44 people killed in historic New York floods
At least 44 people were killed across New York and New Jersey – including a 2-year-old boy and his parents who drowned in a basement apartment in Queens – as the tail-end of Hurricane Ida ravaged the northeast. The storm knocked out power and flooded streets, homes and subways – prompting the first-ever flash flood emergency for the Big Apple and leaving a trail of devastation from Maryland to New York. The rising death toll came as a state of emergency was in effect after the historic downpour knocked out power, closed roads and destroyed homes and businesses across the five boroughs. Rescuers were still searching for more stranded and missing people, bracing for a potentially higher death toll. The National Weather Service recorded 3.15 inches of rain fell in Central Park in an hour, believed to be the most ever. President Biden said the unprecedented flooding in the region, along with the destruction brought by Hurricane Ida to Louisiana and Mississippi and wildfires in the West, were “yet another reminder that these extreme storms in the climate crisis are here”.
German SPD extends lead over Merkel’s sliding conservatives
Germany’s Social Democrats have opened up a five-point lead over Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives ahead of the September 26 national election. The poll for broadcaster ARD put support for the SPD at 25%, with the conservative CDU/CSU bloc on 20%, the Greens on 16%, the liberal Free Democrats on 13%, the far-right Alternative for Germany on 12% and the far-left Linke on 6%. The centre-left SPD’s surge in polls has dimmed the prospects of another victory by the conservatives, whose promise of “steadfastness” is failing to resonate with voters concerned by climate change, immigration and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Afghan women take to the streets for the right to work
About 50 Afghan women took to the streets in Herat in a rare protest to obtain the right to work and participation in the new government of the country. “It is our right to have education, work and security”, the demonstrators sang in unison: “We are not afraid, we are united”. The Taliban have indicated that the the new all-male government could come after today’s prayers.
Mikis Theodorakis dead at 96
Mikis Theodorakis, the most famous Greek composer in history, died at the Athens hospital at the age of 96 after a long life, full of glory, pain, intertwined with some of the most tragic events of the 20th century. Theodorakis was born on July 29, 1925 on the Greek island of Chios. In 1962 he signed the soundtrack of “Phaedra” by Jules Dassin, and in 1964 the music for “Zorba the Greek”, the film by Michael Cacoyannis with Anhtony Quinn. While in exile, he had signed two more of his most famous works: the soundtrack of “Z- The orgy of power”, winning, in 1967, the Oscar for best foreign film, and “Serpico”, the true story of policeman Frank Serpico, played by Al Pacino. In 1979, he was commissioned by the Maltese government to write the hymn “Ode to Freedom” to mark the closure of the British military base in Malta.
ABBA reunite for first time in 40 years
After years of delay and teasing on social media, ABBA have officially reunited, announcing the new album “Voyage” out on November 6. This marks their first time officially reuniting in 40 years. ABBA will also perform a digital concert on May 27, 2022, which they first announced in 2016. Abba Voyage will take place at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park’s arena in London.
Lookalike inmate mistakenly released from Missouri jail
Authorities in Missouri are searching for a woman who was mistaken for another inmate and wrongly released from jail. Ellen Goble – who was held in jail on charges of resisting arrest, burglary, drug possession, and operating a vehicle without a valid license – looked almost identical to the inmate due for release, who was asleep two cells away. Sheriff Aaron Wilson said the two women have essentially the same hair colour, eye colour, height, and weight. When a guard, new on the job, came to collect the other inmate on Saturday, he mistook Goble for her; Goble had been moved out of her usual cell while it was being cleaned. Once the guard led Goble out of the cell, the 24-year-old took matters into her own hands. Wilson says she committed identify theft by claiming to be the other inmate and then signing that woman’s name during the check-out process. Authorities are still searching for the woman. Wilson expects her to be in custody by the end of the week.