Pope, Guterres urge climate agreement
Both Pope Francis and UN Sectretary General Antonio Guterres have urged delegates at the UN COP26 climate conference to get a deal on keeping global warming to 1.5oC above pre-industrial levels. As the talks in Glasgow went into their final stretch, the Pope said “Time is running out!” In a letter to Catholics in Scotland, he urged world leaders not to miss the opportunity to stop the climate crisis “destroying life as we know it”. Meanwhile, amid growing fears that the goal of limiting global warming seems unlikely to be met, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has urged delegates to speed up negotiations. He said that the goal was on “life support” and the summit would probably not see governments make the pledges needed to cut CO2 emissions by enough. Earlier, conference president, Alok Sharma, said the latest draft conclusions he had seen showed “significant” progress, but “we are not there yet”.
World conference on Libya in Paris today
France is hosting an international conference today aimed at ensuring that Libya sticks to a plan to hold elections in December. World leaders are also expected to endorse the repatriation of foreign armed forces from the country. Three hundred “foreign mercenaries and fighters”, active in the areas of eastern Libya controlled by Khalifa Haftar, will be repatriated “at the request of France”. This was announced by military sources linked to Hafter, the strongman of Cyrenaica, who fought against Tripoli. US Vice-President Pamela Harris and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavroff are expected to attend the talks in Paris. Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela will be present.
UN Security Council condemns Belarus
The US and European members of the UN Security Council – Estonia, France, Ireland, Norway and the United Kingdom – have condemned Belarus over its role in the migrants’ crisis at the Polish border. They accused Belarus of “orchestrating instrumentalisation of human beings”, sending migrants to the frontier to destabilise the EU’s border and to distract attention from its own human rights violations. But Russia has sharply dismissed these accusations as its deputy ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy said Europe and America had exposed “their masochistic intentions by raising the issue.
FW de Klerk’s post-humous apology for apatheid
A video has been released hours after the death of South Africa’s last white leader FW de Klerk in which he makes an unqualified apology for apartheid. The 85-year-old said this had inflicted pain, damage and indignity. He died at home early Thursday after a battle with cancer.
Baby, born 0.5 kg, makes Guinness Book of Records
He is over a year old and has already entered the Guinness Book of Records: when he was born, at the twenty-first week of his mother’s twin pregnancy, the baby weighed 410 grams. Michelle Butler was five months pregnant with twins when she was rushed into labour. On July 5, 2020 she gave birth to her children, but only one of the two, Curtis, survived. His sister didn’t make it. Now Curtis has gained recognition from the Guinness World Records. The boy completed his development in an incubator, where he stayed for 275 days, over 9 months, to return home on April 6.
Assange given permission to marry
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been given permission to marry his partner, Stella Moris, in his London prison. Assange has been held in Belmarsh Prison in London since 2019, after the United States took legal action to extradite him. The couple, who met when Assange was living in the Ecuadorean embassy in London, in an attempt to avoid extradition, have two children.
Court rejects Eitan grandfather’s appeal
The Tel Aviv District Court has rejected the appeal presented by the lawyers of Shmuel Peleg, Eitan’s grandfather, against the first degree sentence which established that the little survivor of the Mottarone tragedy must return to Italy to his aunt Aya Biran. The judges have decided that the six-year-old will have to return to Italy to his aunt within 15 days. This week, Italian justice issued an international arrest warrant for the grandfather who took Eitan to Israel on a private jet last September. In the first instance sentence, the Israeli judges wrote that Italy is Eitan’s “place of normal residence”.