Connect with us

World

Latin America’s new ‘pink tide’ gains pace as Colombia shifts left; Brazil up next

Published

on


© Reuters. The statue of Simon Bolivar, located in Plaza Bolivar, is seen covered by the Colombian flag the morning after the second round of the presidential election, in Bogota, Colombia June 20, 2022. REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez

By Isabel Woodford, Carlos Vargas and Gabriel Araujo

MEXICO CITY/BOGOTA/SAO PAULO (Reuters) -Latin America’s new “pink tide” is gaining pace after Colombia elected its first leftist leader Gustavo Petro, with Brazil expected to follow suit in elections in October, an echo of a regional political shift in the early 2000s.

Around the region, angry voters, pinched by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and rampant inflation fanned by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, have ditched mainstream parties and been lured by promised of bigger government and social spending.

“A leftist government in Colombia represents hope,” Gloria Sanchez, a 50-year old primary school teacher in the capital Bogota and a Petro supporter, told Reuters.

“This is the first time that there’s a government that sees the people, the poor, as human beings.”

Colombia’s shift means it joins Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Peru in a growing leftist bloc. In Brazil, the regional economic giant, former leftist president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva leads opinion polls against far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro.

The redrawing of political fault lines, with conservative bastions like Chile and Colombia toppled, may have a big impact on everything from grains and metals to economic policy, as well as ties with key partners like the United States and China.

“There is really an important and clear movement happening in Latin America, even though different governments show different nuances,” said Brazilian Senator Humberto Costa and member of the leftist Workers’ Party.

Chile’s Gabriel Boric, a 36-year-old progressive, came into office in March. Pedro Castillo, a socialist former teacher, in Peru last year. Bolivia’s socialist party won election in 2020 after a short-lived conservative interim government.

Bolivia’s ex-president Evo Morales, an icon of the original pink tide, wrote on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) that Petro’s win in Colombia marked a “rising social conscience and solidarity that raises the flag of the Latin American left.”

LULA VS BOLSONARO

All eyes are now on Brazil, where elections this year could tip the country leftwards, with voters growing dissatisfied with populist ultra-conservative President Bolsonaro.

“The fight against Bolsonaro has renewed Brazil’s left,” said leftist Brazilian Congressman Alexandre Padilha, adding it was attracting younger voters and brining people together in opposition to the current political and economic status quo.

“I believe that economic and political figures around the world are increasingly noticing the need to review a series of neo-liberal policies that have ended up deepening inequality.”

The new pink tide is however starkly different from the original version, that saw the emergence of firebrand leftists such as Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Morales in Bolivia.

Castillo in Peru has swung to the center since coming into office in the middle of last year, creating tension with his socialist party. Boric has looked to moderate his economic agenda and criticized regional leftist authoritarian regimes.

And the tide could turn too, with center-left Argentine President Alberto Fernandez under pressure ahead of 2023 elections, Castillo struggling to fight off repeated impeachment attempts and Boric’s popularity waning since taking office.

“If elections there were happening today, many of these ‘pink’ governments would disappear,” said Nicolas Saldias, an analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit. “This is not a strong base of support.”

On the streets of Colombia, many voters simply wanted a better life for themselves and their children. The chance to study and work.

“I don’t understand much about the left and right, we are working people and those things don’t matter to us, we want to work and that our children they can be better than us,” said Pedro Pedraza, 60, a shopkeeper in Bogota.

“We don’t want anything for free, we want conditions to be able to work and get ahead, get out of poverty.”

Latam: new pink tide? https://tmsnrt.rs/3HO0Avq

Latam: new pink tide? (Interactive graphic) https://tmsnrt.rs/3HJkV4I

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^>

World

Rescuers dig for survivors of Russian missile strike on Ukrainian shopping mall

Published

on

5/5

© Reuters. Rescuers work at a site of a shopping mall hit by a Russian missile strike, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Kremenchuk, in Poltava region, Ukraine June 27, 2022. Picture taken June 27, 2022. REUTERS/Anna Voitenko

2/5

By Simon Lewis

KREMENCHUK, Ukraine (Reuters) – Firefighters and soldiers searched for survivors in the rubble of a shopping mall in central Ukraine on Tuesday after a Russian missile strike killed at least 16 people in an attack condemned by the United Nations and the West.

