COP27: Poor nations win major breakthrough
The world’s poor nations have had a major breakthrough against the rich after an “extremely challenging” discussion on one of the most contentious issues at the COP27 climate summit in Egypt. For the first time, delegates agreed to put the issue of whether rich nations should financially compensate poor countries for the impacts of climate change on the agenda. The move was debated during late-night discussions and against a backdrop of dire warnings for the planet. Poor countries say they have been bearing the brunt of the changing climate’s impact which they blame on wealthy nations. But for more than a decade, the rich have rejected official discussions on what is referred to as “loss and damage”, or funds they provide to help poor countries cope with the consequences of global warming.
UN report: a “chronicle of climate chaos”
The opening summit heard that the planet was “sending a distress signal” after a new UN report released on Sunday warned the past eight years were on track to be the warmest on record. In a video message, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the State of the Global Climate Report 2022 was a “chronicle of climate chaos” with drastic predictions on sea level rises, melting ice and heatwaves.
Rising inflation top concern for G20
Runaway inflation, an unfolding debt crisis and cost-of-living problems pose the biggest threats to doing business for G20 countries in the next two years, data from the World Economic Forum showed on Monday. Inflation has surged to levels not seen in several decades, prompting a third of G20 countries to identify rising prices as their top concern, the Executive Opinion Survey conducted by the World Economic Forum’s Centre for the New Economy and Society showed. Although central banks across the globe have embarked on an aggressive policy tightening path their efforts to tame inflation run the risk of tipping the global economy into a recession. Reuters reports the survey, which came ahead of the COP27 in Egypt and the G20 summit in Indonesia later this month, also showed that environmental concerns took a back seat for the first time in years as the world attends to more immediate socio-economic problems ranging from the fallout of the Ukraine war to a cost of living crisis. Cyber attacks, despite rising instances of data breach and technology-based security threats, were among the least commonly cited risks.
Ship refuses to leave Catania port until all migrants are off
The captain of a charity-run migrant rescue ship refused Italian orders to leave the Catania port Sunday after authorities refused to let 35 of the migrants on his ship disembark – part of directives by Italy’s new far-right-led government targeting foreign-flagged rescue ships. Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni’s two-week-old government is allowing only those identified as “vulnerable” to disembark. On Sunday, Italy ordered the Humanity 1 to vacate the port of Catania after disembarking 144 rescued migrants, including those with children, more than 100 unaccompanied minors and people with medical emergencies. But its captain refused to comply “until all survivors rescued from distress at sea have been disembarked,” said SOS Humanity, the German charity that operates the ship. The vessel remained moored at the port with 35 migrants on board. Later Sunday, a second charity ship arrived in Catania, and the vetting process was being repeated with the 572 migrants aboard the Geo Barents ship operated by Doctors Without Borders. The selection was completed by late evening, with 357 allowed off but 215 people blocked on board.
Pope urges EU countries to share burden on migrants
Pope Francis has said European Union member states should share responsibility for taking in migrants and not just leave it to the countries where people arrive. He spoke on Sunday as migration triggered fresh political tensions in Italy, where there has been a stand-off between the government and charity ships trying to disembark migrants. “The European Union has to take up a policy of collaboration and help. It can’t leave Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Spain with the responsibility of all the migrants that arrive on their shores,” he told reporters on the plane returning from a four-day trip to Bahrain. “Each government of the European Union should agree on how many migrants it can take,” the Pope said. “Migration policy has to be agreed upon by all countries. There can’t be a policy without consensus,” he said. Matteo Salvini, head of Italy’s anti-immigrant League party and deputy prime minister in the new right-wing government, thanked the Pope for his “words of great wisdom”. “Italy cannot be left alone and cannot take in everyone,” Salvini added in a statement.
Putin’s ‘Hero of Russia’ general removed
A general that Vladimir Putin recently hailed as the ‘Hero of Russia’ has reportedly been removed from his position as Moscow’s invasion faces setbacks. Britain’s Ministry of Defence said General Alexander Lapin had been sacked from the role, the fourth senior commander to have been removed since the war began. It follows a pattern of senior military officials blamed for Putin’s floundering war to “deflect blame from Russian senior leadership at home”.
Zelensky warns of energy infrastructure issues
Ukraine’s President ‘ Zelensky has warned of further Russian attacks on energy infrastructure, threatening the country’s power supply. Ukraine experienced a 32% deficit in its projected power supply on Monday, according to one of the country’s major power suppliers. In asddition, Kyiv’s mayor Vitali Klitschko has urged residents to consider leaving the city because of blackouts and cuts to its water supply and heating network. Average winter temperatures in Ukraine are below freezing during the day.
Fresh Iran protests as another Kurdish student dies
New protests shook Iranian universities and the Kurdish-majority north after the death of Nasrin Ghadri, a Kurdish student from Marivan who, according to the human rights association Hengaw, died yesterday after being shot in the head by the police. The young woman, according to Hengaw, was buried at dawn without a funeral ceremony at the insistence of the authorities, fearing that the case would give further impetus to the movement that arose seven weeks ago after the death of Mahsa Amini, 22, who ended up in a coma and perished after being she was in the custody of the “moral police”, who arrested her for not wearing the veil correctly. An official version regarding Ghadri’s death has not yet been released. According to the association, based in Norway, security forces opened fire on demonstrators in Marivan, injuring 35 people. Images posted on social media show protesters throwing stones at the official administration building, demolishing and burning the flag of the Islamic Republic. Residents, including women without headscarves, marched through the streets. Authorities sent reinforcements to the area and the sound of gunfire echoed throughout the city as night fell, Hengaw added. The regions populated by the Kurdish minority were the melting pot of mobilization.
Football: Champions League draw today
The Champions League last-16 draw takes place in Nyon, Switzerland at 12 noon Malta time. Teams who won their group will be drawn against teams who finished second in theirs but a team cannot play a team from its own country or its own group. The last-16 first legs will take place on 14-15 and 21-22 February, with the second legs on 7-8 and 14-15 March. Seeded are Bayern Munich, Benfica, Chelsea, Manchester City, Napoli, Porto, Real Madrid and Tottenham. Unseeded are AC Milan, Borussia Dortmund, Club Bruges, Eintracht Frankfurt, Inter Milan, Leipzig, Liverpool and Paris St-Germain.Chelsea, City and Spurs will face one of AC Milan, Borussia Dortmund, Club Bruges, Eintracht Frankfurt, Inter Milan, Leipzig and Paris St-Germain – except the team who finished second in their group (Milan for Chelsea, Dortmund for City and Frankfurt for Spurs). Liverpool can only be drawn against Bayern Munich, Benfica, Porto or Real Madrid, since three of the eight seeded teams are English and Napoli won their group. The draw will be screened live on TVM Sport.