'No difference in US governments'
Leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolution says the administration of US President Joe Biden is no different from its predecessor run by Donald Trump. Ayatollah Khamenei said the only difference between Biden and Trump is that each used a different set of words to achieve their goals over Iran’s nuclear program. Trump withdrew the US from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal three years ago and restored sanctions in order to renegotiate it for 'a better one.' Biden has voiced willingness to rejoin the multilateral agreement. Ayatollah Khamenei noted that the US has a nerve to behave in a way as if it was Iran which walked away from the nuclear deal. He also blasted France, Britain and Germany for failing to live up to their commitments under the deal. The Leader said the trio’s obstructionism in implementing the accord is no less than that of the US.
France COVID-19 fallout
At the seventh week of protests, people have taken to the streets in France to voice their anger at the mandatory coronavirus health pass. In total, around 200 gatherings have been planned across France. Thousands of people have participated in the rallies in the past weeks. The demonstrators argue that the COVID-19 health passport encroaches on their individual freedom. But the French government has refused to back down, insisting the scheme is necessary to fight the pandemic. The health pass provides proof of vaccination or recent recovery from COVID-19, and is needed for admission to museums, cafes, and some other venues.
Russia COVID-19 pandemic
Russia has reported more COVID deaths and infections while grappling with the third wave of the outbreak. The health ministry says nearly 800 more people lost their lives in the past day, pushing the death toll to around 180,000. Russia has the highest fatalities in Europe. Nearly 20,000 new cases were also identified on Saturday. This brings the country’s caseload to over 6.7 million. Russia was hit by a surge in coronavirus cases that peaked in July. Authorities blame the highly infectious Delta strain and a slow vaccination process for the spike. Only 24 percent of the Russian population has been fully vaccinated. Many are not willing to get the jab.