Family members of the missing lined up at a hotel across the street where rescue workers had set up a base after Monday’s strike on the busy mall in Kremenchuk, southeast of Kyiv.

More than a 1,000 people were inside when two Russian missiles slammed into the mall, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said. At least 16 people were killed and 59 injured, Ukraine’s emergency services said.

“This is not an accidental hit, this is a calculated Russian strike exactly onto this shopping centre,” Zelenskiy said in an evening video address. He said the death count could rise.

More than 40 people had been reported missing, Ukraine’s prosecutor general’s office said.

A survivor receiving treatment at Kremenchuk’s public hospital, Ludmyla Mykhailets, 43, said she was shopping with her husband when the blast threw her into the air.

“I flew head first and splinters hit my body. The whole place was collapsing,” she said.

“It was hell,” added her husband, Mykola, 45, blood seeping through a bandage wrapped around his head.

Russia has not commented on the strike but its deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Dmitry Polyanskiy, accused Ukraine of using the incident to gain sympathy ahead of a June 28-30 summit of the NATO military alliance.

“One should wait for what our Ministry of Defence will say, but there are too many striking discrepancies already,” Polyanskiy wrote on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR).

The United Nations Security Council will meet Tuesday at Ukraine’s request following the attack. U.N. spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said the missile strike was “deplorable”.

Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) major democracies, at a summit in Germany, said the attack was “abominable”.

“Russian President Putin and those responsible will be held to account,” they wrote in a joint statement tweeted by the German government spokesperson.

BATTLE FOR LYSYCHANSK

Elsewhere on the battlefield, Ukraine endured another difficult day following the loss of the now-ruined city of Sievierodonetsk after weeks of bombardment and street fighting.

Russian artillery pounded Lysychansk, Sievierodonetsk’s twin city across the Siverskyi Donets River.

Lysychansk is the last big city still held by Ukraine in eastern Luhansk province, a main target for the Kremlin after Russian troops failed to take the capital Kyiv early in the war.

A Russian missile strike killed eight and wounded 21 others in Lysychansk on Monday, the area’s regional governor Serhiy Gaidai said. There was no immediate Russian comment.

Ukraine’s military said Russia’s forces were trying to cut off Lysychansk from the south.

Rodion Miroshnik, ambassador to Moscow of the Luhansk People’s Republic, said Russian troops and their Luhansk Republic allies were advancing westward into Lysychansk and street battles had erupted around the city’s stadium.

Fighting was on in several villages around the city, and Russian and allied troops had entered the Lysychansk oil refinery where Ukrainian troops were concentrated, Miroshnik said on his Telegram channel.

Reuters could not confirm Russian reports that Moscow’s troops had already entered the city.

Russia also shelled the city of Kharkiv in northeast Ukraine on Monday, hitting apartment buildings and a primary school, the regional governor said.

The shelling killed five people and wounded 22. There were children among those wounded, the governor said.

‘AS LONG AS IT TAKES’

Moscow denies targeting civilians in what it calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine, but Kyiv and the West have accused Russian forces of war crimes.

The war has killed thousands, sent millions fleeing, and triggered spikes in global food and energy prices.

During their summit in Germany, G7 leaders, including U.S. President Joe Biden, said they would keep sanctions on Russia for as long as necessary and intensify pressure on President Vladimir Putin’s government and its ally Belarus.

The United States also said it was finalising another weapons package for Ukraine that would include long-range air-defence systems.

Zelenskiy asked for more arms in a video address to the G7 leaders, U.S. and European officials said. He requested help to export grain from Ukraine and for more sanctions on Russia.

The G7 nations promised to squeeze Russia’s finances further – including a cap on the price of Russian oil that a U.S. official said was “close” – and pledged up to $29.5 billion more for Ukraine.

