Monthly Archives:June 2021

ByVidWorld

«Група семи» досягла «історичної» домовленості про корпоративний податок для глобальних компаній

Голови МЗС країн-членкинь «Групи семи» пообіцяли зобов’язатися встановити для глобальних компаній корпоративний податок мінімум у 15 відсотків

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ByVidWorld

Pilgrims Return to Spain’s ‘El Camino’ Paths after Pandemic

Committing to the pilgrim’s path has for centuries been a source of renewal for those willing to put their lives on hold and spend days, weeks or even months crossing Spain along the Camino de Santiago, a journey that takes hikers to the reported burial place of the apostle St. James.But after a year of being kept off the Way of St. James due to pandemic-related travel restrictions, soul-searchers hoping to heal wounds left by the coronavirus are once again strapping on backpacks and following trails marked with a seashell emblem to the shrine in the city of Santiago de Compostela.Some travelers taking to the Camino are like Laura Ferrón, whose marriage ended during Spain’s lockdown and who fears she might lose her job because the bank she works for plans massive layoffs. She and two lifelong friends flew from their homes in Spain’s North Africa enclave of Ceuta to spend a week walking the final 100 kilometers (62 miles) of the pilgrimage route.“This helps you let it all go. This pandemic has taught us to give more importance to what we have and to take a good long look at yourself,” Ferrón, 33, said while resting on a climb near Arzúa. The village in the green hills of northwest Spain is about two days away from the medieval cathedral in Santiago that is the traditional ending point.The Camino de Santiago is actually a series of paths that fan out beyond the Iberian Peninsula and spread across Europe. Whichever route one takes, they all end at the Santiago’s baroque cathedral, where believers can visit what is said to be the tomb of James, the apostle who, according to Catholic tradition, brought Christianity to Spain and Portugal.The pilgrimage has its roots in the alleged discovery of the tomb in the 9th century. Pilgrims have come to Santiago for a millennium, but the number of both believers and non-believers making the trip boomed in recent decades after regional authorities revived the route. It is now supported by a wide network of religious and civic organizations and served by public and private hostels at prices for all pocketbooks.Over 340,000 people from all over the world walked “El Camino” in 2019. Only 50,000 walked it last year, when Spain blocked both foreign and domestic travel except for during the summer months.Before a state of emergency that limited travel between Spain’s regions ended on May 9, only a handful of Spanish pilgrims were arriving in Santiago each day and registering with the Pilgrim’s Reception Office to receive their official credential for having completed the pilgrimage. Now that travel is again permitted, more people from Spain and elsewhere in Europe are walking the ancient path, although many of the hostels that cater to pilgrims them are still closed. A few hundred arrive in Santiago each day, compared to the several thousand exhausted pilgrims swinging their walking sticks along the city’s cobblestone streets during a typical summer.Spain’s Health Ministry has reported the deaths of over 79,000 people from COVID-19. As it did around the world, the disease took its biggest toll on the country’s oldest residents.“For old people, one year of pandemic has felt like five,” Naty Arias, 81, said while walking the Camino with her 84-year-old husband and two of their daughters. “And like my husband says, we don’t have that much time left anyway, so we have to make the most of it.”The numbers of pilgrims arriving in Santiago over the next year-and-a-half will be boosted after Pope Francis extended the 2021 holy year dedicated to St. James through 2022. For Roman Catholics who take part in the pilgrimage, walking it during a Jubilee Year gives them the chance to receive the plenary indulgence, which grants them the full remission of the temporal punishment for their sins. The last Jubilee Year for the trail was in 2010.Santiago Archbishop Julián Barrio said he is cautiously optimistic that some 300,000 pilgrims could turn out this year, if the pace of Spain’s vaccination program and the health situation worldwide continues to improve. He expects many to come seeking solace from the pain of the pandemic.“The Way of St. James, in this sense, can help us. It is a space that helps us recover our inner peace, our stability, our spirit, which without doubt we all need, given the difficulties that we have in facing the pain and the ravages of the pandemic that sometimes leave us speechless,” Barrio told The Associated Press.Daniel Sarto, 67, joined three friends on the trail, looking to relax after months of stress from seeing his Barcelona-based trade show company bring in zero revenue.“It has been a very, very, very hard year. Psychologically, it is very sad constantly thinking that this is going nowhere, about what will happen to our employees,” Sarto said. “This is a relief being here, without a doubt. My wife told me that I had to get out of the house. I had to come.”Mental health experts agree that the pilgrimage can lead to emotional healing for both faithful Roman Catholics and the large number of non-Catholics who are drawn to make one. Dr. Albert Feliu, a health psychologist and lecturer at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, said preliminary results from a survey of 100 pilgrims point to a reduction of stress and depression that surpass those seen after regular vacations.The survey was part of a multi-year study of the benefits of walking the Camino de Santiago being done by clinical researchers from universities in Spain and Brazil. Manu Mariño, the director of Quietud Mindfulness Center in Santiago, is also involved in the research. He has gone on the pilgrimage 24 times.“The Way of St. James is a very good place to help us realize that suffering forms part of life, and that our suffering depends on how we relate to what we are experiencing,” Mariño said. “You learn to live with just what is necessary, which means exactly what you can carry in a backpack.”Vladimir Vala, a 25-year-old university graduate in business, came to Spain to walk for three weeks before returning to the Czech Republic to get married. For Vala, the pandemic has one positive facet among all the misery, that he feels dovetails with the experience of walking, mostly by himself, day after day through the countryside. “People were alone, and they had to face themselves (during the pandemic),” Vala said after visiting the cathedral. “And I think the Camino is (about) facing yourself in its meaning. So, it comes together really close. It’s beautiful and hard.”The newly divorced Ferrón had a similar assessment.“The trail is good for your mental health because all this can drive anyone crazy, being locked up, the fear, the psychosis,” she said. “Some climbs are really hard, but at the end of the day you reach your goal and then you have the reward of a cold beer, which is divine.”

