The world in brief – Thursday, September 29, 2022

In Spain, wealthy residents face new asset tax:

Spain’s Socialist-led coalition government has said that residents whose wealth exceeds 3 million euros ($2.9m) will be subject to a new asset tax in 2023 and 2024. Finance Minister María Jesús Montero on Thursday described the temporary wealth tax, which she said will affect 23,000 people, or 0.1 percent of taxpayers, as one of “solidarity”. She said people with holdings of 3-5 million euros ($2.9m-$4.8m) will be taxed 1.7 percent and those whose personal worth is 5-10 million euros ($4.8m-$9.6m) will be taxed at 2.1 percent. Individuals with fortunes above 10 million euros ($9.6m) will pay 3.5 percent. The tax is part of a range of adjustments planned for Spain’s upcoming budget that are aimed at alleviating the hardship caused by rampant inflation and soaring energy prices.

In the U.S.A., Hurricane Ian leaves Florida residents trapped and without power and progressives force Senate to strike pro-fossil-fuel plan from money bill:

Hurricane Ian carved a path of destruction across Florida, trapping people in flooded homes, cutting off the only bridge to a barrier island, destroying a historic waterfront pier and knocking out power to 2.5 million people as it dumped rain over a huge area on Thursday. Catastrophic flooding was threatened around the state as one of the strongest hurricanes to ever hit the United States crossed the peninsula. Ian’s tropical-storm-force winds extended outward up to 415 miles (665 km), drenching much of Florida and the southeastern Atlantic coast.

Pressure from progressives and green groups helped force a controversial pro-fossil fuel anti-environment plan out of a must-pass money bill to keep the government going, clearing the way for Congress to approve it by a September 30 deadline. The plan, by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., would have cut public participation and environmental review and speeded up permits for oil and gas pipelines and other fossil fuel projects. But Greenpeace, Our Revolution, their allies and progressive senators launched a blitz against it. Faced with the fact that he didn’t have the votes for his plan, a favorite of the coal, oil and natural gas industries that back him politically, Manchin threw in the towel late in the afternoon of September 27 and withdrew it.

In India, “condom” comment by Bihar officer sparks controversy:

A senior official in Bihar Women and Children Development Corporation (WCDC) and IAS officer, Harjot Kaur Bamrah sparked controversy with her responses to questions by a girl student who asked if they could be provided with sanitary napkins at a cost of rupees 20-30. On Wednesday, a video of the officer’s shocking reaction to a girl student’s question at the ‘Sashakt Beti, Samriddh Bihar’ event, organised by the Corporation and Unicef went viral on the internet. The event was part of a project that has the tagline ‘Towards enhancing the value of girls’. When the girl student asked Bamrah that while the government was providing school dress, scholarships, bicycles, and other facilities to students if it could provide pads for cheaper prices, Bamrah hit out, saying that these weren’t questions but endless demands.  “Today, you are asking for sanitary pads; tomorrow you will ask for condoms,” she reportedly said, adding that tomorrow these students would start demanding clothes and shoes. 

In China, Chinese President and Japanese PM exchange congratulatory messages:

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Thursday exchanged congratulatory messages over the 50th anniversary of the normalization of China-Japan diplomatic relations. In his message, Xi pointed out that 50 years ago, the then Chinese and Japanese leaders grasped the situation with foresight and made a major political decision to normalize China-Japan diplomatic relations, which opened a new chapter in bilateral relations. He said that over the past 50 years, thanks to the joint efforts of the two governments and peoples, the two sides have successively signed four political documents and reached a series of important consensuses, and continuously deepened exchanges and cooperation in various fields, bringing important benefits to the two countries and their people as well as promoting peace and development of the region and the wider world.

In Russia, Kremlin spokesperson claims Nord Stream incident a “terrorist act”:

The damage inflicted on the Russian Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines points to a probable ‘terrorist act,’ Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday. He told journalists it is currently difficult to say with absolute certainty what happened to the pipelines, but “the scale of destruction indicates that it really was a sort of a [terrorist] act.” “It’s very hard to imagine that such a terrorist act could have happened without the involvement of some state power,” he said. The spokesman was also asked to comment on a report by CNN, which cited unnamed Western intelligence officials claiming Russian warships were spotted not far from the offshore gas leaks on Monday and Tuesday. “This area is the Baltic Sea. Plenty more flying, floating and other seaborne vehicles belonging to NATO countries were observed there,” Peskov insisted, describing the report as “stupid” and “agenda-driven.” 

In Cuba, authorities work to restore power after Hurricane Ian:

“Considerable progress is being made in the recovery of power lines affected by the hurricane to provide service to the capital of Cuba, an army of dedicated people is working uninterruptedly to restore in the shortest possible time,” UNE reported on the social network Twitter. UNE’s technical director, Lázaro Guerra, added in the televised forum Mesa Redonda that the system is still fragile and that there is very little generation capacity in the country, despite the gradual incorporation of several thermoelectric plants that contribute to the collapsed national grid. According to García, at present, only the floating power plants of Regla (west), Energás, and Felton (east) are generating. However, other thermoelectric plants started their start-up the day after Tuesday night’s collapse, leaving the energy generation nationwide at zero. Several territories in Cuba have been without electricity for more than 24 hours, and in others, the service is intermittent, with brief periods of light between extended blackouts.

In Iraq, Iraqi CP denounces Iranian and Turkish attacks on territory:

The Iraqi Communist Party has denounced the repeated armed attacks on Iraqi cities and towns in the Kurdistan region by Turkey and Iran. Comrade Ali Sahib, member of the party’s Political Bureau, said in a statement he gave to the party’s daily newspaper “Tareeq Al-Shaab” (People’s Path) that the repeated attacks are based on false pretexts, and constitute a flagrant violation of Iraq’s sovereignty. He added that the Iranian attacks led to the martyrdom of citizens and the wounding of others, as well as terrorizing defenceless citizens, at a time when the Iraqi government is unable to take any action to stop these cowardly attacks. Thirteen people were killed and 58 wounded in the Iranian bombing of the Kurdistan region on Wednesday. The attack also affected a number of schools for children and also civilians, injuring children and women, and caused heavy losses.

Published by jim

Curator of things...

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