The White House said Russia had defaulted on its external debt for the first time in more than a century as sanctions have effectively cut the country off from global finance.

Russia rejected the claims, telling investors to go to Western financial agents for the cash which was sent but bondholders did not receive.

Continue Reading

World

Russian missile strike kills 16 in shopping mall, Ukraine says

Published

on

2/2

© Reuters. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy attends a working session of G7 leaders via video link, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine June 27, 2022. Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS

2/2

By Simon Lewis

KREMENCHUK, Ukraine (Reuters) -Two Russian missiles slammed into a crowded shopping centre in the central Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk on Monday, killing at least 16 people and wounding 59, officials said.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said more than 1,000 people were in the mall at the time of the attack, which witnesses said caused a huge fire and sent dark smoke billowing into the sky.

At least 16 people were killed and 59 injured, Ukraine’s emergency services said.

A Reuters reporter saw the charred husk of a shopping complex with a caved-in roof. Firefighters and soldiers were pulling out mangled pieces of metal as they searched for survivors.

The mall was engulfed in a wall of flame which turned to thick clouds of smoke as firefighters worked to contain the blaze. Aerial photos showed the structure reduced to twisted metal, with workers combing through growing piles of rubble.

“It is impossible to even imagine the number of victims … It’s useless to hope for decency and humanity from Russia,” Zelenskiy wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

Kremenchuk, an industrial city of 217,000 before Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, lies on the Dnipro River in the region of Poltava and is the site of Ukraine’s biggest oil refinery.

Dmytro Lunin, governor of the central Poltava region, wrote on Telegram that it was too soon to talk of a final death toll as rescuers continued to trawl through the rubble.

“It’s an act of terrorism against civilians,” he said separately, suggesting there was no military target nearby that Russia could have been aiming at.

At one point, paramedics rushed into the building after rescuers called out “200” meaning they had found one or more bodies in the building. Reporters were later pushed away from the scene as air raid sirens wailed again.

UKRAINE WANTS MORE WEAPONS

As night began to fall, rescuers brought lights and generators to continue the search. Worried family members, some close to tears and with hands over their mouths, lined up at a hotel across the street from the mall where rescue workers had set up a base.

Kiril Zhebolovsky, 24, was looking for his friend, Ruslan, 22, who worked at an electronics store and hadn’t been heard from since the blast. “We sent him messages, called, but nothing,” he said. He left his name and phone number with the rescue workers in case his friend is found.

A mall worker who gave his name as Roman, 28, told Reuters that the mall’s management had only three days ago allowed shops to remain open during air raid sirens.

Ukraine’s air force command said the mall was hit by two long-range X-22 missiles fired from Tu-22M3 bombers that flew from Shaykovka airfield in Russia’s Kaluga region.

Russia’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Dmitry Polyanskiy, wrote on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR), without citing evidence, that the attack was a “Ukrainian provocation.”

“Exactly what Kiev regime needs to keep focus of attention on Ukraine before (the) NATO Summit,” he said, referring to the alliance’s Madrid gathering due to begin on Tuesday.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday that the upcoming summit will agree a new assistance package for Ukraine in areas “like secure communications, anti-drone systems, and fuel.”

“We need more weapons to protect our people, we need missile defences,” Andriy Yermak, head of President Zelenskiy’s office, wrote on Twitter after the attack.

Vadym Denysenko, an interior ministry adviser, said Russia could have had three motives for the attack.

“The first, undoubtedly, is to sow panic, the second is to … destroy our infrastructure, and the third is to … raise the stakes to get the civilised West to sit down again at the table for talks,” he said.

Russia, which has captured the eastern Ukrainian city of Sievierodonetsk after a weeks-long assault, has stepped up missile strikes across Ukraine in recent days.

Missiles hit an apartment block and landed close to a kindergarten in the Ukrainian capital on Sunday, killing one person and wounding several more people.

