Liz Truss resigned as U.K. prime minister after a month and a half in office

Truss resigned as U.K. prime minister after a month and a half office.

News of Liz Truss’s resignation has prompted quick reaction from political leaders and media commentators around the world, with many editorials focused on the brevity of Truss’s time in office and the ongoing political chaos in Britain.

Among foreign politicians, France’s President Emmanuel Macron said that on a personal level, he was always “sad to see a colleague go”, but that the most important thing was for Britain to find stability as soon as possible.

At the White House, reporters asked US President Joe Biden whether Ms Truss had made the right decision. He replied that it was her decision to make, adding that he wouldn’t “weigh in on her judgment”.

In an earlier statement, Mr Biden said close relations with the UK would continue, and thanked Ms Truss for her partnership “on a range of issues including holding Russia accountable for its war against Ukraine”.

One of Ukraine’s MPs – Oleksiy Goncharenko – also thanked Ms Truss for her support, saying that “Ukraine will never forget you!”

However, there was little sympathy for Liz Truss from Russia. Its foreign ministry spokeswoman welcomed her departure, saying Britain had “never known such a disgrace of a prime minister.”

Source: Why Liz Truss resigned as U.K. prime minister: A guide to the chaos

Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-63333462

Embattled British Prime Minister Liz Truss warned she has hours to save her job | CNN

LondonCNN — 

Liz Truss is fighting to save her job as Britain’s prime minister after more of her own lawmakers called for her to quit, incensed by a shambolic parliamentary vote and the resignation of her home secretary late on Wednesday.

Truss’s government has “12 hours” to “turn the ship around,” Conservative lawmaker Simon Hoare said on Thursday, after a vote on whether to ban controversial fracking for shale gas descended into chaos.

Lawmakers reported that aides for Truss manhandled MPs into the voting lobby to force them to vote against the ban. The government initially presented the vote as a confidence motion in Truss’s government, but confusion remains about whether it was. A Downing Street spokesperson said on Thursday that Conservative lawmakers who didn’t participate in Wednesday evening’s vote will face disciplinary action, PA Media said.

Source: Embattled British Prime Minister Liz Truss warned she has hours to save her job | CNN

Bank of England intervenes in bond market after historic sell-off

The Bank of England will suspend the planned start of its gilt selling next week and begin temporarily buying long-dated bonds to calm recent market chaos.

KEY POINTS
  • U.K. gilt yields were on course for their sharpest monthly rise since at least 1957 as investors fled British fixed income markets following the new fiscal policy announcements.
  • The measures included large swathes of unfunded tax cuts that have drawn global criticism, including from the IMF.

Source: Bank of England intervenes in bond market after historic sell-off

At least 6 people were killed when a driver slammed into Brussels Carnival revelers : NPR

Prosecutors, who are in the early stages of the investigation, said there were no elements to suspect terrorism was behind the incident. Ten other people suffered life-threatening injuries.

BRUSSELS — A car slammed at high speed into Carnival revelers in a small town in southern Belgium early Sunday, killing six people and leaving 10 more with life-threatening injuries, authorities said, adding many others were lightly injured.

“What should have been a great party turned into a tragedy,” said Belgian Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden.

The prosecutor’s office, which gave the death toll, also said two local people in their thirties were arrested at the scene in Strépy-Bracquegnies, 50 kilometers (30 miles) south of Brussels. Prosecutors said, in the early stages of their investigation, there were no elements to suspect a terror motive.

In an age-old tradition, Carnival revelers had gathered at dawn, intending to pick up others at their homes along the way, to finally hold their famous festivity again after it was banned for the past two years to counter the spread of COVID-19. Some dressed in colorful garb with bells attached, walking behind the beat of drums. It was supposed to be a day of deliverance.

Instead, said mayor Jacques Gobert, “what happened turned it into a national catastrophe.”

