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‘They’re there and they’re being exploited’: Portuguese state accused of having unconditional workers in Qatar – World

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The union that today represents consular workers abroad has accused the Portuguese state of keeping these workers in Qatar under the same conditions as other immigrants who are receiving so much attention in connection with the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

“This is unacceptable for a country like Portugal, a member of the European Union,” said the Deputy Secretary General of the Union of Consular Workers, Diplomatic Missions and Central Services of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (STCDE).

Alexander Vieira spoke about the strike that this union announced to consular offices, embassies, diplomatic missions and cultural centers of Portugal abroad from December 5, 2022 to January 12, 2023.

In Qatar, where three staff members work at the Portuguese embassy, ​​two staff members were temporarily deployed to Denmark and Moscow to support the community that travels there to watch the 2022 FIFA World Cup football matches.

According to Alexander Vieira, the strike will paralyze these services, and the Portuguese in need of help will not be able to count on it.

The trade unionist recalled that these workers have no shortage of reasons to join the protest, as they do not even have social security or health insurance.

“What is in the media, what has appeared in the international media and even in Portuguese, that workers from Sri Lanka, from India, are exploited there and have neither health insurance nor the right to retire, our workers, three of whom are, also do not have health insurance or pension insurance,” he said.

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He added: “There is no social security in Qatar. In Qatar, as in the Emirates and other wealthy countries, social security is private. you need to take out pension insurance, if you want to insure against an accident, you must insure against an accident. If you don’t have money to pay, you will die.”

The situation of Portuguese MNE workers in Qatar is “identical” to that of immigrant workers in that country who do not have rights, which has been the subject of so many complaints and allegations against the State of Qatar, he continued.

“The only problem is that they work for the Portuguese state, which has to give [direitos] as a member of the European Union and as if this is normal, ”he added.

Alexandre Vieira spoke about the case of a colleague from this country who had to leave because she wanted to get pregnant, and she had no maternity insurance, no funds to pay for care in a private hospital, and ended up leaving for Beijing, and then to London. .

“In Qatar, healthcare and welfare are private,” he said, adding: “If you come to the hospital because you are sick, you broke your leg because you fell, if you don’t have insurance you will be sent, go die in another place.”

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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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