November 15, 2022
*) G20 leaders 'must end war' between Russia, Ukraine — Indonesia
Tuesday, November 15, 2022
Tue, 15 Nov 2022 12:35:14 +0000
Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who is also the host of this year's G20 summit, has called for peace and asked member countries to not allow another Cold War between major powers.
He made the remarks during the opening speech of the event that brought together leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies.
The ongoing food, energy and climate crises are expected to be top of the agenda, but it's Russia's ongoing attack on Ukraine that's expected to dominate the two-day summit.
*) France, UK sign new deal to block migrant Channel crossings
The UK and France have signed a deal to try to stop migrants crossing the English Channel in small boats.
The agreement will see the UK pay an extra nine million dollars per year for increased surveillance of French beaches and British officers will also be stationed in French control rooms to improve coordination.
Rights groups have long criticised Britain and France for their policies on migrants and asylum seekers.
*) Turkish army chief discusses Istanbul terror attack with US counterpart
The Turkish chief of general staff Yasar Guler has raised Sunday's terrorist attack at Istanbul's iconic Istiklal Avenue in a phone call with his US counterpart Mark Milley.
In a statement, the US Joint Staff spokesman said the two army chiefs reaffirmed the strength of the bilateral military relationship between the US and Türkiye.
Sunday's deadly explosion killed 6 people and injured dozens. Turkish authorities say it was carried out by the YPG/PYD/PKK terrorist organisation.
Washington’s continued support for affiliates of the PKK in the name of fighting Daesh in Syria has long been a sore point between the two NATO allies.
*) Israel calls US probe into journalist killing a 'mistake'
Israel has said it would not cooperate with a US investigation into the shooting and death of a Palestinian-American journalist, Shereen Abu Akleh.
Politico reported that the FBI was probing the May 11 killing of the veteran Al Jazeera reporter who was shot in the head during an Israeli military raid.
Israel had earlier conceded in September that one of its soldiers had likely shot the reporter but its military refused to prosecute the soldier who may have fired the fatal shot.
*) Humanity hits the eight billion mark
The world's population is set to hit 8 billion today, according to UN estimates.
Fertility rates vary widely across regions and countries. European countries have some of the lowest fertility rates, while African countries have some of the highest.
While some worry that eight billion humans is too many for the planet, most experts say the bigger problem is the overconsumption of resources by the wealthiest people.
November 14, 2022
*) Prime suspect in Istanbul bomb attack detained: Turkish authorities
Monday, November 14, 2022
Mon, 14 Nov 2022 15:23:22 +0000
Turkish authorities have detained dozens of suspects, including the prime suspect in the bomb attack that killed 6 people and injured 81 on Istanbul's iconic Istiklal Avenue.
The prime suspect, who is believed to have planted the explosive device, was identified as 23-year-old Syrian national Ahlam Albashir.
The suspect said that she had entered Türkiye illegally from Syria after taking orders from the PKK/YPG terrorist organisation, officials said.
*) Ethiopian government, Tigray rebels sign deal on ceasefire implementation
The Ethiopian government and Tigrayan rebels have signed an agreement in Nairobi that lays out a road map for peace.
Saturday’s deal means an end to the bloody two-year conflict between Ethiopia’s federal army and rebels in the Tigray region, could be in sight.
Both sides said they will allow aid deliveries to the Tigray region, where millions of people desperately need food and medicines.
*) Live blog: Intense fighting continues in Donetsk region — Ukraine
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says fighting in the eastern Donetsk region has intensified in recent days.
The clashes end the relative calm that had briefly followed Moscow’s annexation of Doneskt and three other regions in September.
Russia has sought to control the wider Donbass region in eastern Ukraine, which contains the country’s industrial hub.
*) Slovenia elects first female president Pirc Musar in run-off
Liberal rights advocate Natasa Pirc Musar [NATASA PIRS MUSAHR] has won a run-off to become Slovenia's first female head of state.
Pirc Musar will be the first woman to serve as president since Slovenia became independent amid the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1991.
A prominent lawyer, Pirc Musar had represented former US first lady Melania Trump in copyright and other cases in her native Slovenia.
*) England beat Pakistan to win T20 World Cup final by 5 wickets
England beat Pakistan by five wickets to win the Twenty20 World Cup at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday.
Ben Stokes and Sam Curran starred with the bat and bowl respectively as England edged Pakistan in the final of the cricket tournament.
Enlgand have become the sport's first dual white-ball champions, holding both the 50- and 20-over titles.
November 11, 2022
*) Ukraine liberates dozens of towns
Friday, November 11, 2022
Fri, 11 Nov 2022 10:27:56 +0000
Ukraine says dozens more towns and villages have been liberated in the south of the country.
It comes as Ukrainian forces continue their advance towards the strategically vital city of Kherson.
Russians have announced they're withdrawing from the city but there's considerable scepticism about that.
*) Leaders of Turkic nations meet in Uzbekistan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is among leaders from the Organization of Turkic States attending the OTS summit in Samarkand.
