The Place de la Révolution was empty in Havana, Cuba for this May 1, 2020. As in many countries, the traditional Labor Day was celebrated this year at windows or balconies, with “virtual demonstrations”, with great reinforcements of banners or with pan concerts.
The facades of Havana were paved, the giant faces of the guerrillas Ernesto Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos still in place on the buildings of the emblematic Revolution Square but not a worker with a raised fist Friday, where they are usually near one million on the same date each year.
French Head of State Emmanuel Macron summed it up: “This May 1, 2020 is unlike any other”.
For the first time since the banning of demonstrations during the Indochina and Algeria wars in the 1950s and 1960s, there were no rallies in France, in the name of the fight against Covid-19, which has killed more than 230,000 people worldwide.
No more than in most other countries at a time when half of humanity is confined.
The unions have therefore called for other forms of mobilization: conferences and concerts without audiences, online, protest messages on social networks …
For them, this international day which has its origins in the struggles of the workers’ movement at the end of the 19th century is more relevant than ever: the epidemic highlights the essential role of certain trades until now little valued – in health, shopping, hygiene – and exacerbates social tensions.
Because by plunging the economies, by stopping industries, trade and services, the pandemic already reduced to unemployment cohorts of workers.
Here and there, some did not want to resolve to stay at home.
In Portugal, several hundred people gathered on Friday in several cities, respecting a distance of more than 3 meters, notably in Lisbon, where several hundred people found themselves on the lawn of the Esplanade de Alameda, waving flags to cries of “union union” and “the struggle continues”.
– Brave prohibitions –
Turkish police arrested several union officials who marched in Istanbul on Friday despite the ban.
In the Philippines, small groups have braved the veto to demand public aid and safe working conditions. The police arrested at least three people.
In Greece, where the government had called to postpone any demonstration until May 9, the PAME union, affiliated with the Communists, nevertheless organized a rally in front of the parliament, very disciplined: hundreds of demonstrators respected the distances of one meter materialized at ground, often sporting scarves on the face or masks.
A few hundred demonstrators also kept their distance in Vienna to demand the total end of the confinement, at the call of a group “Initiative for an information-based corona information” skeptical about social distancing and wearing a mask.
In Germany, the police have been deployed in large numbers – 5,000 police in Berlin – to enforce the ban on demonstrations against more than 20 people who were intended to defy movements of the ultra-left and far right , as well as conspirators, fiercely opposed to containment measures.
The “addicts” of the demonstrators in Spain innovated: in Saragossa (north), on the initiative of the Intersindical union of Aragon, they paraded each in their car, equipped with masks and gloves. The gathering had been authorized under conditions: maximum sixty cars, one person per vehicle, neither convertible nor two-wheeled vehicle.
Some members of the Russian Communist Party opted for the demonstration “alone”, taking turns parading with signs in front of the Kremlin, the seat of the presidential administration and the town hall of Moscow.
In Lebanon, hit by an acute economic crisis and where 45% of the population lives below the poverty line, several hundred demonstrators wearing Lebanese masks and flags gathered in central Beirut, Place des Martyrs.
“I came down because I’m hungry, I’m tired of this life,” said a participant, 25-year-old Mohamed Ali, a former unemployed restaurant worker.
In Honduras, the main unions have called for “an end to the monstrous corruption” of the government, denouncing the misuse of funds dedicated to the fight against Covid-19.
– Use caution –
Elsewhere, caution and alternative celebrations were generally in order, as in Finland where Labor Day coincides with the popular “Vappu” holiday for the arrival of spring – April 30 and May 1.
The Finns have fallen back on online events, such as in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, North Africa …
In Italy, one of the most battered European countries, with 27,680 dead, a virtual concert will be broadcast on the public channel Rai 3 in the evening. Among the artists, live from various concert halls, heavyweights of the Italian scene, like Gianna Nannini or Zucchero, but also international stars like Sting and Patti Smith.
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The United States is approaching the threshold of 6 million coronavirus contaminations on Monday morning, an epidemic that has infected more than 25 million people in total worldwide, where easing measures alongside those of restrictions.
