Opposition primaries to challenge Hungary’s Orban
The first round of the primaries of the single opposition list, where only one candidate will be chosen to challenge Prime Minister Viktor Orban in 2022, kicked off Saturday in Hungary. The opposition coalition, established last year, is composed of six political parties ranging from left to far right. The opposition accuses the 58-year-old Prime Minister, who regularly clashes with Brussels over migration and rule of law issues, of endemic corruption and creeping authoritarianism since he came to power in 2010. Now it hopes to defeat the premier’s Fidesz party, the largest in the country. The primaries will take place from between today and September 26, with voting also open online. The eventual ballot will be held between 4 and 10 October.
Putin’s Russia United Party set to hold majority
Millions of Russians will cast their vote this weekend in a general election expected to bring little political change. Some 14 parties are fielding candidates for half of the 450 seats in the State Duma. But just four parties are likely to meet the 5% threshold necessary to get a seat, and President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia Party is set to comfortably hold its majority. The vote has been marred by allegations of malpractice that could cast doubt on the results in some quarters, although United Russia appears certain to win. The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) did not send observers this year, citing excessive restrictions by Russia.
Pope’s strong message on pedophilia
Pope Francis has urged European bishops to listen to survivors of clergy sexual abuse and consider them partners in reform. In a video message aimed at Central and Eastern European bishops currently gathering in Poland for a four-day child protection conference, the supreme pontiff warned a failure to take victims’ views into account could risk the future of the Catholic Church. Many victims have said they were treated as enemies of the church when they reported their abuse, accused of seeking to cause scandal or extort the hierarchy for money.
Space tourists back to Earth
SpaceX’s first four space tourists have landed in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida after spending three days in space, successfully completing history’s first orbital mission without professional astronauts aboard. Four large parachutes slowed the descent of the Dragon capsule, which was quickly recovered from a SpaceX ship. The passengers were then transported by helicopter to Kennedy Space Centre. Circling in orbit at around 28,000 km per hour, they have traveled around the world more than 15 times a day. It is the third time that Elon Musk’s company, which has become a giant in the sector in a few years, brings man back to Earth.
600,000 white flags to honour COVID victims
A sea of over 650,000 white flags has been inauguirated at the National Mall, in Washington, in front of the obelisk symbol of the capital to honour COVID victims in the United States. On the flags, which will be visible for the next 17 days, family and friends of those who have died from the coronavirus will be able to write messages.
Family of US drone strike victims demand compensation
Relatives of a family killed by a US drone strike in Kabul are demanding that those responsible be punished. They said they wanted a face-to-face apology, along with financial compensation. Ezmarai Ahmadi was wrongly identified by Washington as a militant from the so-called “Islamic State”, and targeting his car with a missile that killed seven children and three adults. A top general admitted on Friday the attack was a “tragic mistake” and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin apologised to the relatives of those killed.
Juventus €210 million in the red
Juventus said it made a loss of €209.9 million in the 2020/2021 financial year, up from €89.7 million last year, blaming the COVID-19 pandemic for the poor results. “The higher loss is mainly due to lower revenues equal to €92.7 million, as a consequence of both the effects directly caused by the pandemic on ticket sales and sale of products and licences (€47.9 million in total), as well as lower revenues from players’ registration rights (€128.8 million),” the club said in a statement. “These negative effects were partially offset by higher revenues from television and radio rights (€68.9 million)”.