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Four killed when stands collapsed during Colombian bullfight


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BOGOTA, Colombia – Part of the wooden stands collapsed during a bullfight in central Colombia on Sunday, knocking spectators to the ground and killing at least four people and injuring hundreds, authorities said.

The disaster happened at a stadium in the city of El Espinal in Tolima state during a traditional event called “corraleja”, where members of the public enter the ring to beat the bulls.

Videos shot during the bullfight show a section of the multi-storey grandstands collapsing as people scream.

“We have activated the hospital network in Tolima,” Tolima Governor José Ricardo Orozco told local Blu Radio. “At the moment, four people have died: two women, a man and a minor.”

Mayor Juan Carlos Tamayo said 800 spectators were in the sections that collapsed.

Tolima’s health secretary Martha Palacios said at a news conference late Sunday that 322 people had gone to local public and private hospitals to seek treatment after the collapse. Palacio said the deceased minor was an 18-month-old baby.

In addition to the four dead, four more people were in intensive care and two others recovering from surgery.

Orozco said he had requested earlier Sunday that the traditional “corralejas” be suspended in Tolima, but it was kept anyway.

President-elect Gustavo Petro urged local officials to ban such events, noting that it was not the first time an incident like this has occurred.

“I am asking mayors to stop allowing more events that involve killing people or animals,” he said.

Current President Iván Duque announced an investigation into the disaster on Twitter.

“We regret the terrible tragedy recorded in El Espinal, Tolima, during the festivals of San Pedro and San Juan, with the collapse of the stands during a corraleja. We’re going to launch an investigation.”



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Sri Lanka struggles to secure fresh fuel supply, says minister | CNN

Sri Lanka is struggling to secure fresh fuel supplies, a top minister said on Sunday, as the crisis-stricken country of 22 million people has just 15,000 tons of petrol and diesel to keep essential services running in the coming days.

The island is wilting under the worst financial crisis in seven decades with foreign exchange reserves at record lows, making it rush to pay for essential imports, including fuel, food and medicine.

“We are having trouble finding suppliers. They are reluctant to accept letters of credit from our banks. There are over $700 million in arrears, so now suppliers want prepayments,” Energy and Power Minister Kanchana Wijesekera told reporters.

Over the past two months, Sri Lanka has largely received fuel through a $500 million Indian line of credit, which escalated in mid-June. A gasoline shipment scheduled for last Thursday has not arrived and no new shipments are scheduled yet, Wijesekera said.

“We have about 9,000 tons of diesel and 6,000 tons of petrol left. We are doing everything we can to get new supplies, but we don’t know when that will be.”

However, Sri Lanka also implemented a fuel price increase of 12%-22% in the early hours of Sunday. A price hike in May pushed inflation to 45.3%, the highest level since 2015.

People, already waiting in miles of winding lines outside the pumps, are unlikely to get fuel as the government will focus on spending the remaining supplies for public transport, power generation and medical services, Wijesekera said.

The military, already deployed at gas stations to quell the unrest, will now issue tokens to those who wait, sometimes for days, he said, adding that ports and airports will be given fuel rations.

Separately, the government on Sunday asked about a million civil servants to work from home until further notice.

A delegation from the US Treasury and State Department arrived in Colombo on Sunday for a three-day visit to assess the situation. A team from the International Monetary Fund is already in Sri Lanka to discuss a potential $3 billion bailout package.



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Iran launches space rocket (VIDEO)


US calls move ‘unhelpful and destabilizing’

Tehran has conducted another test of its three-stage satellite launch vehicle in an alleged attempt to expand its national space program, state media said. However, Washington believes it is part of a military ballistic missile investigation to gain long-range nuclear strike capabilities.

Footage of the countdown and blast was broadcast by Iranian television on Sunday, but it was not clear exactly when and where the missile was launched. The rocket would be a three-stage satellite launch vehicle called Zuljanah, which uses both solid and liquid fuels.

A spokesman for Iran’s Defense Ministry said the launch was conducted for: “predetermined research purposes”, and claimed it proved Zuljanah can compete with the world’s best tech satellite carriers, according to Press TV. The 25.5-meter-long rocket is said to be designed to launch a single 220-kilogram satellite or several smaller satellites into orbit.

