Each Wednesday, we recap the most important headlines from our global community to keep you up to speed on world news.
Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, has selected Kamala Harris as his running mate. Biden and Harris will formally accept the Democratic nominations during the party’s convention that will be held virtually.
Harris – Biden’s former Democratic presidential rival and a barrier-breaking former prosecutor – is the daughter of immigrants from Jamaica and India and is the first Black woman and the first Asian American to be nominated for a major party’s presidential ticket.
Harris was elected to the Senate in 2016, becoming only the second black woman ever to serve in the chamber. A fierce critic of the president, Harris drew national attention for her prosecutorial-style inquisitions during Senate committee hearings with Trump administration officials.
A California judge granted the state’s request for a preliminary injunction blocking Uber Technologies Inc and Lyft Inc from classifying their drivers as independent contractors rather than employees.
Uber and Lyft had been accused of violating Assembly Bill 5 (“AB5”), a new state law requiring companies to classify workers as employees if they controlled how workers did their jobs, or the work was part of their normal business.
Judge Ethan Schulman of San Francisco Superior Court states that the public could face substantial harm if drivers were denied employee benefits such as minimum wage, paid sick and family leave, unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation insurance.
California voters are expected in November to consider a ballot measure, Proposition 22, to classify app-based drivers as contractors. The state is Uber’s and Lyft’s largest U.S. market.
Lebanon’s government stepped down on Monday night, less than a week after a massive explosion in Beirut killed more than 170 people and wounded more than 6000.
Prime Minister Hassan Diab addressed the nation, announcing his resignation and that of his government in the wake of the blast, which he called a “disaster beyond measure.”
Lebanon was already suffering through its worst economic crisis in decades, coupled with rising coronavirus rates, and the government has been plagued by accusations of corruption and gross mismanagement.
Lebanon’s currency has lost around 70% of its value since anti-government protests began last October. Poverty has soared, with the World Bank projecting that more than half of the country’s population would become poor in 2020.
Protesters have clashed with riot police for the third night running in cities across Belarus as the European Union threatened to reimpose sanctions over suspected vote-rigging and a violent crackdown on demonstrators.
Security forces fired rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse thousands of protesters in the capital, Minsk. Witnesses reported seeing security forces detaining dozens of people and beating protesters in the street.
The heavy police presence failed to deter the protesters, who have taken to the streets accusing Alexander Lukashenko of fixing the outcome of the presidential election.
Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, the wife of a jailed blogger who won mass support in her bid against Lukashenko, appeared in a video to say she had left the country for neighbouring Lithuania, for the sake her children’s safety. She ran for office because her husband, Syarhei, was imprisoned for his anti-government activism.
The EU condemned the outcome of the election, which was officially declared a landslide for Lukashenko with 80% of the vote. Tikhanovskaya, 37, came second with 10% despite having staged huge campaign rallies that observers said represented the biggest show of defiance ever seen during Lukashneko’s 26-year rule.
Worldwide coronavirus cases have surpassed 20 million, with Brazil and Mexico reporting a combined 27,000 infections in just one day. More than 12.2 million have recovered, and almost 735,000 have died from the disease, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally.
More than 100,000 cases of COVID-19 are being reported daily in the Americas, half of them in the United States, and there are worrisome spikes in countries that had outbreaks controlled, such as Argentina and Colombia, World Health Organization regional director Carissa Etienne has said.
Almost four out of five chief executives expect remote working to become more widespread in their businesses as a result of COVID-19, a global survey from accountancy firm PwC has shown.
Facebook Inc said it had removed seven million posts in the second quarter for sharing false information about the new coronavirus, including content that promoted fake preventative measures and exaggerated cures.
Russia has developed the first vaccine offering “sustainable immunity” against the coronavirus, President Vladimir Putin announced. The World Health Organization has not received enough information on the Russian COVID-19 vaccine to evaluate it.