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Latin America has turned to the left, and only Brazil is missing from the puzzle. Coincidence or deeper change? – Gift

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The political spectrum of governments in Latin America has changed since 2018 with the election of progressive or leftist presidents in countries such as Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Honduras, Chile and Colombia, and in October it will be Brazil’s turn to move to the ballot with a presidential election. . The fact that this shift to the left promotes greater integration among the peoples of this region is frowned upon by researchers and specialists in Latin America.

“New Cycle [à esquerda] yet to be tested. At the moment, it looks more like an ideological coincidence of a change of power, related to the context of each country, than a structural change. And the coincidence may be brief: for example, even if Lula da Silva wins the presidential election in Brazil, everything indicates that the right could win in Argentina in 2023,” said Lusa, a researcher and professor at the Autonomous University of Lisbon (UAL). .) Filipe Vasconcelos Romao.

For Vasconcelos Romao, there is no effective Latin American integration project, “there is a fragmentation of organizations, and MERCOSUR can be singled out [Mercado Comum do Sul] as the one that managed to go further – a customs union with major flaws and subject to the mood of the governments of Brazil and Argentina.

Professor UAL also mentioned that “the mechanisms of cooperation created (like Mercosur himself) are clearly subject to the ideological attitudes of every moment.”

“Given these precedents, it should be expected that if a number of leftist governments coincide in the region, formal and informal platforms for dialogue will again be stimulated. However, they can be just as fragile as the previous ones,” the professor believes.

“Latin American countries do not have complementary economies, they all sell to China”

Andrés Malamud, a researcher at the Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lisbon (ICS-UL), goes further, stating that “regional unions or organizations such as MERCOSUR will not be strengthened, not only because politics does not help, but also because the economy does not helps.”

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“Latin American countries do not have complementary economies, they all sell to China. In South America, others sell in the US. They do not buy and sell among themselves, there is no incentive to create large markets,” said Malamud.

According to an ICS-UL researcher, “there may be more collaboration, dialogue, group photos and headlines, but integration in Latin America will not move forward just because governments are largely leftist.”

“At the domestic level, within each country, governments on the left distribute more than those on the right. Outwardly, Latin America will not look like the European Union (EU), there will be no common market, no Schengen area, no single currency like the euro,” Malamud stressed.

waiting for brazil

Cristiano Pinheiro de Paula Couto, a researcher at the Institute of Modern History at the University of Nova de Lisboa, believes, given the polls that point to a Lula da Silva victory in Brazil, “there is a consolidation of a large arc of alliances in the regional scenario on the horizon. “and the left’s return to Brazil “could make a decisive contribution to building a very cohesive power bloc politically.”

“Another result [nas presidenciais brasileiras]however, it can undermine regional integration”, due to the great weight of Brazil in the region, emphasized Cristiano Pinheiro de Paula Couto.

“If the hegemony of progressive governments in Latin America is repeated with more or less intensity, as in the first decade of the 21st century, we will have, without prejudice to relations with countries outside the subcontinent, the guaranteed strengthening of MERCOSUR and the activation or revival of other regional integration initiatives” , said the researcher.

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A researcher from Universidade Nova de Lisboa stressed, however, that Latin American countries will face serious economic challenges in the face of the “hostile and uncertain international context” that the world is experiencing today.

Symbols of Colombia

Scholars highlight the symbolism of former guerrilla Gustavo Petro’s victory in Colombia’s presidential election, becoming the country’s first left-wing president, but emphasize that he will have to face obstacles from the opposition.

The 62-year-old economist, who was a partisan for the defunct M-19 group, was elected last June with 50.47 percent of the vote in Colombia’s runoff election and will succeed outgoing President Ivan Duque from August. …for a period of four years.

“Symbolically, the change is very strong. Never in the history of Colombia has there been a left-wing president who came from the extreme left, and now from the democratic left,” said Andrés Malamud.

Andrés Malamud was more positive about the current state of the Colombian economy than about the political scenario, warning that the lack of more political support in parliament – as in several left-wing governments in Latin America – could be a problem and an obstacle for Petro.

“President of Colombia (Gustavo) Petro has already managed to form a coalition, but nevertheless, this is a coalition, and not just support for his party,” Malamud said.

“An unprecedented historical fact”

For researcher Cristiano Pinheiro de Paula Couto, the election of Petro and Vice President Francia Márquez “is an unprecedented historical fact, inscribed in the context of the ‘new pink wave’, the resurgence in the last two years of progressive governments in Latin America”.

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“Petro is the country’s first left-wing president, but his victory in the second round followed a strong polarization scenario,” Coutu said.

“Despite his low-key speech and unequivocal affiliation with the Colombian political ‘establishment’, Petro defends a particularly left-wing platform that has benefited from a government program aimed at changing the economic model to promote social equality.” .

He also proposed a tax reform “designed to introduce a progressive logic in tax collection, which means reducing taxation for the poorest and increasing taxation for the richest,” Couto said.