The theme of the summit will be “New Era for Turkish Civilization: Towards Common Development and Prosperity.”
At the summit important decisions will be taken that will form the first five-year implementation guide of the vision document, which constitutes the 20-year roadmap of the organisation.
Addressing the summit, Erdogan said the bloc has accepted the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus as an observer state.
*) Biden to meet Xi
US President Biden will meet his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, on the sidelines of next week's G20 summit in Indonesia.
This will be the first face-to-face meeting between the two since Biden took office, though they have talked via video conference.
Relations between the two largest economies have grown worse. That's as tensions rise over Taiwan and China's growing political and military presence around the world.
*) Russian hackers behind medical record theft: Australian police
Russian hackers are behind a cyberattack on a major Australian healthcare company that breached the data of 9.7 million people, including the country's prime minister, police say.
The hackers started leaking the data earlier this week after Medibank -- the country's largest health insurer -- refused to pay a 9.7 million dollars ransom.
Australian Federal Police commissioner Reece Kershaw blames the attack on Russia-based "cyber criminals".
*) Paul Allen's art collection fetches record $1.5B at auction
Five dozen works from Paul Cezanne, Vincent van Gogh and other revered artists fetch $1.5 billion at an auction.
The auction is part of the vast collection of paintings and sculpture amassed by late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.
The total represented the highest amount ever collected at a single art auction, according to the auction house, Christie's in New York.
Proceeds will be donated to philanthropic causes in accordance with the wishes of Allen, who died in 2018.
November 10, 2022
*) Republicans closer to secure House majority
Thursday, November 10, 2022
Thu, 10 Nov 2022 09:26:19 +0000
The Republicans are nudging closer to winning enough seats to gain a majority in the US House of Representatives, but control of the Senate is still up for grabs.
The outcome will affect President Joe Biden's ability to push his agenda through a highly partisan Congress.
The Senate race in Georgia will go into a run-off next month. According to the latest numbers, the Democrats and the Republicans both have 48 seats. The parties need to gain 51 seats to control the Senate.
*) Russia orders troops to pull out of Kherson
Russia's military has ordered its troops to pull out of the Ukrainian city of Kherson.
It is a significant setback for the Kremlin as Kherson was the only regional capital to fall to Russia after the offensive began in February.
Military officials reportedly admit they can no longer supply troops defending the city and say they'll build defensive positions on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River.
*) ICC briefs UNSC on Libya
The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has updated the UN Security Council on the discovery and verification of mass graves in Libya.
Karim Khan has met families of suspected victims at the site of mass graves during his visit. He believes crimes against humanity have been committed in Libya.
International teams have so far discovered more than 270 bodies in mass graves around the town of Tarhuna, a former stronghold for warlord Khalifa Haftar.
*) Hackers demand $10 mn for stolen Australian health records
Hackers are demanding 10 million dollars to stop leaking highly sensitive records stolen from a major Australian healthcare company, as they uploaded yet more intimate details about customers.
Medibank, Australia's largest private health insurer, confirmed this week that hackers had accessed the information of 9.7 million current and former clients, including Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.
The hackers on Thursday uploaded a second batch of files to a dark web forum, with more sensitive details about hundreds of Medibank customers.
*) Cryptocurrency markets suffer heavy losses
Cryptocurrency markets suffer heavy losses, with bitcoin pinned near a two-year low as investors fretted about the fallout from the implosion of crypto exchange FTX.
Larger rival Binance walked away from a bailout deal after due diligence.
FTX head Sam Bankman-Fried says he is "exploring all the options", but fading hopes for rescue left FTX teetering.
November 9, 2022
*) Results pour in from US midterm elections
Wednesday, November 09, 2022
Wed, 09 Nov 2022 10:16:15 +0000
It's a crucial day for US President Joe Biden and his Democratic party, as results begin to come in for the 2022 midterm elections.
Republicans have taken a sizable lead in the race to control the US House of Representatives, with incomplete results showing a significant lead over Democrats.
In all, Republicans have won 158 seats in the chamber, compared to 98 for Democrats.
While the margins are likely to change as results are tabulated, a forecast from the New York Times puts chances of Republican control of the House at 74 percent.
*) Over $1T needed for climate action
More than one trillion dollars a year is needed for climate action.
That's according to a report released to coincide with talks on climate financing at the COP 27 conference in Egypt.
Political leaders from industrialised countries are coming under increasing pressure to fund the transition of the developing world to renewable energy.
*) Deadly quake strikes Nepal, rattles New Delhi
An earthquake of magnitude 6.6 strikes Nepal, killing at least six people, destroying multiple houses in the western district of Doti and shaking the Indian capital New Delhi.
Five other people are seriously injured as eight houses collapsed early on Wednesday, officials says.
Local media showed visuals of mud and brick houses destroyed by the quake and rescuers digging through the rubble to look for survivors.
