Global Review – 5th September

Canada: 10 dead, 15 wounded stabbing spree

A giant manhunt has been mounted in Canada after 10 people were killed and at least 15 others were injured in a series of stabbings in some remote and isolated communities in Saskatchewan, a central province of the country. Rescuers indicated that there may be others injured. The police are looking for two suspects, of whom they have released general information and identikits: Damien Sanderson, 31, and Myles Sandersos, 30, both with black hair and brown eyes, on the run perhaps in a black Nissan Rogue. The attacks took place in at least 13 different places and the relationship between the two is still unclear.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described the attacks as “horrific and heartbreaking”. “I’m thinking of those who have lost a loved one and of those who were injured,” he wrote on Twitter. Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe has issued a statement describing the attacks as “senseless violence”. He wrote in a tweet on Sunday: “There are no words to adequately describe the pain and loss caused by this senseless violence. All of Saskatchewan grieves with the victims and their families.”

Strong earthquake shakes southwestern China

A 6.6 magnitude earthquake struck Sichuan province in southwestern China. This was announced by the Usgs, the US geoseismic institute. The quake occurred at 12:52 local time (6:52 in Malta) and had its epicenter 45 km south-east of Kangding and at a depth of 10 km.

Chileans reject new leftist constitution

Chileans resoundingly rejected a new constitution to replace a charter imposed by the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet 41 years ago, dealing a stinging setback to President Gabriel Boric who argued the document would have ushered in a progressive era. With 96% of the votes counted in Sunday’s plebiscite, the rejection camp had 61.9% support compared to 38.1% for approval amid what appeared to be a heavy turnout with long lines at polling states. Voting was mandatory. The approval camp conceded defeat, with its spokesman Vlado Mirosevic saying: “We recognise this result and we listen with humility to what the Chilean people have expressed.” The rejection of the document was broadly expected in this country of 19 million as months of pre-election polling had shown Chileans had grown wary of the document that was written up by a constituent assembly in which a majority of delegates were not affiliated with a political party.

EU energy shield to be discussed this week

The EU energy shield, or solutions in the European field to deal with the rising bill prices, will be on the table of the big names in Brussels in the coming days. What is escribed as a “decisive week” opens with experts trying to understand how the EU would tackle the problem. The goal is clear: to protect consumers and businesses from expensive bills. But the European recipe with which to achieve this result is still to be defined, so much so that experts define the situation as “still fluid”. The complexity of the interventions that can be implemented does not facilitate the task. On Wednesday, technicians and ambassadors of the 27 will try to solve the knots in view of the key appointment, that of the energy ministers set for Friday. The first option, also recalled by EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, is to set a ceiling on the price of gas. Which should primarily concern what arrives via tube from Russia. Its cost would drop and Moscow would see its enormous earnings cut. But to work – assuming that Gazprom does not decide to completely stop supplies – EU member-states and their respective companies must first agree to make joint purchases. Another hypothesis is to pay for gas at market prices and then distribute it at controlled prices.

Kremlin forecasts ‘A great global storm is starting’

Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov forecasts a “great global storm” stemming from the actions of the West. According to Tass reports, Peskov says “Russia will be able to preserve macro-stability in the midst of this storm”. Russian Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Alexander Novak argued that Nord Stream’s blockade was solely due to European sanctions that prevented adequate repairs by violating contracts and did not rule out further increases in the price of gas in Europe that could affect “record levels”.

Zelenskiy discusses urgent aid, Russia sanctions with EU chief

Reuters quotes Ukrainian President Zelenskiy saying he had called on the EU to urgently allocate its next round of aid to Ukraine and pressed for a new wave of sanctions on Russia. In a phone call with von der Leyen, he said on Twitter he “discussed the allocation of the next tranche of #EU macro-(financial) aid ASAP and emphasized the need to prepare the 8th package of (Western) sanctions (on Russia), including a ban on issuing visas to Russian citizens”. Zelenskiy, who has warned Europeans to expect a difficult winter due to Russian oil and gas exports cuts, also said he and von der Leyen coordinated “steps to limit Russia’s excess profits from the sale of oil and gas”. Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said earlier that Kiev was expecting a tranche of €5 billion in macro-financial aid from the EU this coming week. Meanwhile, Shmyhal was received by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Sunday as the Ukrainian prime minister sought more heavy weapons from Berlin. Shmyhal acknowledged that Berlin had stepped up its military help. During the meeting, Scholz vowed to continue supporting Ukraine not only militarily, but also politically and financially, according to the chancellor’s spokesperson.

Germany to invest additional 65b in new energy, inflation relief plan

Germany will invest an additional €65 billion in a new round of measures aimed at easing the sting of inflation and high energy prices for consumers, the country’s governing coalition announced Sunday.“Germany stands together in a difficult time. As a country, we will get through this difficult time,” Chancellor Olaf Scholz said at a Sunday media conference with leaders from the Greens and the pro-business FDP, the two coalition partners of his centre-left Social Democrats. Among the measures announced Sunday are additional one-time payments to help consumers cover energy costs and a planned price cap on a basic amount of energy consumption for families and individuals.

Calcutta today celebrates the death of Mother Teresa

Central Park Street in Calcutta will today see the inauguration of a new centre for street children of the Missionaries of Charity, the order founded by Mother Teresa. The opening will coincide with the celebrations to mark the 25th anniversary of the death of the Macedonian nun, proclaimed blessed by John Paul II in 2003 and saint by Pope Francis in 2016. “We continue to carry on the legacy of the Mother, offering everything for free,”, says Sister Mary Joseph, superior general of the order since the first months of this year.

Pope Francis beatifies ‘Smiling’ John Paul I

Thousands of people gathered in St Peter’s Square on Sunday as Pope Francis presided over the beatification of John Paul I, the so-called “Smiling Pope” who led the Catholic Church for just 33 days before dying in contested circumstances. John Paul I was elected pope on August 26, 1978, at the age of 65. He died just 33 days later, on September 28, 1978, of a heart attack, making him the shortest serving pontiff in modern church history. A crowd of several thousand gathered under umbrellas through a thunderstorm to listen to the beatification mass – a step before canonization and becoming a “saint”. “With a smile, Pope John Paul managed to communicate the goodness of the Lord,” said Pope Francis during Sunday’s mass.

UK’s next PM to be known this afternoon

Boris Johnson’s successor as UK prime minister will be revealed at 13:30 (Malta time) when either Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak is named next Conservative leader. The winner of the leadership contest will be then taking office on Tuesday after formal appointment by the Queen.

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