Global Review – 5th November

Xi, Scholz warn against ‘irresponsible’ nuclear threats

Chinese President Xi Jinping and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Friday condemned threats to use atomic weapons in Ukraine, with Scholz warning that Russia risked “crossing a line” in the international community by resorting to nuclear force. In the first visit by a G7 leader to China since the pandemic, Scholz pressed Xi to prevail on Russia to end the war in Ukraine, saying Beijing had a responsibility as a major power to do so. Xi agreed that both leaders “jointly oppose the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons”, though he refrained from criticising Russia or calling on Moscow to withdraw its troops.

‘China developing nuclear weapons rapidly’ – US

The US has warned that China “is developing nuclear weapons very quickly”. The head of the US strategic command, which oversees the US atomic weapons programme, called the issue a “short-term problem”. “The ship is slowly sinking because Beijing is deploying its military capabilities faster than we are,” Admiral Charles Richard said.

‘ Kiev launches rockets on Svatovo’ – Moscow

The Ukrainian army bombed the city of Svatovo in the self-proclaimed Republic of Lugansk during the night with four Himars rockets. According to Tass, investigations are still underway on any victims or damages. Moscow says Ukraine has fired over 375 Himars rockets since the start of the conflict. Meanwhile, President Putin said civilians in Ukraine’s southern Kherson region  should be “evacuated”. He told pro-Kremlin activists the civilian population should not suffer”.

$400 million further US military aid to Ukraine

The US is to send another $400 million in military aid to Ukraine. The Pentagon said they would also create a security assistance headquarters in Germany that would oversee all arms transfers and military training for Kiev. The command, called “Security Assistance Group Ukraine” marks a permanent programme to continue supporting Kiev in its resistance to the Russian invasion.

Pope warns global divisions leading to ‘precipice’

Pope Francis warned in Bahrain Friday that “opposing blocs” and global divisions have put humanity on a “delicate precipice” – a veiled reference to the Ukraine war. “We are living at a time when humanity, connected as never before, appears much more divided than united,” he said during a speech to religious leaders. During the homily of the mass at the Bahrain National Stadium, the Pope invited people to love tehir enemies and break “the spiral of revenge”.

€9.5 billion to compensate for expensive energy – Meloni

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has announced that €9.5 billion would be used to compensate for expensive energy, “thanks to the extra VAT and a favourable third quarter”. At the end of a long Cabinet meeting, where the ‘Update of the Economic and Finance Document 2021’ (Nadef) was approved, she underlined “resources for over €30 billion up to 2023” were available.

Italy to let migrant rescue ship dock for health checks

Italy will allow an NGO ship, carrying 179 migrants rescued in the Mediterranean, to dock so medics can carry out health checks, the country’s foreign minister said Friday. Antonio Tajani said that German NGO SOS Humanity’s vessel Humanity 1 would head for Catania and “be able to stay in our territorial waters for the time necessary for us to examine all the emergencies on board”. He said they would accept all minors, expectant mothers or mothers with young children, or people with fever. But he warned that “all those who do not meet these criteria will have to be removed from our territorial waters by the ship”. More than 1,000 migrants are currently aboard rescue boats trying to reach Europe.

UN Votes to Condemn US Embargo of Cuba

The UN General Assembly voted for the 30th year in a row to condemn the US economic embargo on Cuba, with 185 countries voting in favour of the motion with only the US and Israel opposing it, and Brazil and Ukraine abstaining. UN General Assembly resolutions are neither binding nor enforceable, but they reflect global perspectives and have given Cuba an annual platform to highlight the isolation of the US in its decades-long efforts to punish the island. Before the vote, Cuba’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez estimated that the Cuban economy lost $6.35 billion during the first 14 months of the Biden administration.

‘Iran police kill 10 demonstrators’ – Amnesty

Amnesty International fears that at least 10 people, including children, were killed in Iran Friday after security forces opened fire on demonstrators in the south-eastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan. Protests erupted after Friday prayers. Amnesty accused the security forces of firing “live bullets” from the roofs of official buildings.

French MP suspended

In an extremely rare move, far-right French MP Grégoire de Fournas was suspended from Parliament on Friday for shouting the words “go back to Africa” while a Black colleague was speaking about migrants. The remarks, which brought Parliament to a halt Thursday, sparked outrage over racism and a wave of condemnation. On Friday, members of Parliament approved the suspension of de Fournas for 15 days of parliamentary debates, and the withholding of half of his allowance for two months. It’s only the second time in recent French history that such a disciplinary measure has been adopted.

Former Twitter employees file class action

A group of former Twitter employees has filed a class action in the San Francisco court against Elon Musk’s company accusing it of not having given the 60-day notice required by law and of having learned of their firing yesterday when they found their accounts blocked. In an internal communication sent yesterday, the San Francisco company warned employees that they would receive an email in case of dismissal. But many of the company’s 7,500-strong employees started sharing on social media that they can no longer access their accounts, only to discover that they have been kicked out.

Guterres urges rich countries to sign over climate change

As world leaders begin to meet for the COP27, UN Secretary General António told ‘The Guardian’ that rich countries must sign a “historic pact” with the poor on the climate, otherwise “we will be condemned”. The UN climate summit opens Sunday in Egypt and even the hosts admit it would be the most difficult in at least a decade.

King Charles hosts officials ahead of COP27

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has praised King Charles for his far-sighted leadership on tackling climate change as the monarch hosted a reception for politicians and business leaders ahead of the United Nations COP27 summit. Charles will not himself be attending the summit but instead held a reception at Buckingham Palace for more than 200 international figures. King Charles also planted a common tree in the Buckingham Palace garden.

World Cup: ‘Focus on Football’ says FIFA

In a letter to all 32 teams due to compete at the World Cup in Qatar beginning November 20, FIFA told them to “now focus on football” as the host country faces criticism for its human rights record. FIFA President Gianni Infantino and Secretary-General Fatma Samoura asked for the sport not to be “dragged into every ideological or political battle that exists” as some teams have protested Qatar’s alleged treatment of LGBTQ+ people and migrant workers who constructed World Cup facilities. The letter doesn’t address a request by eight European nations for their captains to wear “One Love” multicolored armbands at the World Cup, with both England and Wales already stating that they would defy any ban by the agency. Other teams have also engaged in protest, with Australia participating in a video condemning Qatar, Denmark wearing black jerseys to mourn migrant deaths, and the US backing calls for a compensation fund.

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