In the USA, Hurricane Ian nears Florida coast:
Hurricane Ian rapidly intensified as it neared landfall along Florida’s southwest coast Wednesday morning, gaining top winds of 155 mph (250 kph), just shy of the most dangerous Category 5 status. Damaging winds and rain lashed the state, and forecasters said the heavily populated Fort Myers area could be inundated by a storm surge of up to 18 feet (5.5 meters). Air Force hurricane hunters confirmed Ian gained strength over warm Gulf of Mexico water after battering Cuba, bringing down the country’s electricity grid and leaving the entire island without power. Ian was centered about 65 miles (105 kilometers) west-southwest of Naples at 7 a.m., swirling toward the coast at 10 mph (17 kph).
A Delhi court on Wednesday granted bail to Aam Admi Party MLA Amanatullah Khan in connection with a case of alleged irregularities at the Delhi Waqf Board, being investigated by the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB). Special Judge Vikas Dhull of Rouse Avenue Court on Tuesday had set Wednesday for pronouncing the order on Khan’s bail application after hearing the submissions of parties. A detailed order is expected to be made available later. On Monday, the court sent Khan, who was arrested on September 16, to 14 days’ judicial custody.
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday stressed concerted efforts to forge ahead determinedly toward a new victory of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks when visiting an exhibition on the great achievements of the Party and the country over the past decade. Xi stressed that since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, the CPC Central Committee has united and led the whole Party, the country, and the people in solving many challenging problems that were long on the agenda but never resolved, making many achievements that concerned the nation’s future, and overcoming many political, economic, ideological, and natural risks, challenges, and trials.
Almost exactly a hundred years after fascist leader Benito Mussolini made himself dictator of Italy with his notorious October 1922 “March on Rome,” his political heirs are marching back into power. Giorgia Meloni, leader of the Brothers of Italy party – the successor to the post-World War II Italian Social Movement – will be the nation’s first far-right leader since Il Duce was overthrown and executed by Communist partisans in 1945. Her right-wing bloc won a decisive 44% plurality in the country’s multi-party elections, with the Brothers of Italy alone taking more than a quarter of the vote. The center-left coalition led by the Democratic Party, successor to the old Italian Communist Party, scored only 26%.
Moscow seeks to call an emergency UN Security Council session over the “provocations” at the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines, Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday in a Telegram post. Both pipelines were severely damaged earlier this week in what many suspect was a deliberate attack. Danish authorities confirmed gas leaks on the pipelines not far from the island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea on Monday after the pipeline operator reported the loss of pressure in both Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines. The Swedish and Danish authorities later said there were a series of undersea explosions.
In Argentina, Federal Judge dismisses crew members of Venezuelan plane:
On Tuesday, Federal Judge Federico Villena dismissed 14 of the 19 crew members of the Venezuelan Emtrasur plane that has been held in Argentina since June 6. Villena summoned the other five crew members to the Lomas de Zamora court, where they denied the accusations of links to terrorism. Previously, the Federal Chamber of La Plata authorized the departure of 12 crew members from the country and granted the federal judge a period of 10 days to resolve the procedural situation of the accused. Venezuelan citizens Victor Perez, general manager of the company’s operations, and Mario Arraga, administration manager, presented their defenses in writing and asked Judge Villena to be dismissed.