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One Union


If you enjoy the video above,
that's great - as it's meant
- to inspire.

)))))))))))))))))))))))))))
 

UK's Teaching, NHS Unions 
Threaten Strikes Unless 
They Get Pay Rise 
More in Line with 
Inflation
June 20th, 11:57am (FNA)
 
With inflation reaching 40-year highs and the spiraling
cost of living crisis starting to hit an increasing
number of households, two of the largest 
British trade unions --- representing 
teachers and staff in the National 
Health Service (NHS) --- warned 
of industrial action unless 
they get a pay rise.
 
The National Education Union (NEU), the biggest
 teaching union in the country, stated that 
unless it receives assurances of a pay 
increase more in line with inflation 
by June 22nd, it plans to ballot
 its 450,000 members, 
Sputnik reported.
 
UK Education Secretary Nadim Zahawi would need to
 offer “significantly” above the 3 percent pay increase
 suggested earlier this year if industrial action is to 
be avoided, stated joint general-secretary of the 
NEU, Kevin Courtney.
 
“Pay is already down 20 percent on 2010. The strains
 are showing. One in eight of new graduate teachers
 are leaving in their first year,” he was cited 
as saying.
 
Courtney added that the union would be balloting
 members, to gauge reactions -- after which --
follow-up ballot specifically on industrial 
action could result in strikes in
schools,
 in the autumn.
 
“If there is no significant improvement on 3 percent –
 which would leave an 8 percent gap with inflation 
this year alone – we could not avoid a ballot. The 
mood among teachers has changed. Last year 
the issue was mainly workload. This year, it
is
 workload and pay. Teachers are doing 
calculations, to see what their 
hourly pay works out at,” 
Courtney continued.
 
These sentiments are shared by another teachers’
 union, the NASUWT, which echoed warnings of
 imminent strikes unless its pay demands 
were met. 
 
The NASUWT - a Trades Union Congress (TUC)-
affiliated union representing nearly 300,000 
teachers and school leaders throughout 
the UK, announced it would then ballot 
members on industrial action, from 
November, in England, Scotland 
and Wales.
 
“Teachers are suffering, not only from the cost of living
 crisis, which the whole country is grappling with, but
 12 years of real terms pay cuts which has left a 20
 percent shortfall in the value of their salaries,” 
its general-secretary, Patrick Roach, noted.
 
He added that the union would not 
allow cuts to members’ pay.
 
“If a pay rise is not awarded, it will be won 
by our members in workplaces through 
industrial action,” Roach warned.
 
Meanwhile, Unison, the largest of the country's labour
 unions, which counts NHS staff among its members,
 has also reportedly warned of a mass exodus of 
staff and possible industrial action affecting 
hospitals --- unless salaries are brought 
closer to inflation.
 
In the coming days, the UK will begin to announce the
 next round of annual NHS pay awards. However, for
 millions of staff up to senior nurse level, the pay 
offer is expected to fall substantially short of 
the present inflation rate of 9.2 percent. In 
2021 NHS workers were awarded a pay 
rise of 3 percent.
 
“The government has a simple choice. Either it makes
 a sensible pay award, investing in staff and services
 and reducing delays for patients. Or it risks a 
potential dispute - growing workforce 
shortages and increased suffering 
for the sick,” Christina McAnea,
 general-secretary of 
Unison, said.
 
In response to the warnings from the unions, 
a spokesman for the UK Department for 
Education stated, “We are taking 
action to support teachers to 
stay in the profession and 
thrive, working to deliver 
pay increases and pay 
awards --- for new, and 
experienced teachers.”
 
The Department of Health and Social Care responded
 by saying that no decisions had been made yet, but 
it would “carefully consider the recommendations 
from the independent pay review bodies".
 
The fresh warnings of industrial action come as three
 days of national strike action have been slated, for
 June 21st, 23rd and 25th --- across Network Rail 
and 13 train operating companies -- promising 
major disruptions to swathes of the country’s 
train network. Furthermore, on Tuesday 
June 21st, strikes are also set... to
affect 
the London Underground. 
 
The RMT union announced it was "unacceptable 
for railway workers either to lose their job or 
face another year of pay freeze" while
 inflation reached 40-year highs.
 
 
___________________________________


Protests in Moldova
June 19th, 3:58pm
(Izvestia.ru)


Thousands of people are taking part in a protest
 against rising prices in the centre of the 
Moldovan capital. 


"People are no longer able to pay gas bills, electricity
 has gone up in price, fuel has become so expensive
 that you can go crazy, people can no longer fill
up 
their cars," Marina Tauber, a member of 
parliament and vice chairman of the 
Shor party, said at the opening
of the
 rally.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, 
the average annual inflation rate in Moldova
 was 29.05% in May.
 
The cost of food products, increased by 32.5%, 
non-food products - by 21.45%. The opposition 
blames the situation on the government and 
the ruling pro-EU, Action & Solidarity party.


Moldovan President Maia 
Sandu signed a law
banning 
the broadcast of news programs
from 
Russia.


________________________


Dodon’s case
May 1st, 2:23pm
https://en.news-front.info/
 
The Moldovan authorities have moved
to ''the drying up'' of Dodon’s case.
 
The usual tactics of a poisonous, impotent 
government, that solves none of the 
economic problems, but regularly 
carries out show arrests. This 
government couldn’t get any 
further... than illegal 
house arrests…
 
The main reason for Dodon’s arrest, apart from
 everything political, lies in the deteriorating 
situation in the country, the West’s refusal 
to help... and Dodon’s opportunities 
in Russia. 
 
In addition, major international events are expected 
to take place in Russia &China, where Dodon will
 be invited, but Sandu is not expected at all. And 
this will hit the falling rating of the government
even harder.
 
The Moldovan justice system showed yesterday that
 the circus has moved from the main office... to the
 prosecutor’s office: prosecutors demanded that 
the judge be removed and lawyers demanded 
that the prosecutors be removed. The 
prosecutors are implicated... in the 
political games of the ruling party,
 and the judge was accused of 
having links to Plahotniuc, 
who is also part of 
the case.
 
The funny thing about the judge is it was not
 on the merits at all, since Dodon’s house 
arrest was being considered yesterday. 
But enquiries about the prosecutors’ 
political involvement are important,
 but... remain unanswered.
 
Moldovan justice has taken a bite which it 
cannot even bite off. So far it looks very 
much like a circus of ambitious 
underlings, who are clearly 
fulfilling a political order.
 
Smuglyanka
 
 
___________________________


Detained Moldovan ex-president 
urges
Socialists ------- to support 
anti-government protests
May 25th, 02:53am (TASS)
 
Former Moldovan President Igor Dodon, who was
earlier detained... on ''suspicion'' of corruption, 
called upon the Moldovan Party of Socialists 
to support anti-government protests in 
the country.
 
"I’m sure - that my colleagues in the Party of Socialists
will support citizens’ demands and indignation. Firmly
and decisively, we got rid of the Plakhotniuk regime
that had seized control of the country. We can
demonstrate the same determination --- and 
courage --- in dealing with and eliminating, 
if citizens demand it - the Party of Action 
and Solidarity --- which is destroying 
Moldova now," Dodon wrote in his 
Telegram channel, on Tuesday.
 
A series of opposition protests was held in Chisinau
last week --- demanding the resignation of Prime
Minister Natalia Gavrilita’s government. 
 
Dodon noted that the situation in the country is 
escalating... due to rampant price growth. He 
explains his arrest, by the government’s 
desire to divert attention from its 
failures --- and weaken
the opposition. 
 
Dodon also said that this statement was released via
his lawyers, and warned that he might be prevented
from making public statements - in the future.
 
Ex-President of Moldova Igor Dodon was detained for
72 hours --- following searches in his residence on
Tuesday - over 'suspicion' of corruption. Searches 
took place in residences of Dodon and a number
of other people. They were carried out, as part 
of criminal cases, initiated over suspicion of 
passive corruption, recognition of funding 
of a political party by a crime group,
treason and unlawful enrichment.
 
The searches and arrest - followed a protest by 
the Moldovan Party of Socialists, led by Dodon. 
 
Former parliament speaker Zinaida Greceanii said 
the persecution of Dodon: "leads to escalation of 
the internal political struggle and creates a rift
in the society." Party members from regional
branches, complained of receiving threats - 
on a daily basis.
 
 

use of dollar v trade

What the World Needs
by Godfree Roberts
March 19th
(for the Saker Blog) 
 
After helping rescue the US from the GFC, PBOC
Governor Zhou Xiaochuan observed, “The world
needs an international reserve currency that is
disconnected from individual nations and able
to remain stable in the long run, removing the
inherent deficiencies caused by using credit-
based national currencies.”
 
Zhou proposed SDRs, Special Drawing Rights, 
a synthetic reserve currency dynamically
revalued against a basket of trading 
currencies & commodities. Broad, 
deep, stable, and impossible to 
manipulate. 
 
Nobelists Fred Bergsten, Robert Mundell, and
Joseph Stieglitz, approved: “The creation of 
a global currency would restore a needed
coherence to the international monetary 
system, give the IMF a function that 
would help it to promote stability &
be a catalyst for international 
harmony”.  
 
Here’s what’s happened since:
 
2012: Beijing began valuing the yuan 
against a currency/commodity basket
 
2014: The IMF issued the first SDR loan
 
2016: The World Bank issued 
the first SDR bond
 
2017: Standard Chartered Bank issued 
the first commercial SDR notes.
 
2019: All central banks began stating 
currency reserves in SDRs
 
March 14th, 2022:
 
“In 2 weeks (?) China and the Eurasian Economic
Union 
– Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan,
and
Kyrgyzstan – will reveal an independent
international monetary and financial
system. 

It will be based on a new international 
currency, calculated from an index 
of national currencies of the 
participating countries and 
international commodity
 prices”.
 
This currency resembles Keynes’ invention of 
Special Drawing Rights. SDRs are a synthetic 
currency which derives its value from a 
global, publicly traded basket of 
currencies and commodities. 
 
Immense beyond imaging, and stable as the
Pyramids. Everyone gets a seat at the table
and a vote. It may - eventually - be 
administered by an arm of the UN.
 
SDRs pose a serious alternative to the US
dollar, both for the EAEU, the BRI’s 145 
member states, the Shanghai 
Cooperation Organization 
(SCO), ASEAN, and the 
RCEP. 
 
Middle East countries, including Egypt, Iran,
Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, are keenly interested.
 
Less well known, is that the EAEU, the BRI, the 
SCO, ASEAN, and the RCEP were discussing 
a merger, before the currency news hit.
 
It is reasonable to expect them to join this 
new, cooperatively managed, stable 
reserve currency regime, in which 
they can settle their trades in 
stable, neutral, predictable 
SDRs.
 

smoke and blood as french police beat back peaceful union demo

 
The main result of the French elections
is the frustration of the French.. with
compromised political institutions
June 21st, 9:47am
https://en.news-front.info/
 
The second round... of the French National Assembly
elections took place on June 19th. The presidential
bloc “Together!” failed to maintain an absolute
 majority in parliament. The Macronists won 
only 245 seats, ahead of the left-wing 
coalition Nupes and its allies (131 
seats) and the National Union 
of Marine Le Pen (89 seats)
 
While five years ago Macron led a record number of
his associates into the lower house of parliament, 
and secured an outright majority, he now stands 
at the brink of defeat.
 
In the first round, the pro-presidential Together bloc
-- which comprises Macron’s Renaissance party,
 centrists from the Democratic Movement and 
a small Horizons party, beat the left-wing 
coalition New People’s Environmental 
and Social Union, created by the 70
-year-old head of the Unconquered 
France party Jean-Luc Melanchon
 - together with the Communists, 
Socialists, and Greens, by a 
tiny fraction of a percent.
 
The day after the tabulation of the results of the first
round... accusations of fraud, were made by the
opposition. The scandal was hushed up...  but 
voters lost interest in voting for the legislative 
body of the Fifth Republic. The second round 
of parliamentary elections saw a record low 
turnout, with just over 38$ of eligible voters 
showing up at the ballot box.
 
The main sensation of the second round was Marine
 Le Pen’s “historic breakthrough”, writes Le Parisien.
 