Continue Reading

World

Biden pick for immigration enforcement withdraws after long delay

Published

on


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Ed Gonzalez testifies on his nomination as director of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 15, 2021. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Ed Gonzalez, a Texas sheriff, said on Monday he had told President Joe Biden that he had withdrawn from consideration for the post of director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement after a lengthy delay at getting confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

“More than a year has passed since the president nominated me for this important position, which has not had a Senate-confirmed director since the Obama administration,” Gonzalez said in a tweet, referring to Barack Obama, a Democrat who was president from 2009 to 2017.

A copy of his withdrawal letter sent to Biden on Sunday and seen by Reuters on Monday said he needed to focus on an uptick in violent crime in his county and a court backlog driven by the pandemic that has led to a surge in the jail population.

“All this leads me to the unavoidable conclusion that in 2022, I must devote my full, undivided attention and energy toward fulfilling the duties that the people of Harris Country elected me to perform,” he wrote.

A veteran law enforcement officer and Democrat, Gonzalez has served since 2017 as sheriff of Harris County, the most populous county in Texas and home to Houston, the state’s biggest city. In that role, Gonzalez ended the county’s participation in a program that increased cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities.

Gonzalez had criticized immigration raids during the presidency of Republican former President Donald Trump. Biden nominated Gonzalez as the head of ICE (NYSE:ICE) in April 2021, but his confirmation was stalled in the Senate.

Biden has pledged to move away from the hardline immigration policy of his predecessor. His administration has instructed agents to focus on deporting those people in the United States illegally who have committed dangerous crimes, as well as targeting employers exploiting migrants instead of raiding workplaces to look for people working illegally.

The delay in confirming Gonzalez came after Republican Senator James Lankford raised concerns over an allegation made last year that the sheriff had become “physical or violent” with his wife several years ago, which both the sheriff and his wife deny.

Staff at the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs looked into the domestic abuse charges against Gonzalez and found them without merit, according to a summary of their findings seen by Reuters.

A White House spokesperson responded to Gonzalez’s withdrawal.

“Sheriff Gonzalez has the qualifications and experience to do this important job and would have been a great leader of ICE. We thank Sheriff Gonzalez for his willingness to serve in the face of baseless allegations against his family and thank Homeland Security Chairman Peters for his diligent and hard work in support of the nomination,” the spokesperson said, referring to Senator Gary Peters.

Continue Reading

News

Economy8 mins ago

Asia stocks edge down after Wall Street falls; oil rises

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a protective mask, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, walks past an electronic...

World8 mins ago

Rescuers dig for survivors of Russian missile strike on Ukrainian shopping mall

5/5 © Reuters. Rescuers work at a site of a shopping mall hit by a Russian missile strike, as Russia’s...

Sports & General8 mins ago

Dozens of migrants found dead in truck in San Antonio

2/2 © Reuters. Law enforcement officers work at the scene where people were found dead inside a trailer truck in...

Economy9 mins ago

Japan says hard to confirm impact from Russia’s debt default

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Japan’s new Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki wearing a protective mask, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak,...

World9 mins ago

Russian missile strike kills 16 in shopping mall, Ukraine says

2/2 © Reuters. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy attends a working session of G7 leaders via video link, as Russia’s attack...

Stock Markets9 mins ago

Asian Stocks Down as Oil Rises on Tight Supply Concerns

© Reuters By Zhang Mengying Investing.com – Asia Pacific stocks were mostly down on Tuesday morning after Wall Street fell...

Commodities38 mins ago

U.S. hostage envoy visits Venezuela for talks about jailed Americans-official

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a meeting with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi (not pictured) after...

Sports & General39 mins ago

Mexican consul en route to Texas site where migrants found dead in trailer

© Reuters. Law enforcement officers work at the scene where people were found dead inside a trailer truck in San...

Economy39 mins ago

Euro gains traction ahead of inflation data, dollar steadies

© Reuters. A shopper pays with a ten Euro bank note at a local market in Nice, France, June 7,...

Sports & General1 hour ago

At least 40 people found dead in truck in San Antonio – source

2/2 © Reuters. Law enforcement officers work at the scene where people were found dead inside a trailer truck in...