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ByVidWorld

Космічна вантажівка Dragon стикувалася з МКС

Корабель лишатиметься на космічній станції близько місяця, а потім повернеться на Землю з вантажем та результатами досліджень

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ByVidWorld

G-7 Nations Reach Historic Deal to Tax Big Multinationals

A group of the world’s richest nations reached a landmark deal Saturday to close cross-border tax loopholes used by some of the world’s biggest companies. 
The Group of Seven said it would back a minimum global corporation tax rate of at least 15% and put in place measures to ensure taxes were paid in the countries where businesses operate.
 
“After years of discussion, G-7 finance ministers have reached a historic agreement to reform the global tax system to make it fit for the global digital age,” British finance minister Rishi Sunak told reporters.
 
The accord, which could form the basis of a global pact next month, is aimed at ending a decades-long “race to the bottom” in which countries have competed to attract corporate giants with ultra-low tax rates and exemptions.EU’s Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni, Eurogroup President Paschal Donohoe, World Bank President David Malpass, and G7 finance ministers meeting at Lancaster House in London, Britain, June 5, 2021. 
That has in turn cost their public coffers hundreds of billions of dollars – a shortfall they now need to recoup all the more urgently to pay for the huge cost of propping up economies ravaged by the coronavirus crisis.  
 
Ministers met face-to-face in London for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a copy of the final agreement seen by Reuters, the G-7 ministers said they would “commit to a global minimum tax of at least 15% on a country by country basis.”
 
“We commit to reaching an equitable solution on the allocation of taxing rights, with market countries awarded taxing rights on at least 20% of profit exceeding a 10% margin for the largest and most profitable multinational enterprises,” the text added.
 
The ministers also agreed to move towards making companies declare their environmental impact in a more standard way so investors can decided more easily whether to fund them, a key goal for Britain.
 
Rich nations have struggled for years to agree a way to raise more revenue from large multinationals such as Google, Amazon and Facebook, which often book profits in jurisdictions where they pay little or no tax.
 
U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration gave the stalled talks fresh impetus by proposing a minimum global corporation tax rate of 15%, above the level in countries such as Ireland but below the lowest level in the G-7.

