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Sudan fighting

Fierce fighting rages on between Sudan’s army and a paramilitary group in the capital Khartoum despite an hours-long pause to address humanitarian needs of civilians. Three UN staff members are among nearly 100 people killed throughout the country in the battle that began on Saturday. More than 360 have also been injured. The World Food Program said it was suspending operations in the country after the killing of three of its workers. The battles between the powerful armed forces and the Rapid Support Forces have sparked an international outcry and regional concern, including border closures by neighbors such as Egypt and Chad. Clashes erupted after weeks of power struggle between the army chief and his deputy, who commands the Rapid Support Forces. The rival generals seized power in a 2021 coup. The fighting has complicated a proposed transition to a civilian rule.

Dollar’s waning dominance

The US Treasury Secretary warns that Washington’s economic sanctions against other nations can chip away at the dollar’s hegemony. Janet Yellen said the financial restrictive measures can push the targeted countries to find an alternative. She referred to China, Russia and Iran as cases in point. Yellen, however, boasted about the role of the US dollar as a global currency. She said other countries lack what she called the basic institutional infrastructure that would enable their currencies to be used in global transactions. Over the past months, several countries have announced that they will shift away from the US dollar in their trade. Moscow and Beijing have turned to Chinese Yuan in their bilateral transactions. Some South American countries have also announced plans to wean off their reliance on the greenback.

Europe economic protests

The strike actions are now expanding to more European countries, with Norway becoming the latest to be dealing with workers walking out of their jobs over pay. More than 24,000 workers are set to go on strike on Monday after negotiations with the government over a wage hike broke down. The industrial action is expected to be joined by workers from several sectors, including construction, transport, manufacturing and hotels in the capital Oslo. The Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions is demanding a 5% rise to help people’s purchasing power. It says its main goal in negotiations is to counteract low pay and prioritize equal payment. This is the first time in more than 20 years that trade unions have called for walkouts. Labor organizations have warned that more members will join the strikes if a deal is not reached. Thousands of Czechs have taken to the streets in the capital, Prague, to protest against the country’s center-right government. The rally was organized by the right-wing populist political party, the PRO. The protesters blamed the government of Prime Minister Petr Fiala for high inflation and soaring energy prices. They were also critical of the government’s support for Ukraine. The Czech Republic has provided Kiev with substantial military and humanitarian aid since its war with Russia began in February 2022. The protesters also demanded the Czech Republic leave the Western military alliance, NATO.

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