‘Eyes of the world’ will be on Scotland during climate summit
“The eyes of the world will be on the United Kingdom – and Scotland in particular – as leaders come together to address the challenges of climate change,” Queen Elizabeth told Scottish lawmakers on Saturday as she opened a new parliamentary session for the first time without her husband, Prince Philip, who died in April. The queen is slated to attend the UN COP26 Climate Conference, a 12-day summit that will start on October 31 to hear pledges from countries over how they will reduce global warming. Meanwhile, a meeting of climate and energy ministers has ended in Milan with clear divisions between rich and developing countries. The Congolese delegate said rich countries don’t really care because they had the resources to cope.
Thousands march for abortion rights in US
Wearing pink hats and T-shirts and shouting “Hands off my body!” tens of thousands of women took to the streets across the United States on Saturday in nationwide protests aimed at countering a conservative drive to restrict access to abortions. In Washington, close to 10,000 protesters rallied in a square near the White House under sunny skies before marching to the US Supreme Court, which will have the final say on the contentious issue. The perennial fight over the procedure in America has become even more intense since Texas adopted a law on September 1 banning almost all abortions, unleashing a fierce counterattack in the courts and in Congress.
44% turnout in Qatar’s first legislative elections
Qataris voted on Saturday in the Gulf Arab state’s first legislative elections for two-thirds of the advisory Shura Council, a process that has stirred domestic debate about electoral inclusion and citizenship. Turnout for the election of 30 members of the 45-seat body was 44%, the elections’ Supervisory Committee said. The ruling emir will continue to appoint the remaining 15 Council members. The Council will have legislative authority and approve general state policies and the budget, but has no say in the setting of defence, security, economic and investment policy for the small but wealthy gas producer, which bans political parties.
Opposition wins big in Georgia
Exit polls in the Georgian municipal elections show the opposition has made marked gains. A poll commissioned by the pro-opposition Mtavari TV showed opposition parties won 61.4% of the votes, against 38.6% for the ruling party. A rival exit poll by the local pollster, Gorbi, prepared for the pro-government Imedi TV, showed opposition parties garnering 52.4% of the vote with the ruling party on 47.6%. The election was held a day after the dramatic arrest of ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili.
The ‘English voice’ of Isis faces US court charges
A Saudi-born Canadian man, Mohammed Khalifa, who narrated propaganda videos for the Islamic State group, has been charged in a US court. Prosecutors said he also fought for IS. Khalifa was the narrator of the video ‘Flames of War’, a 55-minute video which had become the reference point for recruiting men and women in North America, Australia and the UK.
Long queues at UK petrol stations
Long queues were reported outside petrol stations in London and South East England where fuel shortages continue to strike and many stations were closed. To deal with the petrol crisis, 200 soldiers, including 100 capable of driving trucks, will be deployed on Monday to refuel the service stations.
Vatican magazine laments over female working conditions
The October issue of the Osservatore Romano’s monthly magazine, ‘Donne Chiesa Mondo’, has dencounced the fact that the religious at the service of cardinals, dioceses, parish priests, schools and Catholic clinics do not have work contracts and no fixed hours of work. The magazine has, in the past, also denounced abuse of authority and sexuality in convents. Sister Maryanne Loughry, Sister of Mercy, professor at Boston College and consultant of the Jesuit Refugee Centre said this was an issue “that we must address”.
Kilogram of nails, screws and knives removed from man’s stomach
A Lithuanian man has had more than a kilogram of nails, screws, nuts and knives removed from his stomach by doctors. Local media reports say he had been swallowing metal objects for a month after quitting alcohol.