World news digest

World news digest: February 3, 2022

Some news around the world, in short:

  • Slovenia restructured consumer loans contracted in Swiss francs up until 17 years ago. Slovenes contracted loans in the Swiss currency but they became more difficult to reimburse after the Swiss National Bank cut ties with the euro value in 2015.
  • Ireland is set to rise the State pension age level but a parliament committee recommends it should be maintained at 66.
  • Stockholm Region had a budget surplus in 2021 thanks to increased tax revenue and subsidies from the government. The region wants to offer some cash to its employees in return for the work done during the pandemic. Healthcare employees would receive 4 extra days off.
  • Lee Jae-myung, the presidential candidate of the ruling party in South Korea, apologized for the inappropriate use of a corporate credit card when he was governor of Gyeonggi, the most populous province of the country. A former employee of the Gyeonggi office reportedly bought food, did errands and even paid the hospital bills of the governor’s son with public money.
  • The government of Lithuania wants to temporarily reduce VAT on household heating from 9% to 0%. It would be retroactively applied from January 1 if approved by the parliament.
  • A Texas butterfly sanctuary on the Mexican border closed to the public indefinitely because of safety concerns for its staff. In 2017, it opposed to Trump building a wall at the Mexican border as it could cut off butterfly natural habitat. Threats and conspiracy theories kept increasing against the sanctuary. The sanctuary would for instance be part of a sex-trafficking ring.
  • At least 23 people who used adulterated cocaine died in Buenos Aires recently. Another 84 people are hospitalized, including 20 in intensive care. Local authorities seized 13,000 doses of cocaine they said looked similar to the adulterated cocaine.
  • Slovakia‘s President Zuzana Čaputová agreed to have NATO military troops on Slovak soil, an unpopular move within a population who feels close to Russia. Slovakia is a NATO member state. She justified the decision by the fact that Slovak borders were NATO’s eastern borders and they couldn’t become the weak spot.
  • The Netherlands diagnosed 124,000 people with cancer in 2021, the highest number ever recorded. The number of cancers diagnosed increases every year. The pandemic doesn’t seem to have delayed diagnoses so far, but the Netherlands Comprehensive Cancer Organization doesn’t rule out the negative effects of the pandemic would be visible at a later stage.

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