions.

Trump’s presidency has achieved successes in both economic and foreign policy, such as growth in employment and an increase in national GDP, or as the agreements that led Israel and some Arab states to initiate diplomatic relations. Another success of his is undoubtedly that of not having started any new war, thus sparing the sending of young people on fighting fronts far from home. That, however, was not always perceived as the result of a precise strategic vision. But only as the impulse to make the selfish interest of his country. A role interpreted with sometimes questionable criteria and often very not very diplomatic. Many say that in his four-year presidency, Trump has shown all his narcissism and authoritarianism. All his boundless ambition and his aptitude for functional falsehood.

For his part, Joe Biden was able to wisely recover the votes of some parts of the working class and the educated and moderate middle classes, preferences that did not go to Clinton in 2016. Biden then managed to focus consensus of ethnic minorities. Despite some superficial analyses on Florida, well over 70% of Hispanics voted for him, along with about 90% of African-American voters. To these voters were added the discontented by a conduct of public affairs marked by excessive presidential personalism. Americans also worried about the crazy handling of the pandemic by Trump. Who, in this regard, seemed unwilling to listen to the advice of scientists and to apply the most elementary rules of common sense.

Domestically, the elected President will have to reconcile the people. He will have to lead the Americans to find common ground for coexistence. That is not an easy goal given the ethnic fragmentation and the interest of some supremacist fringes in maintaining social tension. There are also important issues with significant social implications, such as the reduction of inequalities, the fight against the pandemic, and the extension of health care, the latter so dear to Barack Obama, but which touches many sensitivities that effectively oppose. In foreign policy, the diplomatic suitcase of Joe Biden contains delicate international issues, with profound implications for future geopolitical assets. In this context, he has already announced his will to return to multilateralism. That probably means a return to the WHO and hopefully also to UNESCO. The U.S. will also re-implement the Paris climate agreements. But we can exclude temptations of unilaterally respond to global challenges.

However, this should not lead to thinking of a radical revision of the US geopolitical strategy. It will not mean that America will start doing what others want. To combat environmental degradation, for example, it will have to ensure that it does not affect too much the enormous US interests in the use of fossil energy. Washington will therefore continue to pursue its interests but, perhaps, also reconciling some needs of its partners to strengthen that close transatlantic relationship which, in the last four years, had cooled somewhat as a victim of Trumpian assertiveness. The real strength of the US does not lie in the economy or technology. But in the ability to unite and keep close allies. European first and foremost, by granting the extension of its nuclear safety umbrella and obtaining political and military collaboration and support, according to the possibilities of each ally. 

And this is where the currently hottest dossiers come in, as the relations with Russia, China, Iran, and the US role in the Mediterranean. Once again, a sea that is seething between various claims on maritime borders, legal disputes, muscle demonstrations, actions in contrast with the provisions of the UN, jihadist threat, and the drama of illegal immigration. It is therefore foreseeable that the first visits abroad of Biden will be n the main European capitals. Where he can be convinced that the world match can be played more effectively if the main European allies are included in the first team, and not kept on the bench or, worse, not summoned. In this case, it would be a clear sign of the reversal of the trend of Trump. He has never bothered to disguise his contempt for the European institution, flaunting his desire to undermine its cohesion, sometimes succeeding.

The “Trump effect” on the coronavirus emergency
Americas

The “Trump effect” on the coronavirus emergency

The Trump effect on coronavirus: “A very dark winter is looming due to the coronavirus, and many people will die if Donald Trump refuses to cooperate,” the US President-elect Joe Biden said. Biden called for the transition phase to start in his Wilmington, Delaware address after a virtual summit with industry leaders and union representatives. The outgoing president continues to refuse to admit the electoral defeat in the November 3 vote. Coronavirus deaths in the United States are over 247,000, according to Johns Hopkins University tally. Since the start of the pandemic, 247,101 people have died in the country. The infections, in total, are 11,188,766. So far, 4,185,549 people healed. The daily rate of new cases far exceeds 100,000.

“We all agreed that we need to get the economy up and running. We need to get our workers back on track, and that means putting the virus under control,” Biden stressed, warning that the situation “is bound to get worse before it gets better.” On Sunday, according to the Covid Tracking Project, 69,864 people have been admitted to American hospitals, a level much higher than the previous peak of April 15 at 59,940.  In the past week, according to data from Johns Hopkins, an average of 148,725 new coronavirus cases were recorded per day, 31% more than the previous week’s daily average. In the United States, an average of 1,000 people dies from the virus every day, immunologist Anthony Fauci said yesterday.