“It is a victory on an unprecedented scale that even
 the most optimistic leaders of the Rassemblement
 Nationale (RN) dared not hope for,” Le 
Figaro notes.
 
For the first time, in nearly forty years, the RN gains 
the right to create its own party faction, becoming
 the second largest opposition group in the 
National Assembly.
 
“We have achieved our three objectives: to make
 Emmanuel Macron a minority president, to 
continue a serious political restructuring 
and to triumph - over the idea of saving 
the nation,” Marine Le Pen said, on 
the evening of June the 19th.
 
Eric Zemmour’s Reconquista party did not win a single
seat in parliament: voters managed to work out: that
the former journalist was a political spoiler targeted
by the Rothschilds, to take votes away from Marine
 Le Pen.
 
French Prime Minister Elisabeth Bourne said the loss
by the presidential coalition Together! of a majority 
of seats in the National Assembly in the second 
round of the election, was a danger to the 
country (un risque pour notre pays).
 
 She called the results of the vote unprecedented, 
but she said the results must be respected and
 “conclusions must be drawn”. Bourne said... 
that from June the 20th, work would begin 
“on creating an active majority”.
 
In fact, the work of the presidential team to forge 
the parliamentary coalition needed to achieve 
an outright majority had already begun days 
before the second round. 
 
According to Reuters, citing a government source,
 Macron had secretly contacted the head of the
 Senate, veteran centrist Republican party 
Gérard Larcher, and tried to “pave the 
way for such a scenario”.
 
 However, after the results of the second round were
 tallied, senior functionaries of the Republicans (the
 party won 61 seats in the National Assembly) 
poured “a gusher of cold water” (Reuters)
on
 the idea of such a coalition.
 
Macron is facing an “ungovernable France”, Le Figaro 
summarises. The publication’s editor-in-chief, Alexis
 Breset, writes that the 2nd round of parliamentary
 elections is “very much like a referendum against
 Macron”, among whose fundamental mistakes he
 cites Frances president’s “Ukrainian escapade” 
as “sewn with white threads”. Macron tried to 
weaken the left and the right, but it is they 
who “have become more powerful than 
ever” --- which makes Macron’s new 
presidential term seem “stillborn” 
(quinquennat mort-né).
 
Macron’s entourage called the results of the
 parliamentary elections “disappointing”.
 
 Macron’s failure is evident even to his fellow party
 members. The ranks of the presidential party
 “Forward, Republic” --- which was formed 
under Macron, are thinning before their 
eyes. Not so long ago, the party had 
418,000 members and now it has 
fewer than 20,000.
 
After the corruption scandals of his predecessors
 (Sarkozy and Hollande) Macron promised the
 “moralisation of political life”, but only a 
promise. “5 of his ministers are under 
investigation and twelve others are 
implicated in various crimes,” 
writes L’Humanite.
 
Jean-Luc Mélanchon welcomed the “defeat of the
 presidential party” after the second round of the
 election, and did not hide his joy. Although he 
did not achieve a parliamentary majority, his 
coalition of left-wing forces has become
the 
leading opposition grouping. 
 
“This is a totally unexpected situation, totally unheard
 of. The defeat of the presidential party is total… We
 have achieved the political goal we set ourselves: 
to overthrow someone who has so arrogantly
 perverted the course of the whole country, 
being elected [president] and not knowing 
what to do,” said Melanchon.
 
Macron has failed domestically, staging endless
 lockdowns, during the “pandemic”. He has 
effectively sold out France to US capital 
by bringing the largest investment fund 
Black Rock into the country, earning 
him the nickname “President Black 
Rock France”, Alesia Miloradovich.. 
of the Paris Academy of Geopolitics
 said in an interview with the FSK.
 
In foreign policy, Macron’s failure is equally clear. 
France has lost its former influence, it is hardly
 listened to at the international level. Macron 
is ignored by the US, which has snatched a 
gigantic submarine construction contract 
from France for Australia.
 
He is bending over backwards in vain to earn his
 reputation as the “reformer of Europe”. Brussels 
makes decisions without asking him. “Everyone
 seems to have got it:  little Emmanuel is talking
 to himself in a fit of narcissism and unraveling 
his tail, like a peacock, in front of the mirror, 
causing underlying laughter behind his 
back, to those around him,” 
writes L’Humanite.
 
But the coalition of the left has no intention of forming
 a united parliamentary group, and this will weaken
 Jean-Luc Melanchon. An ad hoc alliance between
 the Rassemblement Nationale of Marine Le Pen 
and the Republicans is likely to bring them 150 
votes in the National Assembly --- and move 
them into 1st place among the opposition 
parliamentary parties.
 
The main outcome of the French elections was the
 widespread disenchantment of the French, with
compromised political institutions and elites. 

Among the heads of the Fifth Republic
who 
have failed to live up to people’s 
expectations... is now Macron.
 
Vladimir Prokhvatilov, FSK
 
 
_______________________________


 
France, Russia to work together
 to unite Europe, de Gaulle’s 
grandson says
June 15th, at 00:05am (TASS) 


France and Russia are historically linked and went
 through two world wars together, so they should
 cooperate: to unify Europe and ensure security 
on the continent, French economist Pierre de 
Gaulle, the grandson of General Charles de 
Gaulle, the founder of the Fifth 
Republic said.


"Our people are linked by many years of friendship and
 the blood shed against Nazis," he said at a reception
 marking Russia’s Day at the Russian Embassy in
 Paris. "I came here to assert, once again, loud 
and clear that it is in France’s interests to 
maintain good relations with Russia, as 
well as to say that we should work 
together --- for the sake of the 
unification and security of
 our continent, for the 
sake of maintaining 
balance, progress 
and peace in the 
entire world" -
he
 explained.


He reiterated that his grandfather who ruled France
after World War ll, placed great significance on the
relationship between Paris and Moscow.

During his 
address, which Pierre de Gaulle began with
greeting in Russian, he quoted his grandfather 
several times:  for instance --- his remarks that
Napoleon’s invasion of Russia was a mistake
and that actually --- "France never viewed 
Russia as an enemy" and he "had never 
sent and was not going to send, arms 
to people who would wage war 
against Soviet Russia."


"He loved Russia. My family and I love Russia and its
 people. The Russian people, whose property rights
 are being so unfairly violated worldwide," he said, 
criticizing the bans introduced against Russian
 athletes, and cultural figures -- expressing an 
opinion: that a major share of responsibility 
for the Ukrainian conflict  --- lies with the 
US and NATO.


"Unfortunately... the West allowed Zelensky, his
 oligarchs and neo-Nazi military groups, to get 
drawn into a war spiral. This had serious 
repercussions for Ukrainian people," 
Pierre de Gaulle said.


Dollar round-a-bout an illusion

 
The West builds walls 
between peoples, 
BRICS breaks
 them down
by Dmitry Kosyrev, RIA
June 26th, 10:34am
https://en.news-front.info/
 
The three days of BRICS events in 
Beijing had two courses of action...
 
The first option (one that no doubt would have
appealed more to the wider Russian public) 
was for the top leaders of Brazil, Russia, 
India, China and South Africa to adopt 
an outcome document that would say 
in clear language: If a group of the
Western countries wants to deal 
with us through threats ------ and 
especially economic sanctions,
that is, bans and restrictions 
on trade and development,
that... is their business. 
 
''We, the five countries, solemnly declare.. that we
continue to work with each other without regard 
to any sanctions by the US or the EU. Sanctions 
are illegal --- and should remain the personal 
choice of one country or another, without 
imposing them on anyone else.''
 
But, for one thing... these words were heard in all the 
previous declarations from previous BRICS summits. 
And this time too -- if you look carefully at the final 
document – the Beijing Declaration – you will find 
a reference to the fact that the five reaffirm all 
their previous positions and call for trade 
according to the rules of the World 
Trade Organization.
 
But now the game is different, and loud statements
cannot achieve anything. The West has launched 
a large-scale economic, psychological and other 
war against the two BRICS members – Russia &
China -- and in this environment, we must work
differently. In particular it should be taken into
account that secondary sanctions, when 
companies from third countries that are 
trying to do business with someone 
who has been hit by sanctions... 
should be dealt with most of all. 
It would be extremely foolish to 
challenge someone verbally &
suffer damage in the process.
 
The host country - China - has, therefore, chosen 
a different approach, more intelligent and more 
akin to a pawn gambit than a frantic breakout 
of pieces across the board.
 
In particular, conversations about what mechanisms
will help to defuse sanctions, came at a preparatory
stage, with a thorough analysis of everything - their
 own, the closed payment systems, the newly 
created logistical links and everything else. 
 
Further, these conversations had to be expanded
 dramatically. In Beijing, the five leaders mostly 
set the tone for what was happening, by video 
link, but there were business people from two 
dozen major emerging economies present live 
for the first part of the event – the business 
summit. And the concluding meeting, the 
high-level dialogue, was attended by 
senior leaders from a further 13 
countries, all of them very 
significant states.
 
It should be noted that there had been many people
 wanting to join the BRICS before. But our five did 
not really want such a turn of events. The idea 
was that the leaders of entire regions, the real 
world elite, would gather here: South Africa 
was the voice of Africa, India was the 
voice of South Asia, and so on. 
 
But things have changed, and in May this year the
presiding country, China, launched a process of 
replenishing the ranks.. and turning the BRICS 
into something different and new: an alliance
of virtually the entire developing world ---
against the maddening West. This time
there were very serious talks on such
a subject, but it was decided not to 
make the results public. However, 
it is clear that many of those 13 
who took part in the high-level 
dialogue are candidates. And 
some of those who did not 
take part.
 
But the public was given an extremely effective
 message. It was something like this: the West 
is building walls between peoples --- holding 
back their economic development with its 
sanctions. And we, the alternative to the 
West, are building bridges and roads - 
bringing people closer to each other. 
Moreover, we are good at it, while 
the West, having played with 
sanctions, fell into its own 
trap and faced economic 
catastrophe. For us... 
it is vice versa.
 
And on this topic a lot of strong facts and figures
 emerged at and around the Beijing summit. For
 example, it does not matter how much global 
GDP the BRICS members produce. The 
important thing is that they accounted 
for 50% of global economic growth 
last year. So they are the ones 
who are driving themselves 
and the world forward and 
the West is playing the 
opposite role.
 
Or to be more specific: last year, trade in goods
(excluding services) of just our five countries 
reached $8.55 trillion, an increase of 33.4%. 
Such growth is sensational. All in all, it 
clearly shows where the epicentre of 
global development lies, where the 
future is being made.
 
Among the smart thoughts that flashed through all 
he Beijing meetings: the BRICS group has become 
a global platform for working out ways to move 
into the future. Paths are not declarative, but 
quite concrete.... The final document of the 
meeting is full of specifics, ie, references 
to programs and mechanisms.. that are 
working in BRICS – in agriculture, new 
technologies, new types of energy, 
biotechnology. There are many 
such mechanisms, and more 
are being created. And... 
above all in the financial 
sphere, which began to 
turn into an alternative 
to the West, from the 
first year of BRICS 
work, that is, 
since 2006.
 
Russia was mentioned at the forum quite often. On 
the one hand, it gave its partners – above all China 
and India – enormous opportunities by supplying 
oil and gas at prices that have minimal relation 
to the West’s rabid energy market. 
 
In other words, we have provided the East with a huge
 advantage and competitiveness that, for example,
 Europe has deprived itself of by forcing Russian
 supplies out of its life. In response – since the
 sanctions were in place – various Chinese 
and Indians, talked about entering our 
sector of trade networks to replace 
the ones that left. And they talked 
about many other things too, 
although less openly. And 
not only Indians 
or Chinese.
 
As for sanctions, recall that the BRICS group, since its
 inception... has been a mechanism to crack down on 
them – if they come up. So they did, and in earnest. 
 
And the strongest blow to them was not the
 condemnation of sanctions in regular 
declarations, but the complete 
absence of discussion. 
 
The entire course of the Beijing events sent a simple
 and clear message to the international community:
 sanctions? What are you talking about? We are 
doing well --- we are talking about a sharp 
acceleration of cooperation and growth, 
and we are discussing new projects. 
And you can do whatever you want 
with your sanctions, we are 
not interested.
 
