Global Review – 4th June

Atmospheric CO2 more than 50% higher than pre-industrial era

Concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in May were 50% higher than during the pre-industrial era, reaching levels not seen on Earth for about four million years, the main US climate agency said on Friday. Global warming caused by humans, particularly through the production of electricity using fossil fuels, transport, the production of cement, or even deforestation, is responsible for the new high, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said. May is usually the month with the highest carbon dioxide levels each year. In May 2022, the threshold of 420 parts per million (ppm) – a unit of measurement used to quantify pollution in the atmosphere – was crossed. In May 2021, the rate was 419 ppm, and in 2020, 417 ppm. Before the Industrial Revolution, levels of CO2 held steady at around 280 ppm, a level maintained for approximately 6,000 years of human civilization that preceded industrialization, according to NOAA.

European industrialists’ no to unsustainable wage increases

“Rather than unsustainable wage increases that create a harmful spiral in wage prices, the answer to strengthening people’s purchasing power must be to implement a proactive growth agenda that supports the competitiveness of European companies,” warns BusinessEurope, which represents 40 leading federations of companies and employers in 35 European countries: “Governments must address the shortage of labour and skills that undermine recovery and pursue policies that increase productivity and innovation because this is the basis for building real prosperity and creating jobs.”

Trump candidate wins Senate primary

Former president Donald Trump has notched a new important victory in the primaries for the Midterm elections as former financier David McCormick acknowledged the victory of TV star surgeon Mehmet Oz, candidate supported by the tycoon, in the race for a senatorial seat in Pennsylvania. After the count, Oz had such a small margin that the recount had started but with the re-examination still in progress McCornick admitted defeat.

4 killed, dozens injured in German train crash

A train derailed near a Bavarian Alpine resort in southern Germany on Friday killing at least four people and injuring around 30 passengers, 15 of them seriously. Several carriages were lying on their sides on a grassy area next to a highway. Rescuers stood on the top-facing side of the carriages, using ladders to climb into the wagons to reach trapped passengers.

Quake on the border between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia

A 4.4 magnitude earthquake occurred at 3:28 am Malta time on the border between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, at a depth of 10 kms, with its epicenter 25 kilometers from the city of al Ahmadi. There is currently no news of casualties or damage.

Putin ‘reassures’ AU head on food shortages

African Union head Macky Sall said Friday he was “reassured” after talks in Russia with President Putin on food shortages caused by Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine. Putin hosted the Senegalese president, who chairs the African Union, at his Black Sea residence in Sochi on the 100th day of Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine. Global food shortages and grain supplies stuck in Ukrainian ports were high on the agenda. In his remarks before the talks, Putin did not mention grain supplies but said Russia was “always on Africa’s side” and was now keen to ramp up cooperation. He did not make a statement following the talks. The UN has said Africa faces an “unprecedented” crisis caused by the conflict. On Thursday, Chad declared a “food emergency”, urging the international community to help.

Lukashenko would allow Ukrainian grain to transit Belarus

Minsk is ready to allow the transit of Ukraine’s grain to Baltic sea ports via Belarus if it is allowed to ship Belarusian goods from these ports, the Belta news agency quoted Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko as saying on Friday. The topic was discussed in a phone call between Lukashenko and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday, Belta added.

Ukraine signs deal to end Russian nuclear fuel needs

Ukraine has signed a deal for the US nuclear power company Westinghouse to supply fuel to all of its atomic power stations in an effort to end the country’s reliance on Russian supplies, Ukraine’s state nuclear company said on Friday. The agreement also increases the number of new nuclear units Westinghouse will build to nine from an earlier five, and the company will establish an engineering centre in the country. Ukraine has four working nuclear power stations, the largest of which, in Zaporizhzhia, fell under Russian control days after the Russian invasion began in February but is still operated by Ukrainian technicians.

Dvornikov relieved from command of the war

General Alexander Dvornikov would no longer be in command of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, according to the Conflict Intelligence Team, a Russian investigative NGO. He would be replaced by General Gennady Zhidko, former commander of the Eastern Military District and Moscow Deputy Defence Minister for Political Affairs. As indicated by analyst Ruslan Leviev, the removal could be linked to a “rotation process” of the operational top management of the armed forces, “like the one seen in Syria”, given that it does not appear at the moment to be the consequence of a management deemed disappointing.

Parade of stars for Queen’s Jubilee pop concert

Prince Charles and his son William will pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth during the great ‘Platinum party at the Palace’, an outdoor concert to be held this evening in front of Buckingham Palace. The lineup of the show will see pop and rock stars of the first magnitude involved: among others Diana Ross, Queen with Adam Lambert on vocals, Alicia Keys, Hans Zimmer, George Ezra and Sam Ryder, runner-up at the last Eurovision song contest. About 22,000 people are expected to attend the concert, which will be broadcast live by the BBC.

More than 700 monkeypox cases worldwide

The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Friday it was aware of more than 700 global cases of monkeypox, including 21 in the United States, with investigations now suggesting spread inside the country. Sixteen of the first 17 cases were among people who identify as men who have sex with men according to a new CDC report.

Nadal advances to his 14th French Open final

It was not the ending anyone expected following a three-hour contest that produced plenty of high drama as Rafael Nadal reached the French Open final for an incredible 14th time on Friday – albeit after Alexander Zverev was forced to retire hurt with an ankle injury while trailing 7-6(8) 6-6. Nadal now faces Casper Ruud, who became the first Norwegian to reach a Grand Slam final. Ruud defeated Croatia’s Marin Cilic 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 in a semi-final which was held up when a protester ran onto the court and tied herself to the net.

Benzema drops appeal

Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema has dropped his appeal against a one-year suspended sentence for complicity in a bid to blackmail former France teammate Mathieu Valbuena with a sex tape, his lawyer said Saturday. Benzema was sentenced in November 2021 and fined €75,000 over the 2015 extortion attempt that saw him exiled from the French national team for five-and-a-half years.

UEFA apologises over final chaos in France

UEFA apologised to spectators for the first time on Friday for their “frightening and distressing” experience ahead of the Champions League final, saying no football fan should go through such mayhem. Thousands of supporters were unable to access the match despite having genuine tickets, in chaotic scenes that saw the French police use tear gas at close range even against children.   

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