Global Review – 13th September

North Korea test-fires long-range cruise missiles

North Korea has successfully test-fired “new type, long-range” cruise missiles over the weekend, state news agency KCNA reported. They travelled for two hours and 10 minutes above the land and water of North Korea, and hit targets 1,500 kilometres away.

IAEA, Iran progress on access to nuclear programme

The UN nuclear watchdog has signaled progress in talks with Iranian officials in Tehran over access to the country’s expanding programme. Tehran said International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors would be able to replace damaged surveillance cameras and memory cards at atomic sites following a “constructive” meeting with Director General Rafael Grossi on Sunday.

Pope calls for healing of European divisions

Pope Francis made a plea for the healing of divides and respect for others as he addressed the faithful in Budapest and Bratislava on Sunday. On reaching Slovakia after a visit to Hungary, the Pope said a greater sense of community was needed in Europe, and less division. Pope Francis also urged Hungary to “extend its arms towards everyone”. The comments were interpreted by some as a veiled critique of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s anti-migration policies, whom Francis met earlier on Sunday.

German election candidates face off in crunch TV debate

The Social Democrat candidate to become Germany’s next chancellor beat his conservative rival in a primetime TV debate on Sunday, a snap poll showed, further boosting his campaign to succeed Angela Merkel in an election in two weeks’ time. The SPD leads the conservatives in polls and its candidate Olaf Scholz, currently finance minister, brushed off verbal attacks from Armin Laschet on his record on tackling money-laundering and whether he would ally with a far-left party. A snap poll for ARDtelevision taken soon after the 90-minute debate showed that 41% of those asked thought Scholz was the most convincing performer, compared to 27% for Laschet.

New Taliban curbs on female education

Taliban Education Minister Abdul Baqi Haqqani has announced new restrictions on women and girls’ education. New rules include gender segregation and an Islamic dress code. He said, coeducation was in conflict with the principles of Islam with national values and was against the customs and traditions of Afghans. Meanwhile, the Taliban government has launched the announced general amnesty for those who had collaborated with the former government and foreign forces. Military, police officers and other security sectors are also included in the measure.

FBI releases first 9/11 reports

The FBI has released the first in a series of documents relating to its investigation into the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the Saudi government’s suspected support for the hijackers, following an executive order from President Joe Biden. The document, which dates back to 2016, provides details about the FBI’s investigation into the alleged logistical support that a Saudi consular official and a suspected Saudi intelligence agent in Los Angeles allegedly provided to at least two of the men who hijacked the planes.

Hidalgo, Le Pen running for the Elysée

Socialist mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo and Marine Le Pen, leader of the Rassemblement National, are running for the Elysée, challenging President Macron in next April’s presidential elections. Le Pen told a rally that logic required her to leave the presidency of the movement as at the moment “the country is at a crossroads between the abyss and the summit”. Hidalgo announced in Rouen, “the Republican model was disintegrating” and wanted “to offer a future to all our children”.

Custody fight over Italy cable car crash boy

A six-year-old boy who was the sole survivor of a cable car crash this year in northern Italy is at the centre of a bitter custody battle between his maternal grandparents in Israel and his paternal relatives in Italy, who claim the child was flown without their permission to Israel over the weekend. Italian juvenile court officials had ruled that the child could live with a paternal aunt near Pavia. But the aunt, Aya Biran, told reporters on Sunday that the previous day, Eitan’s maternal grandfather took the boy on an agreed-up day visit, then flew him without permission to Israel. “We did not abduct Eitan,’’ Gali Peleg told radio station 103 FM in Israel. “We just brought Eitan home.”

Tennis: Medvedev shatters Djokovic’s dream

Novak Djokovic’s quest for a record 21st major title that would have completed the calendar-year Grand Slam collapsed at the final hurdle with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 loss to Russian Daniil Medvedev in the US Open final on Sunday. Djokovic was trying to become the first man in over half a century to win all four majors (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, U.S. Open) in the same year.


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