Global Review – 29th October

Nancy Pelosi’s husband undergoes surgery for skull fracture

American House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband has ndergone surgery for a skull fracture and serious injuries to his right arm and hands, according to a statement from the speaker, quoted by CNN. Paul Pelosi, 82, was attacked with a hammer at the couple’s San Francisco home. The intruder shouted “Where is Nancy?” and said he was going to wait for the speaker to return home. The statement said that doctors expect he would make a full recovery.

The suspect, David DePape, was booked at San Francisco County Jail on charges that included attempted homicide and assault with a deadly weapon. He had posted memes and conspiracy theories on Facebook about Covid-19, the 2020 election and the January 6 attack on the Capitol. Investigators found a chilling list allegedly belonging to DePape of other politicians he planned to target, KTVU reported, citing sources.

San Francisco Police Chief William Scott praised the quick-thinking dispatcher who sent police officers to the Pelosi home Friday, after the House speaker’s husband made a surreptitious 911 call. The dispatcher in question got a call from Pelosi, who managed to leave the line open while he confronted the intruder. Pelosi was talking in code, a law enforcement source told CNN earlier, providing enough detail that the operator could understand something was wrong. At the same time, Pelosi tried not to make it evident that he had an open line.

Biden condemns ‘despicable’ attack

US President Joe Biden has described the assault as “despicable”. Speaking at an event in Philadelphia, he sharply condemned the attack on Pelosi and drew parallels between the attack on the House speaker’s husband and the US Capitol riots. The attack sent shock waves through Washington and sparked an outpouring of condolences and condemnation from congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle. It comes as fears of political violence directed toward lawmakers remain high in the wake of the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol as well as other high-profile violent incidents that have targeted members of Congress in recent years.

‘Internal extremism danger’ alert for US midterm elections

The US has been put on alert in view of next month’s midterm elections. According to an intelligence bulletin obtained by CBS, there is the risk of a “growing threat” fuelled “by the increase in internal violent extremism” and by “ideological resentment”. The potential targets of the violence would be “running candidates for public office, elected officials, election workers, political demonstrations, representatives of political parties, racial and religious minorities or alleged ideological opponents”.

Lula-Bolsonaro trade offences in latest TV debate

There was an exchange of offences in Brazil’s last TV presidetiasl election debate between the right-wing president Jair Bolsonaro and the left-wing leader Luis Inacio Lula da Silva before Sunday’s ballot. Bolsonaro called the opponent a “thief”, while the latter responded by calling him a “deranged”. The debate focused mainly on economic hardships. Da Silva, who leads in opinion polls as he seeks to return to the job he held from 2003 to 2010, once more pledged to boost spending on the poor, highlighting that Bolsonaro’s government hasn’t yet provided an increase to the minimum wage above inflation. He said the minimum wage was now worth less than when Bolsonaro was inaugurated. Bolsonaro quickly promised to lift the minimum wage from $229 a month to $265 next year, though that wasn’t included in his 2023 budget proposal sent to Congress.

UK to call Northern Ireland election

The British government on Friday promised to call a fresh election to Northern Ireland’s devolved parliament within the next 12 weeks in a bid to break a political stalemate that could eventually leave the region facing direct rule from London. But it declined to set a date for the vote, which is likely to put a spotlight on deep political divisions over post-Brexit trade rules. Media in Northern Ireland had named December 15 as the most likely date for the vote. Northern Ireland has been without a functioning devolved government since February when the pro-British Democratic Unionist Party began a boycott of power-sharing in protest at post-Brexit trading arrangements.

Salvini calls EU ban on petrol, diesel cars ‘a mistake’

Italian Lega leader Matteo Salvini has reacted forcefully against the EU ban on cars and vans with combustion engines to be sold in EU member states from 2035, descring it as “a mistake”. In a tweet, the new Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure said, “Vehicle manufacturers and shops would closed down in Italy and Europe and workers and artisans would end without work and salaries.” He said the move would only benefit China, underlining that “the League in Europe will do everything to stop this madness”. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Thursday that “the crucial milestone will stimulate innovation and our industrial and technological leadership”.

Zelenskyy accuses Russians of stealing Ukraine’s ambulances

President Zelensky has accused Russian forces in the occupied Ukrainian region of Kherson are engaged in mass theft of Ukrainian medical equipment and ambulances in a bid to make the area uninhabitable. In an evening video address, he said pro-Moscow forces realised they could not hold the city and were therefore taking what they could. Retreating Russian troops have regularly been accused of widespread looting. Meanwhile, Russia said on Friday it had finished calling up reservists to fight in Ukraine, having drafted hundreds of thousands in a month and sending more than a quarter of them already to the battlefield.

72 dead, many missing as tropicl storms hits Philippines

The death toll from severe tropical storm Nalgae, which unleashed floods and set off landslides in several parts of the Philippines, has climbed to 72, a spokesperson for a government disaster agency said on Saturday. The bulk of the fatalities were in Maguindanao province in the southern Philippines, with 67 deaths. According to local media reports, a village in Datu Odin Sinsuat was buried in the landslide, resulting in at least 50 deaths.

Tonight it’s back to winter time!

Years after the proposal to end the seasonal changes of time across the EU was first released, Europeans will at 3 am on Sunday have to again set their clocks back – a practice that’s unlikely to change soon. The European Commission unveiled its proposal to abolish the time change in September 2018 following a public consultation in which an overwhelming majority of the 4.6 million European citizens who took part called for the practice to be brought to an end. The proposal was then rubber-stamped by MEPs in the first half of 2019. But since then, nothing. To the debate, still alive at European level, on the appropriateness of this time shift, this year the theme of energy saving is also added, which is hotly topical given the cost of electricity and gas bills. Daylight saving time will return on Sunday 26 March 2023.

According to Terna, the Italian company operating the electricity transmission grids, the electricity savings achieved in 2022 thanks to summer time in Italy were equal to 420 million kilowatt hours, while in the last 15 years they were 10 billion kilowatt hours, for a total of 1.8 billion euros. Furthermore, according to estimates, keeping daylight saving time also in the coming months would save, at current energy costs, an additional billion euros in heating and electricity consumption, and would avoid emitting 200,000 tons of CO2 from energy production each year.

One of the reasons why some countries are in favour of the abolition of summer time is related to the negative effects that the time change has on the body, especially that of children and the elderly. This change can cause exhaustion, fatigue, lack of concentration, sleep disturbances, irritability and moodiness, even if these minor ailments dissolve within a few days.

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