*) Fresh Ebola outbreak in Uganda
Schools across Uganda will close after 23 Ebola cases were confirmed among pupils - including eight children who died.
The education minister says preschools, primary schools and secondary schools will shut from November 25th, two weeks before the end of term.
On Saturday, the government extended a three-week lockdown in several districts which have been at the centre of the Ebola outbreak.
The World Health Organization says Uganda had registered more than 150 confirmed and probable cases, including 64 deaths.
*) US basketball star being moved to Russian penal colony
Russia is moving detained US basketball star Brittney Griner to a penal colony, her lawyers say, drawing a sharp rebuke from the White House.
Griner, convicted for possession of a small quantity of cannabis oil, was transferred out of a detention center on November 4 and "is now on her way to a penal colony," her legal team said in a statement.
November 8, 2022
*) UN to build $3B global early warning system
Tuesday, November 08, 2022
Tue, 08 Nov 2022 10:47:35 +0000
The United Nations unveils a five-year plan to build a global early warning system for deadly and costly extreme weather events amplified by climate crisis.
The price tag – a relatively modest $3.1 billion, or less than 50 cents per person – is a small price to pay for proven methods that can save thousands, if not millions, of lives, UN chief Antonio Guterres says at the COP27 climate summit in Egypt.
World leaders are in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el Sheikh for the 13-day talks on climate crisis.
*) US voters head to polls for mid-term elections
Voters across the US will head to the polls later on Tuesday, for crucial mid-term elections.
President Joe Biden's Democratic Party currently controls both the Senate and the House of Representatives. But the Republicans are optimistic about winning both chambers of Congress.
Meanwhile, Biden’s approval rating slipped to 39 percent just ahead of the elections.
*) US, Russia communication channels are open
The US National Security Adviser has confirmed that communication channels between Washington and Moscow, have remained open throughout its attack on Ukraine.
Jake Sullivan said it was "in the interests" of the US to maintain contact with the Kremlin.
The announcement comes as Ukraine warned that Russia is preparing new attacks on the country's infrastructure, particularly energy.
*) Ethiopia, Tigray rebels set up hotline
The Ethiopian government and Tigrayan forces have established a telephone hotline to maintain last week's ceasefire.
Both sides on Monday met in Kenya for a new round of talks mediated by the African Union. The truce marks a diplomatic breakthrough. raising hopes for humanitarian aid to the Tigray region.
The war has killed thousands, displaced millions, and has left thousands more facing famine.
*) Garcia beats Sabalenka in straight sets
Caroline Garcia took a tight first set and went on to a 7-6(4), 6-4 victory over Aryna Sabalenka to win the championship of the WTA Finals.
The sixth-ranked Garcia became the second Frenchwoman on Monday night to win the season-ending event after Amelie Mauresmo in 2005.
Garcia matched Sabalenka's power from the start in her fourth victory of the season.
November 7, 2022
*) United Nations Climate Change Conference kicks off
Monday, November 07, 2022
Mon, 07 Nov 2022 09:36:34 +0000
Leaders and delegates from 190 countries are in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt for the UN's Climate Summit.
During the 12-day meeting, they hope to get new commitments for reducing global heating and helping underdeveloped countries adapt to clean energy.
As the summit gets under way, UN chief Antonio Guterres said the collective commitments of G20 governments are coming far too little and far too late.
*) Tanzania plane crash kills 19 people
At least 19 people have been killed after a passenger plane crashed in Tanzania.
The aircraft operated by the Tanzanian company Precision Air was flying from the capital Dar es Salam when it plunged into Lake Victoria while trying to land at the lakeside town of Bukoba.
The airline says 43 people were on board and that 24 survived. The accident has been blamed on bad weather, with passengers talking about turbulence just before the crash.
*) Russia preparing new attacks: Ukraine
Ukraine says Russia is preparing new attacks on the country's infrastructure, particularly energy, which Moscow has been concentrating on for the past month.
Almost 40 percent of Ukraine's energy infrastructure has already been destroyed, and Kiev's mayor is now warning residents they may have no access to electricity, water or heating this winter.
The very coldest months are of course still to come, and Mayor Vitali Klitschko says people should be prepared to leave if there is a total blackout.
*) Charity vessel refuses to leave Italian port
A charity ship is refusing to leave the Italian port of Catania until all its passengers are allowed to disembark.
Humanity 1 has been picking up migrants and refugees from the Mediterranean, but has spent two weeks seeking permission to dock.
Italian officials allowed only 357 of 572 irregular migrants on board, according to local media.
*) Sabalenka stuns Swiatek to reach WTA Finals
Aryna Sabalenka stuns world number one Iga Swiatek 6-2 2-6 6-1 to set up a WTA Finals championship showdown with Caroline Garcia after the Frenchwoman cruised past Maria Sakkari in Fort Worth, Texas.
Swiatek had not dropped a set at the season-ending tournament but was subdued by the powerful forehand of the Belarusian, who sealed the massive upset with one of her 12 aces before pumping her fist in triumph.