African countries urge rich nations to honour $100bn climate finance pledge
Ministers and high-ranking officials of African nations have urged rich countries to do more to combat the climate crisis, and called the failure to meet a funding promise from 2009 “shameful”.
At a conference in Giza, Egypt, on Wednesday in the run-up to next month’s UN climate summit, Wael Aboulmagd, Egypt’s special representative for Cop27, attacked wealthier nations for not honouring an agreement to provide $100bn (£87.5bn) a year to developing countries by 2020.
The sum was pledged during Cop15 in Copenhagen to help cut greenhouse gas emissions and cope with the impact of the climate crisis on those most affected, and for which the developed world had an “added responsibility”, Aboulmagd said. It was predominantly carbon emissions from Europe and the US that were “responsible for where we are right now”, he said.
IMF chief sees ‘darkening’ outlook for global economy
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will next week downgrade its forecast for 2.9 percent global growth in 2023, Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said on Thursday, citing rising risks of recession and financial instability.
Georgieva said the outlook for the global economy was “darkening” given the shocks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and climate disasters on all continents, and it could well get worse.
“We are experiencing a fundamental shift in the global economy, from a world of relative predictability … to a world with more fragility — greater uncertainty, higher economic volatility, geopolitical confrontations, and more frequent and devastating natural disasters,” she said in a speech at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.
Georgieva said the old order, characterised by adherence to global rules, low interest rates and low inflation, was giving way to one in which “any country can be thrown off course more easily and more often.”
Sydney records wettest year since records began in 1858
Sydney, Australia’s biggest city, has recorded its wettest year since records began 164 years ago following hours of rain on Thursday morning.
With some 86 days of 2022 still to go, total rainfall in the city had topped 2,213mm (87 inches) by Thursday afternoon, surpassing the previous record of 2,194mm (86 inches) that was set in 1950, official data showed.
More than 58mm (2 inches) of rain fell in the five hours from 9am (22:00 GMT, Wednesday), the Bureau of Meteorology’s (BoM) live data showed, with the authorities bracing for major floods in eastern Australia and more heavy downpours forecast over the next three days.
Australia’s east coast has been in the grip of the La Nina weather pattern for three years and more heavy rain is expected throughout the rest of 2022.
US could ease Venezuela sanctions, allow Chevron to pump oil: WSJ
The United States is considering loosening sanctions on Venezuela so Chevron Corp can pump oil in the country if Caracas takes steps towards restoring democracy, the Wall Street Journal has reported.
Under the proposed deal, the Biden administration would ease some sanctions in exchange for Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro resuming talks with the political opposition on the conditions needed to hold free and fair elections in 2024, the newspaper reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the proposal.
US officials said the deal had not been finalised and could fall through if Maduro’s government did not resume negotiations with opposition parties, according to the report.
The deal would pave the way for Chevron and US oil-service companies to resume exports of Venezuelan oil to the global market amid spiralling energy prices worldwide.
Energy experts have cautioned that Venezuela’s oil supplies could have a limited effect on prices as the country’s production has plummeted after years of economic crisis, mismanagement and sanctions.
Biden cites Cuban Missile Crisis in describing Putin's nuclear threat
NEW YORK, Oct 6 (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden said Russian President Vladimir Putin's threat to use nuclear weapons threatens to bring about the biggest such risk since the Cuban Missile Crisis, adding Washington was "trying to figure out" Putin's off-ramp.
The White House has said repeatedly that it has seen no indication that Russia is preparing to use nuclear weapons in despite what it calls Putin's "nuclear saber-rattling.”
But Biden on Thursday made clear he was keeping a wary eye on Putin and how he might react as Ukraine's military makes gains against Russian invaders.
"For the first time since the Cuban Missile Crisis, we have a direct threat to the use of nuclear weapons, if in fact things continue down the path they'd been going," Biden told Democratic donors in New York.
He also said, "we have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban missile crisis."
COVID wave looms in Europe as booster campaign makes slow start
Oct 6 (Reuters) - A new COVID-19 wave appears to be brewing in Europe as cooler weather arrives, with public health experts warning that vaccine fatigue and confusion over types of available vaccines will likely limit booster uptake.
Omicron subvariants BA.4/5 that dominated this summer are still behind the majority of infections, but newer Omicron subvariants are gaining ground. Hundreds of new forms of Omicron are being tracked by scientists, World Health Organisation (WHO) officials said this week.
WHO data released late on Wednesday showed that cases in the European Union (EU) reached 1.5 million last week, up 8% from the prior week, despite a dramatic fall in testing. Globally, case numbers continue to decline.
Hospitalisation numbers across many countries in the 27-nation bloc, as well as Britain, have gone up in recent weeks.
EU aims at Kremlin's revenues with cap on Russian oil price
In order to limit the flow of revenues to President Vladimir Putin's war chest, the European Union intends to ensure that Russia can only export oil via tanker at discounted prices. All oil exports, including to China and India, would be affected by this measure, which follows a similar decision by the Group of Seven (G7) in the summer. The European Union has included a price cap in its eighth sanctions package since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.
Starting December 5, EU and G7 countries will ban banks from financing the purchase and sale of Russian oil, insurance companies from insuring shipments, and ports from unloading oil transported by tanker if it is traded at a higher price than that fixed by the European Union. The embargo on all services related to oil exports is intended to make shipping almost impossible.
Jeffrey Clark fighting to keep his license as bar investigates him for trying to overthrow 2020 election
On Thursday, POLITICO reported that former Trump Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark is struggling to fend off disciplinary actions, and potentially the loss of his law license, as the Washington, D.C. bar investigates his role in the efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
"Jeffrey Clark appeared for a lengthy proceeding Thursday that is a prelude to a disciplinary hearing on claims he violated legal ethics in his persistent efforts to undercut the legitimacy of the 2020 election," reported Kyle Cheney and Josh Gerstein. "The heart of the issue: Did Clark merely offer up unwise suggestions to his superiors — hardly the basis for disciplinary action — or did his persistence in the face of a lack of evidence of fraud render his conduct so inappropriate that he should be punished?"
Clark allegedly gave the White House advice on how to fight the election results, in violation of DOJ communication policies.
New York Times
Federal Judge Blocks N.Y. Gun Law, Finding Much of It Unconstitutional
A federal judge on Thursday blocked large portions of a new New York gun law, jeopardizing a measure that was passed just three months earlier and underscoring the difficulty that states may face in restricting the public carrying of firearms after a major Supreme Court ruling in June.
In a 53-page order, the judge, Glenn T. Suddaby of the Northern District, said he would block the state from enforcing several provisions, writing that New York’s attempts to bar guns in a number of places deemed “sensitive” — including museums, theaters, stadiums, Times Square, libraries, places offering services to children and anywhere alcohol is served — appeared impermissible. He based his decision on the June ruling, which struck down a restrictive law that had stood for more than a century.
The judge agreed to a three-business-day delay of his order, pending an emergency appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.