Global Review – 14th October

Committee votes to subpoena Trump

The January 6 committee investigating the 2021 Capitol riot has unanimously voted to subpoena Donald Trump, to compel the one-term president to testify and to provide documents about what he did or didn’t know about the insurrection attempt. “We must seek the testimony under oath of January 6’s central player,” said Representative Liz Cheney, the committee’s vice chair, adding, “We are obligated to seek answers directly from the man who set this all in motion. And every American is entitled to those answers.” In a statement Trump hit out at the decision, saying: “Why didn’t the Unselect Committee ask me to testify months ago?” Trump is expected to decline the order to testify.

Banners calling for Xi removal in rare China protest

Beijing authorities removed rare banners of political protest from an overpass in the Chinese capital, according to images circulated widely on social media, just days before the start of a twice-in-a-decade Communist Party congress. The banners bore several slogans, including a call for President Xi Jinping’s removal and an end to strict Covid-19 policies, according to numerous images and videos circulated on Twitter, which is blocked in China. “Let us strike from schools and from work and remove the dictatorial traitor Xi Jinping,” one of the slogans read. “We don’t want Covid tests, we want to eat; we don’t want lockdowns, we want to be free,” said another red-lettered banner.

Nato unintimidated by nuclear threats

Nato has declared that it will “not be intimidated” by Russia’s upcoming nuclear exercise and verbiage about a third world war. Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters that “Russia’s nuclear rhetoric is dangerous, reckless, and they know that if they use (a) nuclear weapon against Ukraine, it will have severe consequences”. His comments came after a meeting of NATO’s Nuclear Planning Group in Brussels. Asked what the military alliance would do should Moscow launch a nuclear attack, Stoltenberg said, “This will fundamentally change the nature of the conflict. It will mean that a very important line has been crossed.’’ He stressed, however, that the circumstances in which NATO might have to use nuclear weapons are “extremely remote.” Stoltenberg’s comments echoed those of EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, who also warned the Russia against using nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

Belarus troops alerted for an anti-terrorism operation

Belarus has alerted its armed forces, declaring an anti-terrorism operation. , Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei said they would respond to any provocation from neighbouring countries. In recent days, President Alexander Lukashenko accused Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine of training radical Belarusian militants to organise destabilisation in Belarus.

Ukraine liberates 600 settlements

Over the past month, Ukrainian forces have recaptured more than 600 settlements from Russian-occupied territory, including 75 in the strategic Kherson area. Ukrainian officials announced the startling gains on Thursday, adding that 502 areas were liberated in Kharkiv, 43 in the Donetsk and seven in the Luhansk regions. The news came as Russia announced the evacuation of populations in Kherson after the region’s Kremlin-backed governor made a plea for assistance. Kherson was among the first regions to be captured by Russian forces after Moscow began its invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

Ukrainian raid on Belgorod ammunition depot

A Ukrainian raid blew up an ammunition depot in the Russian region of Belgorod, on the border with Ukraine, according to the governor. Earlier the mayor of the capital Anton Ivanov had denounced a Ukrainian attack on an apartment building.

Floodwaters spark Melbourne evacuations

Flash floods swamped hundreds of homes in southeastern Australia and thousands of people were warned to flee surging waters threatening towns across three separate states Friday. A major flooding emergency was unfolding in Victoria – Australia’s second most populous state – where rapidly-rising waters forced evacuations in the Melbourne suburb of Maribyrnong. Cars left on the streets of the suburb were almost completely swallowed by the floods, while some stranded residents had to be saved by inflatable rescue boats. State leader Daniel Andrews told reporters 500 homes in Victoria had been “inundated”, while a further 500 properties were surrounded by floods and cut off from emergency services.

North Carolina shooting leaves 5 dead

Five people were killed and two others were injured after a shooting in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Thursday. Officers said a juvenile suspect was taken into custody. Raleigh Police Lt. Jason Borneo said a police officer, who was off-duty, was among those killed. He called it a “heartbreaking day for our city”, adding that the loss of one of their own is a “tragedy”. Speaking in a second media conference, authorities said one patient had been released from the hospital and the other is critical condition. Borneo said the suspect’s motive was still unknown.

Families shocked as mass shooter avoids death penalty

Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz has avoided the death penalty after a jury recommended life without the possibility of parole on all counts against him, in America’s deadliest high school massacre. Cruz was tried for the February 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed, including 14 students and three school staff members. Parents of victims have described the decision as a gut punch, disgusting, and making another mass shooting more likely.

Tom Cruise on the verge of movie history

The most tenacious maverick in Hollywood, Tom Cruise, is on the verge of becoming the first civilian to blast into space in a rocket, do a tethered spacewalk outside NASA’s International Space Station (ISS), and film the whole thing. Professor of Film and Television at Deakin University, Sean Redmond, and editor of the 2021 book ‘Starring Tom Cruise’, describes Cruise as “superhuman”.“There is both futurism in Cruise and nostalgia for the past,” Professor Redmond said. “There are few if any contemporary stars who are both old and new Hollywood. He is the action hero of a Golden Age and yet somehow tomorrow’s star, as ‘Top Gun’ has shown.” The untitled movie plot, which Cruise and director Doug Liman (‘The Bourne Identity’) pitched to the LA-based Universal Pictures boss on Zoom during the global pandemic in 2020, was teased out this week by Universal Pictures boss Donna Langley. “The movie actually takes place on Earth, and then the character needs to go up to space to save the day.”

Queen release song with the voice of Freddie Mercury

“Face It Alone”, the first Queen song with the voice of Freddie Mercury to be released since 2014, is online. Guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor had given the news of his existence in an interview this summer, but now the song is available to everyone. The song dates back to the sessions of the album “The Miracle”, released in 1989, two years before Mercury’s death. Thirty tracks were recorded and “Face it Alone”, never heard before, will be published for the re-issue of the album that will be released on November 18.

Diego Maradona’s ‘hand of God’ ball will be auctioned

The ball that Diego Maradona used to score his infamous “Hand of God” World Cup goal for Argentina against England in 1986 will go under the hammer next month and could fetch up to £3 million. Bidding will start on November 16 but prospective buyers can register online from October 28, London-based Graham Budd Auctions said, adding it anticipates the ball to sell for between £2.5 and £3 million. The 1986 quarter-final between Argentina and England saw a heated build-up because of political tensions following the Falklands war and came to be defined by two contrasting goals scored by the late Maradona. For the first one, Maradona ran into the box, rose with England goalkeeper Peter Shilton and punched the ball into the net.

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