Many believe that these numbers are the result of Donald Trump’s words. The Italian editorial “L’Espresso” published an in-depth analysis precisely on the disastrous effect of the tycoon words on the COVID 19 emergency. Trump not only publicly underestimated the risks of the virus. But the continuous attacks on China and the criticism of the measures proposed by the World Health Organization (WHO) have fueled conspiracy theories, leading millions of Americans to disregard restrictive measures, or more simply, to ignore protective measures such as facial masks, or social distancing. All of this allowed the virus to spread much faster than in other countries, and the tracing, essential to counter the pandemic, became impossible.

Not happy, Trump could now worsen the scenario by refusing an orderly handover with Biden. However, Americans remain optimistic and hope that the vaccine will soon be available to all, as the current tenant of the White House promised. “The vaccine is important, but it is of little use until you are vaccinated. How can we vaccinate over 300 million Americans? What is the competition plan? It is a huge undertaking to do so. If we wait until January 20 for planning, we stay back over a month while it’s fundamental to plan now, and that there is cooperation,” Biden said.

Pfizer, the pharmaceutical company that announced on November 5 that it had developed a 90 percent effective coronavirus vaccine, has meanwhile announced that it will launch a pilot program of immunization from Covid-19 in the U.S. to help define a national drug distribution and administration plan. The pharmaceutical company selected the states of Rhode Island, Texas, New Mexico, and Tennessee for the pilot program. Due to their marked differences in land area, population, housing density, and immunization infrastructure.

The Asian rise in the Middle-East
Asia Pacific Focus

The Asian rise in the Middle-East

The Asian rise in the Middle-East: The presence of China in the Middle East, as an economic power and a political entity, is a growing phenomenon that is becoming increasingly evident. Mainly since the second half of the 1990s, the Beijing government has initiated a policy of penetrating the region and, at the same time, consolidated its positions in large areas of Africa. Here China has a tradition of political and economic presence dating back to decolonization, the Non-Aligned Movement, and the Cold War, pursuing economic goals and satisfying its needs for raw materials and oil.

The operation also plays a purely political-strategic role, drawing inspiration from a design with global features for the concrete affirmation of China as a world superpower. But if this presence in Africa is nothing new, for the Middle-East, it is a factor with little historical precedent of importance. And it is a source of apprehension on the part of Western governments and economic interests. Traditionally, the Middle East and the Mediterranean basin have never been the focal points of China’s international strategy. During the centuries-old trade relations between the Mediterranean civilizations and the Celestial Empire, it was above all the representatives of the first to venture east – along the Silk Road like Marco Polo – rather than the Chinese merchants who made the opposite journey. Today there are many reasons why China has become aware of the importance of the Middle East. Economic growth and industrial expansion have led the Asian giant to an ever-greater need for oil. 

China has been a key player in the development of human society for millennia. However, it has always maintained a position of almost voluntary isolation until the middle of the 19th century. Napoleon’s prediction remained famous: “When China wakes up, the world will tremble.”  With these words, the emperor of the French indicated two characteristic elements of the Celestial Empire: the potential and future economic-political expansion of the country and the status of closure and isolation of the country at the beginning of the nineteenth century. 

But this expansion today does not regard only China today. As the world economic and political center of gravity moves increasingly towards East and South Asia, we are witnessing several countries in these regions to devote more attention to the Middle East. The relations between East and South Asia and the Middle East have significantly increased as a result of the global emergence of Asian economic powers, particularly India, Japan, and South Korea. Not only oil but also business, investment, infrastructure, and tourism are the pillars of the Asian rise in the MENA region, arising questions in the West about the potential geopolitical dimension of these evolving relations.

According to Adel Abdel Ghafar, a fellow in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings and at the Brookings Doha Center, Japan’s posture towards the MENA region can be split into four different phases, starting from the 1960s. Through the decades, Japan’s MENA policy has continued to hinge upon the need to secure access to the Gulf region’s energy resources. The country continues to import about 90% of its oil from the Middle East. Less than 20% of its natural gas comes from MENA countries. During the 1980s, however, Tokyo’s diplomatic posture towards the region gradually moved closer to the policy preferences of its US ally, distancing itself from post-revolutionary Iran and strengthening ties with Israel.

