UN chief urges ‘rapid’ emission cuts to curb climate change
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for “immediate, rapid and large-scale” cuts in greenhouse gas emissions to curb global warming and avert climate disaster. Ahead of the annual UN General Assembly meeting next week, Guterres warned governments that climate change is proceeding faster than predicted and fossil fuel emissions have already bounced back from a pandemic dip.
China denounces US-UK-Australia pact as irresponsible
China has joined France in criticising the tri-partite security pact between the US, the UK and Australia, describing it as “extremely irresponsible” and “narrow-minded”. The deal will see the US and UK give Australia the technology to build nuclear-powered submarines. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the alliance risked “severely damaging regional peace… and intensifying the arms race”. He criticised what he called “the obsolete Cold War… mentality” and warned the three countries were “hurting their own interests”. France has also reacted angrily to the new pact, because it means Australia will now abandon a 31-billion euro deal with it to build 12 submarines. France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told France Info Radio, “It’s really a stab in the back,” adding that trust between the two countries “has now been betrayed”.
Putin urges Russians to vote as general election gets under way
President Vladimir Putin has urged Russians to vote in the upcoming parliamentary elections. With early voting already under way in the petrochemical sector, nationwide polls open for the three-day election this morning. Putin’s United Russia party is expected to comfortably hold its dominance over the State Duma, where it currently holds a two-thirds majority.
Dutch foreign minister quits over Afghanistan crisis
Dutch Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag resigned on Thursday after the lower house of Parliament passed a motion of censure against the government over its handling of the evacuation of Afghanistan amid the Taliban takeover. In a parliamentary debate, Kaag acknowledged that the government’s slow and muddled response to warnings about the situation in Afghanistan meant some local staff and people who had worked as translators for Dutch troops in the country had not been flown out.
Biden drops in polls; Americans split over Afghanistan
President Joe Biden is down in the polls, with Americans divided over his handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan. According to Monmouth University surveys, 45% approve of the US president’s work, down from 54% in April. Only 30% of Americans believe that the country is on the right track, while respondents are split on Afghanistan: 48% believe it has been well managed, while 49% reject the modalities.
Baradar: ‘No probems with Haqqani network’
Taliban Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Ghani Baradar has reappeared in an interview on Afghan TV, saying he was “fine and healthy” and adding that “I was out of Kabul and didn’t have access to the internet to reject fake news.” Mullah Baradar denied news of his injury following a brawl within the executive with members of the Haqqani network.
One million cancer diagnoses missed in the EU since the pandemic
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, missed diagnoses of cancer have amounted to one million across the EU. The alert comes from the Italian Association of Medical Oncology, on the occasion of the launch of the 2021 Congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology. Also due to lockdowns, some wrong lifestyles are even more widespread. The number of new cases could grow by 21% by 2040.
Italy to require all workers to show ‘green pass’ certificate
Italy is to make it compulsory for all workers to have a COVID “green pass” – proof of vaccination, a negative test or recovery from the virus. The measures are a first for Europe and some of the strictest in the world. Anyone without a pass will reportedly face suspension from work and may have their pay stopped after five days. The measure, due to come into force on October 15, aims to boost vaccinations in a country that has been badly hit by the virus. Green pass certificates for COVID-19, provided both digitally and on paper, are already required to access Italian train stations, cinemas, restaurants, gyms and swimming pools.
Prince Philip’s will to be secret for 90 years
The Duke of Edinburgh’s will is to remain secret for at least 90 years to protect the “dignity and standing” of the Queen, the High Court has ruled. It has been convention for over a century that, after the death of a senior member of the Royal Family, the courts are asked to seal their wills. It means that, unlike most wills granted probate, it will not be open to public inspection. There will be a private process in 90 years to decide if it can be unsealed.