Global Review – 25th October

Rishi Sunak to become UK’s prime minister

Rishi Sunak will become the UK’s next Prime Minister, replacing Liz Truss who announced her resignation last week. The former chancellor was elected unopposed, after Boris Johnson and Penny Mordaunt pulled out of the race within the Conservative Party. His election comes at a tumultuous time as Truss resigned over the economic fallout of her “mini-budget” after six weeks in office, and Johnson was forced out of office three months earlier over a Covid scandal and links to disgraced MP Chris Pincher.

Speaking at the Conservative Party HQ, Sunak paid tribute to Truss for her leadership efforts, and said he was “humbled” and “honoured” to serve as the new Tory leader, adding that the country faced a profound “economic” challenge, which can only be overcome with “stability and unity”. Sunak has reportedly ruled out an early general election.

Later today, he will make a statement outside No 10 before travelling to Buckingham Palace, to have an “audience” with King Charles. Prior to that, Truss will chair a cabinet meeting and offer her resignation to the King.

Sunak is set to make history in Britain, becoming its first non-white prime minister and the first Hindu to take the top job. He will also be the youngest Prime Minister in more than 200 years.

Newspapers strong on ‘Unite or Die’ warning

Many of Tuesday’s papers dedicate their whole front pages to a picture of next Prime Minister. The Guardian leads on Sunak’s “unite or die” warning while The Daily Mail calls Sunak’s victory “a new dawn for Britain” following weeks of turmoil. The Financial Times leads on Sunak’s speech to the nation, in which he vowed to get to grips with the “profound economic challenge” facing the country as the cost of living crisis continues. The Daily Telegraph points out Sunak has won the role of prime minister without winning a general election, with analysis claiming “ no one actually voted for the winner”. It also features Sunak’s urgent warning that the party must “unite or die”. Tuesday’s ‘i’ newspaper looks ahead to his first 100 days in power and analyses what his policies may mean for the British public. The Daily Express, who has dubbed Sunak as “a man born to lead”, outlines his plan to bring “stability and unity” to the UK. Metro, which also highlights that he will be country’s first British Asian prime minister, carries a quote from Sunak’s speech on Monday afternoon, in which he said it was the greatest privilege of his life to be able to “give back to the country I owe so much to”.The Times speculates on which of Sunak’s key allies could get cabinet positions, roles expected to be announced after Sunak meets the King.

‘We will not go to war with Russia’ – Usa

The United States will support Ukraine, but will not go to war with Russia, according to US State Department spokesman Ned Price. “We will stand by Ukraine, but as President Joe Biden has repeatedly said, the United States will not go to war. The most important thing we can do is offer support so that Kiev can sit at a possible table of negotiations in a position of strength,” Price said, adding “There is no change in the American position. The president was clear: we will not go to war with Russia.” Earlier, Price said there would be “consequences” should Russia resort to the possible use of a “dirty bomb” or other nuclear device against Ukraine. The consequences were not detailed.

‘6,374 civilians killed, 9,776 injured since Ukraine invasion’ – UN 

In Ukraine, according to the UN human rights agency, at least 6,374 civilians have been killed since the beginning of the Russian invasion while at least 9,776 were injured. In all, 16,150 people were affected during the raids. However, the agency notes that the actual figures could be considerably higher.

King Charles’ waxwork at Madame Tussauds vandalised

Two members of the group ‘Just Stop Oil’ have smeared chocolate cake over a Madame Tussauds waxwork of King Charles in the latest vandalism of public art by climate campaigners. The activists told those watching inside the museum that it was “time for action” in their demand for the British government to stop new oil and gas licenses. “Four people have been arrested for criminal damage related to this incident,” London’s Metropolitan Police tweeted.

UN suspends anti-torture mission to Australia

The UN has suspended its anti-torture mission to Australia after inspectors were not permitted to visit several jails and detention facilities, according to the UN’s Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture. The “drastic” decision, as described by lead inspector Aisha Muhammad, a Supreme Court judge in the Maldives, makes Australia the fourth country to have anti-torture inspectors suspend or postpone missions after Rwanda, Azerbaijan, and Ukraine.

‘Turkey forced refugees back to Syria’ report

According to a Human Rights Watch’s report released on Monday, hundreds of Syrian men and boys were detained, beaten, and forcibly returned to their home country by Turkish authorities over a six-month period between February and July this year. Turkey is bound by an international treaty that prohibits returning anyone to a place where they would face real risks of death, torture, or persecution.

4 Palestinians killed, 19 injured in Israeli raid in Nablus

The new toll of an Israeli raid that took place overnight in the West Bank is four Palestinians killed and 19 wounded, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, which initially spoke of three victims in Nablus. The same ministry then reported that another Palestinian was killed by Israeli fire, this time in Ramallah, the headquarters of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.

EU global health strategy in November

The European Commission will present its global health strategy next month, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Monday. In her opening speech at the ‘Grand Challenges Annual Meeting’ organised by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, she said, “We are all committed to equity and global health. We are on the right path, but we still have a long way to go.”

American school shooter kills two

A 19-year-old shooter opened fire and killed two people at a high school in St Louis, Missouri, injuring several others as well. Responding police stormed the school on Monday and killed the gunman. Identified as Orlando Harris, a graduate from the high school, no motive was immediately apparent.

Jury selection begins for Trump Org. fraud trial

Jury selection began on Monday in the criminal trial of the Trump Organization, accused of tax crimes including fraud and other illegal business practices. If convicted, the company and its subsidiary, Trump Payroll Corp., could face $1.6 million in fines. The indictment, which came down after a three-year investigation, alleges executives “received substantial portions of their income through indirect and disguised means”, including luxury cars and expensive housing, so they could then report lower earnings to tax authorities. The company is also accused of not withholding taxes on wages and other compensation as well as evading paying payroll taxes on multiple types of employee compensation. Trump is not facing any charges individually.

US math and reading scores dip nationwide

The results from the US National Assessment of Educational Progress, known as the “Nation’s Report Card”, released in full on Monday, show the largest math score decline amongst fourth- and eighth-graders since the initial trial assessment in 1990, with no state or large urban district showing improvement. Reading scores dipped by approximately three points in both grades, while math scores dropped by five points in fourth grade (the lowest level since 2005) and eight points in eighth grade (the lowest level since 2003). US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona called the results “appalling and unacceptable”.

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