Source: At least 6 people were killed when a driver slammed into Carnival revelers : NPR

Ukraine cities face intense shelling as Russian convoy closes in on Kyiv

Facing fierce resistance on the ground, Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared to be moving toward an escalation of his forces’ assault from the air.

Ukraine’s embattled leader accused Russia of war crimes and “state terrorism” Tuesday after a fresh blast struck the heart of the country’s second-largest city, fueling fears civilians would face the brunt of an intensifying assault.

As the conflict escalated on its sixth day, increasingly heavy shelling hit major cities and a vast convoy of Russian forces threatened the capital, Kyiv.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy vowed to defend Kyiv and sought to rally both his country and the international community against what he called “outright, undisguised terror” from Moscow, in a video message posted on social media.

Global condemnation and crippling sanctions have left the Kremlin isolated in the wake of last week’s invasion, confronting a spiraling economy and dogged defense from Ukrainian forces. U.S. officials said they feared Russian President Vladimir Putin, frustrated by his military’s struggles, may see an escalation of violence as his only option.


Latest updates on Ukraine:

  • Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, was hit by intensifying shelling.
  • A huge convoy of Russian forces approached Kyiv.
  • Zelenskyy vowed to defend “the heart of our country.”
  • U.S. officials said they feared a frustrated Putin may order escalation of violence.
  • Moscow insisted Western sanctions won’t get it to change its approach toward Ukraine.

Source: Ukraine cities face intense shelling as Russian convoy closes in on Kyiv

US, EU, UK to sanction Russian central bank, block SWIFT | AP News

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States, European Union and United Kingdom on Saturday agreed to put in place crippling sanctions on the Russian financial sector, including a block on its access to the global financial system and, for the first time, restrictions on its central bank in retaliation for its invasion of Ukraine.

The measures were announced jointly as part of a new round of financial sanctions meant to “hold Russia to account and collectively ensure that this war is a strategic failure for (Russian President Vladimir) Putin.” The central bank restrictions target the more than $600 billion in reserves that the Kremlin has at its disposal, meant to limit Russia’s ability to support the ruble amid tightening Western sanctions.

Cumulatively the steps announced by the West since Russia began the invasion would potentially amount to some of the toughest sanctions on any country in modern times, and if fully carried out as planned, would severely damage the Russian economy and markedly constrain its ability to import and export goods.

Source: US, EU, UK to sanction Russian central bank, block SWIFT | AP News

Queen Elizabeth II tests positive for COVID | Fox News

Queen Elizabeth II has tested positive for COVID-19, according to Buckingham Palace.

“She will continue to receive medical attention and will follow all the appropriate guidelines,” the palace said in a statement Sunday.

QUEEN ELIZABETH SUPPORTS CAMILLA, DUCHESS OF CORNWALL AS QUEEN CONSORT FOR THIS REASON: ROYAL EXPERT

Source: Queen Elizabeth II tests positive for COVID | Fox News

If Russia invades Ukraine, there will be no Nord Stream 2, Biden says | Reuters

WASHINGTON, Feb 7 (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday warned that if Russia invades Ukraine, there would be no Nord Stream 2, but did not specify how he would go about ensuring the controversial pipeline would not be used.

Speaking at a joint news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Biden said, “If Russia invades… again, then there will be longer Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it.”

When asked how he would do that, he responded, “I promise you we will be able to do it.”

Europe’s most divisive energy project, Nord Stream 2 is designed by Russian energy giant Gazprom to double the amount of gas flowing from Russia straight to Germany, bypassing traditional transit nation Ukraine.

Source: If Russia invades Ukraine, there will be no Nord Stream 2, Biden says | Reuters

U.S. weighs sending 5,000 troops to Eastern Europe to counter Russia : NPR

The Biden administration is considering sending as many as 5,000 U.S. troops to Eastern Europe, a U.S. official confirmed to NPR, in what would be a step-up in American military involvement in the region amid growing fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

U.S. troops could be headed to Romania and Poland, or possibly Bulgaria or Hungary. No final decision has been made but the troops have been told to be ready to move, the official said.

