COP27 summit: racing against the climate clock
The COP27 summit kicks off Sunday in Egypt with nearly 200 countries struggling to outpace increasingly dire climate impacts in a world upended by war and economic turmoil. Just in the last few months, a cascade of climate-addled weather disasters has killed thousands, displaced millions and caused billions in damages: massive flooding in Pakistan, Nigeria and Australia, deepening droughts in Africa and the western US, cyclones in the Caribbean, and unprecedented heat waves across three continents. “Report after report has painted a clear and bleak picture,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in the run-up to the 13-day conference in Sharm el-Sheik. “COP27 must lay the foundations for much faster, bolder climate action now and in this crucial decade, when the global climate fight will be won or lost.” Concretely, that means slashing greenhouse emissions 45% by 2030 to cap global warming at 1.5OC above late-19th-century levels.
‘US pressing Zelensky not to rule out talks with Putin’
The ‘Washington Post’ says the White House is putting pressure on Ukrainian President Zelensky to “show a sign of openness” towards the start of a peace negotiations with Russia, instead of refusing to negotiate as long as President Putin remains in office”. The paper writes the Biden administration’s proposal “does not aim to push Kiev to negotiate, but rather to guarantee Ukraine the support of other countries whose governments are wary of the possibility of financing a long-term conflict”. As the Pentagon approved a new $400 million military aid package for Ukraine, Zelensky again announced he would refuse to attend the next G20 in Indonesia if Putin would also been there. Zelensky’s refusal has “raised concerns in parts of Europe, Africa and Latin America” where the war is having significant impacts on the cost of gasoline and food.
Thousands in Italy march for peace in Ukraine
Some 100,000 Italians marched through Rome and Milan on Saturday calling for peace in Ukraine and urging Italy to stop sending of weapons to fight the Russian invasion. “No to war. No to sending weapons”, read one large banner carried by protesters, as a vast crowd broke into cries of “give peace a chance”. Italy has supported Ukraine from the start of the war, including providing it with arms. TheG7 foreign ministers, including Italy, on Friday vowed to continue supporting Ukraine in the fight against Russia.
17 EU countries send 500 power generators to Ukraine
To support access to electricity and heating, 17 European Union countries have sent 500 power generators to Ukraine through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, the EU Directorate General for Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid writes in a tweet. The countries are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
Protests on the quay as Humanity arrives in Catania
The ship ‘Humanity 1’ of the NGO “SOS Humanity”, with 179 shipwrecked on board, entered the port of Catania, where Italian authorities began inspecting it to identify fragile women and children, who will be get off the boat. The first to leave the ship were three underage women with a a 7-month-old baby, followed by the 100 minors who began to descend one by one, very slowly. Not far away from the ship, behind a banner, about 30 activists staged a protest to the slogan of “all free, all free”, demanding the immediate disembarkation of all the castaways. Petra Krischok, spokesperson for SOS Humanity, said, “Leaving the port of Catania, if all the migrants on board the ship were not to disembark, would be illegal, because they are all refugees”. Four NGO ships have been asking for a safe harbour for days for the over 1,000 migrants they have on board.
Thousands march in Peru calling for president’s removal
Thousands of demonstrators marched through the streets of Lima on Saturday to call for the removal of President Pedro Castillo, the subject of an unprecedented six investigations for corruption. Opponents of Castillo’s government marched through the capital’s centre until dozens of riot police used tear gas to prevent them from reaching Parliament and the government palace. Similar demonstrations called by political groups and civil associations took place in other cities around the country, two weeks before the arrival of a delegation from the Organisation of American States to “analyse” the political crisis.
27-year-old to replace France’s Marie Le Pen
Jordan Bardella, a self-confident 27-year-old, saw his status as rising star of the far right confirmed on Saturday, after party members elected him to succeed veteran leader Marine Le Pen as head of the National Rally. The Paris-born politician was the odds-on favourite to take over the party after Le Pen decided to step back from the role after 11 years at the helm. Formerly known as the National Front, the party had been run by Le Pen’s father Jean-Marie for 40 years before that. Bardella is the first party chief outside the family dynasty.
Biden, Trump, Obama fire up crowds in final midterms dash
The biggest names in Democratic and Republican politics – Joe Biden, Barack Obama and Donald Trump – are firing up crowds in the same battleground state of Pennsylvania ahead of the midterm elections. Donald Trump again hinted he would run for the presidential elections of 2024. “I won’t say that right now. But I promise you, in a very short time you will be very happy,” the tycoon told an audience of supporters in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, who yelled “four more years” at him. Former President Barack Obama warned about divisions fueling a “dangerous climate” in US politics, saying the attack on Paul Pelosi, husband of Democratic House of Representatives Speaker Nancy, was a product of hateful rhetoric. Some 38.8 million Americans have already cast early ballots, either in person or by mail, according to the US Elections Project.
UN urges Musk to ensure human rights
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk on Saturday urged Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk to ensure that respect for human rights is central to the social network following his sacking of around half the company’s employees. After completing his $44 billion acquisition, Musk quickly set about dissolving Twitter’s board and firing its chief executive and top managers. Musk defended the sackings, saying Twitter was losing more than $4m a day.
Spain seized world record of 32 tons of cannabis
Spanish police have seized 32 tons of cannabis buds – equivalent to the production of 1.1 million of cannabis plants – during an operation that led to the arrest of nine men and 11 women between the ages of 20 and 59. The authorities claim this was the “largest seizure of this substance not only in Spain, but also internationally”. The cannabis plants were vacuum-packed to be shipped to different regions of Spain and other European countries, mainly Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium.
Singer Aaron Carter dead at 34
Aaron Carter, the American singer who soared to fame at the turn of the millennium with his hit album “Aaron’s Party (Come Get It),” died Saturday. He was 34. TMZ reported that the brother of Backstreet Boy Nick Carter was found dead in his tub at his residence in Lancaster, California. The artist born December 7, 1987 in Tampa, Florida began performing at age seven, releasing his debut album at age nine in 1997.
German supporters call for World Cup boycott
Fans in stadia across Germany on Saturday called for boycotts of the upcoming Qatar World Cup. In Dortmund, fans in the club’s yellow wall unveiled a banner saying ‘BOYCOTT QATAR 2022’ alongside a banner saying ‘more dead than minutes of play’. The sentiment was echoed by Bayern Munich and Hertha Berlin fans in the teams’ clash in the German capital, as well as fans at the second-division game between Fortuna Duesseldorf and St Pauli. The Dortmund fans’ banner, which was printed in the club colours of yellow and black, refers to the 5,760 minutes of football which will be played in Qatar alongside the disputed figure of 6,500 deaths published by British newspaper ‘The Guardian’ in 2021.