While the takeoff appeared to be smooth, as it did during the missile’s sub-orbital flight last February, the Defense Department did not clarify whether the latest test was successful or whether there were any satellites.

The White House immediately expressed concern about the launch, citing the move as: “unhelpful and destabilizing”, as Washington tries to put restrictions on the country’s ballistic missile program as part of a future nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic.

Iran has invested heavily in missile technology for its military application, saying it needed a credible conventional missile deterrent against the US and its regional allies such as Israel and Saudi Arabia. Being able to put satellites into orbit would be beneficial to the Iranian military as it would increase its surveillance and communications capabilities.

Washington repeatedly accused Tehran of using space launches to test technologies needed to create an intercontinental ballistic missile — a delivery vehicle Iran could use to pose a threat to the US mainland when combined with a nuclear warhead .

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Iran closes nuclear watchdog cameras

In 2018, the administration of then-US President Donald Trump unilaterally left the deal and re-imposed sanctions on Iran targeting its oil, petrochemical, shipping and other sectors. After succeeding Trump in the White House, Joe Biden expressed his eagerness to reinstate the agreement, hoping to expand it to include Tehran’s regional operations and ballistic missile program.

Talks between Iran and the world powers resumed briefly, but stalled again in March after a year of negotiations. Iran demanded assurances from Washington that a future US president would not withdraw from a new agreement.





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Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas Says Gay Rights, Birth Control Rulings Should Be Reconsidered After Roe Overturned


Associate Justice Clarence Thomas poses during a group photo of the Justices at the Supreme Court in Washington, April 23, 2021.

Erin Schaff | Swimming pool | Reuters

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said on Friday that historic Supreme Court rulings establishing gay and contraceptive rights must be reconsidered after the federal right to abortion has been repealed.

Thomas wrote that those statements were “demonstrably wrong decisions”.

The cases he mentioned are Griswold vs. Connecticut, the 1965 Supreme Court ruling that married couples have the right to obtain contraceptives; Lawrence v. Texas, which established the right to engage in private sexual acts in 2003; and the 2015 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which stated there is a right to same-sex marriage.

Thomas’s recommendation to reconsider those three decisions does not have the power of legal precedent, nor does it force his colleagues at the Supreme Court to take the action he proposes.

But it is an implicit invitation to conservative lawmakers in individual states to pass legislation that could conflict with previous Supreme Court decisions, with a view to allowing that court to overturn those rulings.

That’s the approach conservative lawmakers have taken in multiple states, where for years they passed restrictive abortion laws in hopes that a challenge to them would reach the Supreme Court and open the door to the undoing of federal abortion rights as a result.

That scenario played out Friday when the Supreme Court, in upholding an abortion law in Mississippi that imposed far stricter restrictions on proceedings than allowed by its 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, overturned Roe entirely. Another case was also quashed from the 1990s that made it clear that there was a constitutional right to abortion.

Thomas, in the unanimous opinion that he sided with other conservative judges in voting to overthrow Roe, cited the rationale for discarding that decision as he called for the reconsideration of other old cases unrelated to abortion. had.

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“The Court explains well why, under our material precedents of due process, the asserted right to abortion is not a form of ‘freedom’ protected by the due process clause,” of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, he wrote.

That clause guarantees that no state “will deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.”

Thomas argued that the right to abortion under that clause “is not ‘deeply ingrained in the history and tradition of this nation,’ nor ‘implicit in the concept of ordered liberty.'”

Thomas noted that the three cases he now says must be reconsidered by the court “are out of the question” in Friday’s ruling quashing Roe.

But, he wrote, they are all based on interpretations of the Due Process Clause.

Specifically, he said, they are based on the idea of ​​a “substantive due process,” which he called “an oxymoron that” in a previous case.[s] any basis in the Constitution.’ †

Thomas said the idea that the constitutional clause guaranteeing only a “trial” for depriving someone of one’s life, liberty or property cannot be used “to define the content of those rights”.

