Lawmakers blast Biden over kid-killing Kabul drone strike
Republican lawmakers slammed the Biden administration on Friday after the US military admitted it botched a drone strike amid the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan resulting in the deaths of 10 civilians, including seven children, near Kabul’s airport on August 29 instead of its intended target, Islamic State militants. Republican critics argued that the deaths were a symptom of President Biden’s turbulent withdrawal of troops from the country, which led to the rapid fall of the Afghan government and the swift rise of the Taliban. Announcing the “tragic mistake”, General Kenneth McKenzie, of the US central command, offered his deepest condolences to the relatives of the victims.
France recalls ambassadors over submarine deal
France has recalled its ambassadors from the United States and Australia “for consultations due to the exceptional gravity” of the announcement of the strategic partnership between Washington, London and Canberra. The agrreement led to Australia’s cancellation of a large submarine deal worth at least €34 billion with France to build diesel-electric submarines and instead buy nuclear-powered ones from the US. Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the two ambassadors were recalled to Paris at the request of President Macron. The recalling of France’s ambassadors to the US and Australia, close allies is unprecedented. The White House said it regrets France’s decision, but will work to resolve the major diplomatic spat.
Algeria’s Bouteflika dies at 84
The death has been announced of former Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. He was 84. Since his fall in April 2019, under pressure from the army, Bouteflika had been holed up in solitude in his nursing home in Zeralda, west of Algiers.
Climate: Guterres, high risk of failure of COP26
The world is on a catastrophic path towards 2.7 degrees of global warming. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said “there is a high risk of COP26 failure”. Speaking at the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, organised by US President Joe Biden, he said it was clear that “everyone must take responsibility”, adding “we need more ambition in financial matters, adaptation and mitigation”.
Germany’s SPD remain in the lead
The German Social Democrats led by Olaf Scholz remain in the lead with 25%, according to the latest Politbarometer of the ZDF before the vote on September 26. Armin Laschet’s Union (CDU-CSU) remains at 22%, while Annalena Baerbock’s Greens still lose one point and reach 16%. The SPD advantage is confirmed by all the surveys, but the conservatives are still convinced to be able to win the duel with the vice-chancellor, focusing on the undecided and on the volatility of the polls.
‘US to charge ex-Boeing pilot over 737 MAX crashes’
Federal prosecutors are preparing to indict a former Boeing test pilot suspected of misleading aviation regulators over the safety issues blamed for two 737 MAX crashes that killed 346 people. The Wall Street Journal reports Mark Forkner, who was the lead contact between the aviation giant and the United States’ FAA, withheld details about the planes’ faulty flight handling system, later blamed for both crashes, from regulators. Boeing has acknowledged its responsibility and agreed to pay more than $2.5 billion dollars to settle lawsuits.
2 million die from work-related causes
Nearly two million people die from work-related causes each year, including from illnesses associated with long working hours and air pollution. A study by the World Health Organization and International Labour Organization, the first assessment of its kind, found that work-related diseases and injuries – including long working hours but also workplace exposure to air pollution, asthmagens, carcinogens and noise – were responsible for the deaths of 1.9 million people in 2016. WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he hoped the report would be a “wake-up call”.
Sleepless 3-year-old leads to gas leak discovery
Italian firefighters in the Italian city of Albino evacuated 12 families from four adjacent buildings after a sleepless three-year-old child gave the alarm of a gas leak in the middle of the night. His parents opened the windows and smelled the leaking gas. Nobody was injured.