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ByVidWorld

В Афганістані внаслідок нападу бойовиків загинули 10 силовиків

Співробітники служби безпеки повідомили про зіткнення між урядовими військами і талібами як мінімум в 10 провінціях за останні 24 години

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ByVidWorld

Афганістан: внаслідок вибуху у Кабулі загинула ведуча новин

Телеведуча Ariana News Міна Хайрі загинула в результати вибуху бомби в мікроавтобусі

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ByVidWorld

Putin Chafes at US, Criticizes Response to Capitol Attack

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday set a tough tone for his upcoming summit with U.S. President Joe Biden, accusing Washington of trying to contain Russia and citing its response to the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol as a manifestation of the West’s double standards.Speaking at an economic forum in St. Petersburg, Putin said that arms control, global conflicts, the coronavirus pandemic and climate change are among the issues he and Biden would discuss at their June 16 summit in Geneva.”We need to find ways of looking for a settlement in our relations, which are at an extremely low level now,” Putin said.”We don’t have any issues with the U.S.,” he continued. “But it has an issue with us. It wants to contain our development and publicly talks about it. Economic restrictions and attempts to influence our country’s domestic politics, relying on forces they consider their allies inside Russia, stem from that.”He voiced hope that the meeting would help ease tensions with Washington. Russia-U.S. ties have sunk to post-Cold War lows over Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, accusations of Russian interference in elections in the U.S. and other Western nations and cyberattacks that U.S. officials allege had Russian origins.Putin reiterated that Russia rejects accusations of interfering in U.S. presidential elections, and he spoke critically of the U.S. response to the Capitol attack, which took place as Congress prepared to certify that Biden had defeated then-President Donald Trump in November.”They weren’t just a crowd of robbers and rioters. Those people had come with political demands,” he said.Putin pointed out that the heavy charges against hundreds of participants in the attack were filed even as the U.S. and its allies strongly criticized Belarus’ crackdown on anti-government protests. And he charged that even as the West has criticized Russian authorities for a harsh response to anti-Kremlin demonstrations, protesters in Europe have faced an even tougher police response, with some shot in the eye by what he mockingly called “democratic rubber bullets.”‘Corresponding interests’At a later videoconference with the heads of major international news agencies, Putin said, “I don’t expect any breakthrough results” from the summit with Biden. The United States and Russia have some corresponding interests, he said, “despite certain disagreements. These disagreements are not the result of Russian actions.”In response to a question from Associated Press President and Chief Executive Gary Pruitt, Putin returned to the theme of blaming the United States for poor relations.”We are not taking steps first — I’m talking about the steps that deteriorated our relations. It was not us who introduced sanctions against us, it was the United States who did that on every occasion and even without grounds, just because our country exists,” he said through a translator.He also criticized the United States as being overconfident and drew a parallel with the Soviet Union.”You know what the problem is? I will tell you as a former citizen of the former Soviet Union. What is the problem of empires — they think that they are so powerful that they can afford small errors and mistakes,” he said. “But the number of problems is growing. There comes a time when they can no longer be dealt with. And the United States, with a confident gait, a firm step, is going straight along the path of the Soviet Union.”‘Sheer nonsense’At the earlier session, Putin praised Biden as a “very experienced statesman who has been involved in politics for his entire life … and a very prudent and careful person. I do hope that our meeting will be positive.”He also took time to deride the allegations that Russian hackers targeted a U.S. pipeline and a meat plant — accusations that have clouded the atmosphere before the summit.”I do hope that people would realize that there hasn’t been any malicious Russian activity whatsoever,” he said. “I heard something about the meat plant. It’s sheer nonsense. We all understand it’s just ridiculous. A pipeline? It’s equally absurd.”Putin said “the U.S. special services should track down those ransom seekers. It’s certainly not Russia that would extort money from some company. We don’t deal with chicken or beef. It’s plain ridiculous.”He alleged the hacking accusations were aired by those who try to “provoke new conflicts before our meeting with Biden,” and added that some in the U.S. doubted Russian involvement in the hacks.”It means that inside the American society, media and political class, there are people who want to find ways to repair U.S.-Russian relations,” he said.Thoughts on permafrost, pandemicOn other issues, Putin praised his country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and called for a stronger worldwide response to global warming as he sought to bolster Russia’s international standing.Addressing the forum, Putin lauded the efficiency of Russian-designed vaccines and bemoaned what he described as “politically motivated bans” on their purchase in some countries.Last year, Russia boasted of being the first in the world to authorize a coronavirus vaccine, but it has since moved slowly in giving shots to its population. The slack pace of vaccination has been partly attributed to public skepticism about the vaccines amid controversial signals from authorities.Experts have questioned whether Russia will be able to meet the government target of vaccinating more than 30 million of the country’s 146 million people by mid-June, and nearly 69 million by August.Putin again urged Russians to move quickly to get the shots, and he invited foreigners to Russia to get vaccinated, saying he would instruct the government to facilitate that.He also emphasized the need to strengthen the international response to climate change, noting that melting permafrost has posed a major challenge to Russia’s Arctic regions.”We have entire cities built on permafrost,” he said. “What will happen if it all starts melting?”Putin said pipes have been laid for the first of two lines of the prospective Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Germany, leaving only welding to finalize its construction. He said the second line will follow soon.The U.S. has strongly opposed construction of the Russian pipeline, but the Biden administration opted last month not to punish the German company overseeing the project while announcing new sanctions against Russian companies and ships. The Kremlin has hailed it as a “positive signal” before the Putin-Biden summit.The Russian leader hailed the project as more economically feasible than an existing pipeline via Ukraine, rejecting Ukrainian and Western criticism that it’s designed to rob Kyiv of transit fees.Putin said Russia will continue pumping via Ukraine 40 billion cubic meters of gas a year in line with an existing five-year contract and could continue doing so after it expires if Ukraine shows “goodwill.”Russia and Ukraine have been locked in a tense tug-of-war following Moscow’s 2014 annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and its support for separatist insurgents in eastern Ukraine.Putin deplored what he described as the U.S. use of the dollar as a political weapon, saying that “its use as an instrument of competition and political struggle has hurt its role as the world reserve currency.”Russia said Thursday it will completely remove the U.S. dollar from its National Wealth Fund and turn the dollar-denominated assets into euros, yuan and gold. Russia long has moved to reduce the dollar’s share in its hard currency reserves as it has faced U.S. sanctions amid tensions with Washington and its allies.

