Global Review – 26th July

EU energy ministers meet as Russia slashes gas deliveries to Germany

EU energy ministers attend a special meeting in Brussels today to discuss a gas saving plan calling for member states to reduce demand by 15% as Russian gas giant Gazprom announced Monday it was cutting daily gas deliveries through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to 33 million cubic metres starting tomorrow. Earlier this month, the European Commission published emergency plans to immediately reduce gas demand in the EU, as Europe aims to avoid a shortage of gas during the winter amid fears of Russia cutting off deliveries.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told dpa news agency EU nations that have gas supplies independent of Russia need to demonstrate solidarity with countries forced to ration gas this coming winter. She noted EU economies are so interconnected that a gas crisis in one state, such as comparatively well-off Germany, would affect other economies.

Monday’s Gazprom announcement would correspond to 20% of the pipeline’s capacity. The current flow of gas into Germany is only at 40%. The company said it was halting the operation of another turbine due to the “technical condition of the engine”. The German Economics Ministry believes there is no technical reason for a reduction in deliveries. Moscow maintains the gas flow reductions are due to repairs and technical complications brought on by European sanctions in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Germany says the cuts are not the result of maintenance or technical issues but are punishment for EU sanctions. Following the Gazprom announcement, the price of European gas went up by 10% to €176 euros per megawatt hour.

Japan executes man for Akihabara massacre

A man convicted of the 2008 massacre in the Akihabara district of Tokyo, which cost the lives of seven people, was executed this morning. This was reported by judicial sources cited by the Japanese press. Tomohiko Kato, 39, was sentenced to death after the June 2008 massacre, when he ran over three people at a pedestrian crossing in the central district of Tokyo, before getting out of the vehicle and attacking passers-by with a knife, killing four others.

‘No agreement on premiership, no alliance’ – Meloni

Fratelli d’Italia leader Giorgia Meloni has warned the Italian centre-right: “If we do not find an agreement on the premiership, then the alliance is useless”. The response of Lega leader MatteoSalvini: “Whoever has one more vote will have the honour and the burden of indicating the prime minister”. Forza Italia’s Tajani: ‘First we win, then we see who raises the cup’. The topic will certainly be on the agenda at the summit tomorrow.

Pope apologises for ‘evil’ of indigenous school abuses

Pope Francis Monday apologised for the “evil” inflicted on the Indigenous peoples of Canada on the first day of a visit focused on addressing decades of abuse at Catholic-run residential schools. The plea for forgiveness from the leader of the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics was met with applause by a crowd of First Nations, Metis and Inuit people in Maskwacis, in western Alberta province – some of whom were taken from their families as children in what has been branded a “cultural genocide”. “I am sorry,” said the 85-year-old pontiff, who remained seated as he delivered his address at the site of one of the largest of Canada’s infamous residential schools, where some 150,000 Indigenous children were sent as part of a policy of forced assimilation. “I humbly beg forgiveness for the evil committed by so many Christians against the Indigenous peoples,” said the pope, citing “cultural destruction” and the “physical, verbal, psychological and spiritual abuse” of children over the course of decades.

Tunisians back new constitution, but with low turnout

A new Tunisian constitution that the opposition warns may dismantle the country’s democracy by greatly expanding presidential powers is set to take effect after a referendum on Monday that appeared to pass easily but with low turnout. Opposition parties boycotted the referendum, accusing President Saied of a coup and saying the new constitution he published less than a month ago augurs a slide back toward autocracy. The new constitution gives the president power over both the government and judiciary while removing checks on his authority and weakening the parliament.

Ukraine eyes first grain exports ‘this week’

Ukraine said Monday it expects to export its first grain shipments under a UN-backed deal to lift Russia’s blockade “this week”, days after missile strikes by the Kremlin threw the accord into doubt.Kiev and Moscow on Friday agreed the landmark plan to release millions of tonnes of grain trapped in Ukraine’s Black Sea ports in a move hailed as a major step to averting a global food crisis. Less than 24 hours later Moscow struck the port in Odessa, one of three exit hubs designated in the agreement,sparking fury in Kiev and heightening fears the Kremlin would not go through with the deal. Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov told ‘Kiev Independent’ the first grain export would be Wednesday from the port of Chornomorsk.

‘We don’t want to mix with other races’ – Orban

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said unctrolled migration is a permaent threat. A “mixture of races” is the real danger of mass migration, he said at a demonstration of the Hungarian minority in Romania, according to ‘Nepszava’ newspaper. Orban argued the peoples of Western Europe now “mix” with non-European races, while the Hungarians “do not want to mix. By 2050, there will be no more nations in Western Europe, but only a cross population. Here, in the Carpathian basin, we struggle against a similar fate.”

US offers help to link Armenia, Azerbaijan

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday offered US assistance in building ties between Armenia and Azerbaijan, encouraging a permanent settlement between the adversaries two years after a Russian-brokered truce. In separate calls with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Blinken said that the two nations have a “historic opportunity to achieve peace in the region”.

Droupadi Murmu sworn in as India’s first tribal president

Droupadi Murmu was sworn in as India’s president on Monday, making her the first person from one of the country’s marginalised tribal communities to serve as head of state. The former school teacher and state governor was elected to the largely ceremonial position last week with 64 percent of the vote by members of India’s parliament and state assemblies. Murmu, who is from the Santhal tribe and was born in eastern Odisha state, paid her respects before her inauguration at a memorial dedicated to India’s independence hero Mahatma Gandhi.

Musk denies affair with Google’s co-founder wife

The owner of the multi-international company Elon Musk denied that he had an extramarital affair with Nicole Shanahan, wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin. Musk’s comments were reported shortly after the authoritative Wall Street Journal newspaper reported that his friendship with Brin ended because of this alleged relationship. He responded to this report on Twitter and referred to it as a fabrication. He added that he is still friends with Brin and that they were partying together yesterday.

England v. Sweden in first Euro 2022 semi

England, will face Sweden in the first semifinal of the 2022 UEFA Women’s Euro (kick-off at 9pm).England, playing home, have been one of the best teams of this tournament: during the first phase they won all 3 games of their group, scoring 14 goals and conceding none. In the quarterfinals they beat Spain 2-1 in extra time to reach the semifinals of this tournament in which they are one of the main candidates. Sweden have also been quite solid in this tournament, although not as forceful as the English. They finished in first place in their group with the same points as the Netherlands, although with a better goal difference (+6 against +4 for the Dutch) and in the quarterfinals they beat Belgium 1-0. In the other semi-final tomorrow, France meet the Netherlands.

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