 
____________________________


Putin: lack of fertilizers on 
the world market will lead 
to a reduction in harvest
June 25th, 4:17pm
(Vesti.ru)
 
President of Russia Vladimir Putin and President 
of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko hold talks in 
St. Petersburg. Before that, Lukashenka 
visited the Tver region and visited the 
Zavidovo residence with Putin.
 
"Russia and Belarus are the largest suppliers of 
fertilizers to the world market. I would like to 
talk to you about this issue in terms of 
meeting the needs of the global 
market, " Putin said, 
to Lukashenko.
 
Almost 15% of the world's fertilizer output, and 25% 
for some types of fertilizers, is "a very significant 
amount," Putin said.
 
Meanwhile, the reduction of fertilizer supplies to the
 world market reduces the prospects for next year's
 harvest, the Russian president stressed.
 
"We are slowly starting to ship mineral fertilizers there 
(St. Petersburg - editor's note). I think it will have the
 most powerful port, but it may not be enough for us.
 But, as we have agreed, we will see if we need 
to expand there, " Lukashenko said.
 
 
__________________________________



  Türkiye’s Azov Concord 
arrives in Novorossiysk
June 25th, 1:08pm (TASS) 
 
The Azov Concord, the Turkish cargo ship that 
became the first to leave the port of Mariupol, 
has arrived in Novorossiysk, the Southern
territorial 
organization of the Russian
sailor’s union, 
told TASS.
 
"The Turkish ship, Azov Concord, arrived 
in the port of Novorossiysk for loading," 
the union said.
 
 
____________________________________________


 
China Replaces US
as 
Top Destination
for 
Andean Exports
June 25th, 10:44am
 (teleSUR)
 
Since the launch of China's Belt and Road 
Initiative, in 2013, 21 of 33 countries in 
Latin America and the Caribbean, 
have signed up.
 
China was the main destination for exports 
from the countries of the Andean 
Community of Nations (CAN)
in
 2021, says a report.
 
According to the secretary general of the CAN, 
Jorge Hernando Pedraza, in a statement in 
which he presents the statistics of the 
regional group´s foreign trade of 
goods for 2021, China was the 
main destination of exports, 
with 19.3%;  in 2nd place, 
is the US, with 18.5%; 
and then the EU, 
with 11.8%.  
 
These statistics... come from Bolivia's National
 Statistics Institute (INE), Colombia's National
 Administrative Department of Statistics
 (DANE), Ecuador's Central Bank, and 
Peru's National Superintendency of 
Customs and Tax Administration 
(SUNAT).
 
In 2021, the main products imported by the CAN 
were diesel fuel, mobile telephones, light 
petroleum or bituminous mineral oils,
 gasoline without tetraethyl lead for
 aircraft engines, and hard yellow 
corn --- except for sowing.
 
On May 26th, 1969, five South American countries
 (Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, and Peru) 
signed the Cartagena Agreement with the 
purpose of improving the standard of 
living of their inhabitants through 
integration and economic and 
social cooperation --- thus 
launching the Andean 
integration process, 
known as CAN.
 
China is strengthening its relations with Latin
American countries in different areas, 
particularly economic and military,
in the midst of aggressive U.S. 
policies... against certain of
the region's countries.
 
 
_______________________________

 
 
Venezuela Recognizes 
Political Will for 
Relations With
 Colombia
June 25th, 9:15am 
 (teleSUR)
 
Freddy Bernal says the Colombian and Venezuelan
economic sectors are ready to reopen the border.
 
In statements to Union Radio, the Venezuelan western
 state´s highest authority said that the formal opening
 of the border crossings between the two countries
 will bring huge beefits to the economy of
 the region.
 
The contact held with the Venezuelan government
 shows the political will of the president-elect of
 Colombia, Gustavo Petro, for opening the 
binational border, Tachira´s governor, 
Freddy Bernal, acknowledged.
 
In statements to Union Radio, the Venezuelan western
 state´s highest authority, said that the formal opening
 of the border crossings between the two countries... 
will bring huge beefits to the economy of the region.
 
For the last two years - he recalled - contacts have
 been maintained with the authorities of the 
Colombian department of Norte de 
Santander; the border remained 
closed “only and exclusively” 
by instructions of the out-
going president, Ivan 
Duque, Bernal said.
 
The governor of Táchira... Freddy Bernal, reported
that 
the imminent formal reopening of the border 
crossings between Colombia and Venezuela,
 will bring benefits to the economy, he said 
that Fedecamaras Táchira and the 
Chamber of Ureña are ready
to
 open the border.
 
“We are sure that, with President Petro, a humanist
president of peace and brotherhood, we are going 
to rest a little from receiving permanent attacks 
from Colombia towards Venezuela”, the 
governor stated, while reiterating his 
denunciation of destabilizing acts 
organized in the neighboring 
country --- with the 
endorsement of 
the authorities.
 
Freddy Bernal also expressed his hope that in the
 future, there will be greater controls in the 
so-called irregular crossings on the 
Colombian side.
 
The senior official indicated that the opening of the
 border will open a wide range of businesses and 
will boost economic sectors, such as tourism,
 transportation, and the generation of jobs, 
on both sides of the border.
 
 
_____________________________



Delaying Cabinet Formation until 
End of Presidential Term Would 
Be Worst Sin against Lebanese 
People: Hezbollah Official
June 24th, 1:20pm (al Manar)
 
Deputy Chief of Hezbollah's Executive Council, 
Sheikh Ali Daamoush, underscored the 
importance of a speedy cabinet 
formation which enhances 
coping... with the socio-
economic crises now 
plaguing Lebanon.
 
Delivering his Friday Sermon, Sheikh Daamoush
stressed that delaying the cabinet formation 
until the end of the presidential term would 
be the worst sin committed by the 
concerned parties against the 
Lebanese people.
 
In this regard, Sheikh Daamoush criticized the political 
parties dealing with the government creation as
chance to achieve private interests and 
ministerial shares, indicating that 
Hezbollah dealt positively with 
the designation of a 
new premier.
 
Unlike several political parties, Hezbollah is keen on
 the national interest represented by addressing the
 socioeconomic collapse, and maintaining local
 stability, according to Sheikh Daamoush.
 
 
Source: Al-Manar English Website
 
 
________________________________________
 

 Argentine President calls for 
cooperation and an end 
to inequality
by Martin Hacthoun
June 24th, 12:12pm  
(Prensa Latina) 
 
Argentine President Alberto Fernandez, today
advocated international cooperation and the 
fight against inequality, while speaking at 
a high-level meeting of the Brics group 
(Brazil, Russia, India, China and 
South Africa).
 
Through digital platforms, the President spoke 
from the Quinta de Olivos residence in the 
meeting organized by Beijing and to 
which he was invited by his 
Chinese counterpart, 
Xi Jinping.
 
The Argentine head of state expressed his country’s
 aspiration to become a member of the Brics, “whose
 members represent 42% of the world’s population 
and 24% of the global gross product”.
 
This group constitutes a platform with enormous
 capacities to discuss and implement an agenda 
for the future that will lead us to a better and 
fairer time. We want to join this mechanism
 and make our contributions, he added.
 
On the other hand, he thanked the BRICS nations 
for supporting the Argentinean claim over the
sovereignty of the Malvinas Islands
(Falklands) and the return to 
dialogue with the UK.
 
Fernandez stressed the importance of promoting
 peace, solidarity among nations, cooperation 
and justice.
 
He also urged an end to violence and interference
 in the internal affairs of States... as well as to
guaranteeing respect for territorial integrity,
 human rights, and diversity.. as the central
 requirements for democratic coexistence.
 
 
__________________________________________



China warns of ‘dangerous’ 
NATO expansion into
Asia-Pacific
June 24th, 11:27am (al Manar)
 
Amid growing friction, China has called on the NATO
 military alliance to avoid attempts to start a new 
Cold War, describing its expansion to the Asian
-Pacific region as dangerous.
 
In his remarks on Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry
 spokesman Wang Wenbin slammed the NATO leaders
 for their provocative remarks, and said the US-led
 alliance was a product of the Cold War.
 
“We are calling on NATO -- to end drawing ideological 
lines, spreading false reports or making provocative 
statements about China -- and to stop attempts to
 unleash a new cold war,” Wang told reporters.
 
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on 
Wednesday said that since the NATO summit 
in Madrid will address China in a new 
strategic concept, he welcomes 
leaders of the alliance’s Asia-
Pacific partners – Australia, 
Japan, New Zealand, and 
South Korea – to 
the summit.
 
He called on the NATO members to “realize the rise of
 China”, adding that he expects that “allies will state
 that China poses some challenges to our values, 
our interests, and our security.”
 
Wenbin criticized Stoltenberg’s remarks, describing
the military alliance as “a tool through which the 
US maintains its hegemony and manipulates 
the European security landscape”.
 
He said while NATO was the North Atlantic Treaty
 Organization originally, it has so far “reached the
 Asian-Pacific region --- to show its force”.
 
“These moves are very dangerous, and will certainly
 provoke caution and resolute opposition from Asia-
Pacific countries and the entire world,” 
Wenbin asserted.
 
“NATO has already messed up Europe,” so it should
 abstain from “attempts to mess up Asia and the 
rest of the world as well,” he added.
 
China’s President Xi Jinping on Wednesday warned
 against “expanding military alliances”, calling on
 countries around the world --- to overcome 
difficulties together and work toward 
win-win cooperation.
 
Speaking in a virtual format at the opening ceremony 
of the BRICS Business Forum, Xi said “group politics”
 “bloc confrontation” and military alliances.. will lead 
only to “wars & conflicts”, urging the international
 community to oppose hegemonic practices.. in a 
veiled criticism of the US-led NATO
 military alliance.
 
“In the past century, humanity has gone through the
 scourge of two world wars and the dark shadow 
of the Cold War. The tragedies of the past tell
us
 that hegemony, group politics and bloc 
confrontation bring no peace or 
security; they only lead to 
wars and conflicts,”
 Xi said.
 
In an apparent reference to the United States, Xi, 
whose country is also reeling under sanctions 
by Washington, said the policy had a 
boomerang function and brings
 its repercussions.
 
China has repeatedly criticized Western sanctions,
 including those against Russia, while blaming the
 Ukraine crisis on NATO’s eastward expansion.
 
Beijing has also vowed to continue its strategic
 coordination with Moscow... which has been 
under mounting Western pressure, since
it 
launched the military operation in
Ukraine, four months ago.
 
Source: Agencies (edited by 
Al-Manar English Website)
 
 
__________________________


UN secretary-general’s actions 
delay solution to food crisis
 - Lavrov
June 24th, 10:37pm (TASS)
 
 Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov believes 
that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is
 delaying a solution of the global food crisis 
through his actions,
 
"The UN secretary-general is delaying a solution to 
the food crisis through his actions, he does not
allow sending grain as soon as possible. This
 is regrettable," Lavrov said in an interview 
with the national broadcaster of Belarus, 
aired on Thursday.
 
In his words, Russia was alarmed by the United
 Nations’ slow response to proposals on 
grain transportation.
 
"We are alarmed by a slow reaction to the matter 
that seems urgent. I do not rule out, that the UN
 Secretariat is also experiencing a most intense
 pressure... from those willing to take this 
international organization under 
external control," the 
minister continued.
 
The Russian top diplomat added that Russia has 
come up with its own solutions to the crisis.
 
"All proposals, voiced by President Vladimir Putin, 
have been put on paper and sent to New York. 
We did what we could," Lavrov said.
 
At the same time, the United Nations has been trying
 to agree on transportation of Ukrainian grain first, 
he added. In his words, Sec-General Antonio
 Guterres is trying to solve the issue of 
transporting grain from Ukrainian 
ports --- without taking into 
account Russia’s daily
announcements... 
of humanitarian 
corridors.. for
 the purpose.
 
 
____________________


Najib Mikati named as next 
Lebanese PM, faces tough 
task to form government
by Sami Moubayed
June 23rd, 3:55pm
(Mena, Reuters)
 
Mikati remains on cordial terms with the Aounists 
but will find a hard time supporting Bassil for 
president.
 
Lebanese caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati was
 designated on Thursday to form a new government,
 but faces a politically difficult path to agree a new
 cabinet as the country's devastating financial
 crisis festers.
 