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ByVidWorld

Frustration Greets EU Decision to Keep Travel Restrictions on US, UK 

Have European Union restrictions on travelers from the U.S., Britain and some other major nations become politicized? The chief executive of Wizz Air, the Budapest-based low-cost airline, thinks so.“I think the European Union as such has broken down completely,” József Váradi told CNBC this week. “We have failed to come up with unified measures and an orchestrated approach dealing with the situation, and it has become incredibly overpoliticized.”He’s not alone in expressing frustration. Michael O’Leary, the CEO of Ryanair, a rival Dublin-headquartered discount airline, has urged politicians to recognize “it’s time that we got on with our lives.” Ryanair last month posted the biggest annual loss in the company’s 35-year history, because of COVID-19 travel restrictions and lockdowns wiping out air traffic. This turned the company’s previous year’s $1.24 billion profit into a $990 million loss in the 12 months to March 31.The EU decision Thursday to urge member states to maintain a prohibition on tourists and other nonessential travelers from the U.S. and Britain, among other non-EU countries, has left many in Europe’s commercial aviation and hospitality sectors fuming about what they view as the laggardly pace of easing travel restrictions for tourists.European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas speaks during a media conference at EU headquarters in Brussels, June 2, 2021. The European Union unveiled Wednesday plans to revamp Europe’s ID-check free travel area.Lack of uniformityThey say the European Commission is being overcautious, and they also are impatient with the lack of uniformity among member states about reopening their countries to tourists this Northern Hemisphere summer. Most national governments have been implementing the EC’s tight travel recommendations, but others in the past few weeks have not, further complicating journeys into the bloc from outside, especially for those unable to take direct flights to their destinations.Some member states have also been imposing curbs on travel from other EU countries, turning the bloc and the once borderless Schengen Area into a complicated puzzle of rules and requirements.Italy, Portugal and Greece, member states of the Schengen Area, and Croatia, an EU member, have all been ignoring Brussels and have been cautiously opening their tourist-dependent countries to travelers, including from the U.S. and Britain, which have vaccinated more of their populations than the EU. Italy started to ease travel restrictions on Americans and Britons in mid-May, although quarantines often still apply. Americans can travel on COVID-19-safe flights to Italy, which require multiple coronavirus tests.American and British travelers are crucial for the European tourist industry. Americans made more than 36 million trips to Europe in 2019. The total number of tourist visits by U.K. residents to the European Union reached 67 million the same year.EC keeps a listThe EC has a “white list” of countries with low infection rates comprising Australia, Israel, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand. Travelers from those countries, regardless of their reasons for journeys, are welcome, as far as the EC is concerned. Japan was added to the list at midweek. China also is on the white list, subject to reciprocity by the Chinese government.The 27 EU member states have been debating for months ways to make travel easier, both within the bloc and from outside, and the EC has recommended all member states starting July 1 lift restrictions on travelers who were fully vaccinated at least 14 days before their arrival in the EU.FILE – German police check arriving passengers for a negative coronavirus test in Frankfurt, March 30, 2021. The European Commission proposed April 29 issuing “Digital Green Certificates” to EU residents to facilitate travel in the bloc by summer.By July 1, the EU’s Digital COVID-19 certificate is meant to be up and running across the bloc, allowing border authorities to verify the coronavirus status of travelers — whether they have been vaccinated, had a recent negative test or have proof of recovery from coronavirus infection. Seven countries, including tourist-dependent Greece and Croatia, already have started rolling out so-called vaccine passports much earlier than planned.