Global Review – 18th October

China’s missile technology shakes US intelligence

The Financial Times reports US intelligence officials have been left “shocked” after China tested a globe-encircling nuclear-capable hypersonic missile in August – a move one US lawmaker warned could “threaten the American homeland” and undermine its missile defences. Congressman Mike Gallagher said the test should seve as “a call to action from the US”. He said if Washington stuck to its current approach, it would lose a new cold war with China within a decade. Three sources told the paper the missile missed its target by about two dozen miles. The Pentagon did not comment on the test, but reiterated its concern about the “military capabilities China continues to pursue”. Chinese officials also kept silent on the issue. The Chinese embassy declined to comment on the test, but said China always pursued a policy that was “defensive in nature”.

Dead and missing in Kerala floods

At least 26 people have died in floods in southern India after heavy rains caused rivers to overflow, cutting off towns and villages. Five children are among the dead. There are fears the death toll could rise further as many people are missing.

Sir David’s family ‘broken’ by MP’s killing

Most of Monday’s London newspapers carry the words of Sir David Amess’ family, who released a statement after the veteran MP was stabbed to death on Friday. The Daily Express’s report focuses on his family’s vow to fulfil his life’s ambitions – which is accompanied by a poignant photograph of the 69-year-old father-of-five smiling with his wife, Lady Julia, at their daughter’s wedding. The Daily Mail leads on the revelation that Sir David’s suspected killer, Ali Harbi Ali, 25, who is a British national of Somali heritage, attended the government’s counter-terrorism scheme, Prevent. The BBCnotes that Ali was referred to the scheme some years ago but was never a formal subject of interest to MI5. Meanwhile, international media reported Ali had been planning the attack for at least a week, having booked an appointment at the voter meeting in Leigh-on-Sea and is alleged to have stabbed him 17 times in front of his two aides.

New leaps in COVID-19 cases

As global coronavirus cases notch the 241.5 million mark, new leaps have been reported in cases in the UK and Russia. There have been 45,140 new cases in infections from COVID in the UK, which remain over 40,000 for the fifth day. The country, which reopened with no significant restrictions since July 19, maintains a higher case rate even than Russia where a new record of 34,303 cases was set in the past 24 hours – the highest level since the start of the pandemic and the fourth in a row.

Spain vows to outlaw prostitution

The Spanish Prime Minister has pledged to outlaw prostitution in the country. Speaking at the end of his Socialist Party’s three-day congress in Valencia, Pedro Sanchez said that the practice “enslaves” women. Prostitution was decriminalised in Spain in 1995 and a 2009 report suggested some 39% of  Spanish men had paid for sex. The country’s sex industry is worth €3.7bn.

Man goes on trial over death of Emiliano Sala

The trial opens in Cardiff today of a man charged in connection with the death of Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala in a light aircraft crash in 2019. David Henderson was charged last year for endangering the safety of an aircraft and attempting to discharge a passenger without valid permission or authorisation. Henderson, who denies the charges, is alleged to have arranged the flight to bring the former Nantes striker from France to Cardiff, where he was due to begin training with the Welsh club.The plane crashed into the sea near the Channel island of Guernsey, killing Sala, 28, and pilot David Ibbotson.

Police seize dead dormice intended for Mafia dinner

Three persons have been detained in southern Italy’s Calabria following the discovery of hundreds of dead and alive protected dormice during a police raid on a cannabis plantation. According to wildlife preservation organisation LIPU, the ’Ndrangheta mafia organisation serve dormice, a protected species, during reconciliation feasts designed to restore peace between warring families. Police reportedly discovered many cages of live dormice being fattened up for slaughter, in addition to 235 carcasses placed in a freezer. Dormice have been eaten since the days of the Roman Empire, when they were considered a luxury snack for the elite. Modern-day Croatia and Slovenia continue to eat them.

 

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