Global Review – 10th August

Zaporizhzhia: Russia calls for UN Security Council meeting

Russia has asked for a meeting of the UN Security Council “on the recent Ukrainian attacks against the nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia and the catastrophic consequences they could entail”, a source from the Russian mission to the United Nations told the Tass agency. The meeting, according to Moscow’s request, should take place on tomorrow, August 11. Russia then appeals to the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to take action to make it possible for the inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (Aiea) to visit the Zaporizhzhia plant. Guterres “must not only speak in this sense, but he must make this visit happen,” said Igor Vishnevetsky, deputy director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department for Non-Proliferation and Arms Control. Moscow said it had done “everything necessary” for the visit to take place, but accuses Kiev of preventing it so far.Meanwhile, EU Commissioner for Energy Kdri Simson has condemned the latest bombings carried out in and around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

Large explosions rock Russian airbase in Crimea

At least one person was killed and several others injured after powerful explosions rocked a Russian air base in Crimea on Tuesday, Russian authorities said. Towering clouds of smoke were pictured above the base, but Russia’s Defence Ministry denied the Saki base, on the Black Sea, had been shelled and said instead that munitions had blown up at the site. Russian warplanes have used the Saki base to strike areas in Ukraine’s south on short notice. But Ukrainian social networks were abuzz with speculation that it was hit by long-range missiles fired by their own forces.

The war must end with the liberation of Crimea – Zelensky

Russia’s war against Ukraine “began with Crimea and must end with Crimea, with its liberation”. Ukrainian President Zelensky, in his evening message, said,  “the Russian occupation of Crimea constitutes a threat to all of Europe and to world stability. There will not be a stable and lasting peace in many countries on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea as long as Russia is able to use our peninsula as a military base.”

Gazprom resumes gas supplies to Latvia

Gazprom has resumed gas supplies to Latvia, the operator Conexus Baltic Grid reported. The service was interrupted on July 30, officially due to breaches of contractual conditions by the Baltic country. Latvia plans to renounce supplies of Gazprom as of January 1, 2023. To this end, the government is implementing alternative strategies capable of guaranteeing the country’s energy self-sufficiency.

Taiwan artillery exercises underway

Taiwan has started its military exercises dedicated to “live fire” artillery, with real bullets, to simulate the defence of the island from the Chinese attack, as a first response to the massive manoeuvers on a large scale last week in response to the visit to Taipei of the US House speaker Nancy Pelosi. The operations, local media reported, are taking place in the southern county of Pingtung. And the Chineseannounced their willingness to continue with the ‘war games’ to keep the pressure high. Taiwan lives under the constant threat of invasion and, as a result, has strengthened its defence capabilities with USsupport.

Blitz at Trump’s house? Nobody is above the law – Pelosi

US House speaker Nancy Pelosi commented on the FBI search of Donald Trump’s Florida residence calling it “an important step”, adding that “no one is above the law, not even a former president.”During Trump’s presidency, the Democrat was one of the tycoon’s fiercest opponents.

Republicans rally around Trump

The Republican Party unified swiftly behind the former president after the FBI executed a search warrant at his Florida estate. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who likely represents Trump’s strongest potential primary challenger, described the Biden administration as a “regime” and called Monday’s Mar-a-Lago search for improperly taken classified documents “another escalation in the weaponisation of federal agencies against the Regime’s political opponents”. The Republican push to portray Trump as the victim of a politiciced Justice Department ignored the potential criminal misconduct that justified the search in the eyes of a federal judge. It overlooked Trump’s role in hiring now-vilified FBI Director Chris Wray, who also served as a high-ranking official in a Republican-led Justice Department. The Biden White House, meanwhile, said it had no prior knowledge of the search.Trump’s allies said on Tuesday that the FBI search would only strengthen his position again. “Trump just won the 2024 primary,” pro-Trump commentator Jack Posobiec declared.

Duel between Truss and Sunak over taxes and energy bills

The priority is to cut taxes because only in this way will the economy grow: this was underlined by Liz Truss, a candidate for the leadership of the British Tories and the succession of Boris Johnson in Downing Street, answering the questions of the militants in the fifth meeting of the party, in Darlington, in view of the final election against his opponent Rishi Sunak. The latter, in the same meeting, instead said he was convinced that the government should allocate an important sum of money to help people pay their energy bills, which have been increasing dramatically in recent times.Truss, on the other hand, said he did not believe it was okay to withdraw tax money and then return it in the form of aid. “Our support needs to be targeted and not focus on massive tax cuts for very wealthy people. No, it should help those most in need,” Sunak said.

Heir of the BASF group gives up 4 billion

Twenty-nine-year-old Marlene Engelhorn, Austrian descendant of Friedrich Engelhorn, who founded the chemical giant Basf, has renounces an inheritance of €4 billion because “I could not be happy” and for a question of “fairness”. Her grandmother is ranked 687 in Forbes magazine’s ranking of the richest people in the world and the rejected inheritance represents 90% of what she is owed. The girl, who studies German language and literature in Vienna, told the German and Austrian media: “It’s not about will, but about fairness. I did nothing to receive this inheritance. This is pure luck in the lottery of the birth.”

The girl has demanded greater redistribution of wealth and wants those with more money to pay more taxes for greater social equity.

17-year-old killed in Hebron clashes

A 17-year-old boy was shot to death in Hebron (West Bank) by Israeli soldiers during clashes between army units and groups of demonstrators who took to the streets to protest the killing of three Palestinian militiamen today in Nablus, the Palestinian news agency Wafa reports. The three Palestinians were killed in a fire fight with the Israeli army in the Casbah of Nablus. According to Wafa, there were also 40 injured in today’s clashes, four of whom are in serious condition. The incident was confirmed by Israeli military radio according to which other riots in the West Bank occurred in Ramallah and Bethlehem.

Low turnout in Kenyan presidential election

Kenyans headed to the polls on Tuesday in a presidential election, marked by a low turnout and a great deal of cynicism, and pitting a veteran opposition leader against the sitting deputy president. In a twist, outgoing Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who isn’t running for reelection, threw his support behind his longtime rival, Raila Odinga, instead of his own deputy, William Ruto.

German Catholics reject Vatican’s abortion stance

A new survey reveals a large gap between German Catholics and church leaders when it comes to abortion. The survey, conducted by INSA Consulere pollster on behalf of German Catholic weekly ‘Die Tagespost’, asked the responders for their stance on the following sentence: “It is good that the Pope and the Church speak out against abortion.” Only 17% of surveyed Catholics said they agreed with it, compared to 58% who oppose it. The same survey also showed that only 13% of Protestants were in favour of the anti-abortion statements.

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