For a researcher at the Institute of Modern History of the University of Nova de Lisbon, Petro and the President of Chile, Gabriel Borich [ex-líder estudantil de esquerda]”represent a significant change in the power structure of Latin America”, but one should not neglect the reactionary power of the right, namely in Chile and Colombia, the reaction of “the ruling classes, more interested in links with supranational capitalism” than with the countries themselves.

“Democracy is fragile, it involves ongoing conflict. Today progress can be made, but tomorrow a counter-coup could set everything back,” he warned.

“In Colombia, Gustavo Petro showed moderation in preparing his government, which could dictate a path different from that of Chile, more radical. Peter’s pragmatism may lead to some structural changes, especially in terms of consolidating the peace process. [com os grupos guerrilheiros que ainda existem no país] and the fight against inequality,” says Filipe Vasconcelos Romao, for his part.

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Macron calls for Russian troops to be withdrawn from Zaporozhye power plant – columnist

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French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday called for the withdrawal of Russian troops from the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, highlighting the “risks” their presence poses to the facility’s security.

In a telephone conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky, he expressed “concern about the threat of the presence, the actions of the Russian armed forces and the military context with ongoing conflicts over the security of Ukrainian nuclear facilities, and called for the withdrawal of such forces,” said the Champs Elysees, the residence of the President of the French Republic. .

The plant, the largest in Europe, was taken in early March by Russian troops at the start of their invasion of Ukraine launched on February 24.

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Since the end of July, there have been several explosions, of which two sides blame each othertargeted the facilities, raising fears of a nuclear holocaust and triggering last week’s meeting of the UN Security Council.

Emmanuel Macron also “supported” the proposal of the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi send a mission to a location “as soon as possible” to inspect the object.

The heads of the two states “exchanged views on such a mission,” the French presidency said.

Russia accused the UN services of obstructing the IAEA mission. Ukraine, for its part, opposed, believing that such legitimize the Russian occupation of the central in the eyes of the international community.

The presidents of France and Ukraine, in turn, welcomed the departure of the first humanitarian ship, chartered by the UN and loaded with wheat from Ukraine, heading to the African continent, “where the needs are most urgent.”

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Ukrainian-made cereals were delayed in the country for several months due to the war. Exports resumed on August 1 across the Black Sea by agreement between Russians and Ukrainians, mediated by Turkey and under the auspices of the UN.

Emmanuel Macron also confirmed France’s support for efforts to export Ukrainian grain. along the road and the river.

This European initiative made it possible to export 2.8 million tons of grain in July, and “the pace continues to accelerate,” Eliseu congratulated.

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Russia recognizes sabotage in explosions in Crimea – Obozrevatel

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Russia admitted that Tuesday’s explosions at an army ammunition depot on the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, which it annexed in 2014, were an act of sabotage.

On the morning of August 16, as a result of sabotage, a military warehouse in the city of Dzhankoy, the capital of the district of the same name, was damaged, ”the Defense Ministry said in a statement quoted by the Russian news agency TASS.

According to the Russian command, explosions at the warehouse damaged several civilian facilities, including a high-voltage line, electrical substations, a railway line and several residential buildings.

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“There are no serious injuries. Necessary measures are being taken to eliminate the consequences of sabotage.”added to the Ministry of Defense, according to the Spanish agency EFE.

The ministry did not name those responsible for the sabotage.

In an earlier statement, Russian authorities said the incident took place at 6:15 am local time (4:15 am in Lisbon).

According to the Crimean Governor Sergey Aksyonov, who visited the place, two civilians were injured and the authorities evacuated the nearby village as a precaution.

Dzhankoy is located about 90 km north of Simferopol, the capital of the self-proclaimed Republic of Crimea, not far from Ukraine.

Andriy Yermak, head of the presidential administration of Ukraine, welcomed the occurrence of the explosions in Crimea and promised “the complete liberation of Ukrainian territories,” according to a statement on the Telegram social network, quoted by the French news agency AFP.

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Adviser to the President of Ukraine Mykhailo Podoliak also referred to the incident, writing on the social network Twitter that “the morning near Dzhankoy began with explosions.”

A normal country of Crimea is the Black Sea, mountains, recreation and tourism, while Russian-occupied Crimea is exploding ammunition depots and a high risk of death for occupiers and thieves,” added presidential adviser Volodymyr Zelensky.

The incident took place a week after the explosion of ammunition destined for Russian military aircraft at a warehouse located at the Saki military airfield in western Crimea.

These explosions killed one person and injured others.

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4-day work week: how the world’s greatest experiment is changing people’s lives

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The six-month pilot project in the UK involves 3,300 workers in 70 companies working 80% of a normal week. Companies explain how they adapted. And the workers talk about changing lives.

The workers are tired.

More than two years after the pandemic, many burn out“Burned out,” quit their jobs, or struggle to survive as record inflation cuts their pay dramatically.

But over the past eight weeks, thousands of people in the UK have tested a four-day schedule – without a pay cut – that could help usher in a new era of work.

It is the world’s largest four-day work week experience to date. Some workers say they feel happier, healthier and better at their jobs.

“Life Change”

Lisa Gilbert, loan services manager at Charity Bank, an ethical lending bank in the south west of England, describes her new daily routine as “phenomenal”.