While Thomas said he agreed that nothing in Friday’s Roe-related ruling “must be so understood as to cast doubt on precedents not related to abortion … in future cases, we must remove all material precedents from this Court reconsider, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell.”

“Because any substantive decision about a fair trial is ‘demonstrably incorrect’… we have a duty to…
“correct the error” identified in those precedents,” Thomas added.

In a furious dissent with Friday’s ruling, the three liberal Supreme Court justices pointed to Thomas’ concurring opinion as one of the many dangers to individuals’ rights posed by the decision.

“We cannot understand how anyone can trust that today’s opinion will be the last of its kind,” wrote the liberals, judges Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.

“The first problem with the majority story comes from Judge Thomas’s agreement – which makes it clear that he is not with the program,” the dissident said.

“By saying that nothing in today’s view casts doubt on precedents without abortion, Judge Thomas explains, he just means that they are not relevant in this case,” the liberals continued.

“But he’ll let us know what he wants to do if they are.”[I]In future cases,” he says, “we must reconsider all of the substantive precedents of this Court, including Griswold, Lawrence and Obergefell.” ‘ remarked the dissident.

“And if we reconsider them? Then we ‘have a duty’ to ‘ignore'[e] these demonstrably wrong decisions.’ †

“So at least one Justice is planning to use the ticket from today’s decision again and again and again,” the dissident said.



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Zelenskyy calls for modern air defense as attacks mount


  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says his country needs a more modern air defense system after a weekend of attacks on the capital Kiev, as well as the Chernihiv, Zhytomyr and Lviv regions.
  • G7 leaders have had their first day of meeting, where four countries supported a ban on Russian gold, but it’s unclear if there’s any consensus yet.
  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will attend a meeting with the leaders of Sweden and Finland, as well as NATO, ahead of the summit in Madrid on Tuesday, his spokesman said.
  • In fact, Russia defaulted on its foreign currency sovereign debt after the grace period for the payment deadline expired on Sunday.

These are the latest updates:

Russia misses debt payment deadline

Russia missed the deadline for paying its foreign currency debt for the first time in a century as the 30-day grace period for about $100 million from two bond payments due on May 27 expired on Sunday. The deadline is considered a default, according to Bloomberg.

Russia has struggled to sustain payments of $40 billion in outstanding bonds since its February 24 invasion of Ukraine, which triggered sweeping sanctions that effectively removed the country from the global financial system and rendered its assets untouchable for many. investors.

The Kremlin has repeatedly said there is no reason for Russia to default, but is unable to send money to bondholders due to sanctions, accusing the West of trying to drive it into an artificial default.

While a formal default would be largely symbolic, given that Russia cannot and does not need to borrow internationally at the moment thanks to its rich oil and gas revenues, the stigma would likely increase borrowing costs in the future.


Leaders at G7 mock bare-chested rider Putin

G7 leaders on Sunday mocked the macho image of their absent opponent Vladimir Putin.

As the suitable leaders sat down for their first meeting of the three-day G7 summit in the sweltering Bavarian Alps, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked if they should take off their jackets – or undress even further.

“We all have to show that we are stronger than Putin,” Johnson said, laughing at some of his colleagues.

‘Bare-chested horseback riding,’ Canadian Justin Trudeau retorted.

“Oh yes,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. “Horse riding is the best.”

Then Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin rode a horse during his short vacation in the mountains of the Siberian region of Tyva (also called Tuva), Russia.  August 3, 2009
Then Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin rode a horse during his short vacation in the mountains of the Siberian region of Tyva (also called Tuva), Russia. August 3, 2009 [Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP]

Erdogan meets with leaders of Sweden and Finland ahead of NATO summit in four-way talks

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will attend a round of talks with the leaders of Sweden and Finland, as well as NATO, ahead of the Madrid summit on Tuesday, Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin has said.

Speaking to broadcaster Haberturk, Kalin said he and Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal will also attend a round of talks with Swedish and Finnish delegations in Brussels on Monday.

“A leadership-level summit will be held in Madrid at the request of the Secretary-General of NATO, in the presence of our President,” he said. He also said Erdogan’s attendance at talks with Sweden, Finland and NATO on Tuesday “does not mean we will step back from our position”.

