Global Review – 13th September

China: with Russia for a “fairer” international order

China is willing to work with Russia on an international order towards a “more just and rational direction”. About 48 hours before the meeting in Samarkand between the leaders of the two countries, the head of foreign affairs of the Chinese Communist Party, Yang Jiechi, observed that “under the strategic guidance of President Xi Jinping and President Putin, relations between the two Countries have always moved forward on the right path”.  Both presidents will meet at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit held in Samarkand City, Uzbekistan, on September 15 and 16. The meeting will be Xi Jinping’s first overseas trip in 30 months because of the Covid-19 pandemic. This meeting will be the second time between Putin and Xi after February 2022 in Beijing.

Ukraine counter-attack continues

Monday saw Ukraine pressing on with a counter-offensive in which its forces have retaken swathes of territory in the north-east of the country. The BBC quotes the Ukraine’s army saying in its latest update, that it had taken back 20 villages in the past 24 hours alone in the Kharkiv region, adding to its claimed gains of more than 3,000 sq km.

         Meanwhile, US intelligence reports have indicated that many retreating Russian troops have left Ukraine entirely. The unnamed US military source determined that Russia had ceded virtually all of its gains in the region since its invasion in February. For Ukraine, the Russians cannot leave their country fast enough.

         A group of Ukrainian civil society leaders on Monday called sweeping electricity cuts part of a Russian strategy and urged the United States to ramp up support to maximize recent gains before winter. Much of eastern Ukraine was plunged into a blackout on Sunday, with President Zelensky blaming deliberate attacks by Moscow as Kiev made startling gains on the battlefield. But the day also saw defiance from the Kremlin, which insisted that Russia’s war would continue until all its goals were met, despite the military reverses of the week.

EU towards mandatory cut in electricity consumption

The European Commission will propose a mandatory target of reducing electricity consumption during peak hours. This is what emerges from the draft regulation on the subject, which ANSA was able to consult. According to the draft, the mandatory target would entail the selection of three or four hours aday in which to reduce consumption, leaving the states a “margin of discretion” regarding the choice of times.

Kirill absent in Pope’s Kazakh trip

Pope Francis leaves today for a peace meeting of world religious leaders in Kazakhstan marked by the conspicuous absence of Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, who supports the war in Ukraine. Kirill had been expected to attend the Seventh Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, and Francis had several times said he was willing to talk to him. But the Russian Church abruptly announced last month that Kirill would skip the meeting in the Kazak capital, Nur-Sultan. It gave no reason. Still, the war in Ukraine is likely to cast a long shadow on the meeting. , which is due to be attended by more than 100 delegations from about 50 countries. There are only about 125,000 Catholics among the 19 million population of the vast Central Asian country, which is a former Soviet Republic. About 70% of the Kazakhs are Muslim and about 26% Orthodox Christians.

Russia intimidating opponents of Ukraine war

Acting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Nada Al- Nashif said on Monday that Russia was intimidating opponents of the war in Ukraine. “In the Russian Federation, the intimidation, restrictive measures and sanctions against people voicing opposition to the war in Ukraine undermine the exercise of constitutionally guaranteed fundamental freedoms, including the rights to free assembly, expression and association,” Nada Al- Nashif said in a speech at the opening of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. She also said Moscow was violating the right to access information by pressuring journalists, blocking the internet and through other forms of censorship. Dmitry Peskov, press secretary for President Putin, called the remarks “unfounded”.

Modern slavery on the rise as crises fuel povertyUN report

The number of people forced into modern forms of slavery by poverty and other crises has risen by a fifth in recent years to around 50 million on any given day, the UN International Labour Organization (ILO) said on Monday. More than half of those had been forced to work against their will and the rest forced into marriage, the ILO said. Both came under its definition of modern slavery as they involved people who “cannot refuse or cannot leave because of threats, violence, deception, abuse of power or other forms of coercion”, it added. The situation had been exacerbated by crises such as COVID-19, armed conflicts and climate change which had left more people in extreme poverty and forced more to migrate, the agency said.

King Charles pauses for sombre vigil beside Queen’s coffin

King Charles III paused for a public vigil beside his mother’s coffin as she Lies in Rest in Edinburgh. For 10 minutes, and in full view of the world, the grieving monarch stood gravely by the Queen’s coffin, flanked by his siblings, next to the Queen’s coffin at St Giles’ Cathedral. Charles, the Duke of York, and his siblings the Princess Royal, and the Earl of Wessex, stood around the coffin as the first members of the public to pay tribute to Her Majesty filed past, paying their final respects. The Queen will Lie at Rest in the cathedral until Tuesday afternoon. Images of the Queen’s grieving children as they stand around their mother’s coffin dominate the front pages of Tuesday’s national papers.

Earlier in the day, the new King and Camilla, the Queen Consort, arrived at the Scottish Parliament, where tributes were paid to the Queen as part of a motion of condolence in the debating chamber. The King met leaders of Scotland’s main political parties, including First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, of the SNP, and Douglas Ross of the Scottish Conservatives. Ms Sturgeon said that Scotland “stands ready” to support King Charles as he continues his mother’s legacy of public service. Addressing the Scottish Parliament afterwards, the King talked about how many people in Scotland shared “a profound sense of grief” with him over the death of Her Majesty.

3 children die in Syria explosion of motorcycle bomb

At least three children were killed in the explosion of a motorcycle bomb in the Tweina camp, controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces militia, west of the city of Hasaka in north-eastern Syria. “A motorcycle with a booby-trap parked near the displaced tents exploded, killing three children and injuring several residents,” local sources told Sana.

40 subpoenas of Trump advisors for Capitol assault

The US Department of Justice has issued some 40 subpoenas over the past seven days as part of its investigation into the involvement of former President Donald Trump and his staff in the events that led to the January 6 assault on the Capitol last year. According to the ‘New York Times’, authorities seized the cell phones of two former president’s advisors, Boris Epshteyn and Mike Roman, as evidence.

John Lennon’s killer again denied parole

The man who shot and killed John Lennon outside his Manhattan apartment building in 1980 has been denied parole for a 12th time, New York corrections officials said Monday. Mark David Chapman, 67, appeared before a parole board at the end of August, according to the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. Chapman shot and killed Lennon on the night of December 8, 1980, as Lennon and Yoko Ono were returning to their Upper West Side apartment. Lennon had signed an autograph for Chapman on a copy of his recently released album, “Double Fantasy,” earlier that day.

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