“Now I can really enjoy the weekend because I have Friday for housework and other little things or… if I just want to go out with my mom, I can do it now without feeling guilty,” she says. CNN.

Lisa Gilbert, Loan Services Manager at Charity Bank, is enjoying her extra day on the Thames in London.

Gilbert takes care of his son and two elderly parents. The extra day off per week means she no longer has to pick up groceries at 6 am on Saturday and can spend more time with her family. “I think I’m saying ‘yes we can’ rather than ‘no, we’re sorry we can’,” he says.

The six-month pilot project involves 3,300 workers in 70 companies working 80% of their regular week in exchange for a promise to maintain 100% productivity.

The program is being led by non-profit think tank 4 Day Week Global, Autonomy and the 4 Day Week UK Campaign, in partnership with researchers from the University of Cambridge, Oxford University and Boston College.

The researchers will measure the impact the new labor standard will have on productivity levels, gender equality, the environment, and the well-being of workers. At the end of November, companies can decide whether to keep the new schedule.

But for Gilbert, the verdict is already in: he “changed lives,” he says.

“Really chaotic”

However, the transition was not without setbacks.

Samantha Losey, managing director of London-based public relations agency Unity, told CNN the first week was “truly chaotic” as her team was unprepared for shorter transfers.

“To be completely honest with you, those first two weeks were a real mess. We were all over the store. I thought I made a huge mistake. I didn’t know what I was doing,” she says.

But his team quickly found ways to make the week work. Now the company has banned all internal meetings lasting more than five minutes, all meetings with clients are limited to 30 minutes, and in order to avoid unnecessary disruptions, they have introduced a “traffic light” system – colleagues have a traffic light on their desk, and they turn it on. to “green” if they are available to talk, “orange” if they are busy but able to talk, and “red” if they don’t want to be interrupted.

PR agency Unity in London has implemented a “traffic light” system: Employees have a traffic light on their desktop that they switch to “green” if they want to talk and to “orange” if they are busy but available to talk. speak and “red” if they don’t want to be interrupted.

By week four, Losey said her team had done their best, but she admits there is “absolutely” a chance she could recover the five-day schedule if performance levels dropped during the six-month trial period.

“There’s a good 25% chance we won’t be able to keep it. [a semana de quatro dias]but the team is still incredibly fighting for her,” she said.

“Like a library”

Until last month, Iceland was running the world’s largest four-day workweek pilot project. Between 2015 and 2019, the country sent 2,500 public sector workers on two trials.

It is important to note that these experiments did not lead to a corresponding drop in productivity and a dramatic improvement in the welfare of workers.

Gary Conroy, founder and CEO of 5 Squirrels, a skincare manufacturer on the south coast of England, has brought in the concept of “deep hours” to keep his employees productive.

Gary Conroy (right), founder and CEO of 5 Squirrels, a skincare manufacturer, has established “deep working hours” at his company to boost productivity.

For two hours each morning and two hours each day, Conroy’s team ignores emails, calls, or messages from teams and focuses on their projects.

“The whole office is like a library and everyone just lowers their heads and breaks their work,” he said.

According to a survey of 10,600 workers conducted by Asana last September, people spend most of their day in “busy work” mode – they really work for the sake of work. A software company found that workers in the United States spend about 58% of their day doing activities like answering emails and attending meetings rather than doing the job they were hired for.

Meetings at the company used to be a “conversation” but are now limited to 30 minutes and only allowed for two hours outside of “business hours,” Conroy said.

The results exceeded all expectations.

“[A equipa] began to realize that they were crushing projects that they had always put on the back burner,” Conroy said.

“Relevant to the 21st century”

The extra day has given many workers the opportunity to pursue new hobbies, pursue long-held ambitions, or simply spend more time in their relationships.

The workers in the pilot took cooking classes, piano lessons, volunteering, fishing and ice skating, their employers told CNN.

For Emily Morrison, director of customer experience at Unity, who has struggled with anxiety for most of her adult life, the benefits were more fundamental.

“More downtime and fewer weekend fears helped me improve my mental health and approach the week with more positivity rather than stress,” he told CNN.

Emily Morrison is the Account Director at Unity, a public relations agency based in London, UK.

More than two years after the pandemic, dozens of workers have reached their breaking point. A survey last year by McKinsey of 5,000 employees around the world found that almost half of them reported feeling at least a little burnt out. [“burned-out”].

Losey said one of the main reasons he decided to bring Unity into the pilot project was to compensate for the “extreme burnout” his people experienced during the worst of the pandemics.

Mark Howland, director of marketing and communications for Charity Bank, told CNN he uses his day off to improve his health and fitness. He always wanted to compete in a triathlon, but felt guilty about spending time away from his family to train. Not now.

“On my day off, I would ride my bike for a long time, take care of myself, find time, and then spend the whole weekend doing household chores and spending time with my family,” Howland said.

It is unlikely that the bank will return to what it was before.

“The five-day work week is a 20th century concept that no longer fits the 21st century,” he concluded.

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