G-7 on same page as G-20
BARI (Italy) • Group of Seven (G-7) economic leaders will use the same language on trade, currencies and monetary policy at the end of their meeting in Italy today as the larger Group of 20 (G-20) did in March at a meeting in Germany, an Italian G-7 official said. Speaking yesterday on the sidelines of the gathering of finance ministers and central bank governors in Bari, the official said there was a consensus not to veer from the message delivered by the G-20 in Baden-Baden two months ago.
Brazil ends Zika emergency
RIO DE JANEIRO • Brazil has declared an end to a national emergency over the Zika virus, which was detected in the Latin American country late in 2015 before becoming a global concern. It has informed the World Health Organisation (WHO), citing "the decrease in cases of Zika and microcephaly throughout the country", said the Health Ministry.
It said that from January to April this year, there were 7,911 Zika cases, 95.3 per cent down on the same period last year when there were 170,535 cases. Last November, the WHO had lifted its own international health emergency status for Zika.
US gets tough again on drugs
WASHINGTON • US Attorney-General Jeff Sessions has overturned the sweeping criminal charging policy of former attorney-general Eric Holder and directed his federal prosecutors to charge defendants with the most serious, provable crimes carrying the most severe penalties.
The Holder memo, issued in August 2013, instructed his prosecutors to avoid charging certain defendants with drug offences that would trigger long mandatory minimum sentences. The Sessions memo marks the first significant criminal justice effort by the Trump administration to bring back the toughest practices of the US war on drugs, which had fallen out of favour in recent years.