EU must respond as one to Putin’s ‘blackmail’
The European Union should have a coordinated response to the challenge posed by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “blackmail” with the supply of natural gas, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Saturday. He said Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is meant to “legitimise a despotic authoritarianism and enable any local troublemaker” to do the same – a hardly veiled reference to Greece’s neighbour Turkey and the increasingly-aggressive rhetoric of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “In the Ukraine war, we stand with those defending themselves, we stand with democracy and freedom … we know what it means to have an (aggressive) neighbour,” Mitsotakis said. Putin wants to turn European anxiety about energy into political destabilisation, Mitsotakis added in the keynote speech at the Thessaloniki International Fair, in which Greece’s heads of government announce the coming year’s economic policies. The Greek premier reminded his audience that Greece had proposed months ago a cap on natural gas prices and a decoupling of electricity prices from those of natural gas and expressed his satisfaction that the European Union was coming round to such solutions.
Russian grip on north-east Ukraine collapses
Moscow has abandoned its main bastion in north-eastern Ukraine in a sudden collapse of one of the war’s principal frontlines after surging Ukrainian forces made a rapid advance. Ukrainian forces pushed up to 50 kilometres past Russian lines this week and recaptured dozens of towns in a dramatic counteroffensive. The swift fall of three key cites – Izium, Kupiansk and Balaklyia – in Kharkiv province was Moscow’s worst defeat since its troops were forced back from the capital Kyiv in March. Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said the supply of weapons from the west was paying off.
18 killed in Mexico as trailer plunges on to bus
18 people were killed in a dramatic road accident in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, where the trailer of a tanker detached from the tractor and hit a bus full of passengers. The trailer, which was carrying a paint thinner, overturned and caught fire after the impact, causing a fire that hit both vehicles. The driver first fled, and then turned himself to the police.
King Charles III formally proclaimed Britain’s sovereign
The Accession Council formally proclaimed King Charles III the sovereign of the United Kingdom at St James’s Palace Saturday morning. “I shall strive to follow the inspiring example I have been set in upholding constitutional government and to seek the peace, harmony and prosperity of the peoples of these islands, and of the Commonwealth realms and territories throughout the world,” Charles said.The new king also paid tribute to his recently-deceased mother, saying, “My mother gave an example of lifelong love and of selfless service. My mother’s reign was unequalled in its duration, its dedication and its devotion.” A royal official then publicly proclaimed the king from a balcony at St. James’s Palace.
Truss swears allegiance to King Charles III
Britain’s newest Prime Minister Liz Truss swore her allegiance to King Charles III Saturday along with Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer. The nation’s leaders led senior Members of Parliament in pledging allegiance to the newest monarch following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Truss met with the Queen at Balmoral Tuesday, where the longest-reigning monarch passed away Thursday. Members of Parliament heared tributes to the Queen until 10 pm Saturday.
Harry and Meghan, William and Kate make surprise joint appearance
Prince William and Prince Harry made a surprise joint appearance outside Windsor Castle with their wives, Kate, Princess of Wales and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. The brothers have fallen out in the years since Harry left front-line royal life for a life in the US with his young family. But on Saturday, all four put aside their differences to view floral tributes to Queen Elizabeth II that have been placed outside Windsor Castle. They also met members of the public who are laying flowers and mourning the queen.
‘I have lost a grandmother’ – Prince William
Prince William of Wales spoke publicly Saturday for the first time since the death of his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II. “On Thursday, the world lost an extraordinary leader,” he said. “I, however lost a grandmother. And I will grieve her loss.” The prince went on to say, “I also feel incredibly grateful.”“She was by my side during my happiest moments. And she was by my side during the sadest days of my life,” he continued. “I knew this day would come, but it will be some time before the reality of life without Grannie will truly feel real.”
Queen’s funeral set for September 19 at Westminster Abbey
Queen Elizabeth’s funeral has been set for September 19 at Westminster Abbey. King Charles proclaimed that the day of the funeral would be a bank holiday.The longest reigning monarch’s coffin will be transferred from its current location at Balmoral Castle in Scotland by road to Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh later today – a journey that will take six hours by hearse. The Queen will then lie in state for “four days” in Westminster Hall.
Close Swedish election predicted
Swedes vote Sunday in legislative elections that will either pave the way for an unprecedented right-wing government supported by the far-right or a third straight mandate for the ruling Social Democrats. Opinion polls have predicted a close race with a razor-thin lead for Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson’s Social Democrats and the left bloc, following a campaign dominated by rising gang shootings and soaring electricity prices.
Free Princeton ‘varsity for families with income under $100,000
The prestigious American university of Princeton becomes more inclusive. From next year, in fact, families with an income of less than $100,000 a year will be able to enroll their children without paying the high school fees, which can reach up to $80,000 a year. Thanks to the new measure, more than 25% of students will receive financial aid to cover the entire cost of the tuition as well as room and board. From 2023, financial aid will therefore also be provided for families with incomes up to $150,000.
Ccandidates for special master in Mar-a-Lago case
Lawyers for former President Donald Trump and the Department of Justice each put forward a pair of candidates to serve as the special master who will be entrusted with reviewing documents seized last month during the FBI’s raid on Mar-a-Lago. Trump and DOJ lawyers nominated the four retired judges but failed to agree on who the special master should be, the proper scope of his or her work, or which side should bear the added expense in a joint filing Friday.
Judge approves Boy Scouts’ sexual abuse settlement
A bankruptcy judge in Delaware has approved the Boy Scouts of America’s $2.46 billion reorganisation plan, opening the way for the youth organisation to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy and start compensating more than 80,000 men who say they were sexually abused by scout leaders. The agreement it reached with tens of thousands of victims last year is the largest child sexual abuse settlement in US history. Under the terms of the plan, each abuse claimant-creditor would receive between $3,500 and $2.7 million, depending on the severity of the case.
Poitras wins Venice Film Festival’s Golden Lion
“All the Beauty and the Bloodshed,” a documentary about photographer Nan Goldin, won the festival’s best film award. Cate Blanchett and Colin Farrell were crowned best actors. The Silver Lion grand jury prize went to Alice Diop, for “Saint Omer”. The French filmmaker’s feature debut also earned her the Lion of the Future award. The Silver Lion award for best director went to Luca Guadagnino for his film “Bones & All”. The Special Jury Prize recognised Jafar Iranian director Panahi’s latest work, “No Bears”. He was arrested in July and must now serve a six-year sentence that was originally handed to him in 2010.