U.S. service members could be drawn from their existing posts elsewhere in NATO countries in Europe. Some of the troops would also likely come from the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C.

The New York Times, which first reported the news of planned troop movements, said senior Pentagon officials laid out a number of options for President Biden on Saturday.

Among them, sending 1,000 to 5,000 troops to Eastern European countries and the Baltics, “with the potential to increase that number tenfold if things deteriorate,” according to the Times.

There are no plans to send more Americans into Ukraine itself, according to the paper.

Source: U.S. weighs sending 5,000 troops to Eastern Europe to counter Russia : NPR

Third night of rioting erupts over Dutch COVID-19 rules | Reuters

AMSTERDAM, Nov 21 (Reuters) – Riots broke out in cities across the Netherlands on Sunday, the third night in a row that police clashed with mobs of angry youths who set fires and threw rocks to protest COVID-19 restrictions.

Unrest was reported in locations including Leeuwarden and Groningen in the north, the eastern town of Enschede and Tilburg in the south. In Enschede, where an emergency ordinance was issued, police used batons to try to disperse a crowd, according to video on social media. In Leeuwarden, police vans were pelted with rocks and black-clad groups chanted and set off flares.

The latest unrest began on Friday night in Rotterdam, where police opened fire on a crowd that had swelled to hundreds during a protest that the city’s mayor said had turned into “an orgy of violence”.

Source: Third night of rioting erupts over Dutch COVID-19 rules | Reuters

Austria locks down unvaccinated as COVID cases surge across Europe | Reuters

Austria imposed a lockdown on people unvaccinated against the coronavirus on Monday as winter approaches and infections rise across Europe, with Germany considering tighter curbs and Britain expanding its booster programme to younger adults.

Source: Austria locks down unvaccinated as COVID cases surge across Europe | Reuters

Liverpool Women’s Hospital explosion declared a terror incident – BBC News

 

A fourth man is arrested after a taxi explodes outside a Liverpool hospital on Remembrance Sunday.

An explosion outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital on Remembrance Sunday has been declared a terror incident by police.

A taxi exploded and was engulfed in flames just before 11:00 GMT at a drop-off zone near the entrance, killing the passenger and injuring the driver.

The cabbie, named locally as David Perry, was declared a hero by Liverpool Mayor Joanne Anderson for locking the suspect inside the vehicle.

Four men have been arrested in the city under the Terrorism Act.

Head of Counter Terrorism Policing North West, Russ Jackson, said the taxi passenger appeared to have made an “improvised explosive device” which caused the blast.

The man’s motivation was “yet to be understood”, he added.

Source: Liverpool Women’s Hospital explosion declared a terror incident – BBC News

Thousands of holidaymakers and locals evacuated as ‘huge’ wildfire rages around St Tropez | Daily Mail Online

Thousands have been evacuated from their homes on the French Riviera after huge wildfires broke out in St Tropez, as firefighters battled to control the blaze.

BBC news presenter Geeta Guru-Murthy and her husband Philip Collins had to abandon their burning villa and their car as they escaped the raging fires bringing horror to holidaymakers.

As many as 6,000 people have been evacuated from their homes and holiday sites while others were locked down in a holiday centre for Air France employees.

Source: Thousands of holidaymakers and locals evacuated as ‘huge’ wildfire rages around St Tropez | Daily Mail Online

Five people dead after mass shooting in England

Five people, including a young child, were killed in a mass shooting in southwest England on Thursday, authorities said.

The shooter, who was also killed, kicked in the door of a home then gunned down a woman and her young daughter before randomly opening fire on other people in the streets of Plymouth, reports and officials said.

Two women and two men were found dead at the scene as well as another man believed to be the gunman, Devon & Cornwall police said in a statement. A woman was transported to a local hospital and later died, police said.

More people were being treated for their injuries in the hospital, a local member of Parliament said.

