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The World in Brief

Atualizado: 16 de abr.

Last week's headlines: catch up quickly on the global stories that matter.

Russia launched a big attack on Ukraine’s infrastructure, killing seven people and injuring many more. A missile attack destroyed the Trypilska electricity plant near Kyiv. Strikes also hit power plants elsewhere in Ukraine, leaving around 200,000 people in Kharkiv, the second-largest city, without power. Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s president, said his country needed “air-defense systems and other defense assistance” from its allies, not just “lengthy discussions”. Earlier, Ukrainian lawmakers scrapped a clause from a draft law that would have allowed soldiers who spent more than 36 months fighting to return home. The decision angered exhausted combatants.

The European Central Bank voted to keep interest rates steady at 4%. However, it signaled that rate cuts could come soon: the central bank said it “would be appropriate” to lower rates if inflation keeps falling. This was the first time the ECB has publicly discussed cutting rates since it began tightening policy. The economy is weak: growth across the bloc averaged 0.4% last year.

President Joe Biden warned that Iran is threatening a “significant attack” against Israel. American officials reportedly think Iran may be prepared to strike itself, rather than through one of its regional proxies, in the next few days. The Islamic Republic has vowed to retaliate for an attack blamed on Israel on an Iranian consulate in Damascus last week in which several Iranian army officials were killed.

Middle East and Israel has been drone attacked this weekend. Iran launched the unprecedented attack in response to a suspected Israeli strike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria, earlier this month. It marked a new chapter in a discord between the two states that percolated for years and has spiralled since Israel declared war on Hamas last October. A few of the ballistic missiles got through and struck Israeli territory, Rear Adm Hagari said. One of them "lightly hit" the Nevatim air force base in the Negev desert in southern Israel. Rear Adm Hagari said the base was "still functioning".

South Korea’s liberal opposition Democratic Party (DP) and its allies won a landslide victory in parliamentary elections, limiting the legislative room for maneuver of Yoon Suk-yeol, the conservative president. The DP and its sister party won 175 seats in the National Assembly, compared with 108 for the president’s party and its allies. The prime minister, an ally of the president, and senior presidential aides offered to resign.

China’s consumer price index rose by 0.1% year on year in March. Prices increased only slightly in February, and fell for the four previous consecutive months from October to January. The central bank is struggling to fight deflation because it worries that cutting interest rates aggressively will weaken China’s currency and squeeze the profits of its banks.

Orenthal James (“O.J.”) Simpson, a former American-football player who was famously acquitted of murder, died aged 76. Mr Simpson, who was black, was accused of killing his ex-wife and her friend, who were both white. The “trial of the century” gripped the country; some 150m people watched the verdict televised live in 1995. The result left Americans “screeching with anger or squealing with delight”, The Economist wrote at the time.

Have a great day!

Prof. Carl Boniface

Vocabulary builder:

Percolated = to be active or lively. Usually refers to percolated coffee (brewed)

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