Some 5,993,668 have contracted the virus and 183,034 have died from it in the United States on Monday at 00:30 GMT, according to Johns Hopkins University which refers. This country is the most affected by the pandemic, which has infected more than 25 million in the world and killed more than 843,000.
The heaviness of the American balance sheet could play on the scientific tempo: the head of the American Medicines Agency (FDA) announced that it was possible that a future vaccine against the coronavirus would first be authorized in the United States according to a emergency procedure, before the end of clinical trials supposed to confirm safety and efficacy.
“It will be a decision based on science, medicine, data. It will not be a political decision”, Stephen Hahn said in an interview published on Sunday by the Financial Times, defending himself from being pressured by President Donald Trump to authorize a vaccine before the presidential election on November 3.
Brazil is the second most affected country, with 120,828 dead and 3,862,311 cases. The Latin American giant of 212 million inhabitants seems stuck for three months on an endless plateau, with about 1,000 daily deaths on average.
Next is India, which on Sunday recorded a world record of 78,761 new infections in 24 hours, for a total of more than 3.5 million, and more than 63,000 deaths.
The pandemic, which has hit big cities like Bombay and New Delhi hard, is now affecting smaller cities and the countryside.
These figures were announced the day after a new easing by the government of restrictions in force since March against the epidemic, with a view to reviving its economy hit by the health crisis which has caused millions of Indians to lose their jobs.
Optimism in Peru
Easing also in Chile on Tuesday, where open-air bars and restaurants, as well as other non-essential businesses, may reopen on Monday in several of the wealthiest areas of the capital, Santiago, as confirmed on Sunday. authorities, more than five months after their closure.
Chile has been close to 410,000 cases since Sunday, and deplores more than 11,000 deaths.
The country in the world with the most deaths relative to its population is Peru, with 87 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. Perhaps the Andean nation sees the light: “I am sure we are at the last step “, President Martin Vizcarra said on Sunday.
The leader is based on a deceleration of the epidemic, which has killed nearly 29,000 people in Peru: contaminations and deaths have fallen respectively by 24% and 21% in the past week compared to the previous one.
This Monday will also be the resumption of international flights to Nepal, and the expected end of restrictive measures in Azerbaijan.
But restrictions continue to be put in place elsewhere in the world, in areas where the epidemic appeared to be under control before showing signs of recovery, raising fears of a second wave after the first in spring.
In France for example, the wearing of the mask will be obligatory in an extended perimeter in Bordeaux. This city is added to others where this constraint is already in place, in particular Paris and its inner suburbs.
On Sunday, restrictive measures were tightened in South Korea, in the Greater Seoul region.
Tensions in Berlin
Limitations of freedom that are causing more and more tension, as in Germany, in the wake of the announcement by Angela Merkel’s government of new measures in the face of the observed increase in infections.
On Saturday in Berlin, around 40,000 people were able to participate in a rally calling “at the end of all restrictions in place” against Covid-19. The attempted storming of the national parliament on the sidelines of this demonstration sparked an uproar in Germany.
The Berlin municipality had tried to ban the gathering on Saturday, arguing that it was impossible to enforce safety distances and barrier gestures, given the number of people announced and their determination. But justice, seized by the organizers, finally authorized the demonstration.
On Sunday, some 2,000 protesters gathered again not far from Parliament. They were quickly evicted by the police.
Several other similar gatherings, but less important, took place in Europe, Great Britain, France or Austria.
Sports are resuming, but still disrupted by the virus, such as the US Open, which starts Monday behind closed doors: Benoît Paire was removed from the table of this Grand Slam lifting after the announcement on Sunday by the organizers that a player had tested positive for Covid-19. The sports daily L’Equipe had previously announced that the French, seeded N.17 in the US Open where he was to start on Tuesday against the Polish Kamil Majchrzak (108th), had been excluded from the tournament for a positive test.