The Sunni billionaire was nominated premier for 
a fourth time after securing the support of 54 of
 parliament's 128 lawmakers, including the Iran
-backed Shiite party Hezbollah, in consultations
 convened by President Michel Aoun.
 
Mikati defeated the judge Nawaf Salam.
 
Later, speaking from the presidential palace in
Baabda, Mikati called for political factions in 
the country to put aside differences and 
cooperate to ease an economic and 
financial crisis. 
 
He called for cooperation with parliament to 
approve legislation required to secure 
an International Monetary 
Fund bailout.
 
During consultation talks on Thursday, President
 Michel Aoun met with political parties and
 parliamentary blocs representing
 Lebanon’s 128-seat Chamber 
of Deputies.  
 
Choosing a prime minister is never an easy task in
 Lebanon. And it does not always mean that the 
prime minister-designate will end up forming 
a government. It sometimes takes weeks,
 often months, and not all those chosen 
end up as premiers.
 
Sa’ad Hariri was famously tasked with forming a 
government in late 2019. He tried to do just that,
 for nine whole months, before declining the job 
last July. In September 2021, Mikati formed his 
third government, and will now prepare for his 
fourth. It will probably be the last in President 
Michel Aoun’s term, which ends in 
October 2022.
 
Tycoon from Tripoli
 
Mikati is a tycoon from the northern city of Tripoli, who
 heads the Azm Movement. He formed his first cabinet
 in the aftermath of Rafik Hariri’s assassination in
 2005, and returned to the job, first in 2011 and 
again... in September 2021. His most recent 
comeback was ladened with big promises, 
like stabilising the Lebanese pound, 
securing a loan from the IMF, and 
pursuing justice in the Beirut 
port blast.
 
He has succeeded in just one of those three promises,
 securing preliminary approval from the IMF for
$3
 billion. That loan is only a fraction of
what 
Lebanon had originally asked for,
no less 
than $9-10 billion.
 
It also comes with strings attached, a series of serious
 and painful reforms.. including floating the exchange
 rate... monitoring government spending, revamping 
the electricity sector, combating corruption in the
 public sector, and allowing external evaluation 
of the country’s 14 major banks. And finally, 
the IMF asked Lebanon to issue two laws, 
one for capital control and another
for 
banking secrecy.
 
The outgoing Mikati cabinet was formed by consensus
of all the major parties. The Free Patriotic Movement
 (FPM) of President Aoun, and his son-in-law, Gibran
 Bassil approved it, in exchange for six portfolios, 
including the strategic ministries of defence, 
energy, and foreign affairs. They will only 
support Mikati for another term, and 
agree to join his government, if he 
agrees to back Gibran Bassil for 
president... as he plans to 
nominate himself... to 
succeed his aging-
father-in-law...
 next October.
 
Choosing a president, requires a majority vote 
in parliament, and approval of a sitting prime 
minister. In fact, it was Hariri’s refusal to 
make such a pledge that put him in 
confrontation with the Aounists, 
who insisted on bringing down 
his bid by making demands
 that he could not fulfill.
 
Mikati remains on cordial terms with the Aounists 
but will find a hard time supporting Bassil for
 president. The leader of the FPM is 
sanctioned by the US for ties to 
Hezbollah and blamed by a 
majority of Lebanese, for 
the country’s economic 
collapse.
 
Last May, Bassil suffered a setback during the
 elections, when his bloc was slashed from 29
 to 17. His archrival Samir Gagegea, leader of
 the Lebanese Forces, refused to name any
one for the premiership on Thursday. 
 
Geagea remains determined to crush Gibran 
Bassil’s presidential ambition, and his 
parliamentary bloc has increased 
from 15 to 19 seats, giving him 
the power to do that.
 
Heavy blow to Salam
 
Mikati’s comeback dealt a heavy blow to judge Nawaf
 Salam, who was nominated for the premiership by a 
group of 13 independent MPs. All of them new-
comers and anti-establishment, representing 
civil society and the October 17 Revolution. 
 
They are backed by 3 MPs of the Phalange Party, 
an all-Maronite family led by the powerful 
Gemayel family. They blame the political 
class, Mikati included, for the country’s
 economic and political woes.
 
Now in its third year, financial meltdown has sunk 
the currency by more than 90%, spread poverty, 
paralysed the financial system and frozen 
depositors out of their savings. 
 
Independent lawmakers were looking for someone
 new to lead the nation, and thought Salam would
 make a good premier.
 
Salam, 68, is an independent politician, jurist, and
 diplomat, hailing from a prominent Sunni Muslim
 family that has worked in politics since Ottoman
 times. After a teaching career at the American
 University of Beirut (AUB), he served as 
Lebanon’s ambassador to the UN, and
 in November 2017, was elected as a
judge on the International Court 
of Justice. His 'term' in The 
Netherlands ends in 2027.
 
In 2019, his name surfaced as a possible contender 
for the premiership, but he was vetoed by 
Hezbollah, which considered him as 
too pro-US.
 
According to the Hezbollah-backed daily Al Akhbar, 
Salam met twice with the 13 MPs for seven hours,
 promising a cabinet of technocrats chosen for 
their professional merit, rather than their
political affiliation.
 
Traditional political parties were not too enthusiastic
 about Nawaf Salam, however. The Amal Movement 
of Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri wants to keep
 Mikati as premier, and voted in his favour on 
Thursday. So did their allies in Hezbollah. 
 
Combined the two Shiite parties have a total of 27
 votes in Parliament. They also control a handful 
of posts in the outgoing Mikati cabinet --- 
including culture, finance, agriculture, 
and public works.
 
Also supporting Mikati was Druze leader Walid
 Jumblatt, who controls all his constituencies 
in Parliament (a total of 9 MPs). Another 16 
Sunni MPs, some being former members 
of Hariri’s Future Movement, have 
shown support for Mikati.
 
Meanwhile, speaking to reports ahead of the
 consultations, Geagea told reporters: “The
 two names currently being discussed 
don’t meet our criteria.”
 
 
____________________________________



BRICS trade cooperation 
has great potential, 
says Indian expert
June 23rd, 3:08pm (TASS)
 
The BRICS trade cooperation (Brazil, Russia, India,
 China and South Africa) has great potential for
 development, Dr. Ajay Sahai, CEO of 
Federation of Indian Export 
Organisations... told a
TASS correspondent 
on Thursday.
 
"It (BRICS - TASS) is an important trading bloc for us.
 And roughly 15% of India’s trade is with four of the 
BRICS nations: Brazil, China, Russia, & S. Africa.
[Although] our exports are much less, our 
exports are just 8.8% of our total exports.
But
 imports are on [the rise] and are
now close to 20%," he said.
 
New Delhi, he emphasized, is satisfied with the level of
 trade cooperation with the association countries. "We
 are happy with the rest of the countries, particularly
 with South Africa, Brazil, and now recently, with 
Russia, because our exports have picked up
 substantially. So -------- we are looking into 
further cementing our trade relationship 
and I am pretty sure the region is 
important also, for strategic 
consideration. I think that 
 these five countries are 
extremely important,"
 the expert stressed.
 
Nevertheless, Sahai pointed out that "with some 
countries like China we have some…market 
access issues. But we are sure that, at 
the bilateral level, we will be
discussing 
it and sorting
it out," he assured.
 
The Indian expert believes the prospects of 
creating a common trade currency within 
the bloc, are favorable.
 
"We can look into having a common trade currency 
so that we further push or look for local currency 
trade also, particularly for example with Russia. 
We are looking into Russia-Ruble trade, 
because [of] the specific situation
 we are in," he said.
 
"The BRICS bank, is also now working. We should 
move towards a more cogent goal, so far as our 
economies are concerned," Sahai concluded.
 
 
___________________________________
 
 
Brazilian president sees BRICS as 
exemplary model for mutually
 beneficial cooperation
June 23rd, 2:55pm (TASS)
 
 Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro considers the
 BRICS format (Brazil, Russia, India, China and 
South Africa) exemplary in terms of mutually
 beneficial cooperation among its 
member nations.
 
"For Brazil, BRICS is a model of cooperation, based 
on the benefits of all parties and the international 
community as a whole. Therefore, we need to 
choose our priorities responsibly and 
transparently," the president said 
at the opening of an online 
BRICS summit on 
Thursday.
 
The leaders of five countries got together, in an 
online format for the 14th summit of the BRICS 
group of nations... in order to synchronize 
watches and agree on the future of the 
organization. Russia's President, 
Vladimir Putin takes part in the
 summit hosted by China and 
held via a video link-up.
 
The leaders are expected to discuss the current state
 and prospects for multifaceted cooperation within the
 framework of BRICS, focusing on cooperation on the 
political, economic, cultural & humanitarian fronts. 
The leaders are also expected to discuss 
key international and regional issues.
 
 
_________________________________
 
 
 
BRICS countries should 
join efforts to reform 
the international 
organizations 
— Brazil
June 23rd, 2:44pm (TASS)
 
 The group of leading emerging economies 
should join efforts to reform international 
organizations, President Jair Bolsonaro 
of Brazil said on Thursday.
 
"We must join efforts to reform international
 organizations like the World Bank, the IMF 
and UN bodies... including the Security 
Council," Bolsonoro said, addressing 
an online BRICS summit. 
 
"The growing weight of the emerging economies 
in the world, requires a proper representation."
 
The leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South
 Africa are holding their 14th summit, which is being
 presided over by China, to discuss cooperation in 
the political, economic & cultural areas, as well 
as acute international and regional issues.
 
 
____________________________________
 
 
Russia to break off relations 
if diplomatic assets are
confiscated
 by Aleynes Palacios Hurtado
June 23rd 11:53am
 (Prensa Latina) 
 
Russia's Minister of Finance, Anton Siluanov, on
Thursday -- warned that the country considers 
breaking off relations with the United States 
and the European Union -- if its national 
diplomatic assets are confiscated.
 
At a press conference, the senior official explained
that when those countries... decided to confiscate
the frozen reserves, Russia’s Ministry of Finance
expressed its willignness --- to purchase the 
amount of the blocked accounts of the 
Bank of Russia to pay investors with
them, but “they told us no.”
 
He clairified that if now they intend to block other
 Russian assets abroad --- and confiscate them, 
Russia will not have other commercial ones, 
just its official assets that have
 diplomatic immunity.
 
Siluanov stressed --- that confiscation of those assets
 would prompt them to break off diplomatic relations
 and a direct conflict will succeed. Moscow would
 have to respond, leaving the legal field, if this 
happens, TASS news agency reported.
 
Replying to another question, the minister of Finance
 said that the fact that his country stops paying
 eurobonds in hard currency and starts paying 
in roubles does not mean that it will file for 
bankruptcy regarding its foreign debt.
 
He said that Russia is not refusing to abide by its
commitments in terms of public values and as a
responsible borrower --  it is doing everything it 
can so that all investors fully receive the funds.
 
He underscored that all foreign counterparts 
are refusing to pay in the currency of other 
countries, which is a force of major 
circumstance for them. And only
 for this reason are they paying
 in roubles.


____________________________________



Digital ruble would solve 
SWIFT’s disconnection
by Ileana Ferrer Fonte
June 23rd, 10:56am 
(Prensa Latina) 
 
Olga Skorobogatova, First Deputy Chairman of the
 Central Bank of Russia - on Thursday - said that 
the possible launch of the digital ruble would 
solve the disconnection of national banks 
from the international SWIFT system, 
one of the foreign anti-Russian 
sanctions.
 
“Within three years, the national digital currency will
 appear in all self-respecting states. And we will 
also have to build cross-border cooperation in 
this area. So, we have to be ready as soon 
as possible,” Skorobogatova told TASS 
news agency.
 
In her opinion, the digital ruble will solve, among 
other things, the problem of the SWIFT 
disconnection, because with such 
integration, that international 
payment transfer system... 
will no longer be needed.
 
She announced that by late 2023, Russia's
 financial regulator, plans to develop an 
agenda... for the launch of the digital 
ruble as of experiences, learnings 
and mistakes made.
 
In mid-October 2020, the Central Bank of Russia
 presented in its report, the concept of the 
digital ruble - which would take the form 
of a unique digital code that would be 
stored in a special electronic purse 
- and transferred from one to 
another user  ---  to make 
business transactions.
 
