June 29th, 2020.
The recently-appointed Brazilian Minister of Education, Carlos Alberto Decotelli, is being accused of lying on his résumé, after two universities mentioned by him on his Lattes Platform profile came forward claiming that the minister did not obtain the degree he claimed from these institutions. The government of Distrito Federal has decreed a state of public calamity due to the high number of COVID-19 cases in its territory, and the looming shortage of hospital beds for people infected with the novel coronavirus. A Chinese pharmaceutical group which has been developing a new vaccine for the novel coronavirus has claimed to have successfully immunized all volunteers in their latest trial. The US state of Mississippi has officially approved the removal of the Confederate symbol from its state flag, and will hold a referendum to determine what will replace it. Finally, Iran issued an arrest warrant for US president Donald Trump and 35 other people it claims to have been involved in the assassination of general Qasem Soleimani in January.
Take a look at our highlights.
Education minister accused of lying on his résumé
The University of Wuppertal, in Germany, has officially denied that professor Carlos Alberto Decotelli, Brazil’s new Education minister, obtained a post-doctoral degree from the institution. This is the second time that misinformation is posted in the minister’s official résumé on the Lattes Platform, a system maintained by the Brazilian government to manage information related to researchers and institutions. On Friday, the National University of Rosario, in Argentina, also claimed that Decotelli did not obtain a doctorate, despite earning enough credits, since he did not defend his thesis.
Distrito Federal declares ‘public calamity’ due to COVID-19
In a decree issued today, the governor of Distrito Federal, Ibaneis Rocha, decreed a state of public calamity due to the high number of novel coronavirus cases in the territory, where Brazil’s capital, Brasília, is located. According to a report published by the Ministry of Health on Sunday, the federal district has 44,905 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 548 deaths, and has an extremely high intensive care bed occupancy rate. By declaring a state of public calamity, the local government is admitting it needs more funding from the federal government, or additional measures, such as allowing the postponement of previous payments without violating the Fiscal Responsibility Law.
Chinese group says COVID-19 vaccine tests show total efficacy
Chinese pharmaceutical group China National Biotec Group, CNBG, informed yesterday that a vaccine for the novel coronavirus currently being developed by the company has shown itself capable of immunizing all people who were inoculated. 1,120 healthy volunteers took part in the trial of the vaccine, which induced in all of them antibodies against the virus which causes COVID-19. “In reference to similar substances produced in the past, combined with existing human data, it has been initially suggested that the developed vaccine is safe and effective,” said the text, posted by CNBG at the Chinese social network WeChat.
Mississippi to remove Confederate symbol from state flag
Yesterday, legislators of the American state of Mississippi approved the removal of the Confederate symbol from its flag, after the recent anti-racism protests being held throughout the United States. Backed by both Republicans and Democrats, the decision will now be ratified by governor Tate Reeves, and the current state flag will cease to be official. A commission will be set up to design a new flag, without the Confederate emblem, deemed racist; its substitution for the phrase “In God we trust” will be voted in a referendum to be held on November 3rd, the same day of the United States presidential elections.
Iran issues arrest warrant for Trump and asks Interpol for help
Today, Iran issued an arrest warrant for United States president Donald Trump and 35 other people it says were involved in a drone strike that killed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani on January 3rd, according to Iranian news agency Fars. Head prosecutor Ali al-Qasimehr said that Trump is being wanted for “murder and terrorism”, and will be prosecuted as soon as he leaves the White House, and added that a request for cooperation had been handed to Interpol. In an emailed statement, however, Interpol said that its founding constitution strictly forbids “the organization to undertake any intervention on activities of a political, military, religious or racial character,” therefore dismissing the Iranian request for help without specifically addressing it.