International News

Biden’s pledge to slash US emissions turns spotlight on China

Biden’s pledge to slash US emissions turns spotlight on China

The US, the world’s second biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, is now committed to halving emissions this decade. President Joe Biden’s announcement, at the White House virtual climate summit, has thrown the spotlight clearly on the world’s biggest emitter: China. China is responsible for roughly a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions, and is likely to increase its carbon output this year. Without strong action from China, the world will be unable to hold back climate breakdown.

Putin opponent Navalny ends hunger strike in Russian jail

Putin opponent Navalny ends hunger strike in Russian jail

Russia's main opposition figure Alexei Navalny has announced he is ending his hunger strike after 24 days of refusing food in jail.Hours earlier his private doctors had appealed to him to take food to preserve his life and health. Navalny began refusing food on 31 March to demand better medical care. He said he had twice been seen by civilian doctors and "given the progress and circumstances, I am ending my hunger strike". His doctors had warned at the weekend he could die "at any minute". Late on Thursday they warned him that "further starvation" could significantly harm him and lead to his death.

Malta still selling golden passports to rich stay-away ‘residents’

Malta still selling golden passports to rich stay-away ‘residents’

The Maltese government continues to sell citizenship to multimillionaires who have minimal genuine links to the country, a Guardian undercover investigation has revealed. Rich applicants are signing €1m deals in return for Maltese passports after a 12-month qualifying period, secret filming suggests, in news that will further alarm Brussels after this week’s leak of documents from one of the world’s largest passport brokerage firms. The cache of emails and documents from Henley & Partners data, which was obtained by the Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation and shared with the Guardian and other media outlets, revealed how wealthy Russians, Chinese and Saudis have been jetting to Malta to secure so-called “golden passports”.

David Cameron kept pushing Bank and Treasury to risk £20bn to help Greensill

David Cameron kept pushing Bank and Treasury to risk £20bn to help Greensill

David Cameron repeatedly pushed the Bank of England and the Treasury to risk up to £20bn in taxpayer cash to help Greensill Capital, just as the lender started to face “significant” financial pressure at the start of the pandemic. The UK’s central bank was urged to provide support to Greensill, including by setting up a fund that would buy loans made by the financial services company and its competitors, in a string of emails to senior officials. The exchanges, published by the Bank of England on Thursday afternoon, became increasingly desperate in tone as requests from Greensill for government backing were turned down.

 

Russia to pull troops back from near Ukraine

Russia to pull troops back from near Ukraine

After weeks of tension over a build-up of Russian troops close to Ukraine's border, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu has ordered a number of units in the area back to their bases. The EU estimated that more than 100,000 Russian soldiers had amassed near the border as well as in Crimea, which was seized and annexed by Russia in 2014. Speaking in Crimea, Mr Shoigu said units on exercise would return to base.

Covid-19: Delhi hospitals run out of oxygen supplies

Covid-19: Delhi hospitals run out of oxygen supplies

Six hospitals in the Indian capital Delhi have completely run out of oxygen and doctors say other hospitals have just a few hours' worth of supply left. A number of people have died while waiting for oxygen, and more than 99% of all intensive care beds are full. India is in the grips of a second wave of Covid infections and on Thursday recorded the highest one-day tally of new cases anywhere in the world. The country has recorded close to 16 million confirmed infections. There have been 314,835 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, while deaths rose by 2,104.

UK coronavirus contracts raise corruption alarm, report warns

UK coronavirus contracts raise corruption alarm, report warns

The U.K. government is facing tough questions over its approach to procurement during the pandemic after an investigation found over 20 percent of the £18 billion spent in response to the crisis was linked to at least one red flag indicating corruption. Between February and November last year, 73 COVID-19 contracts, amounting to more than £3.7 billion in public spending, triggered at least one of six standard measures warranting closer scrutiny for corruption, according to a Transparency International report released Thursday. Of particular concern is the “VIP” or “high priority” lane used by the government to fast-track offers of personal protective equipment (PPE) from companies referred by MPs, peers and senior officials.

No 10 to investigate text leaks from Boris Johnson’s personal phone

No 10 to investigate text leaks from Boris Johnson’s personal phone

The Cabinet Office is to launch an internal investigation into the leak of Boris Johnson’s text messages with the billionaire businessman James Dyson after concerns were raised about the prime minister’s texted promises to change tax rules. The announcement came as parliament’s most powerful committee of MPs will discuss whether to question Johnson on the use of his personal phone. Sources said the prime minister has liberally distributed his number over the years.

 

Chauvin verdict a blow to ex-police trio awaiting trial over George Floyd death

Chauvin verdict a blow to ex-police trio awaiting trial over George Floyd death

As millions of Americans welcomed Derek Chauvin’s murder conviction, three of his former colleagues who still face trial for their part in George Floyd’s death will have greeted it with dismay. Tou Thao, J Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane face charges of aiding and abetting the murder and manslaughter of Floyd nearly a year ago. The Minnesota attorney general’s office is attempting to add charges of third-degree murder against the men at a court hearing next month.