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Headline News 01/04/2020


• US Global Leadership Absent

• UN Warns Pakistan could be Hardest-Hit by Economic Fallout of Pandemic

• US Proposes Same Solution to Venezuela


US Global Leadership Absent

On the weekend, the US surpassed China in the number of people who have died from the coronavirus outbreak the global hegemon has been notably absent form global leadership. When the UN Security Council and the G7 group sought to agree a global response to the coronavirus pandemic, the efforts stumbled on the US insistence on describing the threat as distinctively Chinese. The focus on labelling the virus Chinese and blaming China pursued by the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, helped ensure there would be no meaningful collective response from the world’s most powerful nations. “To me what is so striking is the complete absence of the US from public debates.

The US is basically off the map, and China very much is on the map,” Nathalie Tocci, the director of the Italian Institute for International Affairs and a former EU policy adviser, said. From the debacle over testing to Trump’s months-long denial about the scale of the threat and his constant political point-scoring, the US has showed itself to be anything but a model for the rest of the world to emulate.

UN Warns Pakistan could be Hardest-Hit by Economic Fallout of Pandemic

The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on Monday said in a new report that the developing countries – which according to a UN body’s tally number 170 – would need a $2.5 trillion support package this year to face the economic crisis caused by the pandemic. “Sub-Saharan African countries will be among the hardest hit alongside others, including Pakistan and Argentina,” said Richard Kozul-Wright, director of globalisation and development strategies at UNCTAD, who oversaw the report. Referring to a “frightening combination” of factors, including mounting debts, a potential deflationary spiral and a major health crisis, Kozul-Wright said that according to conservative estimates, the coronavirus would cause a $2-$3 trillion financing deficit over this year and next.

US Proposes Same Solution to Venezuela

US President Donald Trump’s biggest failure in 2019 was the failure in overthrowing Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro, after publicly baking his opposition. Trump by the end of 2019 applies a full embargo in the country which added to the 10 million percent rate of inflation. The US has now announced it is prepared to lift crippling sanctions on Venezuela in support of a new proposal to form a transitional government requiring both Nicolas Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaidó to step aside in favor of a five-person governing council, U.S. officials said. Under the plan, both Maduro and Guaidó, who some 60 countries recognize as Venezuela’s rightful leader, would step aside and cede power to a five-member council of state to govern the country until presidential and parliamentary elections can be held within 6-12 months.

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