Global Review – 27th August

Record energy prices force EU energy ministers meeting

Record energy prices on the Amsterdam stock exchange has led to an EU energy ministers’ emergrncy meeting by mid-September to take stock of the situiation and try to find ways and means of alleviating citizens’ hardships and provision of supply. Gas reached a record price of $431 per megawatt hour and then fell back to €339 at the end. On the fuel front, gasoline and diesel prices are also rising: the average price of petrol touched €1.770 per litre (€1.766 the previous figure), while that of diesel rose to €1.802 per litre (against €1.787). The peak price of electricity reached €870 per megawatt hour.

The Czech presidency of the Council of the European Union, announced that by mid-September, it would  convene “an urgent meeting of energy ministers to discuss specific measures to address the energy situation”.

Trade unions in Europe are clamouring for national governments’ intervention. For the president of Italy’s Confindustria, Carlo Bonomi, industrialists need interventions such as “a ceiling on the price of gas, which if not achieved at a European level must be achieved at a national level”.

Risk of electricity, gas rationing – Salvini

“If the price does not drop, the next government will have to ration electricity and gas starting from the companies.” Speaking in Naples, Italy’s Lega leader Matteo Salvini said, “I would like to avoid it, but Macron has already said so, and France also has dozens of operational nuclear reactors. We do not have it, we only import energy from abroad, so if we do not intervene, we risk deciding who will heat up and who does not, who turns on the light and who does not.”

Russia burns off gas as Europe’s energy bills rocket

As Europe’s energy costs skyrocket, Russia is burning off large amounts of natural gas, according to analysis shared with BBC News. They say the plant, near the border with Finland, is burning an estimated $10m (€8.5m) worth of gas every day. Experts say the gas would previously have been exported to Germany. Germany’s ambassador to the UK told BBC News that Russia was burning the gas because “they couldn’t sell it elsewhere”. Scientists are concerned about the large volumes of carbon dioxide and soot it is creating, which could exacerbate the melting of Arctic ice. The analysis by Rystad Energy indicates that around 4.34 million cubic metres of gas are being burned by the flare every day. While burning off gas is common at processing plants, normally for technical or safety reasons, the scale of this burn has confounded experts.

US to spend $182 million to purchase missiles for Ukraine

The Pentagon has signed a $182 million-contract with weapons manufacturer Raytheon to purchase Nasams short- and medium-range anti-aircraft missile systems for Ukraine. This was announced by the US Department of Defense, quoted by the Russian agency Tass. Raytheon Co. of Tewksbury, Massachusetts has been awarded a fixed-price contract of $182,295,333 to purchase the national advanced surface-to-air missile systems.

British postal workers walk out over pay

More than 115,000 workers at Britain’s Royal Mail began the first of four days of strike action on Friday in a pay dispute which the postal group said was likely to cause significant disruption for customers. It is the latest in a spate of labour stoppages to hit Britain as workers demand higher wages in the face of a cost-of-living crisis, with energy bills soaring and inflation projected to exceed 13 per cent later this year.

‘Evidence of obstruction’ in Trump Florida home search – FBI

The FBI has told a judge they expected to find “evidence of obstruction” of justice in a search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida home, according to newly released court papers. Investigators said top secret files had been stored at Mar-a-Lago along with assorted newspapers and magazines. The justice department said it censored the affidavit to protect “a significant number of civilian witnesses” as it contained the identity of spies, sources, informants, collaborators, undercover agents and of the whole chain for the collection of intelligence information.Trump said the inquiry was being led by “political Hacks and Thugs”. On Friday, the US Department of Justice released a version of the affidavit used to justify the FBI’s incursion into Mr Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate on  August 8, but it has been heavily redacted.

Million Covid deaths this year

The World Health Organisation’s Covid chief said yesterday it was time for a reality check on the virus after the millionth death from the disease this year. Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead Covid-19, said the toll was “heartbreaking” because the tests, treatments, vaccines and public health measures to control the disease were all available. “Given we’re in the third year of the pandemic, it’s… all the more so tragic given that we have the tools that can actually prevent these deaths,” she told a live interaction on the WHO’s social media channels. “A lot of us have become numb to the numbers.” Nearly 6.45 million deaths have been reported to the WHO since the virus was first detected in late 2019.

69 deaths in 24 hours in Pakistan floods

At least 69 people have died and 113 others have been injured in the past 24 hours in Pakistan due to the floods caused by monsoon rains that have displaced thousands in different parts of the country. Authorities aid 8,489 homes were damaged.

Rome employee stole gold teeth from the dead

An employee of the Rome municipality has been accused of stealing gold teeth from the dead and then selling them to a specialised shop. The man is also accused of embezzlement and fraud. He was arraigned with three other people: the owner of the store who would have accepted the gold, who was aware of their illicit origin, and two other accomplices (a man and a woman) to whom the owner of the business would have asked for help to hide the goods, accused of recycling.

Iranian women attend football match

Iranian women were able to watch a national championship football match at Tehran’s Azadi stadiumlast Thursday – the first since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Although there is no official ban on women from participating in sporting events in Iran, they rarely participate as they are often refused entry. The decision came after FIFA sent a letter to the Iranian authorities asking them to lift the ban on women from entering stadiums because it violates the statutes of international football. On Thursday, the fans were placed in a separate stand and entered through an entrance other than that of the men.

Europa League draws

British and Italian teams received favourable draws in the Europa League and Conference League group draws.

Europa League: Group A: Arsenal, PSV Eindhoven, Bodo/Glimt, FC Zurich; Group B: Dynamo Kyiv, Rennes, Fenerbahce, AEK Larnaca; Group C: Roma, Ludogorets, Real Betis, HJK Helsinki; Group D: Braga, Malmo, Union Berlin, Union Saint-Gilloise; Group E: Manchester United, Real Sociedad, FC Sheriff, Omonia Nicosia; Group F: Lazio, Feyenoord, FC Midtjylland, SK Sturm Graz; Group G: Olympiakos, Qarabag, Freiburg, Nantes; and Group H: Red Star Belgrade, Monaco, Ferencvaros TC, Trabzonspor.

Conference League: Group A: İstanbul Başakşehir, Fiorentina, Hearts, RFS Latvia; Group B: West Ham, FCSB Roumania, Anderlecht, Silkeborg; Group C: Villarreal, Hapoel Beer-Sheva, Austria Wien, Lech Poznań; Group D: Partizan, Köln, Nice, Slovácko; Group E: AZ Alkmaar, Apollon Limassol, Vaduz, Dnipro-1; Group F: Gent, Molde, Shamrock Rovers, Djurgården; Group G: Slavia Praha, CFR Cluj, Sivasspor, Ballkani; and Group H: Basel, Slovan Bratislava, Žalgiris Vilnius, Pyunik.

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