The Guardian • Issue #2095


  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2095
Global briefs

PERSIAN GULF: Countries in the Persian Gulf including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Kuwait have reportedly told the United States not to launch any attacks against Iran from their territory or airspace. According to Sputnik, the leadership of those countries have been “raising questions” on the details of US basing agreements, and taking steps to prevent the use of their Iran-adjacent bases against the Islamic Republic.

CHINA: China announced sanctions against two US companies over their support for arms sales to Taiwan. The assets of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems and General Dynamics Land Systems held within China are frozen. The measure also bans the companies’ management from entering China.

POLAND: Poland’s Catholic Church called for last Sunday to be a day for prayer “in defence of conceived life” and supported the march organised by the anti-abortion movement. The protest was aimed against the steps by the new government to liberalise the existing strict laws and allow termination of pregnancy until the 12th week. Poland’s government voted to support further detailed work on four proposals to lift the near-ban on abortion.

BRITAIN: Scottish first Minister Humza Yousaf has used his address to the Scottish Trades Union Congress to challenge the next Labour government to ditch Tory austerity. Speaking in his home town of Dundee, the SNP leader and Glasgow Pollok MSP reiterated his consistent calls for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and took the opportunity to thank congress for the “support and kindness” offered to him and his partner while members of her family continue to be trapped in the warzone. Defining his values, the former trade union member repeated his calls for an immediate halt to all arms sales to Israel, and called on Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer to reverse the damage of 14 years of Conservative austerity.

CUBA: Air China will start direct Beijing-Havana flights on 17 May 2024, with a stopover in Madrid. COVID-19 travel restrictions dealt a heavy blow to the tourist industry everywhere in the world. Cuba was no exception, and the loss of tourists, combined with the continuing US sanctions resulted in difficult economic conditions. Direct flights from China will enable the two countries to further develop their cooperation and increase the number of Chinese tourists coming to Cuba to enjoy its unique nature and culture. 50,000 Chinese tourists visited Cuba in 2018, and both countries are confident that this figure could be exceeded with the new and comfortable travel.

SCOTLAND: Delegates at the Scottish Trades Union Congress have voted to campaign for “a wholly integrated railway in public ownership” and better-staffed stations and trains.

In support of a motion from the Rail, Maritine and Transport (RMT) union, delegates have backed an end to driver-only operation of trains, and an expansion of staff on stations and trains to improve safety and reliability.

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