 
__________________________
 

US could lose new Cold War
 to Russia and China, says
 Nobel Prize winner
June 23rd, 8:48am (TASS) 
 
The United States has entered a new cold war against 
Russia and China and may lose it, Joseph Stiglitz, 
a 2001 Nobel laureate in economics, said in a 
commentary for the Scheerpost portal, 
published on Wednesday.
 
"The United States appears to have entered 
a new cold war with both China & Russia. 
And the US leaders’ portrayal of the 
confrontation..... as one between 
democracy & authoritarianism, 
fails the smell test, especially 
at a time when the same 
leaders...  are actively 
courting a systematic 
human-rights abuser
 ...like Saudi Arabia.'' 
 
''Such hypocrisy suggests that it is at least partly
 global hegemony - not values - that is really at 
stake," the former chief economist of the 
World Bank said.
 
In his view, "the United States could lose the new 
Cold War. If the US is going to embark on a new 
cold war it had better understand what it will 
take to win. Cold wars ultimately, are won 
with the soft powers of attraction, and 
persuasion. To come out on top...  we 
must convince the rest of the world 
to buy, not just our products, but 
also the social, political, and 
economic system we are 
selling"  ...the former 
chairman of the US 
President’s Council 
of Economic 
Advisers,
noted.
 
He recalled that, for nearly two decades after the
 collapse of the Soviet Union, the US "was clearly
 number one. But then came disastrously 
misguided wars in the Middle East, the 
2008 financial crash, rising inequality, 
the opioid epidemic, and other crises
that seemed to cast ''doubt'' on the 
''superiority'' of the US’s economic 
model. Moreover, between Donald
Trump’s election -- the attempted 
coup at the US Capitol, numerous 
mass shootings... the Republican 
Party bent on voter suppression 
and the rise of conspiracy cults 
like QAnon, there is more than 
enough evidence to suggest  
...that some aspects of US 
political and social life -- 
have become -- deeply 
pathological," Stiglitz
 pointed out.
 
 
________________________




People’s bloc and truckers
 announce 48-hour strike 
in Ecuador
by Elsy Fors Garzon
June 23rd, 00:45am
 (Prensa Latina) 
 
A front of social and political organizations in Peru 
confirmed a 48-hour protest strike starting next
Monday, when, in addition, transportation 
unions will begin a strike for an 
indefinite period of time.
  
The National Assembly of the Peoples (ANP), made up
 of trade unions, peasants, associations of agricultural
 producers and other groups, specified that the Civic, 
Agrarian and Popular Strike will be accompanied by
 mobilizations, without ruling out blockades of 
streets and highways.
 
The protest raises a platform of political and social 
demands, among which stand out that of a new
 constitution with gender parity, multinational 
and ecological, as well as the closure of 
Parliament under right-wing control, 
whose unpopularity is reflected in 
a disapproval greater than 80%
 in various polls.
 
The ANP also supports -- the execution of the 2nd
 Agrarian Reform, announced by the Government, 
to face the food crisis;- the dissolution of
monopolies & oligopolies, and a 
labour
reform, that eliminates the 
so-called
flexibility, or reduction, 
of
workers’ rights.
 
Other demands point to a new policy against 
corruption and citizen insecurity, as well
as
 universal, free and quality health 
and education.
 
For his part...  the president of the National Union 
of Heavy Cargo Carriers (UNT), Javier Marchese,
 demanded that the Government solve the 
problem of the rise, which he said, was 
excessive, in the price of gasoline. 
 
The strike, he assured, will continue until the
 Executive meets the demand and could last
 for at least two weeks in which, according 
to what he said, there will be no supply 
of agricultural products to the cities.
 
The stoppage is not unanimous, since the truckers’
 union of the southern region of Arequipa agreed to
 give the government a truce until July 18th, when 
the strike will begin if the problem is not resolved.
 
The president of the National Association of Land
 Freight Transport (Anatec), Bruno Aberasturi, 
confirmed, in turn, that he will join the UNT 
strike, while the Interprovincial Passenger 
Transport Association, maintains a 
dialogue with the Government.
 
Last April, a carrier strike caused shortages in the
 cities --- and recorded violent incidents in which 
there were eight deaths, a figure that includes 
several that occurred in accidents during
the
 protest, raised under the promise
of 
attention to the claims.
 
According to the government Secretariat for Social 
Management and Dialogue, as of June 20th there 
were 129 social conflicts in Peru, more than 
half in the mining sector.
 
 
___________________________________


Iran Sends Shipments 
of Aid to Afghanistan
 after Quake
June 22, 3:04pm
(al Manar)
 
Iran has sent consignments of medical supplies to
Afghanistan, on Wednesday, in the wake of the
strong earthquake that has killed over 1,000 
people in the neighboring country.
 
The Iranian Embassy in Kabul said in a message on
 Wednesday, that Iran has dispatched two planes
 loaded with first aid supplies to Afghanistan, 
after the earthquake.
 
It also offered sympathy and condolences 
to the Afghan nation.
 
At least 1,000 people have been killed and more 
than 1,500 others have been injured after the
 magnitude 5.9 earthquake rocked remote 
parts of southeastern Afghanistan 
early on Wednesday.
 
The death toll has continued to rise throughout
 the day, as rescue teams arrive in the 
mountainous area around the 
quake’s epicentre.
 
The Authorities say hundreds of homes have 
been destroyed in the underdeveloped region.
 
Source: Agencies
 
 
______________________________________________
 

Russian financial messaging
 system open for connecting
 BRICS banks — Putin
June 22nd, 2:41pm (TASS)
 
 Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the 
Russian financial messaging system, is open 
to connecting banks from BRICS countries.
 
"Together with BRICS partners, we are developing
reliable alternative mechanisms for international 
settlements. The Russian Financial Messaging 
System, is open to connection with the banks 
of the BRICS countries, and the Russian MIR 
payment system is expanding its presence.''

''We are exploring the 
possibility of creating an 
international reserve currency -- based on
the basket of BRICS currencies," the 
Russian leader said.
 
Putin noted that, despite all the problems and
difficulties,
 BRICS businesses have been
"consistently 
enhancing mutually
beneficial ties in the 
areas of
trade, finance, and
investment". 
 
"For example, in the first three months of this year, 
trade between the Russian Federation and the 
BRICS countries, increased by 38% - and 
reached $45 billion," he said.
 
At the same time, Putin noted, "Contacts between
 Russian business circles and the business 
community of the BRICS countries have 
intensified. For example, negotiations 
are underway, to open Indian chain 
stores in Russia, and to increase
the
share of Chinese cars, 
equipment & hardware,
on our market.'' 
 
''In turn, Russia’s presence in BRICS countries
is growing. There has been a noticeable 
increase in the exports of Russian
oil 
to China and India."
 
 
_______________________________


BRICS basket-based 
international reserve 
currency - under
 consideration 
— Putin
June 22nd, 1:29pm (TASS)
 
The issue of creating an international reserve
 currency based on the currencies of BRICS 
member-states -- is under consideration, 
Russian President Vladimir Putin said 
on Wednesday, in the welcome 
address to BRICS Business
 Forum participants.
 
"The matter of creating the international reserve 
currency based on the basket of currencies of 
our countries, is under review," the Russian 
leader said.
 
Russian business circles in coordination with BRICS 
business communities are taking prompt steps to
 develop transport infrastructure, readjust 
logistical routes, and create new 
production chains, Putin noted.
 
 "I would like to stress that the Russian strategy does
 not change: while strengthening our economic,
 technological and scientific potential, we are 
ready to openly work with all fair partners
on the 
principles of respect --- to
the interests of each 
other, the
unconditional supremacy of
 international law... and the
equality 
of countries and
peoples," 
the President
stressed.
 

 
_________________________



 UK Asylum Seekers Still 
Locked Up After Failed
 Rwanda Flight
June 22nd, 1:06pm (FNA)
 
Asylum seekers detained for removal to Rwanda
 weeks ago are still being held in detention 
despite the last-minute grounding of the 
flight, which legal experts say leaves
the government “wide-open” to
 litigation and aggravated 
damages claims.
 
Ministers have been accused of subjecting vulnerable
 people to a “cruel experiment” after it emerged that
 the vast majority of people who the Home Office 
had hoped to deport to East Africa – most of 
whom were not even given tickets for the 
flight – remain locked up, The 
Independent reported.
 
This is despite the fact that there is no further flight
 planned at this stage, meaning there is no 
“imminent prospect of removal”, which
 lawyers say makes their continued 
detention potentially unlawful.
 
A small number of the approximately 130 people
 originally detained for removal under the new 
policy have been released in recent days 
after applying for bail with the specialist
 immigration court, indicating that bail
 judges believe this cohort should be
 released. But bail applications can 
be a timely process and usually
 require detainees to have 
legal representation.
 
Asylum seekers who remain in detention have told 
The Independent they feel as though they are
 being “treated like criminals” after being 
held for weeks without being given any 
indication as to when they will 
be released.
 
Legal experts described the Home Office’s decision 
to hold people in detention as “outrageous 
behaviour” and warned that it could lead
 to ministers facing a “spate of unlawful 
detention claims”.
 
Pierre Makhlouf, legal director at Bail for Immigration
 Detainees, which is representing 15 asylum seekers
 applying for bail applications, said many such 
people have “strong claims for immigration 
bail and claims that their continued 
detention would be unlawful”.
 
He added, “[The government] is detaining people who
 cannot be removed quickly to Rwanda because of
 outstanding litigation. It is evading basic common
 law duties to act fairly, to publish policies or to 
assess the appropriateness of detaining people
 depending on their individual circumstances."
 
“Unnecessary detention, particularly of vulnerable
 people is degrading and can be harmful. The 
blanket approach combined with a total 
disregard for any procedural fairness 
leaves the government wide-open to
 litigation, and to aggravated 
damages claims,” he said.
 
One Afghan man, who did not wish to be named, has
 been in Brook House removal centre for five weeks
 after being issued with a “notice of intent” in mid
-May. He was not among those given a ticket for 
the Rwanda flight last week and doesn’t 
understand why he is still being held
 in detention.
 
“[The Home Office is] not telling me anything. I don’t
 know why they are keeping me here like a criminal. 
I feel sick about it. Every day... I’m thinking about 
when I get released. I want to go to Birmingham 
to be with my cousin and my uncle, lots of 
family and friends. I lived there before,” 
he told The Independent.
 
“No one is relaxed in here. We should be able to get
 out. There’s lots of stress here. It’s very difficult. 
Some people have been released, but every-
body still here is worried about what 
happens next,” he added.
 
Karen Doyle, from campaign group Movement for
 Justice, compared the decision to keep people
 detained as “an awful waiting game, a cruel
 experiment on human beings”.
 
She added, “The government doesn’t know if it can
 make this Rwanda policy work but are prepared 
to subject refugees to the torture of indefinite
 detention anyway.”
 
A Home Office spokesperson refused to comment 
on the number of asylum seekers still being held 
in detention, but said, “Where it is necessary to 
secure their removal we will keep people in 
detention, but if a court orders that an 
individual due to be on Tuesday’s 
flight should be released on bail, 
we will then tag them....
 where appropriate."
 
“Our world-leading and innovative migration
partnership with Rwanda, will ensure those
making dangerous journeys to the UK.. are
relocated to Rwanda, to rebuild a new life 
there,” the spokesperson added.


 
____________________________________


 
Britain denies visas to 
Russia’s delegation to 
OSCE Parliamentary 
Assembly session
June 22nd, 10:17am (TASS)
 
 The UK government has denied visas to Russia’s
 delegation to the annual session of the OSCE
 Parliamentary Assembly (PA), which will be 
held in Birmingham, on July 2nd - 6th, the 
First Deputy Chairman of the Federation 
Council’s Committee on International 
Affairs, Vladimir Dzhabarov, said 
on Wednesday.
 
"Since all members of Russia’s Federal Assembly 
are on the UK sanction list, we have asked the
 Assembly’s leadership, as well as the Russian 
Foreign Ministry beforehand to look into the 
issue, and to secure Britain’s guarantees: 
our legislators will be granted visas for 
participation in this most important 
inter-parliamentary event.'' 
 