Finland and Sweden have applied for NATO membership in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But the bids have met opposition from Turkey, which is angry at what it says is Helsinki and Stockholm support for Kurdish fighters and arms embargoes against Ankara.


Four G7 countries to ban Russian gold

Four of the Group of Seven Rich Nations have banned imports of Russian gold to tighten sanctions against Moscow and cut funding for the invasion of Ukraine.

But it was unclear whether there was a G7 consensus on the plan, with European Council President Charles Michel saying the issue should be carefully considered and discussed further.

The United Kingdom, the United States, Japan and Canada have agreed to the ban on new Russian gold imports, the British government said on Sunday.

It said the ban was aimed at wealthy Russians who have bought safe-haven gold to mitigate the financial impact of Western sanctions. Russian gold exports were worth $15.5 billion last year.


EU ministers seek agreements on climate laws; Russian gas supply threatens

Ministers of European Union countries will meet this week to try to make joint plans to combat climate change. The previously scheduled meeting of EU energy ministers will also give them the chance to discuss contingency plans to reduce gas demand, which Brussels is expected to draft in the coming weeks in the event of further supply restrictions from Russia.

Monday’s meeting of energy ministers, and the meeting of environment ministers the following day, are expected to agree common positions on proposed laws to meet a 2030 target of cutting net emissions by 55 percent. from 1990 levels. The laws would expand renewable energy, renew the EU’s carbon market and ban the sale of new fossil fuel cars from 2035.

Brussels says this year’s energy supply crisis, triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, means the EU’s 27 must move even faster to phase out fossil fuels. But the threat of economic collapse from rising energy prices has also made some countries more cautious about rapid changes that they fear will cause more disruption.


Ukraine needs a more modern air defense system: Zelenskyy

Ukraine needs a modern air defense system to deter Russian missiles, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, after a weekend in which Moscow stepped up attacks on Ukraine.

In his late-night speech, Zelenskyy denounced Sunday’s attack on Kiev, which killed a 37-year-old man and injured at least six people, saying that “the world’s second army triumphantly ‘defeats’ a kindergarten and an apartment building.

“Rockets also hit the Mykolaiv region, the Chernihiv region, Odessa, Cherkasy. Artillery and mortar shelling did not stop in the Kharkiv region, in the Sumy region, in Donbas, in the south of our state,” he said in his overnight speech, adding that Russia had fired 62 rockets at Ukraine within 24 hours.

“Some of the missiles were shot down. But only part. We need a powerful air defense – modern, fully effective. That can provide full protection against these missiles… And partners need to act faster if they are really partners, not observers.”

Firefighters work at the site of a residential building after explosions in Kiev, Ukraine.
Firefighters work at the site of a residential building after explosions in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, June 26, 2022 [Nariman El-Mofty/AP]

Read here all important developments from Sunday 26 June.



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BBC journalist returns to bombed house


BBC’s Olga Malchevska was live on the BBC World Service when she saw the first images of her childhood home in the wake of a Russian attack.

Olga’s house was the first to be shelled by Russia on February 25 near Kiev.

She has now had the chance to return to see the extent of the damage left behind and the impact on her family and dozens of others living in the large Soviet-style residential block.



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Tribunes collapse at bullfight in Colombia, with deaths and serious injuries

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BOGOTÁ, Colombia — Several stories of grandstands collapsed on Sunday in a makeshift arena in central Colombia, leaving five dead and dozens injured — figures that could increase in the coming hours — while terrified spectators were trapped in the rubble.

The tragedy took place in El Espinal, a small town about 140 kilometers from Bogotá.

Images of the collapse quickly went viral on social media. It showed dozens of people teasing and playing with an injured bull during a popular event commonly known as corralejaSuddenly, three levels of bleachers that are on the floor are pancakes. Hundreds of men, women and children were trapped underneath. As people screamed, some jumped out of their seats and ran to help, trying to push wood and other debris aside.

Hector Ortiz, 64, could not believe the scene he witnessed. After a woman next to him shouted, “That balcony is about to collapse!” he watched the stands collapse one after the other, like dominoes.