“We should prepare ourselves for more grim news tomorrow,” MP Luke Pollard said on Twitter. “Please look out for one another.”

Pollard said he was “utterly devastated” that one of those killed was a child under 10 years old.

Source: Five people dead after mass shooting in England

France: Thousands of protestors continue to demonstrate against COVID-19 health passes

The protests come after France’s highest court upheld the majority of a new law mandating the health pass and the vaccination of health-care workers.

Thousands of protesters flocked to the streets throughout France on Saturday, August 7, for the fourth weekend in a row to demonstrate against a new pandemic health permit that is required to access most establishments or use public transportation. The current round of demonstrations comes after France’s highest court upheld the majority of a new law mandating the health pass and the vaccination of healthcare professionals against the coronavirus. According to the court, the stipulations were in line with the nation’s founding charter.

As per a notification issued by the French government on July 29, residents were expected to “present a health pass to access leisure and culture venues and events bringing together more than 50 people.” The health cards will be required to enter pubs, restaurants, and shopping centres starting Monday, as well as for the long-distance travel by plane, rail, or bus.

President Emmanuel Macron has pushed for the pass, which requires confirmation of vaccination, a negative coronavirus test result within the last 48 hours, or proof of recovery from the virus for at least 15 days (but not more than six months).

Macron thinks that the new laws will encourage inhabitants to get vaccinated and prevent the spread of the fast-spreading Delta strain of the coronavirus as France approaches the “fourth wave” of the pandemic. According to polls, the majority of French citizens approve the health passes.

Source: France: Thousands of protestors continue to demonstrate against COVID-19 health passes

Thousands Are Evacuated As Fires Rampage Through Forests In Greece : NPR

THRAKOMAKEDONES, Greece — Wildfires rampaged through some of Greece’s last remaining forests for yet another day Saturday, encroaching on more inhabited areas after burning scores of homes, businesses and farms during the country’s worst heat wave in three decades.

One of the massive fires advanced up the slopes of Mount Parnitha, a national park north of Athens and one of the last substantial forests near the Greek capital. The blaze sent choking smoke across the capital region, where authorities set up a hotline for residents with breathing problems. Throughout the day, fire crews struggled to contain constant flare-ups.

Thousands of residents and vacationers in areas where fires broke out days ago have fled by land and by sea as firefighters and volunteers battled through the night.

In apocalyptic scenes overnight and into Saturday morning, ferries evacuated 1,153 people from a seaside village and beaches on Evia, an island of rugged, forested mountains popular with holidaymakers and campers, after approaching flames cut off other means of escape. People clutched babies and helped elderly people traverse a pebble beach to the small ferries. Behind them, towering flames and smoke blanketed the forested hills.

Source: Thousands Are Evacuated As Fires Rampage Through Forests In Greece : NPR

Wildfires in southern Turkey leave 3 dead, 58 hospitalized

 

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish authorities on Thursday began investigating the cause of a string of forest fires in Turkey’s Mediterranean and southern Aegean regions, including two near the coastal resort town of Manavgat that killed three people and sent over 50 others to the hospital as homes burned down.

A wildfire that broke out Wednesday in Manavgat, in Antalya province, and was fanned by strong winds and scorching temperatures, was largely contained, Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli said. But another fire that started overnight and swept through the district of Akseki, 50 kilometers (30 miles) north, kept firefighters engaged.

Three people were killed in those fires, and authorities evacuated nearly 20 neighborhoods or villages.

The Antalya region is a popular vacation destination for tourists from Russia and other parts of Europe.

Fires also broke out Thursday in 16 other locations, including in the Icmeler region, close to the resort of Marmaris, 320 kilometers (200 miles) west of Antalya, that briefly threatened holiday homes and hotels. A hotel in the Aegean beach resort of Guvercinlik, near the town of Bodrum, was also evacuated, Pakdemirli said.

