US warns China over pressure on Taiwan
The United States has warned China over its pressure on Taiwan, the State Department said yesterday, as the two powers prepare for a hotly awaited summit. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Foreign Minister Wang Yi and “expressed concern regarding the PRC’s continued military, diplomatic, and economic pressure against Taiwan,” the department said in a statement. President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping are set to hold a virtual summit this evening. The pair’s third meeting will address several thorny issues, including cybersecurity, trade and nuclear non-proliferation. The two have spoken twice since Biden took office in January, but both have acknowledged bumps in the relationship.
Anti-corruption party leads in Bulgarian election
A newly founded anti-corruption party in Bulgaria is on course to win the country’s latest parliamentary election, according to four exit polls. The surveys by Alpha Research, Gallup International, Market Links and Trend showed the centrist party, ‘We Continue The Change’, leading Sunday’s election with around 26% of the vote. Former Prime Minister Boyko Borisov’s GERB party was in second with about 23-24%. The results increase the chances of an end to political deadlock in the EU’s poorest member state. Political wrangling had prevented Borisov’s opponents from forming a government after two inconclusive elections in April and July.
Gaddafi’s son registers to run for Libyan presidential vote
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of slain Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi, has filed papers to run in December’s presidential race. Saif, who hasn’t been seen in public for years, registered with the electoral commission in the southwestern city of Sebha, the body’s communications director Khaled al-Manea said Sunday in a statement to Bloomberg. A video posted by Almarsad, a local news organisation, purported to show him submitting the application. Gaddafi, 49 is the first widely recognised would-be candidate to officially enter the running since registration for the December 24 vote opened last week.
Polish PM mulls asking NATO to intervene in border crisis
Poland, Lithuania and Latvia are considering asking NATO to hold emergency talks as they struggle to manage a tense migration standoff on their borders with Belarus. In an interview with state news agency PAP, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said he and his two Baltic counterparts are discussing whether to ask for such talks under the NATO treaty, which allows any ally to request consultations if it feels its territorial integrity, political independence or security is threatened. Thisstep has only been requested a few times in the history of the Western alliance.
UK police arrest three over deadly car blast
One person has died and another was injured after a taxi exploded outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital, authorities said. Police arrested three men in connection with the blast, although the cause remains unclear. Local police said that counterterrorism officers are currently in charge of the investigation.
Queen Elizabeth misses Remembrance Day service
Queen Elizabeth missed Sunday’s Remembrance Day Service at the Cenotaph due to a sprained back, extending the 95-year-old monarch’s absence from public life after she was ordered to rest following a stay in hospital last month. A Buckingham Palace source said the sprain was unrelated to the unspecified ailment that caused the queen’s hospital visit.
Macron changes the blue of the national flag
President Macron has ordered a change to France’s blue, white and red flag. The blue in the flag has been changed from cobalt to marine – a slightly darker shade. Some close collaborators explained that the idea was inspired by the “return to the colours of the flag of 1793”, after the Revolution. The operation, which should be extended to all the country’s official flags, cost just €5,000.
Maori tribe prohibits no-vax from using the haka
The Maori tribe that owns the rights to the ‘Ka Mate’ haka has told no-vax protesters to stop performing the famous ritual during the demonstrations. Ngati Toa, a tribe or “iwi” in Maori, is recognised by New Zealand law as the cultural custodian of Ka Mate, which has played a leading role in recent protests against coronavirus-related restrictions.
Maneskin voted best rock band at EMA
The Roman band Maneskin has been voted as the best rock group at MTV’s Europe Music Awards 2021 in Budapest, overtaking opponents in nominations such as Coldplay, Foo Fighters, Imagine Dragons, Kings Of Leon and The Killers. This is the first Italian success in an international category in the history of the European Music Awards.