Global Review – 28th October

EU reaches deal to ban new combustion cars by 2035

No new cars and vans with combustion engines are to be sold in the European Union from 2035. The Czech Republic, which currently holds the EU presidency, said negotiators from the member states, the European Parliament and the European Commission agreed that carmakers must achieve a 100% cut in CO2 emissions by 2035. It would effectively prohibit the sale of new cars and vans powered by gasoline or diesel in the 27-nation bloc. The agreement requires a 55% cut in emissions by 2030, much higher than the existing target of a 37.5% reduction by then. Cars currently account for 12% of all CO2emissions in the EU bloc, while transportation overall accounts for around a quarter.

Putin predicts dangerous decade ahead

President Putin has warned the world faces the most dangerous decade since World War II, and delivered a broadside against Washington and its allies. Putin accused the US of inciting the conflict in Ukraine and told the Valdai Discussion Club in a major speech in Moscow, the West was playing what he cast as a “dangerous, bloody and dirty” geopolitical game that was sowing chaos across the world.Ultimately, Putin said, the West would have to talk to Russia and other major powers about the future of the world. “The historical period of the West’s undivided dominance over world affairs is coming to an end,” he predicted. Asked about a potential nuclear escalation, Putin said the danger of nuclear weapons use would exist as long as nuclear weapons existed.

Pentagon defends cutting nuclear missile programme

The Pentagon on Thursday defended plans announced in its latest National Defense Strategy (NDS) to reduce US nuclear capabilities by eliminating at least two programmes despite heightened tensions with Russia. The declassification showed that the US has decided to retire the B83-1 gravity bomb – which is a nuclear aircraft-delivered bomb that does not contain a guidance system – along with the nuclear-armed Sea-Launched cruise Missile (SLCM-N) programme. When questioned by Fox News on why the US would choose to eliminate nuclear capabilities during a period of heightened tensions with Moscow, Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin argued “our inventory of nuclear weapons is significant”.

North Korea launches missile towards Sea of ​​Japan

North Korea has launched an “unidentified” ballistic missile towards the Sea of ​​Japan, according to the Seoul military as reported in the ‘Yonhap’ daily. Pyongyang’s latest test has matured as the South is about to conclude its manoeuvers called ‘Hoguk’ to refine the country’s defense capabilities against threats from the North. Seoul and Washington are also preparing to hold a further round of combined air exercises, called ‘Vigilant Storm’, which is expected to start next week. Pyongyang, particularly active on the missile front this year, carried out its last launch of a short-range carrier on October14.

One dead and Arsenal player hurt in Italy stabbing

A person has died and at least four others have been injured, some seriously, in a stabbing in a Carrefour supermarket near Milan. They say a female employee died after a man started attacking people in the town of Assago. The motive for the attack is not yet clear. Among the injured was Pablo Marì, a Monza football player on loan from Arsenal, with a deep wound on his back. The 46-year-old unemployed, who has serious mental problems, was stopped and disarmed by former Inter Milan player Massimo Tarantino.

Elon Musk completes Twitter deal, fires 4 executives

The world’s richest man, Elon Musk, has completed his $44billion (€44.076bn) takeover of Twitter, firing four top executives he had accused of misleading him and providing little clarity about how he will achieve the lofty ambitions he has outlined for the influential social media platform. Musk on Thursday terminated Twitter chief executive Parag Agrawal, chief financial officer Ned Segal, head of legal and policy affairs Vijaya Gadde and general counsel Sean Edgett. He had accused them of misleading him and Twitter investors over the number of fake accounts on the social media platform. Agrawal and Segal were in Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters when the deal closed and were escorted out. Musk has said he wants to “defeat” spam bots on Twitter, make the algorithms that determine how content is presented to its users publicly available, and prevent the platform from becoming an echo chamber for hate and division, even as he limits censorship. Yet he has not offered details on how he will achieve all this and who will run the company. He has said he plans to cut jobs, leaving Twitter’s approximately 7,500 employees fretting about their future. He also said on Thursday he did not buy Twitter to make more money but “to try to help humanity, whom I love”.

Hezbollah end extraordinary mobilisation against Israel

The leader of the pro-Iranian Hezbollah, Hasan Nasrallah, has announced the end of the “extraordinary” military mobilisation launched in recent months to exert negotiating pressure on Israel in the framework of negotiations, mediated by the United States, for the definition of the maritime borders between Lebanon and Israel. While the ceremony for the formalisation of the agreement between Lebanon and Israel for the sharing of energy resources between the two countries was just ending, Nasrallah gave a televised speech in which, among other things, he announced the end of the ‘extraordinary’ military mobilisation against Israel.

ECB warns of ‘looming recession’

The European Central Bank announced another jumbo interest rate hike on Thursday and said further increases would follow to combat soaring inflation, even as its president, Christine Lagarde, warned a eurozone recession was looming. The ECB’s 25-member governing council repeated last month’s unprecedented move and opted for another bumper increase of 75 basis points, leaving its three main rates sitting in a range of between 1.5 and 2.25%. The ECB is under pressure to rein in record-high inflation, mainly driven by surging food and especially energy prices in the wake of Russia’s war in Ukraine. Eurozone inflation stood at 9.9% in September, nearly five times the ECB’s two-percent target. Inflation “remains far too high” in the 19-nation currency club, Lagarde said. She also warned governments against adding to their debt pile as they try to shield citizens from price shocks.“Governments should show they are committed to gradually bringing down high public debt ratios,” Lagarde said, stressing that policymakers should pick measures which are “temporary and targeted at the most vulnerable”.

Lula’s lead widens slightly

Leftist challenger Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s lead over far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro has widened slightly three days from Brazil’s presidential runoff election, according to a poll published Thursday. Lula has 53% voter support to 47% for Bolsonaro, according to the poll from the Datafolha Institute – up from a four-point gap (52% to 48%) the previous week. The figures exclude voters who plan to cast blank or spoiled ballots – five percent of respondents. Undecided voters represented just two percent. Lula, the charismatic but tarnished ex-president who led Brazil from 2003 to 2010, won the first round of the election on October 2 with 48% of the vote, to 43% for former army captain Bolsonaro.

Woman, buried alive by husband, saved by her smart watch

An American woman beaten, stabbed and buried alive by her husband, was saved thanks to her smart watch, with which she managed to call the police after the initial attack. The episode, reports the ‘Daily Beast’, took place in Washington State. According to the reconstruction by the investigators, the woman, Young Sook An, 42, had quarreled over money and divorce with her husband Chae Kyong An, 53, before being attacked and buried alive. The man has been arrested.

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