Source: Wildfires in southern Turkey leave 3 dead, 58 hospitalized

Germany explosion: One dead and four people missing after blast at industrial park | World News | Sky News

A body has been recovered and four people remain missing following an explosion at a German industrial park used by chemical companies.

The blast in Leverkusen, which has left at least 16 others injured, was declared an “extreme threat” by authorities.

The head of the chemical park said he was “deeply saddened by this tragic accident and the death of an employee”.

Source: Germany explosion: One dead and four people missing after blast at industrial park | World News | Sky News

Antivirus pioneer John McAfee found dead in Spanish prison

MADRID (AP) — John McAfee, the creator of McAfee antivirus software, was found dead in his jail cell near Barcelona in an apparent suicide Wednesday, hours after a Spanish court approved his extradition to the United States to face tax charges punishable by decades in prison, authorities said.

The eccentric cryptocurrency promoter and tax opponent whose history of legal troubles spanned from Tennessee to Central America to the Caribbean was discovered at the Brians 2 penitentiary in northeastern Spain. Security personnel tried to revive him, but the jail’s medical team finally certified his death, a statement from the regional Catalan government said.

“A judicial delegation has arrived to investigate the causes of death,” it said, adding that “everything points to death by suicide.”

The statement didn’t identify McAfee by name but said the dead man was a 75-year-old U.S. citizen awaiting extradition to his country. A Catalan government official familiar with the case who was not authorized to be named in media reports confirmed to The Associated Press that it was McAfee.

Spain’s National Court on Monday ruled in favor of extraditing McAfee, 75, who had argued in a hearing earlier this month that the charges against him by prosecutors in Tennessee were politically motivated and that he would spend the rest of his life in prison if returned to the U.S.

The court’s ruling was made public on Wednesday and was open for appeal, with any final extradition order also needing to get approval from the Spanish Cabinet.

McAfee was arrested last October at Barcelona’s international airport and had been in jail since then awaiting the outcome of extradition proceedings. The arrest followed charges the same month in Tennessee for evading taxes after failing to report income from promoting cryptocurrencies while he did consulting work, made speaking engagements and sold the rights to his life story for a documentary. The criminal charges carried a prison sentence of up to 30 years.

Source: Antivirus pioneer John McAfee found dead in Spanish prison

Biden opens European tour with slap at Brits

Remember Clark Griswold, that happy-go-lucky Everyman who takes the trip of a lifetime, offends his hosts, and confirms every prejudice about Americans? Welcome to “Joe Biden’s European Vacation.”

The president is reviving the National Lampoon series on his trip to England for the G-7 summit. Too bad it’s his own nation he’s lampooning.

Like the Griswolds’ summer vacations, these trips are planned to the last detail, only for everything to go wrong. On Wednesday night, as President and Dr. Griswold bedded down on Air Force One, the British papers broke the story that Yael Lempert, the new American ambassador to the UK, had issued Boris Johnson’s government with a demarche.

A demarche isn’t one of the fancy foods the Griswolds eat in France. It’s diplo-speak for putting your enemies on notice. Or, as in this case, insulting your closest ally and making a delicate situation worse.

Source: Biden opens European tour with slap at Brits

Biden, Johnson sign new Atlantic Charter on trade, defense amid Covid recovery

The agreement commits to combatting cyberthreats and climate change and to bringing the pandemic to an end.

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson signed a new Atlantic Charter on Thursday, modeled after the 1941 agreement, that outlines eight key areas on which the U.S. and the United Kingdom plan to collaborate.

The revamped charter, which comes during Biden’s first trip abroad as president, says it builds “on the commitments and aspirations set out eighty years ago, affirms our ongoing commitment to sustaining our enduring values and defending them against new and old challenges.”

Source: Biden, Johnson sign new Atlantic Charter on trade, defense amid Covid recovery

G-7 Officials Agree To Make Big Tech Pay Fair Taxes : NPR

LONDON (AP) — The Group of Seven wealthy democracies agreed Saturday to support a global minimum corporate tax rate of at least 15% in order to deter multinational companies from avoiding taxes by stashing profits in low-rate countries.

