US Republicans on brink of major victory
Control of the US Senate is on the brink, with Republicans poised to pick up enough seats to wrest control from the Democrats and key results in the midterm elections still too close to call on Wednesday afternoon. With results filtering in as polls closed everywhere except in Alaska and Hawaii, both parties had won safe seats and there were also some surprise results. President Joe Biden’s Democrats picked up a key Senate seat in swing state Pennsylvania, boosting their chances of retaining their razor-thin majority in the upper chamber of Congress. Media projections early today showed John Fetterman, the state’s lieutenant governor, defeated celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz, a Republican who had the endorsement of former president Donald Trump. It has been one of the most heated and closely contested races of the US midterm elections.
The “red wave” that Republicans had predicted looks like more of a ripple. It doesn’t appear to be the rout the Democrats had feared. They have held onto a number of seats in places where they looked vulnerable. They have won a notable victory in the senate seat in Pennsylvania. The victory secures at least 48 Senate seats for Democrats, with 47 confirmed for Republicans. Five races remained too close to call.
Donald Trump’s potential Republican opponent in the 2024 presidential primaries, Ron DeSantis, secured a second term as Florida’s governor. His easy victory will likely further fuel speculation he will challenge Trump. The likelihood that DeSantis will challenge Mr Trump has sparked anger from the former president. Trump said on Tuesday he would make a major announcement next week – at which he is widely expected to declare his candidacy.
There are 35 Senate seats and all 435 House of Representatives seats up for grabs in the midterm elections. With some still too close to call on Wednesday afternoon, Edison Research projected Republicans had won 157 seats in the 435-seat House and Democrats had won 93.
In Massachusetts, Democratic Attorney General Maura Healey became the first woman to ascend to that state’s highest office. She also will be the country’s first openly lesbian governor. In Maryland, a state where 31 per cent of the population is black, Democrat Wes Moore became the state’s first African American to win an election for governor.
Global South needs $2 trillion annually to fight climate crisis
Developing and emerging countries, excluding China, need investments well beyond $2 trillionannually by 2030 to cut their greenhouse gas emissions and deal with climate change. In addition to helping poorer countries cope with the impact of extreme weather, a 100-page, UN-backed, ‘Finance for Climate Action’ report presented at the COP27 summit, maps out an investment strategy to help reach the Paris climate treaty goals of limiting the rise in global temperatures to below 2°C. The report details that a trillion dollars should come from wealthier countries, investors, and multilateral development banks, while the rest must originate domestically from private and public sources. It also calls for grants and low-interest loans from the developed world to double from about $30 billionannually today to $60 billion by 2025. Investments are reportedly needed in three areas: reduction of greenhouse gas emissions that drive warming (mitigation), adapting to future climate effects (adaptation), and compensation for poor and vulnerable nations for damages already incurred, also called “loss and damage”.
Ukraine rejects talks, vows to cintinue fight
President Zelensky said Tuesday night his forces would not yield “a single centimetre” in fighting for control of eastern Donetsk region. In a video address, he insisted that restoration of Ukrainian territory and compensation from Russia were conditions under which peace talks could take place. Zelensky’s remarks about conditions for talks followed a ‘Washington Post’ report on Saturday that the United States had encouraged Ukraine to signal willingness for talks.
Qatari ambassador says homosexuality ‘damage in the mind’
A Qatari World Cup ambassador called homosexuality a “damage in the mind” in a German TV interview, sparking criticism in Europe just 12 days before the tournament kicks off. Qatar will accept gay visitors but “they have to accept our rules”, former international footballer Khalid Salman said in the interview with the ‘ZDF’ broadcaster, aired on Tuesday evening. He also said homosexuality was “haram” – forbidden in Islam – during the interview, which was abruptly broken off after his comments. Qatar has come under sustained fire over its human rights record ahead of the World Cup, including its treatment of foreign workers and its stance on women’s and LGBTQ rights.
Awarding Qatar World Cup was ‘a mistake’ says Blatter
Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter says the decision to award the 2022 World Cup finals to Qatar was a “mistake”. In 2010, FIFA’s executive committee voted 14-8 for Qatar to host the tournament ahead of the United States. “It was a mistake,” Blatter said in an interview with AFP’s German sports subsidiary ‘SID’. “It was based on a decision when I was president, and therefore I bear part of the responsibility for it.” Blatter says he voted for the United States to host the 2022 tournament and blames then-UEFA president Michel Platini for swinging the vote in Qatar’s favour at the behest of then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
British minister resigns over bullying allegations
British Defence Secretary Sir Gavin Williamson has resigned as a UK government minister after allegations of bullying, saying he aims to clear himself of “any wrongdoing”. The MP had been accused of sending abusive messages to a fellow Tory MP last month and of bullying a senior civil servant as. On Monday a senior civil servant told the ‘Guardian’ Sir Gavin had bullied them and told them to “slit your throat”. And on Tuesday, Anne Milton, who worked as deputy chief whip between 2015 and 2017, told Channel 4 News that Sir Gavin’s behaviour had been “threatening” and “intimidating”.
Highest jackpot in history won in the US
The highest jackpot in history has been won in California. The American Powerball lottery awarded a record win of over $2 billion. The lucky ticket was bought at a service station in Altadena, as reported by’ ABC News’. The winning numbers were found to be: 10, 33, 41, 47 and 56, with 10 being the jackpot number. The winner can choose to have the prize pool at one go or distributed over 29 years.
Pique sent off in final Barcelona match
Spanish footballer Gerard Pique was sent off at half-time of his final match before retirement, seemingly for remonstrating with the referee. The 35-year-old Pique, who waved goodbye to the Camp Nou last weekend, was incensed by referee Jesus Gil Manzano’s decision to show Barca striker Robert Lewandowski a second yellow card just after the half-hour mark. Pique, who was only named as a substitute by Barca coach Xavi Hernandez, angrily approached Manzano at the break. Spanish media reported that Pique asked the referee: “But do you realise who you sent off?” It was only the second dismissal of Lewandowski’s career, with his second yellow given after an aerial challenge with David Garcia, who had earlier given Osasuna a sixth-minute lead. Barcelona beat Osasuna 2-1 and have 37points in the standings, five ahead of Real Madrid.
Pique-Shakira thrash out custody deal over two sons
Meanwhile, Pique and Colombian music superstar Shakira, in a 12-hour marathon with lawyers, have reached an agreement over the custody of their two children following their breakup. The 45-year-old songstress plans to move to Miami with the couple’s two sons and Pique will have them for 10 days each month plus during school holidays. According to the Spanish media, the player was caught in the act by the singer with another woman.