"Regrettably, we received an outrageous reply: the
 British government 'cannot' issue visas to Russia’s
delegates to the OSCE PA, whatever the purpose 
of their visit," Dzhabarov said.
 
He stressed that such discriminatory actions by the
British side --- against the Russian parliamentary
delegation - are a direct and flagrant violation 
of the 2016 OSCE PA Declaration ---- which 
stipulates all member-states are obliged:
 
"to abide by their commitment to guarantee to all
members of the Parliamentary Assembly, the 
freedom to attend any official OSCE events 
and other parliamentary activities by 
issuing any visas or travel permits 
...required for entry into their 
territories for, at a minimum, 
the duration... of the
above-mentioned
activities."
 
"In the light of the fact.. that the participation 
of Russia’s delegation in the annual summer 
session of the OSCE PA is not possible, the 
head of the Federal Assembly’s delegation 
sent a statement to the leadership and all 
members of the Assembly --- to the effect 
that a prevention of Russia's delegation 
participating in the Assembly’s session 
undermines the credibility of the event 
itself, and the entire organization, as 
such, and that: all of the session’s 
decisions ---- including the final 
statement, adopted in Russia’s
absence --- 
will now not be
recognized 
as legitimate"
Dzhabarov 
stressed.
 
 
 
_________________________________



Chilean Copper Workers 
Announce National Strike
June 21st, (teleSUR)
 
They affirm that the closure of the Ventanas smelter
 is part of a strategy aimed at the full privatization 
of the state-owned mining firm CODELCO.
 
After a meeting with 25 unions held on Monday, the
 Federation of Chilean Copper Workers (FTC) called 
a national strike to protest against the closure
of 
Ventanas smelter, which belongs to the 
National Copper Corporation (CODELCO).
 
The national strike seeks to defend thousands of jobs
 after the CODELCO board announced on June 17th
that 
it would close the Ventanas smelter given
that
 'intoxications' had been reported in the
area 
in recent weeks.
 
"As copper workers, we care about Chile and we strive
 every day to contribute to making our country fairer
 and with full respect for the dignity of its citizens," 
the FTC said.
 
"Today, President Gustavo Boric's administration
 announces the closure of the Ventanas smelter.
 Tomorrow, the same thing will happen with 
the other CODELCO facilities."
 
The Chilean workers affirm that the closure of the
 smelter... is part of a strategy aimed at the 
privatization of CODELCO which is based 
on a conventional neoliberal argument: 
public companies are 'expensive' and 
need to attract private investment
 to improve their productive 
efficiency.
 
"Faced with the attack by part of the CODELCO board
of directors on the workers of Ventanas, we can only
use our historical and emancipatory tool: the 
national strike," FTC stressed.
 
"The closing of Ventanas, as well as the government's
strategy of creating a new smelter with private 
capital, constitute the starting point for the 
full privatization of Chilean smelters 
and refineries."
 
 
______________________________________


 
Ecuadorian Military Ready
 to Defend Democracy 
--- Minister Lara
June 21st, 3:02pm (teleSUR)


While the Lasso regime strives to create justifications
 for repressive actions, the Indigenous families head 
to Quito and block roads throughout the country.
 
On Tuesday morning, Defense Minister, Luis Lara,
 stated --- that the Ecuadorian Armed Forces will
 not allow actions against "the constitutional 
order, democracy and the law."
 
"Ecuador's democracy is at serious risk," he said at a
time when protests are massing and intensifying
throughout the country through the blockade
of 
highways and the arrival of thousands
of 
demonstrators in the capital, Quito.
 
The Armed Forces "view with great concern the
 manipulation of social protest, the growth of 
violence by those who have rejected 
dialogue, a fundamental principle 
of coexistence in freedom and 
democracy, to try to impose
 their demands on the State."
 
According to the Defense Minister, the growing
discontent against President, Guillermo Lasso,
is "a deliberate attempt to use armed violence 
to attack democracy and threaten institutions."
 
While the government builds narratives to justify 
the repression against unarmed Indigenous 
workers and farmers, citizens are turning 
to social media to denounce what 
is happening in the "state of 
emergency", which was
initially established by 
an unconstitutional 
decree.
 
In the early hours of Tuesday, videos posted on social
 networks showed possible far-right militants shooting
 at citizens who were protesting on the Ruta Viva, the 
highway connecting Quito with the Simon Bolivar 
international airport.
 
Later, Ecuadorians denounced the attempt by security
forces to occupy the National Polytechnic University's
campus, in La Foresta, a neighbourhood where
Indigenous families often seek shelter when
 they mobilize to protest in Quito from other 
provinces. A few hours later, citizens 
denounced the launch of tear gas 
inside the Salesian Polytechnic 
University, where Indigenous 
protesters slept on 
Monday night.
 
In the 2019 national strike, thousands of Indigenous
 men, women, and children received shelter in the
 universities of the capital city as well as in the 
House of Culture. On this occasion, it seems 
that the anti-riot strategy contemplates 
preventing that from happening, as 
evidenced by the occupation of 
the House of Culture by the 
National Police.
 
 
_______________________________



 
Maduro: We Are All Part 
of Axis of Resistance
June 21st, 11:23am
(al Manar)
 
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said the ‘Axis of
 Resistance’ is not just confined to certain countries
 across the world, but it refers to all those fighting
 colonialism and hegemonic powers.
 
“The Axis of Resistance exists throughout the world;- 
it exists in Africa, in Asia, in the Middle East, in Latin
America and in the Caribbean. The Resistance also
belongs to the people who are fighting against
neoliberalism, racism, and various forms of
colonization, political, economic, cultural 
colonization and cyber colonization,” 
Maduro said in an exclusive inter-
view... with the official website of
Leader of the Islamic Revolution,
His Eminence, Imam Sayyed Ali 
Khamenei, that was published 
on Monday.
 
“All of us who fight against colonialism, all of us who
fight to decolonize our minds and our people, are 
part of the Axis of Resistance, that stands 
against the methods of the imperialists
for imposing hegemony on the world,”
 he added.
 
Lauding the deeds of the Axis of Resistance
throughout the years, Maduro said, “The 
21st century, is our century. It is the 
century of the unity of the people. 
It is the century, in which, people 
will be liberated. It is the century
of justice, and truth. Empires are
in decline, and people’s projects
for well-being, development and
greatness.... have just begun. 
This century, is our century.”
 
Pointing to a recent meeting with Imam Khamenei 
and the His Eminence’s statement about the very
 close relationship between Iran and Venezuela, 
Maduro said, “Since Commander Hugo Chavez’
 first visit in 2001, Iran and Venezuela have
 established exemplary political, 
diplomatic, moral, and 
spiritual ties.”
 
“During this current trip, I’ve witnessed how there is
 an exemplary relationship between us in terms of 
our increasing cooperation. We’ve had many
 successes. So Imam Khamenei is right 
when he states that the relationship 
between the two countries is quite 
unique and extraordinary,”
 he noted.
 
Asked about his latest assertion regarding the Zionist
 occupation regime’s conspiracies against Venezuela
 - through Mossad - Maduro said, “Imperialism and
 Zionism are conspiring against the progressive,
 revolutionary processes taking place in Latin 
America and the Caribbean, especially the 
Bolivarian Revolution.”
 
The Venezuelan president stressed, “This is because
 we are a true alternative, an alternative of truth and
 justice, an alternative of freedom, an alternative of
 democracy and an alternative for realizing projects
 that are fully humane in the Latin American region
 and the Caribbean Sea. In addition to this, 
Mossad’s conspiracies.. are due to our 
strong position of solidarity with the 
Palestinian people and our support 
of them for their regaining their
 historical rights --- and for the 
Palestinian Resistance. Our 
support of them is strong 
and unique, and we will
...continue supporting
them in this manner.”
 
Asked about the role of Iran’s anti-terror commander
 General Qassem Soleimani and the Quds Force over
 the last 20 years, in strengthening the relationship 
between Tehran and Caracas, Maduro said he met 
General Soleimani in March and April of 2019 
when he came to Venezuela during the time 
of US’ cyberattacks against the country’s
 power plants.
 
“I really didn’t know. I didn’t know him. I didn’t know
 how amazing he was, but the discussion I had with
 him was very pleasant. We reviewed everything
 during our meeting and he immediately 
suggested we get help from Iranian
experts. Two or three days later, 
Iranian experts came to repair 
the electrical services in 
Venezuela,” he added.
 
In response to a question regarding a saying by Imam
 Khamenei that, “If Prophet Issa [Peace upon Him] 
were among us today, he wouldn’t miss a moment
 to fight the leaders of global oppression and
 arrogance,” Maduro said, “We’re believing 
Christians. We’re the type of Christians 
who take action while praying and 
thinking. And Christ... came into 
this world to fight the Empires. 
He came to confront the 
Roman Empires. He 
risked his life. He 
sacrificed his 
life --- to fight
the Roman 
Empire.”
 
The Venezuelan leader said, “If there’s one good thing
 I can say about Christianity, it is its anti-imperialist
 nature and its seeking of truth and justice, against 
the oppressors. I have no doubt that if Christ were
 among us today --- he would have been at the 
forefront of the battle against imperialism, 
colonialism and all forms of oppression.”
 
During the interview, Maduro pointed to several
 meetings he'd had with Imam Khamenei over 
the years as well as the meeting between 
Chavez and the Leader of the 
Islamic Revolution.
 
“I’ve always admired Imam Khamenei’s excellent
memory. That he recalls the memories of those 
days is important. In the talks that I have had 
with him, he's recalled some conversations 
he had with Commander Chavez, where 
Commander Chavez shared some of 
his memories... about Cuba and 
Commander Fidel Castro. 
 
There was a time when a hurricane was heading
straight toward Cuba. It was a Category 5 
hurricane. A conversation took place 
between Fidel and Chavez. Fidel 
said, “Chavez! What you need to 
do right now is to pray. Pray
 for us!” Chavez started 
praying.
 
That day passed and the hurricane changed its
 course. It didn’t cross over Cuba. Chavez 
called Fidel, and said, “It’s a miracle!” 
Fidel replied, “Yes, it’s because God 
helps Chavez and Chavez’s friends.”
 
In the last talk that I had with Imam Khamenei, 
he told me this story in a friendly, kind way, 
in memory of Commander Chavez and 
Commander Fidel Castro,” he said.
 
“Holding a conversation with Imam Khamenei truly 
fills one with spirituality and wisdom. He likes the
 Venezuelan people. He likes the people’s ideals, 
and he always offers us great ideas... and 
recommendations,” Maduro underlined.
 
Source: Iranian media (edited
 by Al-Manar English Website)
 
 
_______________________________


 
Reuters: ruble the world’s 
strongest and most 
profitable currency
June 21st, 10:54am
https://en.news-front.info/
 
The ruble has taken the position of the world’s most
strengthening - as well as the most profitable - 
currency, since the beginning of 2022. This
is reported by the financial analysts 
of Reuters.
 
The sharp strengthening of the ruble in this 
report recognized the financial analysts 
group publication... Reuters.
 
“The Russian ruble rose, on Monday, to a near 
7-year high against the dollar on the Moscow 
Exchange,” the publication said.
 
Reuters attributed the strengthening of the Russian
 currency to government controls on capital flows
 and tax payments due at the end of the month.
 
The publication reports that the ruble-dollar ratio
 today is close to its July 2015 level, while in the 
ruble-euro ratio... it is close to May 2015. The 
Russian ruble has thus become the world’s 
most profitable currency, since the 
beginning of 2022.
 
Its profitability is mainly due to Russia’s high revenues
 from exports of commodity groups, a sharp decline in
 imports, and the ban on citizens withdrawing their
 savings in foreign currencies.
 
 
___________________________________________

 
Grain for export to Middle East, 
Turkey, Africa, arrives in 
port of Berdyansk
June 21st, 7:19am (TASS)
 
Agrarians in the Zaporozhye Region have begun
delivering grain to the port of Berdyansk for 
exports to resume to the Middle East, 
Turkey, Africa... and for traders in 
North America... a senior local 
official told TASS on Tuesday.
 
"Grain for export is being delivered to the port. <…> 
Thousands of tonnes of grain are needed. The key 
buyers of our grain now are the Middle East, 
African countries and Turkey as well as a 
lot of traders, including those in North 
America," Vladimir Rogov, a member 
of the chief council of the civil-
military administration of the 
Zaporozhye Region, said.
 