G-7 finance ministers meeting in London also endorsed proposals to make the world’s biggest companies — including U.S. based tech giants — pay tax in countries where they have lots of sales but no physical headquarters.

Britain’s Treasury chief Rishi Sunak, the meeting’s host, said the deal would “reform the global tax system to make it fit for the global digital age and crucially to make sure that it’s fair, so that the right companies pay the right tax in the right places.”

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who attended the London meetings, said the agreement “provides tremendous momentum” towards reaching a global deal that “would end the race-to-the-bottom in corporate taxation, and ensure fairness for the middle class and working people in the U.S. and around the world.”

The meeting of finance ministers came ahead of an annual summit of G-7 leaders scheduled for June 11-13 in Carbis Bay, Cornwall. The U.K. is hosting both sets of meetings because it holds the group’s rotating presidency.

Source: G-7 Officials Agree To Make Big Tech Pay Fair Taxes : NPR

Italy cable car fall: 14 dead after accident near Lake Maggiore – BBC News

The dead include a child who was earlier airlifted from the Stresa-Alpine-Mottarone crash scene.

Fourteen people, including at least one child, have been killed and another child is seriously injured after a cable car fell on a mountain near Lake Maggiore in northern Italy on Sunday.

The accident happened on a service transporting passengers from the resort town of Stresa up the nearby Mottarone mountain in the region of Piedmont.

Images from the scene show the wreckage lying in a steep wooded area.

Five Israeli nationals were among the dead, Israel’s foreign ministry says.

Source: Italy cable car fall: 14 dead after accident near Lake Maggiore – BBC News

Paris to enter four-week lockdown as France faces third Covid wave | France | The Guardian

Since late January, when he defied the calls of scientists and some in his government to lock down the country, Macron has said he would do whatever was needed to keep the euro zone’s second-largest economy as open as possible. However, this week he ran out of options just as France and other European countries briefly suspended use of the Oxford/AstraZenca vaccine.

The prime minister, Jean Castex, said on Thursday that France was in the grip of a third wave, with the virulent variant first detected in Britain now accounting for about 75% of cases. Intensive care wards are under severe strain, notably in Paris where the incidence rate surpasses 400 infections in every 100,000 inhabitants. “The epidemic is getting worse. Our responsibility now is to not let it escape our control,” Castex told a news conference.

The lockdowns will start from Friday at midnight in France’s 16 hardest-hit departments that, with the exception of one on the Mediterranean, form a corridor from Calais to the capital. Barbers, clothing stores and furniture shops will have to close, though bookstores and other shops selling essential goods can stay open.

Source: Paris to enter four-week lockdown as France faces third Covid wave | France | The Guardian

Coronavirus variants driving another surge across Europe – Axios

Why it matters: European countries reported around 1 million new cases last week, around a 9% increase from the week prior. Last week’s surge ended a six-week decline in new infections, the WHO said Thursday, according to AP.

By the numbers: The variant first found in the United Kingdom, which may be more transmissible and more deadly than the original strain of the virus, is spreading in 27 European countries monitored by WHO, according to AP.

  • It’s now the dominant strain in at least 10 countries: Britain, Denmark, Italy, Ireland, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Israel, Spain and Portugal.
  • Meanwhile, the variant first discovered in South Africa has been found in 26 European countries. Vaccine producers ModernaPfizer and Novavax have each reported their vaccines, while still effective, offer less protection against the South African variant.
  • The Brazilian variant, detected in 15 European countries, may be able to reinfect people who survived infections with earlier versions of the coronavirus, according to Reuters.

The big picture: Italy’s government tightened coronavirus restrictions in some of its 20 regions this week in response to the surge.

Source: Coronavirus variants driving another surge across Europe – Axios

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