Global Review – 22nd September

Protests rock Russia amid nuclear threats, mobilisation order

Russians took to the streets – and to the sky – on Wednesday in opposition to Vladimir Putin’s mobilisation order sending reservists to fight in Ukraine as his threats of nuclear warfare intensified.The order – which would throw 300,000 more troops into the increasingly-desperate fight – sparked a wave of protests across Russia and a run on one-way tickets out of the country. The mobilisation came alongside chilling threats to defend Russian territory with nuclear weapons, as the Kremlin planned to call a quarter of Ukraine part of Russia. “I want to remind you that our country also has various means of destruction,” Putin said in a Wednesday morning televised address. “When the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, to protect Russia and our people, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal.” With an icy stare at the camera, the Russian strongman added, “It’s not a bluff.”

Biden lambasts Putin over nuclear threats

President Biden responded to Putin’s comments Wednesday while addressing the United Nations’ General Assembly in New York. “This war is about extinguishing Ukraine’s right to exist as a state, plain and simple, and Ukraine’s right to exist as a people,” Biden said. “Whoever you are, wherever you live, whatever you believe, that … should make your blood run cold.” He lambasted the Russian leader for “making irresponsible nuclear threats,” adding that a “nuclear war cannot be won, and must never be fought.”

Zelensky calls for Russia’s punishment

President Zelensky made an empassioned address at the UN General Assembly, calling for Russia’s “just punishment”, suggesting financial penalties and also stripping the Kremlin of its UN veto power in the Security Council.  Zelensky set out five non-negotiables for peace, including punishment for Russian aggression, restoration of Ukraine’s security and territorial integrity, and security guarantees.

EU to press ahead with new Russia sanctions

European Union foreign ministers agreed on Wednesday to prepare new sanctions on Russia and increase weapons’ deliveries to Kiev after President Putin ordered the country’s first wartime mobilisation since World War Two to fight in Ukraine. The bloc’s 27 foreign ministers are in New York for the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said Putin’s announcement showed panic and desperation.

Putin’s speech sparks panic in Russia

Putin’s announcements sparked panic in Russia, with a wave of protests breaking out across the country. More than 1,300 Russians had been arrested for protesting the mobilization order as of Wednesday night, Russian police watchdog OVD-Info said. Protests against the war are illegal under Russia’s draconian anti-demonstration laws which prohibit the spreading of so-called false information about the military. The first protests took place in Siberia in the Russian far-east, according to ‘The Moscow Times’. Most of the Russian forces sent to Ukraine so far have been pulled from Russia’s far-flung rural regions and satellite states, in an apparent effort to shield the Russian middle class from the costs of the conflict.

Russians make run on airports

Ordinary Russians made a run on the airports, Wednesday, where the price of one-way tickets out of Russia skyrocketed. Tickets from Moscow to Belgrade, Serbia, sold out, as did flights to locations in Turkey, Georgia and Armenia, according to Belgrade-based anti-war group “Russians, Belarussians, Ukrainians and Serbs Together Against War.” “All the Russians who wanted to go to war already went,” the group tweeted. “No one else wants to go there!”

Ukraine, Russia swap 300 prisoners in surprise exchange

Russia and Ukraine carried out an unexpected prisoner swap on Wednesday involving nearly 300 military prisoners. This was the largest prisoner exchange between the two countries since the war began. Among the prisoners are 10 foreigners and the commanders who led a prolonged Ukrainian defence of Mariupol earlier this year. The foreigners released included two Britons and a Moroccan who had been sentenced to death in June after being captured fighting for Ukraine. Also freed were three other Britons, two Americans, a Croatian, and a Swedish national.

US does not seek ‘Cold War’ with China, Biden said.

The United States is determined to promote its vision of global freedom and prosperity but does not seek “conflict” with rival China or a new Cold War, Joe Biden told the UN on Wednesday. “Let me be direct about the competition between the United States and China,” Biden said in an address to the UN General Assembly. “As we manage shifting geopolitical trends, the United States will conduct itself as a reasonable leader. We do not seek conflict, we do not seek a Cold War.” Washington will not call on countries to “choose” between US and other partners, Biden stressed, though “the United States will be unabashed in promoting our vision of a free, open, secure and prosperous world.”

China urges dialogue after Putin’s speech

China invites the parties involved in the crisis in Ukraine to a ceasefire and to engage in dialogue and consultations for a peaceful resolution, after Putin’s speech in the midst of the difficulties encountered in the invasion of Ukraine. The Chinese position on the crisis in Ukraine is “consistent and clear”, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin, urging “to find a way to address the security concerns of all sides”.

Trump and family sued for fraud

Donald Trump and his adult children have been sued for fraud by New York state’s attorney general, who for more than three years has conducted a civil investigation into the former US president’s business practices, court records show. The lawsuit, filed in a New York state court in Manhattan, accused the Trump Organisation of engaging in “numerous acts of fraud and misrepresentation” in preparing Mr Trump’s annual statements of financial condition from 2011 to 2021. It also named the Trump Organisation, the former president’s son Donald Trump Jr and his daughter Ivanka Trump as defendants. The investigation by Attorney General Letitia James has focused on whether the Trump Organisation misstated the values of its real estate properties to obtain favourable loans and tax benefits. Trump has denied any wrongdoing. Meanwhile, a federal appeals court has allowed the US Justice Department to resume its review of sensitive records seized from Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.

Australia ready for final farewell to the Queen

Australia’s leaders will gather in Canberra today to bid a final farewell to Queen Elizabetgh – a fortnight since her death – in a service replete with touches of her favourite parts of Australian life and culture. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will be at his first public engagement since returning from London for the Queen’s funeral. He will be joined at Parliament’s Great Hall by state premiers and territory chief ministers, foreign envoys and justices of the High Court.

Glovo fined of 79 m for breaking Spain’s labour laws

Spain’s Glovo, a home delivery platform, was fined almost €79 million as it was considered responsible for violating a known rule as a ‘law rider’, which recognises as employees, and not as self-employed, the delivery men who work for these companies. The Ministry of Labour held Glovo responsible for not adapting the contracts of over 10,600 of its riders according to the new legislation. The workers are operational in the areas of Barcelona and Valencia.

Woman graduates after three months in a coma

A 20-year-old Italian young woman of Albanian origin, had had a heart attack and went into a coma but recovered  after three months and has managed to obtain a diploma from Buontalenti Hospitality to become a professional pastry chef. According to ‘Corriere della Sera’, she graduated with 85% of the marks.

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