Over time, and as Japan was increasingly concerned with China’s rise in East Asia, its MENA policy became a means to enhance Japan-US relations. Finally, with the era of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Japan appears willing to play a more assertive role on the world stage. Abe’s frequent visits to the Gulf region have bolstered ties with the UAE and Saudi Arabia. But Japan has been able to carefully balance these ties by implicitly backing the Iran nuclear deal and the de-escalation of regional tensions in the Gulf. Like Japan, South Korea has been dependent on oil from the Gulf region since the end of World War II. Over the past two decades, both the international and the regional scenarios have fitted into South Korea’s foreign policy vision and strategy of “middle-power diplomacy” that has been prominent in its diplomatic narrative. As Seoul strives to balance out the interests of MENA players, its posture towards the region remains one of steady and sustainable economic collaboration.

In contrast to China, the U.S. launched the Asia-Pacific Rebalancing strategy after the Iraq war, shifting its strategic focus from the Middle East to the Asia-Pacific. And from counter-terrorism to responding to the challenge of super-powers. As a result, the White House is continuing to reduce its energy dependence on the Middle East, and its strategic retreat seems to be turning into a trend. These apparent changes in the behaviour of China and the United States have spurred Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and other countries to launch their versions of the Look East Policy. Recently, the Trump administration has removed Patriot missiles from Saudi Arabia and claimed it is considering reducing military personnel in Iraq. Policy changes by China, the United States, and the Middle Eastern countries seem to be sending a signal to the world, Beijing’s investment in the Middle East has profound geopolitical implications and has even passed Washington.

COVID-19: new emergency in Latin America and the U.S.
Americas

COVID-19: new emergency in Latin America and the U.S.

The Latin America and the Caribbean area of ​​the world most affected by the coronavirus exceeded the 400,000 deaths due to COVID-19. The Latin American and Caribbean region has 400,524 deaths, Brazil leads with 159,477 victims since the beginning of the pandemic.The United States has recorded more than 99,000 cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours. A number never recorded since the beginning of the health emergency, which brings the total number of contagions to over 9 million. Just two weeks ago, the country had passed the 8 million mark.

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, 99,321 new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 9,044,255, while the deaths have been 1,030, for a total of 229,686 deaths. Hospitalizations are also increasing: in the last 24 hours, more than 46,600 people have been admitted to hospital, with an increase of 25% compared to the previous two weeks, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project reported by the New York Times.

“We are going in the wrong direction,” said Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases and key-adviser to the US government. Often at odds with Donald Trump, who never took the virus seriously, throwing ridicule on Fauci and whoever wore face masks and applied physical distancing. “The country is defeating the pandemic” was the president’s slogan, much appreciated by his supporters who often do not wear a mask.The seven-day moving average of contagion in the States has risen, in the last two weeks, from 52,350 to over 74,180. The average new deaths per day has increased over the past two weeks, from 724 to 787.

The situation is still concerning worldwide. Russia recorded another 18,140 cases of COVID-19, which bring the total number of infections since the beginning of the pandemic to 1,618,116. According to reports from the health authorities, 334 people have died in the last 24 hours, for a total of 27,990 deaths. In India, in 24 hours, there have been over 48,000 new cases and 551 deaths.That was announced by the Indian Ministry of Health, with the total number of contagions reaching over 8.1 million, the highest number in the world after the United States. The Covid victims registered are over 121 thousand.

In the Australian state of Victoria, no cases of coronavirus have been reported in the last 24 hours, four days after the reopening of the city of Melbourne, which remained in lockdown for almost four months, one of the longest in the world. The health manager, Brett Sutton, reported on Twitter.

Nice attack, the EU declares war on terrorism
Europe

Nice attack, the EU declares war on terrorism

France again under attack, dead and wounded in Nice and Avignon, the Consulate in Jeddah also hit. Three episodes of violence are linked to Islamist terrorism. The alert is highest throughout the country. The European institutions have expressed solidarity with the French. According to Italian former Justice Minister Nicola Orlando, this battle must be waged at a European level.

The death toll rises to three after the terrorist attack of yesterday in the cathedral of Nice. Some points remain uncovered on the confirmation of the nature of the Avignon murder. Violence also at the French Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: there is talk of a guard injured by a man who threw himself, then promptly arrested, as reported by the Saudi authorities.

The attacks follow the recent murder of Professor Samuel Paty in France and come after days of extreme tension: the reaction of President Macron to the attack and the subsequent heavy intervention of the President of Turkey Erdogan last weekend.

