Global Review – 4th September

Palace fury as Queen’s funeral plans are leaked

The Daily Mirror criticises the fact that plans for the Queen’s funeral have been leaked, asking “How could they?”. The sharing of details surrounding Operation London Bridge has been branded “deeply disturbing” by royal sources. “No respect!” screams The Daily Express headline as the story is accompanied by a large picture of the Queen looking particularly stern.

NZ police were trailing extremist before knife attack

New Zealand authorities were so worried about an extremist inspired by the Islamic State group that they were following him around the clock and were able to shoot and kill him within 60 seconds of him unleashing a knife attack that wounded six people on Friday at an Auckland supermarket. Three of the shoppers were taken to Auckland hospitals in critical condition, police said. Another was in serious condition, while two more were in moderate condition. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the violence as a terror attack. She said the man was a Sri Lankan national who was inspired by the Islamic State group and was well known to the nation’s security agencies. Ardern said the attack was violent and senseless, and she was sorry it had happened.

Di Maio’s plan to avoid mass Afghan exodus to the EU states

Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio has told a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Slovenia, that the EU must avoid a mass exodus of Afghans to Europe by helping them by converting “the money we used to train the Afghan army into development cooperation projects with Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and other countries in the region”. These countries, he added, “cannot be left alone”.  Meanwhile, Italian Defence Minister Lorenzo Guerini warned that the risk of terrorism linked to Afghan refugees required “high attention” but that was not an excuse for denying hospitality. After a meeting with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin at the Pentagon, Guerini said, “Europe must live up to its values and do its part.”

Talibans claim to have entered the Panshir Valley

The fate of Afghanistan’s Panshir Valley – the final holdout against Taliban control – hangs in the balance as heavy fighting continues and both sides claim to have the upper hand. Taliban sources, quoted by TRT World, claim to have entered the Panshir valley, saying that rebel leaders, Ahmed Massoud and former vice president Amrullah Saleh, would have fled, perhaps to Tajikistan. However, the National Resistance Front as denying the surrender.

Vaccination of British 12-15-year-olds ‘to beging soon’

Several of Saturday’s national British newspapers lead with developments surrounding the vaccination of 12-15-year-olds. The rollout of the vaccine to millions of schoolchildren is due to begin as soon as next week, according to the Times, despite the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) deciding not to recommend it. The JCVI said the final decision should now be made by the chief medical officers of the four home nations.

 Charlène of Monaco suffering from “nasty ENT infection”

Princess Charlene of Monaco is in stable condition after being rushed to a hospital in her native South Africa following a collapse due to complications after severe ear, nose and throat infection she contracted in May. The princess, 43, was hospitalised under a pseudonym. An offial statement from the Principality stated that her medical team was currently evaluating her condition. Prince Albert and their twin children are visiting her in South Africa.

Trudeau losing ground

Canada’s Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau finds himself behind in polls ahead of a snap election on September 20 he called hoping his management of the COVID-19 crisis would propel him to victory. At the time, his Liberals were well ahead and looked likely to regain the majority in parliament they lost in 2019. However, the latest polls show Liberal fortunes have faded as voters have grown fatigued with Trudeau, 49, who has been in power since 2015. One Liberal strategist said the early-vote call had backfired as it was seen as “wrong” and “greedy” by the electorate.