Earlier, the first train carrying grain from Melitopol
 arrived in Crimea, and the first vessels with 
grain... are expected to depart from
the port 
of Berdyansk, soon.
 
 
___________________________________________

 
 
BRICS Partnership to Help
Rebuild South Africa 
--- Ramaphosa
June 20th, (teleSUR)
 
South Africa can gain much from participation in 
BRICS as it works to rebuild the country in the 
wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, President 
Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday in his
 weekly communication to citizens.
 
The value of South Africa's membership of BRICS has
 grown "substantially" since it joined the group 12
 years ago, he wrote ahead of the 14th BRICS 
Summit scheduled for Thursday. BRICS is the 
acronym for an emerging-market bloc that 
groups Brazil, Russia, India, China, and 
South Africa.
 
The summit will be held in virtual format under the
 theme of "Foster High-quality BRICS Partnership,
 Usher in a New Era for Global Development." 
 
Ramaphosa outlined the benefits and potentials of
 BRICS partnership in various fields, including 
trade, tourism, infrastructure, ties of
 business communities, health 
and food security.
 
He said total trade between South Africa and the other 
four BRICS countries reached US$43.8 billion in 2021,
 up from US$30.4 billion in 2017, and that tourists
from other BRICS countries accounted for 65% 
of all arrivals in South Africa, in 2018.
 
The summit aims to usher in a "new era" for global
 development that is more inclusive, sustainable 
and fair, Ramaphosa said.
 
"Through the reform of the multilateral system,
 including the UN, and by refocusing the 
attention and resources of the global 
community on the sustainable 
development agenda, the 
BRICS group can support
a sustained, equitable 
global recovery,"
 he said.
 
The summit is a valuable platform for South Africa to
strengthen ties with its partner countries in support
of its own growth and employment creation, and 
provides South Africa with an opportunity to 
contribute to a better world, in which all 
countries have a better chance to 
recover from the pandemic and
 to flourish.
 
 
_____________________________________



Nationwide strike in Belgium 
over cost of living -- forces 
cancellation of all flights
 at Brussels Airport
June 20th, 1:51pm
(PressTV)
 
Brussels Airport has decided to cancel all its
 departing flights after most security staff 
joined a nationwide strike across 
Belgium for better wages.
 
In a post on its Twitter account on Monday, the 
airport informed its passengers that all 
departing flights will be scrapped for 
the day, urging them not to come 
to the airport.
 
Apart from a few connecting flights,
 a total of 232 flights were canceled.
 
Incoming commercial flights are also affected, 
with one in four flights operating. All freight 
traffic is maintained.
 
The departure hall at the airport was largely empty, 
with only around 100 passengers inside, looking 
for solutions to find accommodation or a 
new flight.
 
“I haven’t seen my wife for 4 months because I’ve
 been working. I was supposed to meet her in 
Istanbul this morning,"  Oleksandr Zayikin, 
a Ukrainian merchant mariner told AFP, 
adding that he may now spend a few 
days in a hotel.
 
Maria Antonia, a 20-year-old Romanian student who
 had a flight booked to return to Bucharest, said 
she didn't know her flight was canceled until 
she got to the airport.
 
"That was a little bit of a hassle. But 
we can manage it I think," she said.
 
Passengers are urged to contact their airline
 to reschedule their flights or seek a refund.
 
Part of the passenger traffic of the German tour 
operator TUI departing from Brussels Airport 
was diverted to other Belgian 
regional airports.
 
The national strike in Belgium... was called by the 
three main unions in Belgium, to push for higher
 salaries, as soaring inflation hit workers' 
purchasing power.
 
A large trade union demonstration was also planned 
in the centre of Brussels later in the day, at which 
the organizers said up to 70,000 people 
are expected.
 
Eurozone inflation hits another record 
high as food and energy prices soar
 
Prices in the eurozone touched another record high 
in May, challenging the European Central Bank
 
Many bus services were halted across the country.
 However, train services were running, partly to 
allow protesters to converge on the capital.
 
Prime Minister Alexander De Croo told public
broadcaster RTBF that Belgian workers 
were better protected than their
counterparts in most other 
European Union countries 
because wages were 
indexed to inflation.
 
The government had extended measures to reduce
 sales tax on gas, electricity and fuel, until the end
 of the year, he said.
 
Hungary warns of 'era of recession' 
in Europe amid energy crisis,
 soaring inflation
 
Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban has raised
 alarm over an “era of recession” in Europe as 
the continent grapples with the energy
crisis 
and soaring inflation
.
Since the onset of Russia’s special military
operation in Ukraine, on February 24th, 
waves of unprecedented sanctions 
from the United States and its 
European allies have been 
imposed on Moscow.
 
The ongoing war, as well as the West’s punitive
measures against Moscow, have caused the 
price of grain, cooking oil, fertilizer and 
energy to skyrocket.
 
Russia and Ukraine together produce 
almost 30 percent of the global 
wheat supply.
 

___________________________________________________



Russia became the
 major oil supplier
 to China
by Aleynes Palacios Hurtado
June 20th, 11:08am
(Prensa Latina) 
 
Russia is the major oil supplier to China, and exports
 increased by 55 percent in May compared to the 
same period in 2021, according to Beijing 
Customs data released on Monday.
 
Over the past month, Russian oil supplies by sea and
 through the ESPO (Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean) 
pipeline reached 8.42 million tons or 1.98 million
 barrels per day.
 
That amount implies a 25-percent growth with respect 
to the 1.59 million barrels per day shipped in April, 
Reuters news agency reported with information 
from the Beijing General Administration 
of Customs.
 
After 19 months, Russia once again became 
China’s major oil exporter, surpassing Saudi 
Arabia with 7.82 million tons or 1.84 million 
barrels per day last month.
 
This British media outlet stressed that the current
 figures confirm that Moscow has been able to find 
buyers for its oil despite Western sanctions, albeit 
at lower prices. On the other hand, deliveries in 
May of Russian liquefied natural gas to China 
amounted to 400,000 tons, 56 percent more 
than in the same month last year.
 
In the first five months of the year, that supply 
rose 22 percent compared to 2021,
 equivalent to 1.84 million tons.
 
 
_________________________________________


Leftist Petro wins Colombia's
 presidential vote ----- ends 
century of rightwing rule
June 20th, 9:45am (PressTV)


Gustavo Petro’s surprise win in the Colombian
 presidential election has ushered in a new 
era of politics in the South American 
country, after a century of right-
wing rule and decades of 
civil war.
 
Petro, 62, a former member of the M-19 guerrilla
 movement...  beat the real estate magnate 
Rodolfo Hernandez with an unexpectedly 
wide margin of some 719,975 votes on
Sunday, garnering 50.5% of the votes.
 
The first round of the election was held on May 29th, 
when Petro and Hernandez proceeded to the 2nd 
round with 40.34 percent and 28.17 percent of 
the votes respectively.
 
Petro, a senator in his third attempt to win the
 presidency --- previously served as the mayor 
of the capital Bogota. During his campaign, 
the left-wing politician vowed to end 
inequality and focus on pension 
reforms and the country's 
taxation policy.
 
His election is being seen as a strong blow:- to 
the right-wing lobby, with the Latin Americans’
orientation toward left-wing politics. 
 
"Today is a day of celebration for the people. Let 
them celebrate the first popular victory," Petro 
tweeted after the historic win. "May so many
sufferings be cushioned in the joy --- that 
today floods the heart of the homeland."
 
He issued a call for unity during his victory speech 
and extended an olive branch to some of his 
staunch critics, saying all members of the 
opposition will be welcomed at the 
presidential palace "to discuss 
the problems of Colombia."
 
"From this government that is beginning.. there will
 never be political persecution or legal persecution,
 there will only be respect and dialogue," he said,
 adding that he will listen to not only those who
 have raised arms but also to "that silent 
majority of peasants, Indigenous 
people, women, and youth."
 
According to experts, the emergence of a 
progressive government led by Petro, 
could strengthen the convergence 
among the Latin American states 
and improve the regional blocs 
such as the Community of 
Latin American and 
Caribbean States
 (CELAC).
 
Accordingly, the South American state can put aside
its former policy of being a US vassal state, and 
play an active role in continental integration.
 
Congratulatory messages pour in for Petro 
 
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro 
congratulated Petro and his running 
mate Francia Márquez, after their 
election victory in Colombia.
 
“I congratulate Gustavo Petro and Francia Márquez 
for their historic electoral victory in Colombia’s
 presidential elections. The will of the 
Colombian people, who came out to 
shield the pathway of democracy 
and peace, was quite heard. 
New times are in sight for 
Colombia”, Maduro
 tweeted.
 
Former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe cut 
ties with Venezuela during the presidency of 
Hugo Chavez, accusing Caracas of 
supporting members of the 
FARC terrorist group.
 
However, Petro has promised to resume 
formal relations with Venezuela for the
 first time since 2010.
 
 
___________________________________
 


Peace is at the centre... of 
Colombia´s new government
by Alina Ramos Martin
June 20th, 9:42am (Prensa Latina) 
 
Colombia´s elected president, Gustavo Petro, assured
that change, hope, love, and the major effort to win 
the elections --- would not have a purpose in this 
country --- without peace. He added... that his 
government´s main objective will be peace, 
which means that the 10 million voters
of 
his rival in this election, Rodolfo 
Hernández, are welcome in his 
government, even the former 
candidate himself can talk 
with the new authorities 
whenever he wants.
 
In his speech at the Movistar Arena in this capital,
before thousands of people, Petro recalled that 
today the political atmosphere accompanying
the Colombian people - in this century of 
hatred, of confrontations, literally... to 
death, of persecutions, of isolation 
- cannot continue.
 
He expressed that there will, undoubtedly, be
 opposition and maybe fierce and tenacious, 
and maybe we wil not understand it many 
times, but from this government that is 
beginning there wil never be political 
persecution nor legal persecution, 
there will only be repsect 
and dialogue.
 
“This is how we will be able to build what a few days
 ago we called the Great National Agreement and
 which has already begun to be built among 
11 million Colombians (his voters), but it 
has to be among 50 million, it has to be 
with the whole society”, Petro stated.
 
He explained that the Great Agreement must begin to
 be built from the binding regional dialogue, which
 means, that what is decided regionally, to end 
violent conflicts, to build regional prosperity,
 becomes a norm, becomes mandatory...
and
 is complied with.
 
These will be regional dialogues that allow to look 
at the conflict in its historical specificity, and
take
 into account all the diversity,
he added.
 
According to data from the National Registrar’s Office, 
the Historical Pact, composed by Petro and Francia
 Márquez, obtained 11,281,013 votes in Sunday’s
 ballot, for a 50,44%.
 
Meanwhile, Rodolfo Hernández and Marelen Castillo 
obtained 10,580,412 votes, for 47,31 % of the
 valid votes.
 
 
_____________________________________

 
 
Petro proposes Latin America
 to integrate more decisively
 by Ileana Ferrer Fonte
June 20th, 8:24am (Prensa Latina) 
 
Colombia's President-elect Gustavo Petro, 
proposed  in his speech, after his victory 
in Sunday's runoff, that Latin America
 integrate more decisively.
 
Latin America, which is also an indigenous, Afro,
Anglo-Saxon America and which is also a multi-
coloured America -- has to meet in the great 
dialogue that allows for saving humanity, 
Petro said, when referring to the new 
forms of production and 
energy transition.
 
He invited the progressivism of the region to 
think that it can be built around agriculture 
& agrarian reforms, agro-industrialization
and industry, under new technologies.
 
He proposed a productive non-extractivist 
Latin America --- that deeply analyzes 
knowledge to the highest spheres 
of human learning.
 
He pointed out that this implies moving towards 
a productive economy based on respect for 
nature, leaving behind the exclusive 
dependence on the extractive 
model -- and democratizing 
the use of clean energies.
 
“A Latin America together, so it can shout to humanity
 that the time to change: to be capable to live tastily,
 has come,” Petro stressed, in front of thousands 
of supporters at the Movistar Arena Coliseum
 in Bogota.
 
