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Two years of COVID-19 that changed the world: irreversible changes caused by the pandemic – News

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– Impact not related to air travel –

For the transport sector, the two-year pandemic has been a series of uncertainties, hopes for recovery, travel restrictions and cancellations. Gradually and with the introduction of certain rules, such as the mandatory use of a mask or the presentation of a health passport at the European level, most travel has become possible to resume.

However, transport companies have lost billions of euros over this period, and trains and airplanes are not expected to return to normal until 2024.

Air transport suffered the most, with two-thirds fewer flights globally in 2020, and less than half by the end of 2021 compared to 2019.

The sector was hit hard by border closures in much of Asia and until early November in the United States. Companies were better resisted by national or interregional flights, which accounted for 79% of pre-pandemic traffic, compared with 34% of intercontinental flights.

In the long term, however, the industry is optimistic, as the order books for Airbus or Boeing show. Airlines are confident that the Asian middle class will grow to 10 billion passengers a year by 2050, up from 4,400 in 2019.

In cities, on the one hand, the number of users of public transport has dropped sharply due to fears of infection. On the other hand, there has been an increase in the use of bicycles and car returns.

– Explosion of Online Trading –

COVID-19 and related restrictions and business closings have accelerated the development of online commerce.

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According to the French Federation of Online Commerce, eMarketer estimates that most products and services purchased online (excluding travel, culture, restaurants or gambling) fell from 13.6% in 2019 to 18% of total sales. … World.

Is it just a young shopper phenomenon?

“We’ve seen new, older customers emerge and become loyal,” said Gaelle Le Flock, Sales Specialist for Kantar.

And even in less online-friendly categories such as hygiene and beauty, brands have adapted to offer online tasters and invest in “technical beauty.”

And with the gradual transfer of social life to the Internet in 2021, $ 492 billion in sales was generated via social media, as happened with brands that mix in Instagram Stories, according to consultancy Accenture.

And it looks like nothing can stop this trend, which Amazon is enjoying a huge advantage with impressive financial results. This prompted all of its competitors to go online, so that in France, sales of the American giant in 2020 grew less than the market as a whole.

– Peak remote work –

The COVID-19 crisis has revolutionized our work, making telecommuting widespread, albeit unevenly, between rich countries and the rest of the world.

Research firm Gartner predicts that teleworkers accounted for 32% of the global workforce at the end of 2021, up from 17% in 2019. In Japan, for example, the proportion of people working remotely rose from 10% to 28%.

According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), “most companies and people expect to be able to do ‘remote work’ more often,” especially the most skilled.

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– School at variable speed –

For UNESCO, the riots caused by the COVID-19 pandemic around the world represented the worst education crisis in history. Faced with the pandemic, most countries have closed their colleges and higher education centers for more or less lengthy periods.

The consequences were dire.

In low- and middle-income countries, the percentage of minors affected by educational poverty (53% before the pandemic) may now be as high as 70%. The regions of Brazil, Pakistan, rural India, South Africa and Mexico (among other countries) are experiencing significant losses in math teaching and reading.

UN agencies and the World Bank have warned that the generation of young people now in school are at risk of losing about $ 17 billion in income from shortfalls resulting from school closings due to the pandemic, higher than originally thought.

– Hunger is growing in the world –

The coronavirus pandemic will have a long-term impact on global food security, causing a sharp rise in the number of hungry people in 2020, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), a United Nations specialized agency, said.

This growth (18% in 2021 a year), the most important in the past 15 years, threatens more than ever the UN goal of ending world hunger by 2030.

According to the latest report from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), COVID-19 has put 20 million people in extreme poverty in 2021.

It has also plunged many health systems into chaos, leading to the fight against other diseases such as AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. This year, 23 million children have failed to receive core vaccines.

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Vladimir Putin has delayed the invasion of Ukraine at least three times.

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Putin has repeatedly consulted with Russian Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu about the invasion, Europa Press told Ukraine’s chief intelligence director Vadim Skibitsky.

According to Skibitsky, it was the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), which is responsible for counterintelligence and espionage work, that put pressure on Gerasimov and other military agencies to agree to launch an offensive. .

However, according to the Ukrainian intelligence services, the FSB considered that by the end of February sufficient preparations had already been made to guarantee the success of the Russian Armed Forces in a lightning invasion.

However, according to Kyiv, the Russian General Staff provided the Russian troops with supplies and ammunition for only three days, hoping that the offensive would be swift and immediately successful.

The head of Ukrainian intelligence also emphasized the cooperation of local residents, who always provided the Ukrainian authorities with up-to-date information about the Russian army, such as the number of soldiers or the exact location of troops.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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Life sentence for former Swedish official for spying for Russia

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A Stockholm court on Monday sentenced a former Swedish intelligence officer to life in prison for spying for Russia, and his brother to at least 12 years in prison. In what is considered one of the most serious cases in Swedish counterintelligence history, much of the trial took place behind closed doors in the name of national security.

According to the prosecution, it was Russian military intelligence, the GRU, who took advantage of the information provided by the two brothers between 2011 and their arrest at the end of 2021.

Peyman Kia, 42, has held many senior positions in the Swedish security apparatus, including the army and his country’s intelligence services (Säpo). His younger brother, Payam, 35, is accused of “participating in the planning” of the plot and of “managing contacts with Russia and the GRU, including passing on information and receiving financial rewards.”

Both men deny the charges, and their lawyers have demanded an acquittal on charges of “aggravated espionage,” according to the Swedish news agency TT.

The trial coincides with another case of alleged Russian espionage, with the arrest of the Russian-born couple in late November in a suburb of Stockholm by a police team arriving at dawn in a Blackhawk helicopter.

Research website Bellingcat identified them as Sergei Skvortsov and Elena Kulkova. The couple allegedly acted as sleeper agents for Moscow, having moved to Sweden in the late 1990s.

According to Swedish press reports, the couple ran companies specializing in the import and export of electronic components and industrial technology.

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The man was again detained at the end of November for “illegal intelligence activities.” His partner, suspected of being an accomplice, has been released but remains under investigation.

According to Swedish authorities, the arrests are not related to the trial of the Kia brothers.

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Ukraine admitted that Russia may announce a general mobilization

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“They can strengthen their positions. We understand that this can happen. At the same time, we do not rule out that they will announce a general mobilization,” Danilov said in an interview with the Ukrainska Pravda online publication.

Danilov believed that this mobilization would also be convened “to exterminate as many as possible” of Russian citizens, so that “they would no longer have any problems on their territory.”

In this sense, Danilov also reminded that Russia has not given up on securing control over Kyiv or the idea of ​​the complete “destruction” of Ukraine. “We have to be ready for anything,” he said.

“I want everyone to understand that [os russos] they have not given up on the idea of ​​destroying our nation. If they don’t have Kyiv in their hands, they won’t have anything in their hands, we must understand this,” continued Danilov, who also did not rule out that a new Russian offensive would come from “Belarus and other territories.” .

As such, Danilov praised the decision of many of its residents who chose to stay in the Ukrainian capital when the war broke out in order to defend the city.

“They expected that there would be panic, that people would run, that there would be nothing to protect Kyiv,” he added, referring to President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

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At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The Russian invasion, justified by Russian President Vladimir Putin on the need to “denazify” and demilitarize Ukraine for Russia’s security, was condemned by the international community at large, which responded by sending weapons to Ukraine and imposing political and economic sanctions on Russia.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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