The screening test, Lionel Messi did not do, as was expected for all FC Barcelona players on Sunday. In the showdown that begins between the six-fold Argentinian Ballon d’Or and the Catalan club, the coronavirus will therefore have embodied the first milestone.
Car drivers complain that, in addition to not paying, they occupy a space that is scarce.
What for conductors of four-wheeled vehicles involves a nuisance in addition to an economic outlay and a potential source of fines, for users of vehicles on two wheels it is a whole “paradise” shaded on the road in blue and green. The ordinance that regulates the parking lot of vehicles on public roads in areas delimited with time limitation does not treat the citizens that circulate in car through the city than those who make them in motorcycle. While the first pay for parking and are penalized if the ticket time is met, the second do free and without fear of being fined for exceeding the business parking period.
The City Council treats motorcycles the same as special vehicles that, for such condition, are exempt from going through the box when they park inside the blue or green area that surrounds a good part of the city center. Thus, as specified in the ordinance of the O.R.A, all vehicles without exception are subject to regulation in their parking lot, except for motorcycles and mopeds; vehicles in official services intended directly and exclusively for the provision of public services under their jurisdiction, when they are performing such services; auto-taxis, when the driver is present; the vehicles of diplomatic representations; vehicles for health care belonging to the Social Security or Red Cross and ambulances; and those who are disabled, when they are in possession of the corresponding special authorization issued by the Traffic Delegation.
In addition to the damage created by car drivers by the fact that many motorcycles park in the blue zone, thus subtracting the already scarce parking areas enabled in the center of Elche, many of them consider it an injustice and inconsideration that they have They pay for parking their cars and motorists not for their vehicles.
«I work downtown and every morning it is a real odyssey to park my car. Many places are occupied by motorcycles, “says Miguel Ángel. “On top of that, I have to be aware of the renewal of the ticket because if the crane does not take the car, which has already happened to me on more than one occasion,” adds this Altabix neighbor.
Others, like José Ramón, go further. «Someone explain to me why cars do and motorcycles don’t. It is an absolute grievance that does not make any sense and that I am considering denouncing in the courts, “he says indignantly. “Thinking of everyone, the City Council stops collecting a lot of money for the space that the motorcycles occupy. It not only hurts car drivers, but all the illicitians “, he argues.
Hundreds of people demonstrated in Washington on Wednesday to express their ras-le-bol against the police brutality against minorities and to demand an end to a system that keeps them in the precarious social, economic, health and education.
It is 26 degrees celsius in the morning of June 3, 2020 in Washington, D. C., the capital of the United States. The day promises to be hot. There is exactly nine days since the Afro-American George Floyd is suffocated by a white policeman in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to more than 1.782 km from Washington.
Yet nothing undermines the determination of the people of this city and its environs to continue to fight the trackpad to continue their protests against racial prejudice. Some parents took their young children.
“I came to show my solidarity. It is important, even if I am trying to protest against something that I’m not going to possibly not experiment. Participate in a political claim, as it is a great privilege”, explains Sophie, of white race, who is studying theatre and psychology at a university in Michigan and who would like to also become activist to defend causes socio-political.
Protest and placards
Walkers hold up signs that say a lot about their presence in these places, despite the heat, already sweating some. Some of the placards displayed the names of numerous dead people in the hands of the police. Others have written slogans as the legendary “Black lives matter” (The life of Blacks account), “Desarm hate” (Disarm hatred); “Silence is violence” (silence is a form of violence) or even the last words of George Flyod: “I can’t breathe” (I can’t breathe).
The protesters white display messages that express their support for a cause that affects primarily Blacks.
Sophie, the young student, thinks that “the Whites who enjoy the privileges must be positioned physically between the police and those they brutalize, because we will not be beaten to the same degree”, she says.
Hispanics, who are also part of the minorities suffering almost the same fate as African-Americans, are not in the margin of the fight. You can read it on their placards: “Eres mi otro yo” (You are my other me) or “Tu pelea es mi pelea” (Your fight is my fight).
