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World in brief: February 21

The latest news stories from around the world

VENEZUELA: The oil-backed virtual currency called the petro was launched yesterday.

Caracas hopes the novel money will reduce its dependence on the US dollar for international trade, increasing the country’s resilience in the face of US sanctions and economic warfare.

Each petro is to have the initial value of a barrel of oil and the plan is to release 100 million tokens.

The US Treasury warned citizens not to buy petros, saying they could be punished for violating sanctions.

TURKEY: The government will consider chemically castrating child abusers, Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul said yesterday.

He raised the idea on the day that prosecutors demanded 66 years in prison for a man accused of sexually assaulting a three-year-old at a wedding in a case that has outraged the nation.

Turkish MPs legislated for chemical castration of sex offenders in 2016, but the country’s top court blocked implementation last August.

 

GERMANY: EU officials are drawing up plans for a trade war with the United States, according to press reports.

The US Commerce Department called on President Donald Trump last week to impose tariffs on metals produced abroad, which could affect European steel and aluminium exports.

The European Commission is supposedly planning to retaliate by slapping tariffs on orange juice, bourbon and Harley-Davidson motorbikes.

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