Today in the world: Venezuela receives first Red Cross aid, while gasoline stations in Portugal evidences by incredibly long lines of vehicles lining up on gas stations

Venezuela receives first Red Cross aid

The first shipment of humanitarian aid from the Red Cross arrived in Venezuela, delivering medicine and supplies for needy patients in a country whose president has long denied the existence of a humanitarian crisis.

The delivery of the aid marks a tacit recognition by Nicolas Maduro that his country is indeed in the throes of a humanitarian crisis. He has long refuted the existence of such a crisis, likening it to a propaganda measure by the opposition. Maduro claimed the aid was nothing more than a smokescreen to cover a US-led and EU invasion. Venezuelan President said that the country is ready to accept humanitarian aid if its delivery has been coordinated with the legitimate government of the Bolivarian Republic.

“If everything is correct, then yes, if everything is legal, then yes, in accordance with the constitution, then yes, in accordance with safety protocols, then yes. If anything is illegal – we say no! ”, Maduro said.

The shipment from the Red Cross, which arrived at the airport serving Caracas, includes desperately needed medication, medical supplies for 10 thousand patients as well as power units that will be distributed to various hospitals around the country.

World economy receives support from China

The world’s second-biggest economy grew slightly more than expected in the first quarter of 2019, Chinese government figures showed Wednesday. It expanded by 6.4% compared to a year ago, beating economists’ forecasts of 6.3%. Industrial output growth accelerated markedly and consumer demand strengthened amid government’s pro-growth policies, which helped stabilize sentiments rattled by trade dispute with the US.

Economic statistics from China supports the opinion of investors who hope that the global economic slowdown will soon be replaced by growth. Experts believe that two factors play a key role here: China’s economy and US consumption. China is important because over the past 10 years, the country’s annual contribution to world economic growth was about a third, while US consumption accounted for about 70% of the country’s GDP, which is equivalent to 15–20% of world GDP.

Strike triggers fuel crisis in Portugal

Authorities declared a national energy crisis in Portugal. The gas shortage in Portugal got notably worse. Hundreds of gasoline stations closed during the day, as evidenced by incredibly long lines of internal combustion vehicles lining up on stations that still had fuel. The ongoing gas crisis in the country is resulted from a strike by fuel-truck drivers calling for higher pay and conditions from employers, and most importantly, legislative recognition of drivers who have transport flammable goods as a separate category of workers.

After negotiations, the drivers’ union said that they would provide minimum requirements: order truck drivers to resume deliveries to airports, hospitals, and other essential services. drivers who supply hospitals and airports with fuel will resume work. The capital’s airport have already reported that they are forced to use emergency supplies, and at least one flight was canceled due to lack of kerosene.

Seoul also refuses from using nuclear energy

The first research center of the Republic of Korea on dismantling of nuclear power plants in the country will be established in Kori, a suburban village in Busan.

At the territory of the Kori-1 Nuclear Power Plant, South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) and local administrations.

This center will be in charge with safe dismantling of Kori-1 reactor as it reached the end of its operating live. The first South Korean nuclear plant to be closed permanently. Decommissioning of Kori No.1 will start in 2022 and finish in 2032. During this period, deactivation, demolition of buildings and restoration of the territory are planned to be carried out. According to calculations, thousands of people will be involved. Costs are estimated at $ 879 million.

The aforementioned center would become the basis for a new branch – a dismantling of nuclear power plants – which would grow, taking into account the government’s policy to speed up plans to move away from both coal and nuclear.

Erdogan’s supporters “lost” Istanbul

Turkey’s Supreme Electoral Council officially announced the results of the municipal election in Istanbul, Turkish media reported.

According to the data, the candidate for the head of the Istanbul municipality from the opposition Republican People’s Party Ekrem Imamoglu received 4.169 million votes, while the candidate from the Justice and Development Party (AKP) Binali Yildirim received 4.156 million votes.

Turkey’s Supreme Electoral Council issued a mandate to Ekrem Imamoglu for the position of the Head of the Istanbul municipality, while the Turkish ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) recently officially appealed to the YSK to hold the repeat elections in Istanbul. Shortly after the elections, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the results of the municipal elections in Istanbul may be annulled.

European Commission welcomes provisional agreement on strengthening EU consumer protection rules

The European Parliament and the Council have reached a provisional agreement on stronger and better enforced consumer protection rules. The main improvements will be more transparency for consumers when buying online, effective penalties and clear rules to tackle the issue of dual quality of products in the EU.

When buying from an online market place, consumers will have to be clearly informed about whether they are buying goods or services from a trader or from a private person, so they know what protection they will benefit from if something goes wrong. When searching online, consumers will be clearly informed when a search result is being paid for by a trader. They will also be informed about the main parameters determining the ranking of search results.

Experts recognize that the buying online gives trading and service resources the ability to manipulate consumer preferences.