Beyond the violence of the police
Part of Freedom Plaza, on Pennsylvania Avenue, a stone’s throw from the White House, the crowd of about a thousand people, according to organizers, takes the direction of Capitol Hill, seat of the Congress. Police officers supervise the works, in order to avoid overflows which have already led to breakage of shop windows in the city and scenes of looting and violence in several american cities during the different steps.
However, this crowd in the street, which brings together Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, and Asians, was much more noble ambitions and a positive change in their society. It does not claim only the stopping police brutality against Black people. She is now claiming the profound change of a system that grants privileges to White people and impacts the lives of ethnic minorities.
“I came not only to George Floyd, because this is not the first Black killed by the police. I came to express my ras-le-bol against the system, ” said Josh, a native of Washington, thirty. He is about to join the american armed forces in October.
As you might expect, a horde of policemen was deployed around the Capitol. It is exactly the same that sit on those and those who hold the key of change desired by these men, these women and a few children from around the world, united in the defence of a cause has become a national concern and a matter that transcends the limits of racial.
Police in solidarity
Between the songs and the cries of the claims, the protesters lay down on the floor, or kneel for several minutes, to honour the memory of African-Americans and other minorities have died under the hand of the police.
To show their solidarity with protesters in pursuit of social justice and for detaching from their colleagues who brutalise minorities, a few police officers, Black and White, put their knees to the ground, for a few minutes.
These protests will change anything to the situation of minorities?
Alicia Forda, came from Columbus, Ohio, wants to believe: “I’m here for my brother, my father, my son, my uncle, my friend do not work in the street with the fear of being killed by the police”, she says. And to add: “I want my family to feel safe in this country that our ancestors have built. I’m also here so that we, the Blacks, are freed of these oppressions”.
UPPER AUSTRIA. Due to the worsening situation of infections with the H5N8 virus, also known as bird flu or avian influenza, in our neighboring countries, the Ministry of Health has decided to extend the zone with increased risk to the whole of Austria.
Since, in addition to wild birds, farmed poultry is also one of the endangered animal species, the obligation to keep animals in many municipalities in Upper Austria is being extended to the entire national territory. “The aim of these precautionary measures is to prevent wild birds from infecting the highly susceptible domestic poultry in the best possible way. The contact to migratory and wild birds is prevented by the obligation to keep the house stable and the poultry is protected, ”says Max Hiegelsberger, State Councilor for Agriculture. The occurrence of the H5N8 virus has already been reported in many regions of Europe, most recently in Bratislava. The spread of influenza viruses via migratory birds is in itself nothing unusual. Migratory birds bring various pathogens with them without seriously becoming ill themselves. However, if the pathogen encounters susceptible animals, it can lead to illness and death there. In the specific case, it is the bird flu virus H5N8, which has come to Europe from Asia and is harmless to humans. “So far there is no evidence that the H5N8 virus strain is transferable to humans. So there is no danger, ”explains Max Hiegelsberger, State Councilor for Agriculture.
Friday January 6, at the very beginning of the evening, it was necessary to show a white paw to access the lounges of the prefecture on the occasion of the presentation of wishes to personalities by the prefect of the Gers. They were about 800 to cross the doors of the room of the Intendant of Etigny to receive the warm welcome of Pierre Ory, accompanied by his wife.
Once the official ceremony was over, each other, happy to meet, exchanged their vows. Then quite naturally, it was the occasion for the reception to address the issues of concern, but not too much because it was still an evening around bubbles of champagne and orangeades.
The SDN list is the registry of those whom the United States considers infrequent. Zimbabwe, Libya and the DRC have the highest number of people sanctioned.
In Africa, at least 317 people in 26 countries are subject to economic sanctions from the United States, an analysis of the database of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), an agency of the US Treasury, found.
Launched at the end of 1950, OFAC is the guarantor of the official register of American individual sanctions, better known under the name of “the SDN list” (specially designated nationals). Spanning over 1,420 pages, the comprehensive list spans 6 continents.
A vast repertoire of those whom the United States considers infrequent, the League of Nations list includes notorious warlords, heads of state (past and current), officials, businessmen and women, suspected drug traffickers. and people accused of acts of terrorism.
