Global Review – 2nd September

Man arrested as he points gun at Argentina’s Vice President

A man was detained after he reportedly aimed a handgun at point-blank range toward Argentine Vice President Cristina Fernández in what government ministers characterised as “an assassination attempt”. The man, who had not been identified, was detained seconds into the incident. Video from the scene broadcast on local television channels shows Fernández exiting her vehicle surrounded by supporters outside her home when a man can be seen extending his hand with what looks like a pistol and the vice president ducks. Supporters surrounding the person appear shocked at what is happening amid the commotion in the Recoleta neighbourhood of Argentina’s capital.

Security Minister Aníbal Fernández told local cable news channel C5N: “A person who was identified by those who were close to him who had a gun was detained by [the vice president’s] security personnel. They set him aside, found the weapon, and now it must be analysed.” The minister said he wanted to be careful in providing details until the investigation learned more. There was no official comment on whether the gun was real.

UN inspects Russian-held nuclear plant in Ukraine

UN nuclear experts have made their first inspection of the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia power plant in Ukraine, following a risky journey delayed by shelling near the site. The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said he had seen what he needed to see. “The key things I needed to see I saw, and your explanations were very clear,” Rafael Grossi told Russian media accompanying the inspectors. The UN agency will be staying at the plant, he added, but he did not specify how many people would be staying and for how long. The inspectors hope to assess the state of the plant and talk to Ukrainian workers under Russian control. The inspectors were accompanied to the plant by Russian soldiers.

Russia calls for UN Council meeting on Zaporizhzhia

Russia has asked for a meeting of the UN Security Council for  September 6 on the alleged bombing by Ukraine of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, according to the Russian deputy ambassador to the UN, Dmitry Polyanskiy. He said the request comes “in light of the continuous bombing of the plant by Ukraine and the reckless attempt by the Kiev regime to derail the visit of the IAEA mission”. Moscow asked that the UN secretary general, Antonio Guterres, and the head of the IAEA, Rafael Mariano Grossi, also attend the meeting. Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of trying to sabotage the IAEA mission. Ukrainian President Zelensky’s chief of staff accused Russia of trying to “wreck” the mission by shelling the nearby town of Enerhodar, which is under Moscow’s control, and the facility. Russia refuted this, stating that 60 Ukrainian “saboteurs” who attempted to recapture the plant by crossing the river on Thursday morning were killed.

Putin denies Gorbachev a state funeral

Russian President Vladimir Putin is to miss the funeral of the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, denying the man who failed to prevent the collapse of the Soviet empire the full state honours granted to Boris Yeltsin. Gorbachev, idolised in the West for allowing eastern Europe to escape Soviet communist control but unloved at home for the chaos that his “perestroika” reforms unleashed, will be buried on Saturday after a public ceremony in Moscow’s Hall of Columns. State television on Thursday showed Putin solemnly placing red roses beside Gorbachev’s open coffin in Moscow’s Central Clinical Hospital, where he died on Tuesday aged 91. Putin made a sign of the cross in Russian Orthodox fashion before briefly touching the edge of the coffin. “Unfortunately, the president’s work schedule will not allow him to do this on September 3, so he decided to do it today,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. He said Gorbachev’s ceremony would have “elements” of a state funeral, and that the state was helping to organise it.

Russian Lukoil chief dies in ‘fall from hospital window’

The chairman of Russia’s Lukoil oil giant, Ravil Maganov, has died after falling from a hospital window in Moscow, reports say. The company confirmed his death but said only that Maganov, 67, had “passed away following a severe illness”. Russian media said he was being treated at Moscow’s Central Clinical Hospital and died of his injuries. Maganov is the latest of a number of high-profile business executives to die in mysterious circumstances. Investigating authorities said they were working at the scene to establish how he died. Tass news agency quoted sources saying he had fallen out of a sixth-floor window early on Thursday morning, adding later that he had taken his own life.

G20 climate talks in Indonesia end without joint communique

Group of 20 climate talks in Bali ended without a joint communique Wednesday despite host Indonesia warning the world’s leading economies they must act together to combat a warming planet or risk plunging into “uncharted territory”. The one-day meeting on the resort island concluded with Indonesia’s environment chief saying G20 chair Jakarta would only issue a summary of the forum’s aims, reflecting divisions between its members over how to tackle climate change. The failure to agree a unified statement came at the end of a month in which more than 1,000 people died in Pakistan from flooding blamed on climate change and after a drought exacerbated by a record heatwave spread across half of China. At a closing media conference, Indonesian Minister of Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya Bakar said the summary would detail the forum’s “shared commitment and shared steps”.

Former police officer gets 10 years for US Capitol riot

A retired New York Police Department officer has been sentenced to a record 10 years in prison for attacking the US Capitol and using a metal flagpole to assault an officer. Thomas Webster’s sentence is the longest so far for people charged following the January 6 Capitol riot. Webster, a 20-year NYPD veteran, was the first Capitol riot defendant to be tried on an assault charge and the first to present a self-defence argument. A jury rejected Webster’s claim that he was defending himself when he tackled Metropolitan Police Department officer Noah Rathbun and grabbed his gas mask outside the Capitol. US District Judge Amit Mehta sentenced the 56-year-old to 10 years in prison plus three years of supervised release, noting that along with Mr Rathbun, “the other victim was democracy”.

Trump says he will ‘very, very seriously’ consider pardons

Former President Donald Trump said Thursday he will “very, very seriously” consider full pardons for the rioters who breached the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, if he runs for reelection and wins. “I will tell you, I will look very, very favourably about full pardons. If I decide to run and if I win, I will be looking very, very strongly about pardons. Full pardons,” Trump said on Wendy Bell Radio Thursday, adding: “We’ll be looking very, very seriously at full pardons because we can’t let that happen. … And I mean full pardons with an apology to many.” Trump had made a similar promise during his final days in office when some of the January 6 rioters were already in jail. None, however, were pardoned before he left office.

US police kill unarmed Afro-American in his bed

The American police are in trouble again for a video showing an officer killing an unarmed young Afro-American in his bed. The events took place last night in the city of Columbus, Ohio. The incident was recorded by the policeman’s body camera. The victim, Donovan Lewis, was 20 years old. The officers, the police themselves explained in a media conference, were carrying out an arrest warrant for domestic violence, assault and improper handling of a firearm. To open fire was policeman Ricky Anderson, who fired only one shot. A few moments before, the agents who conducted the raid had stopped and taken away two men who were inside the apartment. Police said Lewis appeared to have an object in his hand at the time the officer fired.

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