Holding the World Cup in November and December during the world’s top league’s mid-season will produce a higher level of football compared with previous World Cups, according to former England captain David Beckham. This year’s tournament kicks off in Qatar on November 20, with the final taking place on December 18. The tournament was moved to Qatar’s winter period due to the extreme heat during its summer where temperatures often exceed 40C (113F). While it means some of the world’s top leagues will be put on hold for the tournament, Beckham, who is also a Qatar 2022 ambassador, believes the timing will have benefits. “I was lucky enough to play in three World Cups and I know that I went into each one of those World Cups playing probably 50 to 60 games in the season,” Beckham told Al Jazeera in Doha. “Players are coming into this World Cup after playing 25 games. So they will be arriving fresh and excited. Their energy is going to be at the top level, so I think what you’re going to see on the pitch is probably like no other World Cup.”
North Korea on Tuesday conducted its longest-ever weapons test, a nuclear-capable ballistic missile that flew over Japan and could reach the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam and beyond, forcing the Japanese government to issue evacuation alerts and halt trains. The South Korean and U.S. militaries responded by launching fighter jets which fired weapons at a target off South Korea’s west coast in a show of strength against North Korea. The North Korean missile launch was its most provocative weapons demonstration this year, as it pushes to develop a fully fledged nuclear arsenal capable of threatening the U.S. mainland and its allies with the goal of wresting concessions from those countries, some experts say. North Korea has test-fired about 40 missiles over about 20 different launch events this year as its leader, Kim Jong Un, refuses to return to nuclear diplomacy with the United States.
In India, court cases surge:
More than 1. 2 crore court cases are pending before various courts of Uttar Pradesh, as per the figures provided by the law department. To deal with the high rate of pendency, it has been decided that all the cases filed between 1980 and 1990 are going to be segregated and their trials expedited and taken up on a daily basis. Cases filed post 1990 that are due for the final round of hearings are also going to be assigned priority. The judicial officials have been asked to bundle and dispose of similar cases accordingly.
In China, real-estate stabilization efforts underway:
China’s real estate sector is expected to be further stabilized in the coming months thanks to supportive policy measures, which will also help to shore up overall economic expansion, experts said on Monday. They also said China still has ample policy room for maneuvering the real estate market into a virtuous cycle, following the recent announcement of several new measures to lower home purchase costs and boost rational demand. These measures include refunding taxes for those who purchase residential properties within a year of selling previously owned residential assets, as well as lowering interest rates for housing provident fund loans for first-time homebuyers. Moreover, some cities will be eligible to loosen the lower limit for mortgage rates for first-time homebuyers. “The Chinese authorities have stepped up support for the real estate market in recent days, and the moves in lockstep have introduced a strong buttress to the market from multiple dimensions, which will help to boost market confidence,” said Zheng Houcheng, director of the Yingda Securities Research Institute. “As the Chinese economy faces the triple pressure of demand contraction, supply shocks and weakening expectations, it is critically important to restore market confidence and reverse the downturn in real estate development investment, so that the real estate industry won’t drag down economic growth momentum,” he added. Considering that those measures were released in quick succession, Zheng predicted that new influential policies are likely to be introduced in the future. On Monday, Hong Kong-listed shares of Chinese mainland property developers rallied on expectations of policy-measure effects shoring up their markets in the fourth quarter. Stock markets on the Chinese mainland are on a holiday break until Oct 10.
In U.S.A., Supreme Court back in session:
The Supreme Court is back on the job today determined to wage a war against democracy in the United States. What it did last year by overturning Roe v. Wade was only the beginning of what will be a right-wing scorched earth campaign by the highest Court in the land. The Roe decision, a decision to allow increased gun violence, and decisions to allow prayer in all kinds of public places were only the tip of the iceberg the right-wing justices are about to float above the water level. In the process of revoking abortion rights, Justice Samuel Alito dismissed the rights of anyone the white landed aristocracy who wrote the U.S. constitution did not include in the document. Racism, misogyny, and right-wing logic will be used in an attempt to thrust the country back into the days of the 1850s. The right of everyone to vote, a major improvement made in the United States since the days of rule by the old landed aristocracy, is itself now in danger from this Court. If Republicans win in the coming midterm elections they will appeal to the Court to back their attacks on voting rights. How do we think the Court, which has already backed racist gerrymandering, will rule in those cases?
German households and small businesses raised their natural gas consumption by 14.5% above the five-year average in the week from September 19 to 25, according to Germany’s energy regulator, the Federal Network Agency. The private sector represents around 40% of gas consumption in Germany, mainly using gas for heating. The increase coincided with this year’s first cold snap, with temperatures in northwest Europe dropping below the 30-year average. However, according to the regulator, “the savings required to avoid a gas shortage must be achieved independently of temperatures.” The Federal Network Agency noted that a reduction in consumption of at least 20% is required to avoid a gas shortage in the coming months.
In Venezuela, students making full return to face-to-face learning:
The Executive Vice President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Delcy Rodriguez, stated this Monday from the facilities of the Escuela Basica Miguel Antonio Caro, located in the Sucre parish, Caracas, that children are returning this Monday to 100% face-to-face classes after the COVID-19 pandemic, under strict biosecurity measures. “Classes are going to be face-to-face; remember, in 2020, we were in virtual classes; in 2021, we had a combined cycle of semi-presential and this year, we are going to be face-to-face at all levels to have a happy return to classes, of communication between our children, between our girls, teachers and teachers,” said Rodriguez. He highlighted the importance of maintaining the biosecurity measures in COVID-19 prevention, the use of masks and hand hygiene, “we have vaccination centers not only against COVID-19 but for all the vaccines that our children should have, pentavalent, polio, influenza, measles, yellow fever, and booster vaccines”. He also emphasized that it is essential to give booster shots to students, teachers and administrative personnel every four months.