Global Review – 27th September

Japanese ex-PM state funeral held despite public opposition

A state funeral for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was held in Tokyo on Tuesday amid tight security, with more than 4,000 mourners in attendance, despite mounting opposition to the controversial ceremony for the country’s longest-serving leader. Japan’s national daily ‘Mainichi’ reports that ahead of the state-funded event, the first of its kind for a former premier in 55 years, calls had grown to cancel the ceremony, with critics saying it lacks a legal basis and citing Abe’s complicated political legacy. The funeral is set to cost the taxpayer more than 1.6 billion yen (€11.5 million). A private funeral for Abe took place four days after he was fatally shot during an election campaign speech on July 8 in the western city of Nara by a lone gunman. His remains were cremated. As proceedings for the state funeral began, his widow Akie Abe arrived at the Budokan venue carrying his ashes, which were covered in a ceremonial cloth. The motorcade carrying his remains had travelled from his widow’s home in the capital.

The National Police Agency mobilised up to 20,000 police officers to enforce strict security in the capital and particularly around the Nippon Budokan hall where the ceremony took place. At a park near the venue, meanwhile, many members of the public gathered to lay flowers at a set of stands from early in the morning. Opponents of the funeral have repeatedly held rallies in front of the prime minister’s office, parliament building and elsewhere and filed lawsuits demanding that the event be scrapped.

Guterres advocates end of ‘nuclear blackmail’

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has said, “The era of nuclear blackmail must end, the idea that a country can fight and win a nuclear war is crazy.” In a message for the world day on the elimination of nuclear weapons, he said, “Nuclear weapons are the most destructive power ever created. Any use of an atomic weapon would result in a humanitarian Armageddon. We must take a step back,” he added, urging states to “use every avenue of dialogue, diplomacy and negotiations to ease tensions, reduce risks and eliminate the nuclear threat.”

S&P cuts EU GDP estimates to 0.3%

For S&P Global “a sharp slowdown in eurozone growth is imminent”, with “two or three quarters of weak or even declining activity”, due to “an unprecedented deterioration in conditions of trade” which “has pushed inflation to record levels and confidence to historic lows”. The rating agency cut the growth forecast for the Eurozone in 2023 from 1.9% to 0.3%, while revising those for this year upwards from 2.6% to 3.1%.

76 dead, 1,200 arrests in Iran protests for Masha

In Iran, at least 76 people have died during the protests in recent days, following the death of Mahsa Amini, who died on September 16 after being arrested by the moral police for wearing the veil badly. The Iranian authorities also announced that more than 1,200 protesters have been arrested. During the last day alone, 88 rioters were stopped in the southern province of Hormozgan.

Russian school shooting toll rises to 15 dead, 11 children

At least 15 people, including 11 children, were killed and 24 – 22 of them minors – were injured Monday, when a gunman opened fire at a school in the city of Izhevsk, central Russia. Members of  the emergency services found the lifeless body of the suspect – 34-year-old former student of the institute, Artyom Kazantsev – in one of the classrooms.

‘Ukraine war pushes global displaced to record high’ – UN

Russia’s war in Ukraine has pushed global displacement figures to record levels, the UN refugee agency said, calling the statistics a “tragic milestone”. Over the past decade, levels of displacement have increased every year, the UN noted in its global trends report – with figures currently at the highest level since record keeping began. At the end of 2021, 89.3 million people were displaced, the agency said. As of today, more than 100 million people have been forced to flee their homes. Children make up almost half of the total global refugee population of the last decade, Unicef said in a separate report. A record 36.5 million children were displaced by the end of 2021.

Biden plan to cancel student debts costs $400 billion

US President Joe Biden’s plan to cancel student debt for millions of Americans will cost  400 billion, according to data from the Congressional Budget Office, the independent body tasked with providing economic analysis to Congress. The estimate is intended to fuel the debate on the measure decided by the president, which the Republicans oppose, considering it a waste and an inefficient use of public funds.

Cubans approve same-sex marriage, adoption

Cubans approved gay marriage and adoption overwhelmingly in a Sunday referendum backed by the government that also boosted rights for women, the national election commission said on Monday.More than 3.9 million voted to ratify the code (66.9%), while 1.95 million opposed ratification (33%). The 100-page “family code” legalises same-sex marriage and civil unions, allows same-sex couples to adopt children, and promotes equal sharing of domestic rights and responsibilities between men and women.

235 seats in the House, 112 in the Senate to the Italian centre-right

The Italian centre-right has won 235 seats in the Houise of Representatives. According to data released by the Home Affairs Ministry, the centre-left coalition would have 80 seats, the Movimento 5 Stelle 51and Action-Italia Viva 21. In the Senate, 112 seats go to the centre-right, 39 to the centre-left. 28 seats go to M5S and nine to Action-Italia Viva.  This translates into 43.79% of the votes with which the centre-right won the elections. A traction coalition Fratelli d’Italia, shot in nine years from 1.9% in 2013 to 26% on Sunday, but above all Giorgia Meloni’s traction, given that most commentators attribute the performance of her party to her. On the day of her triumph, the leader of FdI chose a low profile, limiting herself to posting a note that her daughter wrote to her and deserting the press conference. Meloni’s daughter Ginevra, on social media, wrote: “Dear Mommy, I’m so happy you won, I love you so much!” Meanwhile, a few hours after the election victory, Giorgia Meloni had her figurine in the famous “VIP” crib set up in San Gregorio Armeno, in Naples.

11% increase in New York rapes

Rape cases in New York increased by almost 11% compared to the previous year, according to police data. The alarming data comes at a time when the Big Apple police are being targeted for rape cases and the Justice Department has launched an investigation after several allegations of gender discrimination.

Following allegations of harassment, leader Verdi Bayou resigns

The leader of the French ecological party, Julien Bayou, resigned from his duties following allegations of psychological violence against his former partner. In a statement, Bayou said he would also leave the presidency of the group in the Assemblée Nationale.

Success for NASA test to defend Earth

NASA’s Dart probe hit Dimorphos, the small asteroid with a diameter of 160 metres, to divert its trajectory, in the first planetary defence experiment designed to defend the Earth from threatening asteroids in the future. As the probe approached its target, its camera sent more and more detailed images of the celestial body’s surface to Earth, 13 million kilometres away from Earth.

Football: Hungray’s Rossi says Donnarumma ‘best in the world’

Italian coach Roberto Mancini was not entirely satisfied by Italy’s Nations League 2-0 win over Hungary, while Hungary’s Marco Rossi hailed Gianluigi Donnarumma as the “best goalkeeper in the world”. After the goals, the Italians were forced to weather an onslaught, kept in the game through Paris Saint-Germain keeper Donnarumma, who lived up to his reputation with a string of impressive saves. Rossi was more philosophical on his side’s defeat: “Even when we did have the chances, we were kept out by the best goalkeeper in the world. It’s no coincidence that PSG signed Donnarumma.”

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