The Evening Standard
Storms hundreds of miles away prompts SpaceX to postpone its next flight

Storms hundreds of miles away prompts SpaceX to postpone its next flight

October 30, 2021

SpaceX has postponed its next astronaut flight for NASA until Wednesday because of rough winds and waves hundreds of miles away.

Four astronauts were supposed to blast off early tomorrow morning on a six-month mission to the International Space Station. But while the forecast at NASA's Kennedy Space Center was near perfect, a large storm in the Northeast had the sea churning farther up the coast. The safety violation meant managers moved the launch.

Good weather is needed right across the North Atlantic to Ireland, in case something goes wrong and the capsule has to make an emergency splashdown.

Army gunfire destroys dozens of buildings in northern Myanmar

Army gunfire destroys dozens of buildings in northern Myanmar

October 30, 2021

More than 160 buildings in a town in northwestern Myanmar, including at least two churches, have been destroyed by fires caused by shelling by government troops.

The destruction of parts of the town of Thantlang in Chin state look like being the most extensive so far in the ongoing struggle between Myanmar's military government and its opponents.

The army seized power in February from the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi, but has failed to quell the widespread resistance.

Human rights groups and U.N. experts have recently warned that the government is planning a major offensive in the country's northwest.

Broad approval is given for a worldwide minimum corporation tax

Broad approval is given for a worldwide minimum corporation tax

October 30, 2021

World leaders meeting in Rome have expressed "broad support" for a landmark deal to establish a 15% global minimum corporate tax. It’s aimed at stopping multinational companies from using clever accounting to escape taxes by using low-rate havens.

Leaders spoke on the proposal during this afternoon’s opening session of the G20 conference of rich nations.

A key question is whether the U.S. Congress will pass legislation to comply, since the United States is home to 28% of the world's 2,000 largest multinationals.

Renewable energy becomes a controversial topic in France

Renewable energy becomes a controversial topic in France

October 30, 2021

France’s wind turbines are causing controversy

Xavier Bertrand, the leading conservative contender for next year’s presidential election says he opposes any "archaic growth" of wind turbines.

Two weeks ago, French far-right candidate Marine Le Pen said she would end all subsidies for renewable energy and take down France's wind turbines if she’s elected .

Meanwhile the CEO of French company Engie says it would be a "huge mistake" to suspend wind power development

France produces about three quarters of its power in nuclear plants, which means its electricity output has among the lowest carbon emissions  of any developed country. However, it lags far behind Germany and other European nations in wind and solar investment.

Reports of violence at a protest against Sudan’s military coup

Reports of violence at a protest against Sudan’s military coup

October 30, 2021

Reports are coming in from Sudan that two protesters have been shot dead by troops in the capital Khartoum's twin city of Omdurman.

Thousands of Sudanese people have poured into the streets, chanting "revolution, revolution" to the sound of whistles and drums. They’re protesting against a military coup earlier this week that is threatening to derail the country's transition to democracy.

Pro-democracy groups had called for mass protests across the country to press demands for re-instating a deposed transitional government and releasing senior political figures from detention.

The United States and the United Nations have warned Sudan's strongman, General Abdel-Fattah Burhan, that they view the military's treatment of the protesters as a test, and called for restraint.

Torrential rain sweeps across the UK on the eve of COP26

Torrential rain sweeps across the UK on the eve of COP26

October 30, 2021

Parts of the UK have been hit with almost a month’s worth of rain in 48 hours, with more downpours expected over the weekend, ahead of the COP26 climate summit.

Weather warnings for rain remain in several parts of the country, including Glasgow where the climate emergency talks will start tomorrow

The Environment Agency says there are eight flood warnings, meaning that flooding is expected, and 51 flood alerts, meaning that flooding remains likely.

In Dartmoor, Devon parts of the area received nearly five inches of rain in 48 hours – that’s almost as much as the average for the whole of October.

The G20 global summit starts with a call for more Covid vaccines for poorer countries

The G20 global summit starts with a call for more Covid vaccines for poorer countries

October 30, 2021

Italy's Premier Mario Draghi has opened a conference of the world's richest countries with a sharp call to pick up the pace in getting vaccines to poor countries. He’s calling the gaping global COVID-19 vaccine gap "morally unacceptable."

Draghi reminded his fellow leaders that only 3% of people in the world's poorest countries are vaccinated, while 70% in rich countries have had at least one shot.

The global economy is recovering from the pandemic at different speeds. Climate change, vaccines, the recovery and international taxation are all on the agenda as leaders hold their first in-person summit since Covid struck.

 

Drug smuggler jailed for hiding cocaine in children’s toys

Drug smuggler jailed for hiding cocaine in children’s toys

October 30, 2021

A drug smuggler has been jailed for 20 years after admitting smuggling cocaine into the UK, including a load hidden in a shipment of children’s toys.

Chris Michaelides from Essex was arrested following a complex operation which dismantled an encrypted communications system. He’d been in contact for six years with an international network of criminals in Holland and the Czech Republic.

One plot involved loading children’s bricks with 50kg of cocaine into a lorry for import into the UK.

But the plan was foiled as authorities intercepted the vehicle.

Angela Merkel looks forward to taking it easy

Angela Merkel looks forward to taking it easy

October 30, 2021

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she’s looking forward to taking it easy after 16 years at the helm of her country.

She’s told reporters she will perhaps travel a bit or read, knowing that no possible upheaval may happen in the next 20 minutes.

The Social Democrats, the Greens and the Free Democrats are in talks about forming a coalition government after last month’s election. Outgoing Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz of the Social Democrats appears to have the best chance of become the next leader.

Until the next government has been formed, Merkel will continue as caretaker leader, she’s now at the G20 summit in Rome.

The Pope looks set to visit India after an official invitation

The Pope looks set to visit India after an official invitation

October 30, 2021

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has invited Pope Francis to visit the country, extending an official invitation after plans for a 2017 papal visit fell apart.

Modi is in Rome for the G20 summit. His visit to the Vatican marks the first time in more than 20 years that an Indian leader has met a pope.

India is home to the second largest Catholic population in Asia after the Philippines, but the 18 million Catholics are a small minority in the largely Hindu nation of 1.3 billion.

Religious tensions have flared after Modi's Hindu nationalist government was returned to power for a second term in 2019, with attacks against Muslims and Christians.

 

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