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Former Prime Minister of Italy Matteo Renzi gives a press conference at the foreign press association on February 13, 2018 in Rome

Italians will vote on a controversial constitutional reform that may determine the fate of Matteo Renzi’s government. Yet neither Italy’s membership of the EU and the common currency, nor its financial stability are at stake.

On 4 December 2016, Italians will vote on a constitutional reform proposed by the current government of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. If accepted, the reform will change the institutional setup of the country. Most significantly, it would end Italy’s ‘perfect bicameralism’, in which the two legislative houses have nearly identical powers.

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An injured Myanmar refugee receives medical attention at Sop Moei Hospital in Mae Hong Son province on March 30, 2021, after crossing into Thailand via the Salween river following air strikes in Myanmar's Karen state. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

The global pandemic has exposed the terrible legacy of deliberately divisive and destructive policies that have perpetuated inequality, discrimination and oppression and paved the way for the devastation wrought by COVID-19, Amnesty International said in its annual report published today.
 
Amnesty International Report 2020/21: The State of the World’s Human Rights covers 149 countries and delivers a comprehensive analysis of human rights trends globally in 2020.

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NASA photo obtained on April 6, 2021, shows Ingenuity helicopter seen on Mars as viewed by the Perseverance rover's rear Hazard Camera on April 4, 2021, the 44th Martian day, or sol of the mission. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

NASA's Mars helicopter Ingenuity has survived its first cold Martian night on its own. The space agency's Perseverance rover, which landed safely in the Jezero Crater on the surface of Mars on February 18, has been carrying the helicopter Ingenuity in its belly.
On Saturday the rover dropped Ingenuity onto the surface of Mars, where it would have to survive temperatures as low as minus 90 degrees Celsius.

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A general view shows various activities as people receive a dose of the BioNTech / Pfizer covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic set up inside the Derby Arena at Pride Park in Derby, Derbyshire on March 31, 2021. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

The rollout of vaccines in Europe is "unacceptably slow," the World Health Organization said on Wednesday, delivering a damning evaluation on the region's Covid response, amid a "worrying" surge in infections.

According to a statement from the body, Last week saw increasing transmission of COVID-19 in the majority of countries in the WHO European Region, with 1.6 million new cases and close to 24 000 deaths.

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This picture taken on December 9, 2020 shows specialists working on the development of a coronavirus vaccine for animals at a laboratory of the Federal centre for animal health. - LEHTIKUVA / AFP

Russia has registered the world's first animal vaccine against Covid-19, said Konstantin Savenkov, the deputy head of the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor) on Wednesday.

"Carnivak-Cov, a sorbate inactivated vaccine against the coronavirus infection (COVID-19) for carnivorous animals, developed by Rosselkhoznadzor's Federal Center for Animal Health, has been registered in Russia.

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WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

Global leaders have called for a new treaty to help the world prepare for future pandemics, in a warning against rising vaccine nationalism.

It is a question of "not if, but when" the next health crisis will strike, warned a joint letter signed by over 20 national leaders, including France's Emmanuel Macron, the UK's Boris Johnson and Germany's Angela Merkel in a, published in several media outlets on Tuesday.

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LEHTIKUVA / AFP

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell qualified Russia on Wednesday as a dangerous neighbour but called for continuing dialogue to discuss such issues as the Iran nuclear deal and climate change.

Borrell made the comments upon his arrival to Brussels for participating in the talks of the NATO foreign ministers,
"We are facing Russia which is driving things away from the European values, becoming a more and more authoritarian country, and we have to react

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In this file photo taken on April 4, 2013 A picture shows the Trident Nuclear Submarine, HMS Victorious, on patrol off the west coast of Scotland. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

“Following the publication of the UK Government’s Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, the Scottish Government reaffirms that it is firmly opposed to the possession, threat and use of nuclear weapons – and it is committed to pursuing the safe and complete withdrawal of all nuclear weapons from Scotland,” the Scottish government said in a statement released today.

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Workers unloading the first shipment of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at Tbilisi airport. - LEHTIKUVA / AFP

Michael Ryan, Executive Director of World Health Organisation (WHO) Health Emergencies Program, said on Monday that the "inequitable" COVID-19 vaccine distribution was a "catastrophic moral failure" and a "failed opportunity."

Speaking at a virtual press conference from Geneva on Monday about the recent rise of cases in Europe -- up by "12 percent" in the last week -- Ryan stressed that there was no "golden solution" to end the pandemic.

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Senior citizens receive doses of the Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine at a vaccination centre settled inside an Expo Centre in Lahore on March 16, 2021. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

At least 132 countries and territories have administered more than 359 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines so far.

As per the data provided by Our World In Data cited by The New York Times, 359,460,397 doses have been administered and as many as 4.7 persons have been vaccinated per 100 people.
In the US, as many as 135,847,835 doses have been delivered and 109,081,860 doses have been administered.

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A dose of the new one-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination event at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in South Los Angeles on March 11, 2021 LEHTIKUVA / Getty Images / AFP

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday issued emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus vaccine, paving the way for the one-shot dose to be used as part of the United Nation's international vaccine distribution effort.

According to The Hill, The go-ahead signal from WHO, which comes a day after the European Union approved the shot, means that countries that receive shots through the UN's COVAX effort, which promotes equitable distribution of vaccines, could cite the new endorsement in the distribution of the shot.

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