“After the first balcony collapsed, it pulled the next, and so on and so forth. It was the gate through which the bulls passed that stopped the collapse. Otherwise we would be talking about a much bigger tragedy,” Ortiz told The Washington Post.

Every year, the mayor’s office and private parties host the festivities of San Pedro. The arena was set up for a spectacle that originated on the Caribbean coast when Colombia was a Spanish colony. However, unlike traditional Spanish bullfighting, the bulls are injured but usually not killed after a corraleja and members of the public are invited to run around with the animal still in the ring.

In cities like El Espinal, the event has become a popular show.

The arena there was built with gadua bamboo and the multiple levels were packed with spectators. “A gadua bamboo structure is quite unstable. The organizers could have foreseen that this could happen,” said Luis Fernando Velez, head of regional civil protection.

Velez said 50 civil defense volunteers worked to move more than 70 injured spectators from the arena to the city’s only hospital. Firefighters and police also arrived to help with the rescues. The local health system sent a “red alert” to the community.

On Twitter, Colombian President Iván Duque called for a prompt investigation and expressed concern for the victims.

Among the missing were children who had been at the arena alongside their parents when the building collapsed, Velez said.

The incident recalled a similar corralejas disaster in the Caribbean city of Sincelejo in 1980. More than 500 people died and more than 2,000 were injured when the makeshift bleachers there collapsed.

“This had happened before in Sincelejo,” tweeted Gustavo Petro, who will take office in August. “I request the local authorities not to authorize more spectacles involving the death of persons or animals.”

Petro caused outrage when he was mayor of Bogotá and banned bullfighting. On Sunday, he seemed ready to take on the same battle at national level.

After seeing firsthand the dead and injured of the afternoon, Ortiz predicts: “I think this is the end for corralejas at El Espinal.”



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Russian attack on Kiev threatens during G7 summit


TELFS, Austria – Leaders of the Group of 7 Nations said on Sunday they would stop buying gold from Moscow and discussed a new US proposal to undermine oil revenues even as Russian forces fired missiles at Kiev for the first time in weeks made it rain. The dueling escalation underlined how the war in Ukraine has consumed world politics and the global economy.

President Biden and the British government said members of the Group of 7 — Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain and the United States — would move on Tuesday to ban imports of Russian gold. Representatives of the assembled countries were also negotiating an agreement to buy Russian oil only at a steep discount.

US officials see both the gold import ban and the potential oil price ceiling as ways to undermine key revenue sources for Moscow’s war effort and further isolate it from the international financial system. Such a push was a theme at the meeting, both publicly and behind the scenes, as leaders sought to show solidarity with Ukraine. On Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will address the summit.

As the fighting in Ukraine enters its fifth month, the leaders of Group of 7 countries – the world’s richest major democracies – are trying to maintain unity against Russia in the face of the war’s growing toll on the global economy. Western sanctions designed to hurt Russia have rocketed food and energy prices around the world, even as Moscow’s war machine shows little sign of slowing down.

Russia appeared to be sending a message of defiance to G7 leaders on Sunday morning when it fired another round of rockets into an apartment building in Kiev, killing at least one person. The top three floors of the nine-story building were reported destroyed. Rescuers were able to retrieve a 7-year-old girl from the rubble, but her father was killed and her mother, a Russian citizen, was injured, authorities said.

Russia also escalated cruise missile use over the weekend, launching dozens of strikes on targets across the country. In addition to the Kiev attack, explosions were reported on Sunday in the northeastern city of Kharkov and air raid sirens were heard in several other cities.

“It’s like a nightmare,” one woman said as she watched the Kiev apartment building burn down. “When will it end?”

During the welcoming ceremony for the G7 summit in the Bavarian Alps on Sunday, Mr Biden succinctly responded to a reporter who asked about the Russian strike. “It’s more their barbarity,” he said.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz also condemned the attacks, saying they reflected the “ruthless” nature of Russia’s war against Ukraine. He promised Germany’s solidarity in presenting a united front against Moscow.

Ahead of a working lunch meeting, Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Great Britain and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada were overheard by reporters mocking Russian President Vladimir V. Putin and joking that they should take off their shirts — a poke at Putin’s fondness for shirtless riding.

