Newsletter of February 1, 2022

Today’s newsletter covers Belgium overhaul of public hospitals, convictions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a British bill to repeal EU laws faster, corruption allegations in Bulgaria, and more.

Belgium plans an overhaul of the hospital system with a flat fee approach

Belgium Health Minister wants to improve the efficiency of public hospitals. By 2025, the government plans to finance public hospitals based on a flat-fee for therapies rather than for each individual medical intervention.

51 people convicted for an ambush on Swedish and American UN experts

A court of the Democratic Republic of the Congo sentenced 51 people to death for the murders of two United Nations experts in 2017. Sweden and the United States call for more investigation.

The UK government proposes a bill to speed up amendments of legacy European Union laws

The United Kingdom wants to smooth the process for amending or repealing legacy European Union laws such as genetically modified organisms or data privacy rules. It hopes to save 1 billion pounds by bringing more flexible rules.

A controversy on public spending for street lighting in Sofia

An opposition council member of Bulgaria’s capital denounced public spending related to street lighting contracts that included significant price discrepancies between two companies. Bulgaria Prime Minister ordered a review of the corruption allegations.

European companies and expats may leave Hong Kong because of its Covid-19 restrictions

If Hong Kong continues with its stringent measures against Covid-19, the city may face a massive exodus of European companies and expats, a draft report of the European Chamber of Commerce said.

Colombia violates the peace agreement with the FARC

According to the Constitutional Court of Colombia, the country doesn’t sufficiently protect the members of the FARC. Hundreds of people who agreed to drop their weapons have been murdered since 2016 and the peace agreement.

Some more news from the world

  • Japan Health Minister said it reached an agreement with Pfizer to buy Paxlovid doses for 2 million people by the end of this year. Japan aims at approving the oral antiviral medicine for treating COVID-19 by mid-February.
  • More than 5,000 startups were created in New Delhi between April 2019 and December 2021, according to India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry. It is now more than Bangalore which used to be considered as the startup capital of India. There are over 61,400 companies officially recognized as startups in the country, and 44 became unicorns in 2021.
  • A review commissioned by Rio Tinto reports systemic sexism and bullying across the company. Almost half of the 10,300 respondents reported experiencing bullying and more than one woman in four has experienced sexual harassment at work. Twenty-one women reported actual or attempted rape or sexual assault.

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