Commodities2 hours ago

Venezuelan officials meet US delegation, Maduro says

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a meeting with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi (not pictured) after...

Sports & General2 hours ago

Twenty people found dead in truck in San Antonio, local media report

© Reuters (Reuters) – At least 20 people were found dead inside a trailer truck in San Antonio, Texas, local...

Stock Markets2 hours ago

China Evergrande faces winding-up lawsuit for $110 million deal obligation

© Reuters. The Evergrande Center of China Evergrande Group is seen amid other buildings in Shanghai, China, September 24, 2021....

Stock Markets2 hours ago

Heineken to expand Mexico operations with $90 million plant

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Heineken beer bottles are seen at a bar in Monterrey, Mexico June 20, 2017. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril/File...

Cryptocurrency3 hours ago

‘Crypto is just like the end of the 90s with the internet bubble,’ says Hodl CEO Maurice Mureau

‘Crypto is just like the end of the 90s with the internet bubble,’ says Hodl CEO Maurice Mureau For Maurice...

Stock Markets3 hours ago

U.S. commerce secretary presses lawmakers to greenlight $52 billion for chipmaking

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S., February 1, 2022. Andrew...

Stock Markets3 hours ago

JetBlue refuses to give up its quest for Spirit Airlines

© Reuters. Airplane model is placed on displayed Spirit Airlines and jetBlue Airways logos in this illustration taken, June 21,...

World3 hours ago

Biden pick for immigration enforcement withdraws after long delay

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Ed Gonzalez testifies on his nomination as director of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)...

Stock Markets3 hours ago

Four big U.S. banks raise dividends after stress tests

2/2 © Reuters. A person walks past a Bank of America sign in the Manhattan borough of New York City,...

Stock Markets4 hours ago

Blackstone, Carlyle, Apollo to cover U.S. abortion-related travel costs

2/2 © Reuters. Signage is seen outside The Blackstone Group headquarters in Manhattan, New York, U.S., November 12, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew...

Stock Markets4 hours ago

Nike forecasts downbeat quarterly revenue on lingering China worries

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People walk past a store of the sporting goods retailer Nike Inc at a shopping complex...

World4 hours ago

Trump’s election attorney John Eastman says FBI seized his phone

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: John Eastman, former attorney for former U.S. President Donald Trump, is seen speaking in a video...

Sports & General4 hours ago

Three dead in Amtrak train crash and derailment in Missouri

(Reuters) -An Amtrak train carrying hundreds of passengers derailed in northern Missouri on Monday after hitting a dump truck at...

Stock Markets4 hours ago

Dow Futures Move Higher Following Negative Session

© Reuters. By Oliver Gray  Investing.com – U.S. stock futures were trading slightly higher in Monday’s evening deals after major...

Sports & General4 hours ago

New Mexico shields abortion clinics ahead of expected patient surge

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Democratic candidate for governor Michelle Lujan Grisham sits down for a meal at Barelas Coffee House...

Stock Markets4 hours ago

Bankman-Fried’s FTX says no talks to acquire Robinhood

© Reuters. The logo of Robinhood Markets, Inc. is seen at a pop-up event on Wall Street after the company’s...

World4 hours ago

Missiles strike Ukraine shopping mall; G7 vows to keep pressure on Russia

6/6 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A smoke rises over remains of a building destroyed by a military strike, as Russia’s...

Stock Markets4 hours ago

JetBlue sweetens Spirit takeover offer with ‘ticking fee’

© Reuters. Airplane model is placed on displayed Spirit Airlines and jetBlue Airways logos in this illustration taken, June 21,...

World4 hours ago

Biden to announce extension of U.S. troop presence in Poland -NBC News

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A U.S. Army soldier takes an oath as he reenlists next to the site where U.S....

Cryptocurrency4 hours ago

Final Capitulation — 5 reasons why Bitcoin could bottom at $10,000

Final Capitulation — 5 reasons why Bitcoin could bottom at $10,000 Bear markets have historically been challenging to navigate for...

Trending