Following the words of the Turkish politician, who even went so far as to tell Macron that he was “in need of treatment”, many protests against France in countries with an Islamic majority alternated, especially threatening messages from some terrorist groups operating in the Arab peninsula, especially from Iraq. But from Turkey yesterday came the firm condemnation of the French events: “No reason justifies violence”.

The Europe of the institutions immediately showed solidarity. “I condemn the atrocious and brutal attack that just took place in Nice and I wholeheartedly support France – said the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen -. My thoughts go out to the victims of this heinous act. All of Europe is in solidarity with France. We remain united and determined in the face of barbarism and fanaticism.”

The President of the European Council Charles Michel also expressed solidarity with France and the French people. “My thoughts go out to the victims of the horrible Nice attack and their relatives. All of Europe is with you,” Michel said. Deeply shocked by the barbaric attacks in Nice and Avignon is the High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Josep Borrell, who devotes a thought to the victims and their loved ones. “We are with the French and with France. Together, in Europe and around the world, we will fight hatred and terror,” the High Representative and Vice president of the European Union stated.

The former Italian Minister of Justice Andrea Orlando, now a deputy to the Democratic Party, also spoke on the matter, saying that the Treaty of Lisbon, which regulates the structure of the European Union, provides for a prosecutor who fights mafias and terrorism in all member countries.”The Prosecutor’s Office was established, but at the moment it only deals with fraud against the EU budget – he continued -. After the dramatic events in Nice, we must proceed in the direction indicated by the treaty.”

Then the former Minister of Justice put his finger on the scourge of the European division between nation-states. The countries of the Union are fighting terrorism divided among themselves, which instead wants to hit Europe for what it represents as a whole. Today Nice, after Paris, Brussels, Madrid, Berlin and many other cities of Europe in recent years. The words of solidarity are valuable and must be shared, but now something concrete must be done. “We need a European Anti-Terrorism Prosecutor immediately,” Orlando said.

Leaders around the world condemn Terrorist Attacks in France via Twitter

Europe under siege by China and Russia
Geopolitics

Europe under siege by China and Russia

The spread of the Coronavirus has helped to reshuffle the cards on the international chessboard, with the European Union and its member states attacked by China and Russia, eager to wrest regional influences. These are the geopolitical consequences of COVID-19. A study of the Directorate-General for External Policies of the European Parliament at the request of the Foreign Affairs Committee revealed.

The situation is worse than we think. Foreign powers have taken advantage of the pandemic to their advantage. With transatlantic relations still made up of tensions and no longer solid alliances, the EU finds itself more isolated. There are not many alternatives: the European Union can choose to carve out a new role for itself. It can make an internal change or rekindle transatlantic relations.

In the East, the problems date back at least to the beginning of 2014, when Russia decided to annex Crimea. Since then, relations with Moscow have always kept to a minimum. During the pandemic, EU-Russia relations remained the same, not so good. Since COVID-19 began to spread, Russia has wasted no time. That is why Russia embarked on a disinformation campaign as soon as the pandemic started, targeting European countries.

The Belarusian crisis this summer brought a new element of hostility to Moscow’s anti-European policy. Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned against foreign interference, effectively supporting Alexander Lukashenko, his long-time ally in power. At the same time, Russia’s activity in Libya also expanded. While Europeans were in lockdown, the Kremlin deployed 14 warplanes (May), and unrest in the area increased further during the summer.

Even before the arrival of the Coronavirus, relations between China and the European Union were a delicate balance of interests, especially economic ones. Beijing’s investments in Europe alone went from 1 billion euros in 2008 to 35 billion euros in 2016. Numbers that have led the EU to take a weak line on respect for human rights, unfair competition, fundamental freedoms. This already weak position has been made even more unstable following several developments related to the pandemic.

On the one hand, China’s aggressive attitude, which strongly rejects any accusation of responsibility for the spread of COVID-19, coupled with its dependence on the exposed supply chain, has led to a distinctly negative perception of China in Europe, affecting the choices of governments for reasons of public opinion.On the other hand, China had to manage this first. It was able to establish itself as the main international partner in times of need for the EU. The result? The country is now perceived as a friend. According to a survey, one in four Europeans think that China was the best ally during the pandemic.

Then there is the problem of Turkey, which has already put the EU in trouble in Libya. Europe is also under siege by new players appearing in Africa. The Nagorno-Karabakh crisis has flared up in recent months spent containing the virus, and the EU is unable to manage the conflict. The Commissioner for the Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, warned: “We could have a post-COVID world with more trade tensions and less multilateralism. Global coordination is not easy at the moment.”

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