Global Review – 31st October

Brazil president-elect Lula urges ‘peace and unity’

President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva called for “peace and unity” Sunday in bitterly divided Brazil, saying the country was no longer an international pariah, and highlighting the need for a “living Amazon”. In his victory speech, Lula reached out to supporters and rivals alike, highlighting the need for “a Brazil of peace, democracy, and opportunity”. He touched on gender and racial equality and the urgent need to deal with a hunger crisis affecting 33.1 million Brazilians. “The wheel of the economy will turn again,” he promised.

Da Silva won with 50.90 per cent to far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro’s 49.10 per cent, following a dirty election campaign. “It is in no one’s interest to live in a divided nation in a permanent state of war,” the 77-year-old leftist said, vowing to serve all 215 million Brazilians, and not only those who voted for him. “This country needs peace and unity. This population doesn’t want to fight anymore.”

He signalled that Brazil was ready to take its place again on the international stage. “Today we tell the world that Brazil is back. It is too big to be banished to this sad role of global pariah. Brazil is ready to take back its role in the fight against the climate crisis, protecting all of our biomes, especially the Amazon forest,” said Lula. “Brazil and the planet need a living Amazon.”

Bolsonaro had been leading throughout the first half of the count and, as soon as da Silva overtook him, cars in the streets of downtown Sao Paulo began honking their horns. Da Silva’s headquarters in downtown Sao Paulo hotel only erupted once the final result was announced, underscoring the tension that was a hallmark of this race. His account has since been filled with congratulations from world leaders. Lula’s inauguration is scheduled to take place on January 1.

Bolsonaro has yet to react publicly to the results, but France 24 reports ‘incredibly tense’ scenesoutside his headquarters. It says shouting, anger, and fighting had broken out at Bolsonaro’s campaign headquarters after the official result was announced. Several key Bolsonaro allies have acknowledgedhis defeat, like former judge Sergio Moro, who wrote on Twitter he would be respecting the will of people. As a federal judge, Moro sent Lula to jail for corruption in 2018 before serving as Bolsonaro’s justice minister between 2019 and 2020. Lula told the crowds on Paulista Avenue in São Paulo that Bolsonaro had not yet called him since the election ended.

Ukraine’s like the Cuban missile crisis’Moscow

Russia feels “threatened at its borders”, and to make the West understand how high the stakes are, it evoked the moment when the world found itself really on the brink of World War III: the 1962 Cuba missile crisis between the United States and the USSR. The warning from Foreign Minister Sergiei Lavrov was launched right after the new Ukrainian attack on Crimea, to which Moscow reacted by suspending the wheat agreement – an action that immediately blocked the ships loaded with cereals, and that prompted the United Nations, Turkey and Ukraine to agreed to a movement plan for Monday for 16 ships in Turkish waters. The Joint Coordination Centre based in Istanbul stated that the three delegations had also agreed on inspections of 40 outbound vessels, following Russia’s withdrawal from the agreement.

In an interview, Minister Lavrov, accused the US and European allies of a “campaign to provideUkraine with all kinds of weapons”, which, among other things, are “playing irresponsibly” on the issue of nuclear weapons, with Poland “a candidate” to host US atomic bombs. The drones launched on Sevastopol, which would have hit at least three Russian fleet ships, according to Moscow constitute further evidence of the threats to its borders.

South Korean families search for missing relatives

A week of national mourning has been declared in South Korea after Saturday night’s Halloween crush that killed at least 153 people and injured scores more in a packed nightlife area in Seoul. The country’s president has ordered an investigation into one of South Korea’s worst disasters in decades. Officials put the number of injured at 133 on Sunday evening, saying the death count could further rise as 37 of them were in serious condition. More than 80% of the dead – 97 women and 56 men – were in their 20s and 30s, but at least four were teenagers. On Sunday, families and friends desperately sought word of loved ones at community centres that had become makeshift facilities for missing persons. South Korea’s foreign ministry said late on Sunday that the dead included 26 foreign nationals from 15 countries.

132 killed as bridge in India collapses

At least 132 people – mainly women and children – died in India when a colonial-era pedestrian bridge overloaded with religious revellers collapsed into the river below, police said Monday. Some 15 others were being treated in hospital. Authorities said nearly 500 people were celebrating a festival on and around the 150-year-old suspension bridge in Morbi when supporting cables snapped after dark on Sunday, spilling scores of people into the water while others clung desperately to the wreckage shouting for help. The bridge over the Machchhu river, a popular tourist spot, had only reopened several days earlier after months of repairs.

Sunak may attend climate summit after backlash

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has left the door open to attending the global climate change conference COP27 in Egypt next month following a significant backlash against his decision not to attend. Sunak had come under sustained fire from senior Tories after he said he would be skipping the major UN climate summit next month due to pressing domestic issues. COP26 President Alok Sharma, who was recently demoted from the Cabinet by Sunak, expressed his “disappointment” at the PM’s COP27 snub. Meanwhile, Downing Street has confirmed there was a “mutual agreement” that King Charles will not attend the summit. He is now expected to hold a climate reception on Friday at Buckingham Palace.

Iran protesters rally again

Iranian protesters rallied again Sunday, defying an order by the powerful Revolutionary Guards to stop the demonstrations, now in their seventh week, sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini. Students gathered overnight and Sunday across Iran, even after Major General Hossein Salami, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, had warned demonstrators: “Do not come to the streets!” Amini, 22, died in custody on September 16 after her arrest in Tehran for an alleged breach of Iran’s strict dress rules for women. Security forces on Sunday fired gunshots and tear gas at a gathering of students amid chants of “freedom”. Demonstrations were held in more than 50 universities and institutes of higher learning. At least 160 protesters, including more than two dozen children, have been killed since protests began. The protests have attracted global attention, and solidarity demonstrations have been held in cities all over the world. In Berlin, three men were hurt early on Sunday when a pro-democracy vigil outside the Iranian embassy was attacked, German police said.

‘Vigilant Storm’ underway

South Korea and the United States have started the “Vigilant Storm” exercise, which will run until Friday. Large-scale joint air exercises were carried out using approximately 240 combat aircraft. South Korea mobilises a total of 140 fighter jets; the US, on the other hand, intends to mobilise about 100 fighter planes, including fighter-bombers stationed in Japan. South Korea and the United States intend to further strengthen deterrence against North Korea.

Italian woman, 82, shoplifts and pleads: “Don’t tell my grandchildren”

An 82-year-old woman was caught shoplifting a  can of tuna from a supermarket in Frosinone and pleaded, “Don’t tell my grandchildren” when the police were being called. Shop owner Francesco Sciucco interrupted his call and gave her the shopping as a gift. “I thought it could have been my mother,” Sciucco told ‘Il Messaggiero’. The woman lives alone and is unable to make it to the end of the month. “When she wants she will be our guest. A few euros do not change my life; I hope I have given her a smile,” said Sciucco.

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