The world in brief – Wednesday, October 5, 2022

In Ukraine, counteroffensive takes back more territory:

Russia’s mobilisation of 200,000 conscripts seems to have had no impact during the 32nd week of the war, as Ukrainian forces recapture more territory in the east and south of the country. On September 30, Ukrainian forces advancing from Izyum surrounded Lyman in the eastern Donetsk region and recaptured the town the following day. The spectacular encirclement of the strategic town and an expanse of surrounding territory trapped Russian personnel trying to flee. Ukraine’s general staff said its forces discovered a convoy of civilian cars near Shchastya containing 200 Russian soldiers from the Second Army Corps escaping Lyman. “There has been a decrease in the level of moral and psychological state of enemy personnel, leading to numerous instances of soldiers … abandoning their positions,” said the general staff. The fall of Lyman came on the very day Russia fielded new troops from its September 21 compulsory mobilization.

In U.S.A., President Biden tours areas ravaged by Hurricane Ian and Starbucks Workers United begins drawing up bargaining proposals:

President Joe Biden toured hurricane-ravaged areas of Florida on Wednesday, surveying storm damage by helicopter as he pledged that federal, state and local governments will work together to help rebuild homes, businesses and lives — putting politics on mute for now. Hurricane Ian has resulted in at least 84 people confirmed dead, including 75 in Florida, and hundreds of thousands of people wait for power to be restored. Ian’s 150 mph winds and punishing storm surge last week took out power for 2.6 million in Florida. Many people still are unable to get food and water. Biden planned to meet Wednesday with residents and small business owners in Fort Myers, and to thank government officials providing emergency aid and removing debris.

Taking up their bosses’ dare—or maybe calling its bluff—members of Starbucks Workers United, the grassroots nationwide movement that has organized 244 Starbucks stores and counting, are starting to craft bargaining proposals. The response came as two more stores, one in D.C., at 1429 P Street N.W., and another in Santa Maria, Calif., joined the ever-growing list of eateries that have gone union. The California vote was 14-4. The galloping unionization movement at Starbucks is part of the mass movement of underpaid, exploited workers—adjunct professors, baristas, warehouse workers, port truckers and retail workers—who have had it up to here with corporate control and greed and responded by unionizing in record numbers. That’s especially true at Starbucks, whose longtime CEO, Howard Schultz, is intensely anti-union and whose anti-SWU campaign has featured rampant labor law-breaking—so much so that the New York regional office of the National Labor Relations Board forced him into a settlement at a flagship store, the New York City Roastery, in Manhattan, on October 3.

In India, AI deployed to help save elephants:

The Tamil Nadu forest department will be finalising Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based solutions to prevent elephant deaths by the end of this month. The department has already floated tenders from prospective companies to provide AI-based solutions to prevent elephant deaths in forest areas. Sources in the state forest department told IANS that the department has already received 23 tenders and is in the process of finalising the shortlisting them. Speeding trains had hit elephants in the Madukkarai forest range in Walayar leading to the death of several wild tuskers. Three Female elephants lost their lives after being hit by a speeding Mangalore- Chennai express train on November 26, 2021. This had led to a major confrontation between the Southern Railway and Tamil Nadu forest department with the latter even manhandling railway employees. An RTI inquiry has revealed that 8 elephants were killed since 2010 after being hit by speeding trains. The top brasses of the forest department of Tamil Nadu and Southern Railway had met several times and in the brainstorming sessions, it was decided that Artificial Intelligence could be deployed to prevent elephants being hit by speeding trains.

In China, athletes advance to finals in World Team Table Tennis Championships:

China advanced as group winners into both the men’s and women’s round of 16 as the group stage entered the final stretch at the 2022 World Team Table Tennis Championships here on Tuesday. The Chinese men’s team, vying for their 10th consecutive world title in Chengdu, ran out comfortable winners over Thailand 3-0, despite the fact that China had guaranteed to go top no matter the result of their last Group 1 match. World No. 1 male paddler Fan Zhendong beat Sarayut Tangcharoen in straight sets, 11-9, 11-8, 11-6. His teammates Lin Gaoyuan and Liang Jingkun both claimed 3-1 victories against Phakpoom Sanguansin and Pattaratorn Passara respectively. “My opponent played an excellent game, and it’s not as easy as the scoreboard might have suggested,” Fan said. According to a draw made later on Tuesday, China will take India in the round of 16 after the latter lost its last Group 2 match 3-0 to France and advanced as one of the best third-placed teams. “There are more challenges and tougher rivals waiting ahead, and my teammate and I will make fully detailed preparations for every possibility,” added the 25-year-old top paddler.

In Estonia, Defense Minister accuses Russia of sabotaging Nord Stream pipelines:

Estonia’s Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur has called on NATO to increase its patrols of the Baltic Sea, not only above but also below the water, after the recent explosions that knocked out the Russian Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines. In an interview with Germany’s Die Zeit newspaper on Wednesday, Pevkur accused Russia of blowing up its own pipelines in order to intimidate the EU and to turn its attention away from the ongoing military conflict in Ukraine. “The only state that has an interest in this sabotage is Russia,” the minister stated, adding, however, that there’s no evidence to back up the accusation. Asked about how vulnerable the Baltic states were to underwater attacks such as the apparent sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines, Pevkur noted that NATO already conducts “air policing” over the Baltic Sea and should now think about “sub policing” or underwater surveillance.

In Guatemala, gang dispute ends in killing of innocent bystanders:

On Tuesday night, the Mara Salvatrucha gang attacked the Barrio 18 gang in a hotel on El Semillero beach, in the department of Escuintla, killing 4 adults and three children. According to the National Civil Police’s first investigations, the victims were members of the Barrio 18 gang and the massacre was motivated by a territorial dispute. Among those victims are Yonathan Siritit Vasquez (aka Elon) and his brother Luis Isaias (aka el Guicho). The Siritit Vasquez were brothers of the leader of a hitmen group, Auner Gustavo (aka El Pupa), who was found dead inside the Pavon prison a few weeks ago.

In Iran, military conducts attacks across Kurdistan region:

Following the growth of the nationwide protest movement of the people Iran against the ruling dictatorship, the [regime’s] military-security forces planned and executed targeted bombardments on the Kurdish areas [situated across the border] in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region. Heavy artillery, drone, and missile attacks have targeted certain areas/parts of the Kurdistan Region in Iraq, Iranian Kurds’ refugee camps, kindergartens, as well as the headquarters of the political forces of Iranian Kurdistan.  According to the reports received so far, at least 13 people were killed and 58 injured [in the attacks].The territories of the Kurdistan region of Iraq had already been [recently] attacked by the Turkish army.  The military attacks by Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps [IRGC] on these areas are clearly aimed at swaying the public opinion of the Iranian people and stoking tensions in the wider region so as to somehow carve a way out of the current crisis, and to curb and divertthe nationwide popular protests. The purpose of the IRGC and repressive security forces is to divert the course of events and prevent the further spread of the popular protests. 

Published by jim

Curator of things...

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