Global Review – 23rd November

45 people killed in Bulgaria bus crash

At least 45 people were killed when a bus with North Macedonian plates caught fire on a highway in western Bulgaria around 1am (Malta time). There were children among the victims, and seven people with burns were rushed to hospital in the capital Sofia, the head of the fire safety department at the interior ministry, Nikolai Nikolov, told BTV television. The site of the accident is cut off. Most of the victims were from North Macedonia, an official from the North Macedonia embassy in Sofia told BTV.

Wisconsin driver to face homicide charges

People in the US city of Waukesha held a vigil for the five people who were killed and the 48 others seriously injured when a man driving a vehicle ploughed into a Christmas parade at high speed on Sunday. Wisconsin authorities announced they would charge Darrell E. Brooks, a 39-year-old resident of Milwaukee, with multiple counts of homicide. Police Chief Daniel Thompson said the incident was not related to terrorism and the police were not chasing Brooks. They did not know what caused him to drive into the crowd.

Johnson accused of ‘shambolic’ speech to business leaders

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been criticised after he lost his place in a speech to British businesses leaders and referred to the children’s cartoon Peppa Pig. Speaking to the CBI conference, he also quoted Lenin and performed an impression of a car. Halting his speech led to an awkward 21 seconds of apologies and paper shuffling from the Tory leader. Labour’s shadow chancellor, Rachel Reeves, called the speech “shambolic”.

US dollar above 115 yen

The US dollar rose above 115 yen today, for the first time in more than four years, after Jerome Powell was appointed for a second term as head of the Federal Reserve, fueling expectations that he would seek to tighten monetary policy more quickly. The dollar hit 115.10 yen in early trading – the highest level since March 2017.

AI warns IOC over Peng Shuai

Amnesty International said that the International Olympic Committee had entered “dangerous waters” by taking part in a call with Peng Shuai that was meant to provide assurances over the Chinese tennis player’s safety. Amnesty said the IOC should be extremely careful not to participate in any whitewash of possible human rights violations. Peng, 35 and a former doubles world No 1, had a video call on Sunday with IOC president Thomas Bach and told him she was safe and well.

Americans advised not to visit Germany, Denmark

The US State Department has advised Americans against traveling to Germany and Denmark, due to the leap in COVID-19 cases. For both countries the alert level is 4, or ‘do not travel’.

Pandemic has damaged ‘fabric of society’

The International Federation of the Red Cross has said that beyond killing millions and ravaging economies and health systems, the coronavirus pandemic had taken a devastating socio-economic toll with women and migrants among the most affected. In a new report, the federation warned that the secondary effects of the crisis had disproportionately impacted already vulnerable groups, pushing many out of work. It had caused widespread income losses, food insecurities, cut access to education and to protection against violence while exacerbating mental health issues.

Germans will be ‘vaccinated, cured or dead’

Most Germans will be “vaccinated, cured or dead” from COVID-19 in a few months, Health Minister Jens Spahn warned Monday as he urged more citizens to get jabbed. Meanwhile, Austria has gone back into a national lockdown as of Monday, becoming the first EU country to take such a measure in the face of the COVID-19 resurgence. And Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has told reporters the anti-COVID riots that have rocked the Netherlands since Friday were acts of “pure violence” by “idiots …on the pretext that they are unhappy” with health restrictions.

Amazon: 745 million trees lost

Fires and deforestations in the Brazilian Amazon between August 2020 and July 2021, have caused the loss of 13,235 km2 of forest or 745 million trees, according to a calculation by specialists. The National Institute for Space Research said this data was not presented by the government to COP26.

Kevin Spacey owes ‘House of cards’ $31 million

After two years of legal battle fought behind the scenes, the Superior Court of Los Angeles has decided that Kevin Spacey must pay $31 million to MRC, the producers of ‘House of cards’, for violating the rules of conduct on sexual harassment. Spacey, who played president Frank Underwood, was ousted from the popular Netflix series after allegations of predatory behaviour towards young men. MRC suffered damages due to Spacey’s conduct.

Future of French football at risk, says minister

Repeated crowd problems in Ligue 1 are putting the future of French soccer at risk, French Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu said after Sunday’s game between Olympique Lyonnais and Olympique Marseille was abandoned due to fan violence. The disciplinary commission of the French League (LFP) on Monday said that Lyon would play their Ligue 1 home games behind closed doors until it rules on the incident on December 8 after an investigation. The game was called off almost two hours after being suspended when Marseille’s Dimitri Payet was hit by a bottle thrown from the Groupama Stadium stands. The referee sent the players to the dressing room after Payet fell to the ground as he was preparing to take a corner kick. Payet missed training on Monday and French website RMC Sport reported that Marseille would press charges.

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