The first step in renewing the group’s solidarity came before the summit formally began, with the announcement of the ban on gold imports from Russia.

Russia is one of the world’s largest gold producers and the metal is the most valuable export after energy products. Most of that export goes to the G7 countries, especially Great Britain, through the gold trading center of London. Russia exported nearly $19 billion in gold in 2020, almost all of it to Britain.

The gold sanctions follow extensive steps to cut Russia’s export earnings.

The United States has banned oil and gas from Russia, and Europe will ban most Russian oil and cut gas imports by the end of the year. The United States, the European Union and its allies have also imposed sanctions on Russian officials and other members of the elite and imposed penalties on Russian banks, airlines and other companies.

But while Russia’s oil exports have plummeted under sanctions, revenues from oil sales have soared, reflecting rising fuel prices. And consumers around the world have faced increasing pain at the gas pump. With that combination, G7 leaders have been looking for ways to both cut Russian revenues and ease the pressure on energy prices that has contributed to high global inflation.

US Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen has secretly told foreign leaders that the best way to achieve both goals would be to impose a so-called price cap on Russian oil sales to Europe, effectively giving Moscow more oil can sell to the world market, but get much less income from it.

Leaders have yet to fill in the details on how that approach might work, but it could work in harmony with existing sanctions as the European export ban is due to be introduced in several months, but the price cap could come online much sooner.

Supporters of the idea, including some top economic officials in Ukraine, say it would lead other countries currently buying Russian oil at a discount, such as India and China, to demand even lower prices from Moscow.

“The Russians have quite cynically manipulated the gas markets and, to the extent they can, the oil markets, so this could be an opportunity to turn the tables,” said Simon Johnson, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and adviser. of the Russian Tanker Tracking Group.

“There is no other active idea I know of in the next five months that would impact Putin’s fossil fuel revenues,” he said.

Ms. Yellen has told foreign leaders that such a cap would be the best they can do right now to minimize the chance of a global recession, according to people familiar with the talks, as it would help boost the global oil market. stabilize and help mitigate the risks of a new price spike.

The plan may prove ineffective, especially if the price cap is set too low. Russia could refuse to sell at extreme discounts, instead paying to plug wells and curtail oil production. India and China could continue to pay more for oil than European countries, which would bring Mr Putin more income.

Some European leaders, including Germany’s, have opposed the idea but appeared to be enthusiastic about it during the summit. An official in the Biden administration told a reporter on Sunday that employees continued to discuss the idea on the sidelines.

Russia was not the only global opponent to draw the attention of leaders on Sunday. Late in the afternoon, they worked out a plan to invest in infrastructure projects in less wealthy countries around the world, an initiative designed to counter China’s growing influence from its Belt-and-Road initiative.

The announcement came a year after Mr Biden urged his fellow leaders at a G7 meeting to act boldly to combat China’s growing influence in Latin America, Africa and parts of Europe, and it was a remarkable turnaround in tone at a meeting largely focused on Russia’s war in Ukraine.

But it was unclear on Sunday whether Mr Biden and his colleagues would actually come close to making enough money to match the magnitude of China’s efforts, which have been underway for years.

Biden administration officials said the effort would aim to mobilize $600 billion in the G7 countries to help less-wealthy countries fund spending on a wide range of low-carbon energy, childcare, advanced telecommunications, water and sewage upgrades, vaccine deployment and more. Mr Biden said $200 billion would come from the United States pledge.

A government official told reporters the program would prioritize investments in projects that can be completed quickly and efficiently — and that meet strict labor and environmental standards. Officials also tried to view the new program as a much greater opportunity to help emerging economies achieve faster and more sustainable economic growth than Chinese loans that the government has described as “debt traps” for poorer countries.

But much of the G7’s promised money announced Sunday is not direct government spending. It is a mix of both public money and private money that may not materialize.

Valerie Hopkins contributed reporting from Kiev, and Melissa Eddie from Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.



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Your Monday Briefing: The End of Roe


Good morning. We’re talking about the end of Roe v. Wade, a G7 summit on Ukraine, and an inquiry into China’s surveillance state.