Some people are punished for major common law offenses. This is the case of six Nigerians who, to date, are the only Africans sanctioned under the rubric of cyber crime. Wanted by the FBI, the US federal police, they are accused of having stolen $ 6 million from companies and American citizens without ever leaving Nigeria.
In mid-August, two Ugandan judges were put on the sanctions list because, according to the US authorities, they were having Ugandan children adopted by Americans without the consent of their parents, who they made believe the children had. received a special scholarship for education abroad.
In addition to individuals, the US sanctions also target at least 200 businesses and charities on the African continent, as well as boats and planes, the exact number of which is difficult to determine.
Zimbabwe, Libya, DRC in the lead
On the continent, Zimbabwe is the country with the largest number of people sanctioned, 83 individuals. Among them are President Emerson Mnangagwa, as well as his predecessor Robert Mugabe, who died in 2018. The latter’s wife, Grace Mugabe, is also on the list.
Next comes Libya, with 46 individuals under sanctions, including the former Guide Muammar Gaddafi – killed in 2011 – and several members of his family.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) comes in third place, with 44 people subject to sanctions. Among them, we recognize names that have hit the headlines in recent years. They are, among others, Generals Laurent Nkunda, John Numbi and Célestin Kanyama; the former president of the electoral commission Corneille Nangaa; Kalev Mutondo, former head of intelligence; Senator Evariste Boshab, former president of the National Assembly and former chief of staff to former President Joseph Kabila.
Somalia, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Nigeria, Burundi and Mali complete the list of countries where there are at least 10 people sanctioned.
“An individual can be sanctioned under several headings”, explains in an interview Gary Kalman, director of the branch of the NGO Transparency International in the United States. “It all depends on the circumstances of each case and the profile of the people involved”, he specifies.
Indeed, former Gambian President Yaya Jammeh is not listed under The Gambia, but rather under Equatorial Guinea, the country where he has lived since his exile in 2017. Similarly, the Ugandan Joseph Kony does not appear in Uganda. , but under the CAR and Sudan. Ditto for the former president of the CAR, Michel Djotodia, who appears under Benin, the country where he spent 6 years in exile until his return to Bangui in January.
The SDN list is especially an indispensable tool for US banks, import-export companies, lobbyists, binationals and businessmen who regularly deal with partners based outside the United States.
Concretely, an individual under sanctions cannot open a bank account or buy property in the United States. The accounts or properties that this individual held before being sanctioned are systematically frozen. These penalties are often accompanied by a visa ban.
Just because you have no assets in the United States does not mean that you are beyond the reach of the American authorities, points out Professor Peter Harrell, sanctions expert at the Center for New American Security, a think tank based in Washington.
He explains that the US government can require foreign-based entities to apply US sanctions or they will face penalties themselves. This mechanism is known as “secondary sanctions”.
“Secondary sanctions were introduced in the 1990s, but it was only recently – around 2009-2010 – that they became an important aspect of US foreign policy.”, explains Professor Harrell.
The principle is simple, he says: you have to choose either to deal with the infrequent or to deal with the United States, but not both.
In Namibia, secondary sanctions led to the cancellation, in 2017, of several construction contracts awarded to Mansudae Overseas Projects, a company linked to the armaments in North Korea. In 2015 the fear of sanctions led the only supplier of American currency in Angola to interrupt this service, causing a real headache for BNA, the Angolan central bank.
But as robust as it is, the US sanctions regime suffers from many shortcomings.
“There is a system of sanctions, of course, but there are also a series of maneuvers that allow them to be circumvented”, deplores Gary Kalman.
This is why, he adds, a handful of influential US lawmakers recently introduced a bill aimed at filling these loopholes.
Known as Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020, this bill has been attached to the Amending Defense Budget Act, which means that it should be promulgated in the coming weeks.
“The ultimate goal of sanctions is not to punish, but to cause positive behavior change”, said a source at OFAC who requested anonymity.
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