A protestor holds a sign at the Strike for Climate demonstration in London in September. A new study by 11,258 scientists says the climate emergency is clear and unequivocal. Photo: Diana Vucane / Shutterstock
Ambassador’s memory “refreshed”, UK’s Russian interference report, Human Rights Watch loses Israel expulsion appeal, Barnier at Web Summit. Delano’s breakfast briefing.
Emergency on planet earth
A new study by 11,258 scientists in 153 countries has warned that earth “clearly and unequivocally faces a climate emergency.” The BBC says the scientists used a range of data they believe represents a “suite of graphical vital signs of climate change over the past 40 years”. The FT notes that the report was released a day after Donald Trump’s administration formally notified the UN of its intention to withdraw from the Paris climate accord. And The Washington Post points out that the study “does not couch its conclusions in the language of uncertainties” and that it also provides six broad policy goals that scientists believe can help tackle the crisis.
US offers to help Mexico on drug cartels
President Donald Trump has told his Mexican counterpart Lopez Obrador in a phone call that the United States is willing to help Mexico fight the drug cartels, CNBC reports. The call followed tweets from Trump that called on Mexico, with US help, to “wage WAR on the drug cartels and wipe them off the face of the earth”. Trump was responding to the killing of nine US women and children from a Mormon community in Mexico. The New York Times says the group had for years “navigated life amid the drug war in northern Mexico.”
Democrats gain ground in US votes
Gubertonial elections in Kentucky and Mississippi and a senate poll in Virginia look like giving Democrats a boost ahead of next year’s presidential election. In Kentucky, Democrat Andy Beshear declared victory over Trump-backed Republican Matt Bevin although Bevin has refused to concede the narrow result. In Virginia, Democrats have taken both the state House and Senate, gaining full control of the state government for the first time since 1994, The Guardian reports in a live blog.
Soundland changes testimony
US ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland has revised testimony he gave to the congressional investigation into the impeachment of president Donald Trump, the BBC reports. According to Reuters, after his memory was “refreshed”, Soundland now recalls telling a Ukrainian official it was “likely” Ukraine would not get nearly $400 million in security aid unless they pursued investigations into Joe Biden and his son. Meanwhile, Fox News says that senator Rand Paul has “doubled down” on his call for the name of the whistleblower to be revealed by the media. Paul told the station’s Bret Baier that “there is no law that prevents me from mentioning the name of who's been said to be the whistleblower."
Calls intensify for release of Russian interference report
Marina Litvinenko, the widow of murdered Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko, has joined the call for prime minister Boris Johnson to release a parliamentary report on Russian interference in British politics, The Guardian reports. The BBC says that former head of MI5, Lord Evans of Weardale, and Dominic Grieve, the chairman of Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee, have also said the report should be published.
HRW director faces expulsion from Israel
In a ruling that The Jerusalem Post says is a blow to advocates of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, the supreme court in Israel has said the country can deport Omar Shakir, the Israel and Palestine director of Human Rights Watch. The Irish Times reports that former senior Israeli diplomats, Amnesty International and the EU had all appealed against the decision to expel Shakir.
ECJ rules Poland broke law
The European court of justice has found that a policy to lower the retirement age for ordinary judges in Poland was unlawful, Reuters reports. The ECJ ruling said the 2017 law gave too much power to the executive. The Guardian reports that the law was changed after an outcry, but the judges who had been forced to retire as a result of the original decision were never reinstated.
Barnier questions Brexit at Web Summit
CNBC reports that the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has said that, nobody, not even Nigel Farage, has “ever managed to explain to me the added value of Brexit.” Speaking at the Web Summit technology conference in Lisbon, Barnier warned that “the risk of a cliff edge remains,” for the UK.
Putin wants Big Russian Encyclopaedia
Russian president Vladimir Putin has called for Wikipedia in his country to be replaced by a Big Russian Encyclopaedia in electronic form, The Guardian reports. Putin was addressing a meeting on the future of the Russian language. Russia is ready to allocate some €24 million to developing a Russian online reference resource.