Global Review – 28th September

Nations cry foul play over Nord stream leak

American and German officials have cried foul play as Swedish scientists announced that they had detected two underwater explosions near enormous leaks on the Nord Stream pipeline that usually supplies Europe. Russia has expressed its “concern” over the leak. The Swedish National Seismic Network said the first explosion occurred early Monday with a magnitude of 1.9 on the Richter scale, followed by a second on the evening of the same day with a magnitude of 2.3. “It’s clear that there has been some kind of explosions, and the coordinates match the leaks,” Peter Schmidt, a seismologist who works with the group, said by phone. The leaks on the Nord Stream pipelines are forming an area of natural gas bubbles about a kilometre in diameter in the Baltic Sea, a video released by the Danish army showed.

Nord Stream says pipeline damage unprecedented 

Nord Stream said the damage to its key pipeline to Germany was “unprecedented” and it was impossible to say when flows could resume. Germany, which suspects sabotage is behind the damage, was probing the incidents in the Baltic Sea on the two idled Nord Stream gas pipelines from Russia, while Denmark stepped up security on its energy installations. It’s the clearest signal yet that supplies won’t resume this winter.

‘Pipeline sabotage can’t be ruled out’ – Danish PM

Banish prime minister Mette Frederiksen said Tuesday that leaks detected in the Nord Stream gas pipelines were clearly caused by deliberate actions and could not have been a result of accidents. Frederiksen told journalists there was no to indication yet who might have be behind this action. “It’s hard to imagine that it’s accidental,” she said, noting that it was “unusual” for the leaks to happen at such a distance from each other.

Gazprom warns of sanctions risk to Ukraine gas flows

Gazprom warned there’s a risk Moscow would sanction Ukraine’s Naftogaz, which would prevent it from being able to pay transit fees, and therefore put at risk gas flows to Europe via Ukraine. Gas prices surged immediately in late European trading. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Russia was “extremely concerned” about the reports of leaks, which prompted a surge in gas prices even though the flows have been halted for months.

All four occupied Ukraine regions vote to join Russia’ – Moscow

The Kremlin has claimed that residents of a large swath of Ukraine overwhelmingly supported joining with Russia in stage-managed referenda the US and its Western allies have dismissed as illegitimate.Pro-Moscow officials said all four occupied regions of Ukraine voted to join Russia. According to Russia-installed election officials, 93% of the ballots cast in the Zaporizhzhia region supported annexation, as did 87% in the Kherson region, 98% in the Luhansk region and 99% in Donetsk.Possibly explaining the lower favourable vote in Kherson is that Russian authorities there have faced a strong Ukrainian underground resistance movement whose members have killed Moscow-appointed officials and threatened those who considered voting.

There is nothing more to discuss with Putin’ – Zelensky

Ukrainian President Zelensky, speaking on video at the meeting of the UN Security Council, said, “Kiev cannot negotiate with Moscow after the annexation referendum”. Meanwhile, sources have told Reuters news agency the United States is preparing a new $1.1 billion arms package for Ukraine in anticipation of Russia’s announcement of the annexation of Ukrainian territories.

‘Referenda change nothing’ – Stoltenberg

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has told President Zelensky that NATO allies were unwavering in their support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and right of self-defence. “The bogus referenda held by Russia have no legitimacy and are a blatant violation of international law; these lands belong to Ukraine,” he tweeted.

NATO’s response to nuclear weapons would be devastating’

Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau said NATO’s response to any use of nuclear weapons by Russia in Ukraine will be “devastating”. In an interview with NBC, the minister, visiting Washington, warned that if Putin were to use the atomic bomb, NATO would react “in a conventional way”, therefore not using a nuclear weapon, “but the answer will be devastating. This is the message the Alliance is sending to Russia right now,” he added.

3,000 arrests in Tehran following protests

Nearly 3,000 people have been arrested in Tehran in over 10 days of protests for the case of Mahsa Amini, the 22-year-old who died while in the custody of the moral police who had detained her for not wearing a veil appropriately. This was announced by IranWire citing sources among the families of the arrested people according to which the prisoners are in various prisons in the Iranian capital but also in other buildings.

IMF sounds alarm on UK tax cut plans

The International Monetary Fund has openly criticised the UK government over its plan for tax cuts, warning that the measures are likely to fuel the cost-of-living crisis. In an unusually outspoken statement, the IMF said it understood the package aimed to boost growth via tax cuts, but it warned that the measures could speed up the pace of price rises, which the UK’s central bank is trying to bring down and would be likely to increase inequality. The government says the measures will kickstart economic growth. Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng unveiled the country’s biggest tax package in 50 years on Friday. The £45bn cut will be funded by government borrowing.

Only Labour can end economic turmoil’ – Starmer

A number of the UK national papers lead with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s keynote speech to his party’s conference on Tuesday. ‘The Guardian’ quotes Sir Keir saying that, “as in 1945, 1964, 1997, this is a Labour moment” and accusing the Conservatives of having “lost control of the British economy”.

‘Daily Mirror’ describes the speech as “rousing” and a “message of hope”. The paper also notes Starmer’s pledge that a Labour government would create a state-owned energy company, GB Energy, and says the policy could “slash bills and create wealth for all to share”.

Florida braces for Hurricane Ian

Residents of Florida’s Gulf Coast on Tuesday boarded up their homes, packed up their vehicles and headed for higher ground as Hurricane Ian drew near, threatening to bring a deadly storm surge and more than 30 cm of rain to some areas. Some 2.5 million Floridians were under evacuation orders after Ian left Cuba without electricity. The hurricane caused damage to the grid and a general blackout. The technicians are working to restore the service.

Typhoon Noru batters Vietnam

Typhoon Noru barrelled into Vietnam’s central coast early today bringing powerful winds and heavy rain as more than 200,000 of people took refuge in shelters. In Danang, Vietnam’s third largest city, high rise buildings shook in the strong gusts that toppled trees and tore roofs from homes across the central region. Large scale power outages were reported. Forecasters predicted the storm would be one of the biggest to hit the Southeast Asian nation.

Bossi, Di Maio out of parliament

After thirty-five years Umberto Bossi is out of Parliament. The founder of the League was the first on the Carroccio’s proportional list for the Chamber in Varese, where the party did not get any seats. Also out is former Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, who was not re-elected in Naples

Alec Baldwin could face charges over shooting

The fatal 2021 ‘Rust’ set shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins during filming could see Alec Baldwin and several others face charges, District attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies announced on Tuesday. The charges and investigation would focus on the “many” individuals who handled the firearm during a rehearsal before the fatal shooting of Hutchins.

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