Global Review – 15th August

Devastation in Haiti following 7.2 magnitude earthquake

The authorities in Haiti have said some 300 people died in the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that devastated Haiti yesterday morning. Images on social media show the extent of damaged roads and collapsed buildings, including houses, churches and other historic buildings. According to the US geoseismic institute, the situation is a “red alert” and could lead to the death of thousands of people. US President Joe Biden has authorised an immediate US response.

Death toll in Turkey floods rises to 44

The work of rescuers struggling against time to find survivors of the floods in northern Turkey continues, while the death toll has risen to 44. Government disaster agency Afad said that specialised teams are sifting through the rubble of dozens of collapsed homes as a result of the floods that hit the Black Sea regions on Wednesday after heavy rains. Nine other people are in hospital.

Scorching heatwave engulfs Spain

Spain continues to struggle with a scorching heatwave as the maximum temperature recorded yesterday in Andalusia, was 46.9 degrees. If confirmed, it would be equal to that officially considered as Spain’s historical maximum, recorded in 2017 by the Cordoba airport station.

Taliban seize Jalalabad, cut off Afghan capital from east

Taliban seized the city of Jalalabad early Sunday, cutting off Afghanistan’s increasingly isolated capital Kabul to the east as the insurgents’ blitz across the country continued. The U.S. and NATO prepare to withdraw from the country after two decades of war. The seizure comes amid rapid gains by the Taliban over the last week, pressuring Afghanistan’s central government as US, British and Canadian forces rush troops in to help their diplomatic staffs still there. Thousands have poured into Kabul to flee the Taliban advance. The fall on Saturday of Mazar-e-Sharif hands the insurgents control over all of northern Afghanistan. On Saturday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani delivered a televised speech, his first public appearance since the recent Taliban gains. He vowed not to give up the “achievements” of the 20 years since the US-led invasion toppled Taliban after the 9/11 attacks.

Israel recalls diplomats from Poland after “anti-Semitic” law

Israel has recalled its charge d’affaires from Warsaw in protest at the definitive start to the law on the restitution of Jewish assets seized during the Second World War. Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, who called the measure “anti-Semitic and immoral”, said on Twitter that furthermore, the new ambassador to Poland “will not leave at this stage”. The reaction follows Polish President Andrzej Duda’s signing of the controversial law, which will severely limit claims for property seized after World War II.

Canada’s main opposition under fire over ‘tasteless’ Trudeau advert

Canada’s main opposition Conservative Party was criticised by some of its own members on Saturday for a “tasteless” advert targeting Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, a day before he is expected to call an election in the hope of securing a majority in Parliament. “The only reason for an election is because Trudeau wants a majority,” reads the tagline of the 37 second video which shows Trudeau’s head pasted on top of Veruca Salt, a character from the 1971 film “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”, in which she throws a fit for not getting what she wants.

12 killed in Pakistan grenade attack

Twelve members of an extended family, all women and young boys, lost their lives and several others suffered burn injuries in a grenade attack on a mini-truck on the outskirts of the city on Saturday night. A senior police officer, who didn’t want not to be named, told Dawn that it was an act of terrorism.

Ken Loach says he was expelled from the Labor Party

British director Ken Loach has announced he was expelled from the Labor Party in what he called a “purge” of leader Keir Starmer. The 85-year-old socialist filmmaker said he was expelled after refusing to “disown” other members of the radical left who have already been expelled. Starmer is fighting to keep the party together, with supporters of his far-left predecessor, Jeremy Corbyn, often criticising his leadership.

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