President Biden said the countries would ban the import of Russian gold. The leaders are also expected to discuss possible attempts to tighten sanctions against Russian oil.

Energy: The battle to replace Russian fossil fuels could jeopardize hard-won climate goals. EU leaders rush to prepare for a winter of fuel shortages.

To fight: Ukrainian troops will withdraw from the main eastern city of Sievierodonetsk, where about 90 percent of the city’s buildings have been destroyed. And the mayor of Mykolaiv, a ravaged southern city that has embodied Ukraine’s never-say-die spirit, urged residents to leave.

Diplomacy: G7 leaders have devised a new plan to counter China’s growing influence from its Belt-and-Road initiative. They also invited five non-member states to attend, in an effort to strengthen relations with countries they fear could end up in the orbits of China and Russia.


For more than a year, they analyzed more than 100,000 government bidding documents, detailing the surveillance technology and software and explaining the strategic thinking behind the purchases.

The reporters found that China’s ambition to collect a staggering amount of digital and biological data from its citizens is more extensive and far-reaching than previously known. Here are four takeaways from the survey and a 14-minute video.

cameras: These form the basis of the Chinese surveillance state, which passes data to analytical software that can tell a person’s race and gender and whether they are wearing glasses or masks. All this data is stored on government servers.

Phones: Authorities use phone trackers to link people’s digital lives to their identities and physical movements.

Profiles: DNA, iris scan samples, and voiceprints are randomly collected from non-crime individuals to build comprehensive citizen profiles.

Artificial intelligence: The latest technology promises to predict or detect crimes, such as alerting officers when a person with a history of mental illness approaches a school, or alerting authorities if a marriage is suspicious.

Beijing isn’t known for its natural refuges – or bending the rules. But ‘wild swimming’ in the city’s lakes and waterways continues to attract stubborn swimmers, despite attempts by authorities to curb the practice. Interest only grew during the pandemic.

At a time of widespread debate over the portrayal of women in film, top Japanese animators work in a long tradition of complex and layered heroines.

Directors like Mamoru Hosoda work with smaller budgets than their American counterparts and offer personal visions. His film Belle, available on major platforms, is inspired by Beauty and the Beast, but the heroine writes deep, complex music about her grief at the loss of her mother. The main character of the Disney version never mentions her mother. Neither does Jasmine in ‘Aladdin’.

Author Makoto Shinkai broke box office records in Japan in 2016 with “Your Name,” which begins as a body-swapping teen rom-com but evolves into a meditation on the trauma many Japanese still suffer after the earthquake and tsunami of 2011 and the fear of displacement brought by the tragedies.

And Hayao Miyazaki’s “Spirited Away” — arguably Japan’s most famous animated film — grew out of his dissatisfaction with the superficial entertainment offered to teenage girls. “I wanted the main character to be a typical girl that a 10-year-old would recognize themselves in,” Miyazaki said.

“She shouldn’t be an extraordinary person, but an everyday, real person – although this kind of character is harder to create,” he continued via a translator. “It wouldn’t be a story in which the character grows up, but a story in which she draws on something already inside her that comes out through the special circumstances.”



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https://www.rt.com/news/557876-colombia-bullfighting-stadium-collapse/Stadium crashes, at least five dead, dozens injured (VIDEOS)


An entire seating area of ​​a makeshift bullfighting stadium in Colombia collapsed

At least four people have been killed and 60 injured in the collapse of a wooden bullfighting stadium in Colombia’s El Espinal on Sunday. Amid the carnage, a bull escaped into the city streets.

The collapse was captured on camera, with video footage showing the overcrowded wooden structure crashing to Earth. Performers taunted a bull just before the disaster.

El Tiempo, a Colombian news site, reported that at least five people were killed and more than 60 injured, although it warned authorities have not yet released the exact number of injured.

The news site reported that a bull had escaped into the streets of El Espinal after the collapse, causing panic.

Bullfighting is illegal in some Colombian municipalities, but shows take place regularly in rural towns such as El Espinal. These performances are often held in poorly constructed arenas.

Shortly after the tragedy, Colombian President-elect Gustavo Petro appealed to mayors “don’t allow more shows involving the death of people or animals.”

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