Global Review – 1st September

Eurozone inflation highest in a decade

The Financial Times reports eurozone inflation has risen to its highest level in almost a decade, turning up pressure on the European Central Bank to slow the pace of bond purchases. The Eurozone’s harmonised index of consumer prices jumped 3% in August from a year earlier as the region’s economy rebounded from the pandemic. Last month, the highest inflation rates of between 4.5% and 5% were in Estonia, Lithuania and Belgium. Consumer prices have not risen as fast since November 2011. Malta is one of the four Eurozone countries with an inflation rate below 2%.

 “Afghan war over” – Biden defends evacuation

In an address to the nation 24 hours after he abruptly ended the evacuation of US troops from Afghanistan, a defensive and at times surly President Joe Biden insisted the bug-out was an “extraordinary success” despite the stranding of hundreds of American citizens and thousands of Afghan allies. “As we close 20 years of war and strife and pain and sacrifice, it’s time to look to the future, not the past,” Biden said near the end of a 26-minute speech that was delivered in strident, occasionally angry tones. “The time has come to look to the future. This is the right decision, the wisest decision for America,” he concluded.

UK willing to strike IS-K in Afghanistan

The United Kingdom’s military is ready and willing to conduct strikes against Islamic State-Khorasan, or IS-K, in Afghanistan, the head of the country’s air force said Monday after the last Western troops departed the country. Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston told The Daily Telegraph that the Royal Air Force is ready to strike IS-K if asked. Meanwhile, British special envoy Sir Simon Gass met senior representatives of the Taliban in Qatar to try to secure safe passage for 7,000 Afghans left behind.

Osama bin Laden’s security chief returns to Afghanistan

The former security chief of Osama Bin Laden has re-emerged in Afghanistan after more than a decade. Dr Amin Al-Haq, who helped Osama escape during the 2001 battle of Tora Bora, returned to his hometown in Nangarhar province of Afghanistan. A few hours after the final US withdrawal, Al Qaeda congratulated the Taliban on their “victory”, declaring “it is a lesson and an example for all jihadists”.

New COVID variant detected in nine countries

Another variant of COVID-19 has been detected in nine countries and is causing concern among scientists because it is more transmissible and resistant to vaccines than other variants of the virus. A study that emerged last week said the C.1.2 variant, which was first detected in South Africa in May, has since been found in Botswana, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, the United Kingdom, Mauritius, New Zealand, Portugal and Switzerland. There are four other variants of concern of COVID-19 among scientists – Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta – and four other variants of interest – Eta, Iota, Kappa and Lambda – in global circulation. Alpha, Beta and Delta have had the most impact globally.

Hurricane Ida destroys jazz shop

A historic piece of New Orleans – the Karnofsky Shop – was destroyed by Hurricane Ida. At the beginning of the 20th century, it played a fundamental role in promoting jazz. The building was also a second home for Louis Armstrong. The Karnofsky family took care of the young Armstrong, gave him a job and encouraged him to become a musician. After the Karnofskys left, the building was left abandoned and it was only in 2002 that it was included in the National Register of Historic Places.

Netanyahu asked to return state gifts

The Israeli government is requesting that former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara return 42 gifts from President Barack Obama, President Vladimir Putin and other foreign leaders that he received during his 12-year tenure. However, Netanyahu’s office says they are no longer in his possession.

Mitterrand’s secret relationship with young student

In a book to be published on October 6, “The Last Secret”, Le Monde correspondent Solenn de Royer reveals that former French President François Mitterrand had a secret relationship with Claire, a law student who was 50 years his junior. The relationship lasted until his death in 1996, when he was 80.

 

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