 
_____________________________________
 
 
 
Puerto Rico’s MINH 
celebrates left-wing 
victory in Colombia
by Ileana Ferrer Fonte
June 20th, 6:36am 
(Prensa Latina) 
 
Puerto Rico's Hostosian National Independence
Movement (MINH), on Monday, celebrated the 
victory in the elections of the Colombian 
progressive forces, with the figures 
of Gustavo Petro and 
Francia Marquez.
 
Both candidates of the Historical Pact alliance won 
on Sunday the presidency and vice presidency of
 Colombia, on a path aimed at putting an end to
 more than four centuries of political and 
social exclusion.
 
Petro and Marquez.. managed to overcome with more
 than 11 million votes --- for 50.44 percent... Colombian
 right-winger Rodolfo Hernandez and Marelen Castillo, 
who lagged behind in the balloting with 10.5 million
 votes, for 47.31 percent.
 
“The victory of the Historical Pact alliance in runoff 
represents a step forward on the road to peace and
 justice - that the Colombians deserve,” the national
 leadership of the Puerto Rican organization stated.
 
The MINH particularly referred to the historically
 marginalized sectors in Colombia:-- workers, 
peasants, women, the LGBTQ community, 
Afro-descendants, indigenous people 
and environmentalists, 
among others.
 
The Puerto Rican political group considered that with
 their actions at the polls in the runoff, the Colombian
 people rejected those who sought to give continuity
 to policies designed to favour the privileged sectors
 denying the essential rights to the great majorities 
of the country.
 
 
_____________________________________________



Poll: Majority in US 
Believe Economy Is 
Already Collapsing
June 19th, 12:58pm (FNA)
 
More than half of US citizens think the US has 
already entered a recession, new poll shows.
 
The latest IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index,
 published on Friday, found that 53 percent of 
US citizens think the economy has gone into 
a recession, and 25 percent say they're 
unsure. Only 20 percent believe the 
country is not in a recession, 
Newsweek reported.
 
Even amid uncertainty, concerns have dramatically
 risen over the last month. Back in May... less than 
half of US citizens - 48% - said the economy was 
in a downturn, while 23 percent said the US 
was not in a recession.
 
Recession fears have surged in recent weeks, with
 inflation reaching a 40-year high last week and the
 Dow Jones Average falling below 30,000 for the 
first time in a year and a half, on Thursday.
 
This week, the US entered a bear market for the first
 time since 2020, marking the first bear market of
 President Joe Biden's presidency. The term 
"bear market" is used when a stock market 
drops by at least 20% for an extended 
period, signaling an economic
slump.
 
The new poll also suggested - that most US citizens
 don't think the economy will improve any time soon.
 
Only two in 10 US citizens, think that things are on 
the way up, the lowest confidence rating recorded
when analyzing the index's monthly reports dating
 back to January 2021.
 
The nation is also concerned by Biden's ability 
to handle the economy. Even Democrats lack 
confidence in Biden, with only 45 percent 
giving the president a good grade—a 
precipitous decline from this time 
last year when 80 percent of 
Democrats thought he was
 doing a good job of 
handling the 
economy.
 
The poll also found that more than eight in 10
 Republicans and nearly 6 in 10 Independents 
give Biden a failing grade on the economy.
 
These numbers could spell trouble for Democrats, 
who will be hoping to hold onto as many 
congressional seats as they can in 
November when the GOP plans
 to take back the House.
 
Recent polls indicate that inflation and rising prices
 are a top issue for most US citizens, with over
eight in 10 saying that the economy will be 
a key issue in determining how they'll 
vote in the midterm elections.
 
And if the state of the economy remains precarious
 after the midterms, a re-election win for Biden 
may be even more difficult than it already is.
 
"If inflation isn't marginally better by 2024, the
 Democrats will be forced to swim upstream 
against an electorate that is financially 
pressed,"  Brandon Rottinghau,
political science professor
at 
the University of Houston
previously told Newsweek.
 
"That's never a good position
...for an incumbent
 party to
be in," Rottinghaus added.
 
 
___________________________________



Leftist Gustavo Petro 
favorite as Colombia 
votes in presidential 
runoff
June 19th, 10:39 am (PressTV)
 
Colombians are casting their ballots in the
 second round of the presidential election. 
 
About 39 million people are eligible to vote. Just 
above half of them turned out for the first round 
last month that ended with no winner. In this 
round, leftist Gustavo Petro is competing 
against populist senator
 Rodolfo Hernandez.
 
The voting takes place at one of the most turbulent
 times for Colombia. The country is plagued by the
 economic fallout from the Covid pandemic and 
social unrest.
 
Whoever becomes the next president will have to 
deal with a deeply divided nation. There's high 
poverty and unemployment.
 
The public dissatisfaction triggered massive protests
 last year. Both candidates have pledged radical 
social and financial reforms. But the campaign
 has been tense. 
 
In the meantime, both candidates have pledged 
to bring about and implement radical reforms 
to change the country's social and 
economic picture.
 
However, both men will have a tough time 
delivering on their promises as neither 
has a majority in Congress, which is
 necessary for them to implement 
their plans with a free hand.
 
To fill in the gap, the two sides' campaigning efforts
have been intense. There are also fears that 
violence could break out once the results
 are released.
 
Colombians are a divided nation who have a degree of
 fear regarding the political left, which in the past has
 been associated with guerrilla groups that caused
 decades of blood and tears across the country.
 

 
________________________________________________



 
Highlights of President
 Nicolás Maduro’s 
Eurasian Tour
June 18th, 4:17pm (teleSUR)
 
President Nicolás Maduro arrived in Venezuela after
an international tour, during which he stressed 
the importance of building a new humanity 
based on cooperation.
 
The Venezuelan president's tour of Eurasian countries
 and the African region, is considered the longest 
since he assumed the presidency.
 
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro started
 his Eurasian tour on June 7th, with the aim 
of promoting cooperation agreements in 
the region --- mainly in the fields of 
science, technology, agriculture,
 transportation, energy,
tourism
 and culture.
 
The tour consolidates the strategy of promoting key
 development objectives, as well as the signing of
 agreements with member nations of the 
organization of oil exporting countries, 
...and advocates for the stability of 
crude oil revenues in the face of 
the intentions of the US and its 
allies... to dominate the 
international market.
 
Since the beginning of the tour, after his arrival at the
 Esenboga International Airport of Ankara, capital of
 Turkey, the Venezuelan head of state, consolidated
 the bases for bilateral cooperation alliances, 
breaking the US blockade policies, 
expanding diplomatic relations, 
besides.... confirming the 
urgency of a pluripolar 
world without 
imperialism.
 
Turkey
 
During his stay in the European country, President
 Nicolás Maduro signed three agreements in the 
areas of tourism, agriculture and monetary 
finance as part of the cooperation map 
agreed between the 2 nations, while 
more than 54 agreements remain 
under development.
 
"It is the moment for Türkiye investors in Venezuela, 
for them to arrive in tourism, in mining, in industry, 
in logistics, in banking, in oil, in gas; there are all 
the legal, political, economic guarantees to go 
inan expansion process of the relations 
between both countries", assured 
the president.
 
The Venezuelan President thanked his Turkish
 counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for
 alll the collaboration provided to the 
South American country, in the 
epidemiological context 
of Covid-19.
 
Algeria
 
President Nicolás Maduro arrived on June 8th in the
 People's Democratic Republic of Algeria, with more
 than 51 years of diplomatic relations, where
he 
was received by Algerian President, 
Abdelmadjid Tebbouneeste, at 
El Mouradia Palace.
 
In the African country, 38 agreements were signed in
sectors, such as energy, education, trade, industry,
and culture; as well as cooperation in productive
agriculture, due to the experience of the African
 country in this sector, a cooperation base that 
is expected to be strengthened at the end of
 the work agenda in the African territory.
 
During his meeting with the Algerian President,
 Abdelmadjid Tebboune, the Venezuelan Head 
of State announced that a direct flight 
connection will be established 
between the two nations, a 
decision he thanked the 
African leader for.
 
Iran
 
Venezuela's highest authority arrived in the Islamic
 Republic of Iran, where together with his Iranian
 counterpart, Ebrahim Raisi, he stressed the 
need to respect the self-determination of 
peoples, sovereignty & international law.
 
Both leaders signed a 20-year 
cooperation agreement in 
several areas.
 
Regarding the critical situation of the Palestinian
 people, the leaders pointed out that the strategy 
is, to accompany them in their struggle, and 
denounce the crimes committed, as well 
as to maintain their voice before the 
United Nations Security Council.
 
In another development, the Venezuelan head of state 
toured the Iranian Power Plant Management Company, 
the largest contractor of renewable energy plants and 
leader in the world market of the latest generation 
gas turbines, whose objective is to make the 
energy industry more efficient.
 
Kuwait
 
During the official visit in Kuwait, President Nicolás
 Maduro held a meeting with the Minister of Foreign
 Affairs and Chairman of the Kuwait Fund for Arab
 Economic Development, His Excellency Sheikh
 Ahmed Nasser Al Mohammed Al Sabah.
 
Both delegations analyzed the progress made in the
 cooperation agreements signed between Venezuela
 and the Arabian Gulf nation - political, economic 
and commercial matters, as well as other 
strategic sectors.
 
It is worth mentioning... that Venezuela and Kuwait 
are full members of the Organization of Petroleum
 Exporting Countries (OPEC), and have fought 
together for the stabilization of crude oil 
prices, with the aim of strengthening 
the relationship as members of the
 Ministerial Monitoring Committee.
 
Qatar
 
As the fifth stop of the Eurasian tour, on June 15th, the
 Bolivarian leader, Nicolás Maduro, arrived in Qatar, in
 order to promote brotherly ties for joint welfare. The
 Prsident held a meeting with the Emir of Qatar, His
 Highness, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.
 
Nicolás Maduro announced that the investment plan
 was reviewed in several strategic issues, as well 
as the direct flight connection Caracas-Doha, as 
of October, as well as many other proposals, 
that will become an action plan.
 
 
 
_______________________________


 
Croatian business 
delegation in Iran
June 18th, 2:32pm
(PressTV)
 
Croatia is not a household name on Iran's list of 
foreign trade, but these business people say, 
this will no longer be the case.
 
On the 30th anniversary of the Iran-Croatia resumption
 of diplomatic ties, a large business delegation from 
Zagreb is in Tehran to find areas of cooperation
 between the two countries with a focus on 
Halal trade.
 
Halal trade is an umbrella term for any business that
 is permissible by Islamic law. Halal food and Halal 
tourism are the major focus of Halal trade
between 
Iran and Croatia, among
other Southeast 
European
nations.
 
The size of the Halal market is roughly two trillion
 dollars. As a Muslim country, Iran is one of the 
major producers and consumers of 
Halal products.
 
The Iran-based World Halal Institute, which has
 organized this summit, says Iran's Halal food
 export currently stands at five billion US 
dollars. It says the potential is 
staggeringly higher.
 
In 2021, Eastern Europe traded 688 billion 
dollars worth of goods with the world.
 
Iran accounts for a trivial 350 million dollars of this
 figure. Iranian and Croatian Commerce Chambers 
here signed MoUs to lay out the road map... for 
stronger trade ties between Iran and Croatia
 and the rest of Southeastern Europe.
 
Croatia has been one of the few Western countries
 that have maintained their business ties with Iran
 during US sanctions. Croatian businesses here.. 
say if there is a will, there is a way, and Halal 
Trade is one of those channels that can 
boost trade between the two sides..
 despite the existing restrictions.
 
 
____________________________________



Russia-Latin America
friendship
 to grow
in current context
by Ileana Ferrer Fonte
June 18th, 11:02am (Prensa Latina) 
 
Alexandr Schetinin, director of the Latin American
Department, at the Russian Ministry of Foreign 
Affairs, on Saturday stated that his country's 
friendship with Latin American nations will 
be strengthened, in the current context.
 
“We are, in no way, putting Latin Americans in the
dilemma of whom they are with. The major thing
for us... is the positive context, the positive
development of relations that exist... and 
will develop,” Schetinin told TASS news 
agency, at the St. Petersburg 
International Economic 
Forum (SPIEF).
 
The official stressed that Latin American countries, 
particularly Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua -- are
 friends of Russia.  “And friendship, is worth a lot.