Global Review – 3rd November

Republican shocks Democrat to win Virginia governorship

Republican Glenn Youngkin pulled off an upset for the ages Tuesday night, defeating Democrat Terry McAuliffe in Virginia’s gubernatorial election – a result that sent political shockwaves across America ahead of next year’s midterm elections. In his victory speech, delivered before a roaring crowd, Youngkin called his win a “defining moment” and promised to “change the trajectory of this commonwealth.” With 97% of the expected vote in, Youngkin had 51% of the vote compared to 48.3% for McAuliffe, a margin of more than 85,000 votes out of more than 3.1 million cast. As Youngkin spoke, President Biden was descending the steps of Air Force One after returning to the US from Europe and landing in a very different political reality. One week before the vote, former President Barack Obama addressed a campaign rally in Virginia, urging people to vote for McAuliffe.

In other elections across the US on Tuesday:

  • As expected, former police officer Eric Adams has won New York City’s mayoral election. The Afro-American former police officer has beaten rival Curtis Sliwa and is preparing to take over from Bill de Blasio. Adams will be the second African American mayor in New York history, after David Dinkins.
  • The Republican candidate in Virginia, Winsome Sears, is tipped to become the first black female lieutenant governor of the state.
  • New Jersey’s Democratic Governor Phil Murphy is in a tight race as votes are counted in his bid for a second term against Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli.
  • In other races, voters in Boston elected their first woman of colour as mayor, Michelle Wu, an Asian-American, and Pittsburgh picked its first black mayor, Ed Gainey.
  • Amid surging crime, Minneapolis voters rejected a proposal to replace the city’s police department with a new Department of Public Safety, more than a year after the murder of George Floyd by an officer.

COP26: leaders to focus on global finance

The UN Climate summit is today turning its attention to global finance with firms to control trillions of dollars in funds helping to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Hundreds of world’s biggest banks, insurance and investment funds have signed up to a climate coalition. Meanwhile, leaders yesterday pledged to slash by 30% emissions of the potent greenhouse gas methane to help slow climate change and stop deforestation by the end of the decade. Among the signatories is Brazil while China, Russia and India have not signed up, and Australia has said it will not back the pledge. Methane is more short-lived in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide but 80 times more potent in warming the earth.

Biden attacks Xi and Putin for missing summit

US President Joe Biden has criticised the leaders of China and Russia for not turning up to the COP26 climate summit. He said China “walked away”, calling Xi’s absence a “big mistake”, and adding it was the “same thing with Russia and Putin”. China said later Xi was not given an opportunity to deliver a video address and had to send a written response.

Johnson apologises to Israeli minister over wheelchair access

Boris Johnson has apologised to Israeli energy minister Karine Elharrar who was unable to access COP26 in her wheelchair and, on Monday, was forced to return to her hotel after waiting outside for two hours. Johnson told Elharrar, who has muscular dystrophy, he was sorry for the “confusion”.

Australian police find missing four-year-old girl

Cleo Smith, a four-year-old girl who went missing from a campsite in Australia over two weeks ago, was found safe and sound. West Australian police said they found the girl in a house in Carnarvon where officers broke into, and that a man was arrested.

Pope tells arms manufacturers: ‘Stop!’

Pope Francis has urged arms manufacturers to “stop”, because war “swallows up the children of the homeland”. On All Souls Day, Pope Francis said a mass at the French military cemetery in Rome, burial place of about 1,900 French and Moroccan soldiers killed in World War Two. The Pontiff has made many calls for disarmament and has said that nuclear weapons should be banned because even their possession for deterrent reasons is “perverse” and indefensible.

Blatter and Platini indicted for fraud

Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini, former presidents of FIFA and UEFA, respectively, were indicted for fraud in Switzerland on Tuesday. The Office of the Attorney General accuses both men of unlawfully arranging a payment of 2 million Swiss Francs (€1.89 million) from FIFA to Platini. Blatter, 85, has been accused of fraud, mismanagement, misappropriation and the forgery of a document. Platini, 66, is accused of fraud, participating in misappropriation, participating in mismanagement, as an accomplice and the forgery of a document.

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