“Europeans should enjoy a safe and relaxing summer,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Monday. “As vaccination progresses, we propose to gradually ease travel measures in a coordinated way with our common tool: the EU Digital COVID Certificate.”But some in Europe’s travel industry have doubts that everything will go smoothly next month, even when many restrictions are due to be eased. Olivier Jankovec, director-general of Airports Council International Europe, a trade association, worries there will be a lack of consistency in travel rules across the bloc and says the EC and national governments don’t understand how challenging reopening will be for airports and airlines. Jankovec says the EU and member states are underestimating what will happen when tourism does pick up.Airport ‘chaos’ feared“The level of both uncertainty and complexity in planning for the restart is just mind-blowing for now,” Jankovec said in a statement. “With each passing day, the prospect of travelers enduring widespread chaos at airports this summer is becoming more real. We urgently need governments to step up planning on the full range of issues involved — and work more closely with airports and airlines.”FILE – Travelers, wearing face masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, walk along the departure hall of the Zaventem international airport in Brussels, Jan. 22, 2021.His trade association has warned that air passengers risk spending hours at airports in July and August because of multiple and diverse COVID-19 checks.Some British lawmakers have expressed suspicions the EU has not added Britain to the white list because of post-Brexit political grievances. Last month, Brussels eased its COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people criteria from 25 to 75 and Britain meets the EU target. But EU officials say they are concerned about an increase in infections in Britain from a more transmissible coronavirus variant first discovered in India, hence the decision to exclude the U.K.The Biden administration has not yet lifted a ban on travelers wishing to visit the United States from the 27 European Union member states and the United Kingdom, but officials have indicated that could soon change.Meanwhile, Britain also has faced criticism from southern European countries for failing to include them on its meager “green list” of safe-for-travel countries. Portugal’s foreign ministry said it couldn’t “understand the logic” of Britain’s midweek switch of Portugal from green to amber.The move means any Britons who travel to Portugal will have to take two tests upon their return and self-isolate at home for 10 days, which will deter tourists. “Portugal is continuing its easing of its lockdown, prudently and gradually, with clear rules for the safety of those who reside here or visit us,” Portugal’s foreign ministry tweeted Thursday.British officials, like their EU counterparts, say they are guided in their decision by the scientific advice they are receiving. The U.S. has not lifted its restrictions on travel from Europe for non-U.S. citizens or residents, but officials in Washington have told VOA that is under review.

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ByVidWorld

Belarus Aircraft Banned From Flying Over EU

The European Union announced Friday it is banning all flights from Belarus from flying over EU airspace and denying them access to all EU airports. In a statement, EU officials said all EU member states will be required to deny permission to land in, take off from or overfly their territories to any aircraft operated by Belarusian air carriers, including as a marketing carrier. The ban will take effect at midnight Friday, Central European Time. FILE – In this handout photo released by European Radio for Belarus, Belarus journalist Raman Pratasevich poses for a photo in front of euroradio.fm sign in Minsk, Belarus, Nov. 17, 2019.The move comes in response to the May 23 incident in which Belarus scrambled a fighter jet to order the forced landing of an Irish Ryanair commercial airliner that was traversing Belarusian airspace en route to Lithuainia. Belarus officials took opposition journalist Raman Pratasevich off the plane and have held him ever since. The regional air traffic agency Eurocontrol reports about 400 civilian planes usually take routes over Belarus. Several European airlines including Lufthansa, SAS and Air France have already announced they would stop flying over its airspace. Pratasevich appeared on Belarus state television Thursday, tearfully confessing to his role in anti-government protest in an interview that the opposition said was made under duress. In the interview, Pratasevich admitted to plotting to topple President Alexander Lukashenko by organizing “riots” and recanted earlier criticism of the veteran leader. Lukashenko’s office did not immediately respond to accusations of coercion. 
 

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