France, Italy clash over migration
France said Thursday that it would allow a rescue ship carrying more than 200 migrants to dock on its southern coast and disembark its passengers, harshly criticising Italy for failing to take them in. Angered by Rome’s refusal to accept the ship, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin called it “incomprehensible”. He said France had already decided to freeze a plan to take 3,500 migrants currently in Italy, part of a European burden-sharing accord, and urged Germany and other EU nations to do the same. Italian Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi Thursday condemned France’s response to the standoff, saying, “The reaction France is having to the request to take in 234 migrants, when Italy has taken in 90,000 just this year, is totally incomprehensible in the face of continued requests for solidarity.” Italy’s Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said he was sending a signal to EU nations that they must play an even bigger part. Rome wants “an agreement to establish, on the basis of population, how migrants with a right to asylum are relocated to various countries,” Tajani said ahead of a meeting of EU ministers next week.
Emirates plane forced to return to Greece
An Emirates Boeing 777 bound for New York returned to its departure airport, Athens, after receiving information from US intelligence about the presence of a “suspect” passenger in what has been described as “a terrorism alert”. The aircraft – with 228 passengers and 18 crew members on board – reversed course while in Italian airspace, near Sardinia, and was escorted on the return journey by two F-16 fighter jets of the Greek armed forces, with orders not to fly over the mainland. Investigations are in progress.
Police officer killed in Brussels knife attack
A Belgian police officer was killed Thursday in a knife attack in Brussels, with authorities probing the motive of the assailant, who was shot and wounded by other agents who intervened on the spot. According to local media, the attacker, who would have shouted ‘Allah Akbar’, had earlier presented himself at noon in a police station, announcing his intention to commit an attack against the police. He was asked to be examined in a psychiatric hospital. In the evening, the man then carried out his plan: armed with a knife, he attacked two agents on duty in a street adjacent to the Gare du Nord. One of the policemen, stabbed in the neck, died. The other and the perpetrator were hospitalised.
‘USA to purchase weapons for Ukraine from South Korea’
The United States will purchase artillery shells from South Korea destined for Ukraine, American officials told the ‘Wall Street Journal’ – a sign of Washington’s difficulty in finding weapons to help Kiev. According to sources, the US will purchase 100,000 155mm rounds, enough to supply Ukrainian troops for several weeks. Arms purchased from South Korea will allow the US to continue helping Ukraine without drawing even more from its arms reserves.
Control of US Congress hangs in balance
Control of the US Congress continued to hang in the balance as ballot counting dragged on and attention shifted to the next big election – the 2024 presidential campaign – and whether Americans could be faced with a Joe Biden-Donald Trump rematch. With 209 seats so far, Republicans appear poised to secure a slim majority in the 435-seat House of Representatives, but control of the Senate may come down to an early December run-off in the southern state of Georgia. Biden, already America’s oldest president, insisted that he plans to run for a second term in November 2024 despite calls by some members of the party for him to step aside and hand the reins over to a new generation of leaders. Meawhile, Trump on Thursday offered a rare apology, expressing a show of contrition following a report that he blamed former first lady Melania Trump and Fox News host Sean Hannity for pushing him to endorse Dr Mehmet Oz – a major factor in midterm post-mortems as Republicans fume about losing a Senate seat to Democrats that could cost them the majority.
Trump berated by Murdoch media properties
The midterms are not finished and a barrage of Rupert Murdoch-controlled media outlets launched scathing criticism against Donald Trump, the “Republican Party’s biggest loser”. Both ‘The Wall Street Journal’ and ‘New York Post’ ran highly critical columns blaming him for the Republicans’ dismal showing. Trump has responded by calling Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, maybe future contender for the Republican nomination for the presidential 2014 race, an “average” politician.
‘My mission is to eliminate hunger’ – Lula
“I would have fulfilled the mission of my life if at the end of my mandate every Brazilian was guaranteed three meals a day,” said Brazil’s president-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. He wasspeaking in public for the first time about his future government after the victory over Jair Bolsonaro in the October 30 runoff. “The vote we received in the elections is that of the most needy, we must not be ashamed to say it,” said the tearful politician, adding, “Those who voted for us did so as they knowwe will take care of those most in need first.”
UK’s winter of discontent
A hundred thousand UK civil servants vote to join nurses, train and bus drivers, postal workers, London underground staff, binmen, midwives, baggage handlers and university lectures in walking out – with teachers, firefighters and 300,000 NHS workers also voting to strike. Their action would disrupt airports, ports, border control and job centres. Union leaders will meet on Monday to coordinate their members’ strike action.
Alarming rise in rapid rain bursts in Sydney
Research published on Thursday in ‘Science’ has found an alarming increase of at least 40% in the rate at which rain falls in the most intense rapid rain bursts in Sydney over the past two decades. Rapid rain bursts are very heavy rainfalls lasting less than an hour, often as little as 10 minutes. These events are typically highly localised. Part of a larger storm or independently, they can cause a huge amount of water to build up rapidly over a small region, leaving almost no time for water to sink into the ground or be carried away by rivers and urban channels, such as gutters and stormwater systems designed for past conditions.
Afghan women banned from parks and gyms
The Taliban have prohibited women from going to parks and gyms in Afghanistan in the religious group’s latest edict cracking down on women’s rights and freedoms. A spokesman said women were not wearing the required hijab. The Taliban have banned girls from school, restricted women from employment, and ordered them to wear head-to-toe clothing.
Warren Beatty accused of molesting a minor in 1973
Warren Beatty has ended up in the circle of Hollywood celebrities accused of sexual harassment The ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ actor and Oscar-winning director is at the centre of a lawsuit for seducing and sexually assaulting a woman who was between 14 and 15 years old at the time. Kristina Charlotte Hirsch’s complaint to the Los Angeles Superior Court claims that Beatty used her status as a Hollywood star to “lure, manipulate, exploit and coerce sexual contact with a minor”. Meanwhile, Paul Haggis, the Oscar-winning director of “Crash”, was convicted in New York for rape and has to pay at least $7.5 million to advertising agent Haleigh Breest who accused him of raping her in 2017, when she was 26.
‘Inter scheduled to play in malta next month’
According to the Italian Press Agency, AGI, the idea of an Inter mini retreat to be held in Malta is taking shape. If confirmed, Simone Inzaghi’s nerazzurri would take advantage of the 50-day World Cup break to train in a place with a milder climate than that of Milan. Two friendlies are scheduled, the first against Hamrun Spartans and the second with a team yet to be defined. Inter should take off from Malpensa on December 5 and return on the ninth, to then carry out two more friendly tests: one on Saturday, December 17 against Betis, the second probably against Reggina at Granillo for the family derby between the Inzaghi brothers.