Global Review – 10th August

Postal workers intercept bullets sent to Pope

An envelope with three bullets, addressed to Pope Francis, was found by post office workers at the Sorting Centre in Peschiera Borromeo, in the Milanese area in Italy. The package, sent from France, contained three Flobert-type pellets, calibre 9 millimeters. The address was written in pen in a barely legible way and addressed to “The Pope – Vatican City – Piazza San Pietro in Rome”. The police are investigating. The Vatican had no comment to make.

UNICEF: 27 children killed in 72 hours in Afghanistan

Twenty-seven children have been killed in the last 72 hours in the fighting in Afghanistan, according to UNICEF. The UN children’s agency denounced the killings, saying it is “shocked” by the rapid escalation of violence. The most serious “atrocities” were in the province of Kandahar, where 20 children were killed and another 130 injured.

Pakistani child accused of blasphemy – faces death penalty

An eight-year-old Pakistani boy with mental health problems accused of blasphemy in Pakistan, risks the death penalty. He is the youngest person ever charged with this crime, and was placed in protective custody after many threats against him from the Muslim community. The child, from a Hindu family, was arrested on  August 4 after being caught urinating in the library of a Muslim madrasa in the city of Rahim Yar Khan, Punjab, after an angry mob destroyed a Hindu temple in retaliation. Prime Minister Imran Khan attempted to calm people by condemning the gesture and pledging to repair the temple.

Epstein: woman sues Prince Andrew

US media report that Virginia Giuffrè, one of the accusers of Jeffrey Epstein, has filed a civil lawsuit against Prince Andrew, son of Queen Elizabeth, claiming he abused her. The woman claims she was sexually abused by Andrew when she was only 17 on three separate occasions: in London, New York and Epstein’s residence in the Virgin Islands. On August 10, 2019, guards found the American financier and convicted sex offender unresponsive in his New York jail cell, where he was awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. Giuffrè’s papers, filed with the federal court in Manhattan, show how she was forced to have sex with Andrew by Epstein and his accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell.

Leaders, activists alarmed, but not surprised by climate report

Politicians, scientists and activists were swift to react to the UN climate report that predicts quicker global warming than anticipated just three years ago. The landmark study warns of increasingly extreme heatwaves, droughts and flooding, and a key temperature limit being broken in just over a decade. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said it “must sound a death knell” for coal, oil and gas and is “code red” for humanity. US President Joe Biden tweeted: “We can no longer wait to face the climate crisis. The signs are unequivocal. The science is incontrovertible. And the costs of not acting continue to rise.” French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted, “The time of indignation is behind us. Paris Agreement, carbon neutrality at European level, climate law … France will remain on the side of those who act.” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the report should serve as “a wake-up call” for world leaders as they prepare to gather in Scotland later this year for the next summit on the climate crisis.

Animal activists demonstrate in bid to save alpaca Geronimo

Dozens of animal activists have demonstrated in front of Downing Street to try to save the life of Geronimo, an alpaca that tested positive for bovine tuberculosis that must be killed. The BBC reports that Geronimo has become a web star and over 100,000 people have signed a petition asking Boris Johnson to save him. Owner Helen Macdonald, who is a veterinarian and imported the animal from New Zealand, claims the tests have given false positives. Last week Macdonald lost her latest appeal to save him in the High Court and she has already said she doesn’t intend to break the law when department officials arrive on her farm to kill Geronimo. But she “won’t make it easy”.

 

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