The Guardian • Issue #2061


  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2061
Global briefs

BRITAIN: The number of construction workers killed in site accidents rose sharply from 29 to 45 last year, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has revealed. The total was also higher than the five-year average of 37 annual deaths, with construction making up a third of the 135 workers killed in work-related accidents across all UK industries in the 12 months to March 2023. It was followed by the combined sector of agriculture, forestry, and fishing with 21 deaths and manufacturing with 15 deaths. The HSE said: “The most common kinds of fatal accidents at work are falls from a height (40), struck by moving object (29), and struck by moving vehicle (20) – all accounting for around two thirds of fatal injuries to workers in 2022/23.” Official figures for Mesothelioma – the cancer that can be caused by past exposure to asbestos – showed 2268 people died from the disease in 2021.

NATO: Leaders of the Western military alliance have agreed to help “modernise” Ukraine’s armed forces, create a new high-level forum for consultations and reaffirm that Kiev will eventually be granted membership. But the country will not begin the accession process anytime soon. A two-day NATO summit in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, has decided on massive increases in military spending.

KENYA: More than 20 anti-government protesters were arrested in the capital Nairobi today as many parts of the country also saw opposition-called demonstrations against newly imposed taxes. Hundreds of protesters turned out in Nairobi and other areas such as the coastal city of Mombasa and the lakeside city of Kisumu, where the opposition enjoys huge support, but they were dispersed by police firing tear-gas canisters.

UKRAINE: Thirty-three Latin American and Caribbean countries have forced the European Union to cancel Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s invitation to the EU-Latin America summit due to be held on 17th and 18th July in Brussels. News website EURACTIV, based in the Belgian capital, also reported that “all elements related to Ukraine’s support” have been withdrawn from the summit’s draft final declaration, which had been prepared by the EU Foreign Policy Service.

UN: Children experienced the highest number of “grave violations” in conflicts verified by the United Nations in 2022, the UN children’s agency said. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said that conflicts in the Palestinian occupied territories, Congo, and Somalia were placing the most children in peril. UNICEF also expressed particular concern about the plight of children in Haiti, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Ukraine. “Grave violations” include the recruitment and use of children by combatants, killings and injuries, sexual violence, abductions and attacks on schools and hospitals. UNICEF’s deputy executive director Omar Abdi told the UN Security Council that there were more than 27,000 grave violations, up from 24,000 the previous year. The number of conflict situations “of concern” was also the highest, at 26. Since the report, Abdi said, a serious conflict has erupted in Sudan, where over one million children have been displaced by violent conflict and the UN has received reports that hundreds have been killed and injured. He also said UNICEF expects an increase in Palestinian children affected due to recent escalations in Israel’s violence.

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