The world in brief – Thursday, October 6, 2022

In Syria, U.S. carries out raid in government-held village:

Syrian state television said that United States special forces had carried out a rare operation in a government-held village in the country’s northeast, killing one person and capturing others. The operation took place on Thursday in an area of Hassakeh province, which is partly held by government forces and partly held by US-backed Kurdish fighters. “US occupation forces carried out a landing operation using several helicopters in the village of Muluk Saray in the southern countryside of Qamishli and killed one person,” Syria’s state broadcaster said, without elaborating. The US armed forces’ Central Command (CENTCOM) said it currently has “no information to provide”. The US has carried out previous raids in Syria to target members of ISIL (ISIS), but Thursday’s operation would be the first known raid in a government-held area. The village targeted by the operation lies 17 kilometres (10 miles) south of the city of Qamishli and is controlled by Syrian regime forces, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

In Thailand, gunman kills 30 at child care center:

A gunman who attacked a child care center in Thailand and then fired from his car as he fled killed more than 30 people Thursday, including two dozen children, authorities said. It was the deadliest mass shooting in the country’s history. The assailant, identified as a former police officer, killed his wife and child before taking his own life. Photos and videos posted online of the day care showed the floor of one room was smeared with blood and sleeping mats scattered about. Pictures of the alphabet and other colorful decorations adorned the walls. In videos, frantic family members could be heard weeping outside the building. Ambulances stood by as police and medical workers walked around. A witness told Thailand’s Kom Chad Leuk television at the scene that they had locked the door to the building when they saw the suspect approaching with a handgun, but that he shot through it. “The teacher who died, she had a child in her arms,” said the woman, whose name wasn’t given. “I didn’t think he would kill children, but he shot at the door and shot right through it.” Authorities identified the assailant as a former police officer and said he entered the child care center after noon in the northeastern Thai town of Nongbua Lamphu.

In India, Bharti Airtel rolls out 5G Plus:

Bharti Airtel on Thursday launched 5G Plus services in eight cities and users will not need to change the SIM card as the existing Airtel 4G SIM is now 5G-enabled. Customers in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Siliguri, Nagpur and Varanasi will start enjoying the Airtel 5G Plus services in a phased manner, said the company, as it continues to construct its network and complete the roll out. The company promises between 20 to 30 times higher speeds than the current speed, coupled with brilliant voice experience and super-fast call connect. Customers who have 5G smartphones will enjoy the high-speed Airtel 5G Plus on their existing data plans until the roll-out is more widespread. “Our solution will work on any 5G handset and the existing SIM that customers have. Our obsession on customer experience is now embellished with a 5G solution that is kinder to the environment,” said Gopal Vittal, Managing Director and CEO, Bharti Airtel. “Airtel 5G Plus is all set to redefine the way people communicate, live, work, connect and play for years to come,” Vittal added.

Internationally, world GDP growth rate expected to shrink in 2023:

World trade is expected to lose momentum in the second half of 2022 and remain subdued in 2023, as multiple shocks weigh on the global economy, the World Trade Organization (WTO) said in a statement on Wednesday. WTO economists said in the statement that global merchandise trade volumes will grow by 3.5 percent in 2022 — slightly better than the 3.0 percent forecast in April. However, for 2023 they foresee a 1.0 percent increase, down sharply from the previous estimate of 3.4 percent. The new WTO forecast estimates world gross domestic product (GDP) at market exchange rates will grow by 2.8 percent in 2022 and 2.3 percent in 2023 – the latter is 1.0 percentage points lower than previous projections. In their April forecast, WTO economists had to rely on simulations to generate reasonable growth assumptions, since at the Ukraine conflict had only just begun and its impact remained unknown. However, WTO economists said on Wednesday that the April estimates for 2023 now appear overly optimistic. Since then, energy prices have skyrocketed, inflation has become more broad-based, and the conflict is still showing no sign of letting up.

In U.S.A., chess prodigy Nieman rejects cheating claims:

Teenage US chess prodigy Hans Niemann has sternly rejected claims that he has been involved in a sophisticated and prolonged campaign of cheating throughout his career, after being accused of impropriety by both the world’s top player Magnus Carlsen and in a lengthy report published by The growing scandal was ignited by Carlsen when he resigned from an online game with Niemann after making just one move, with the Norwegian later explaining in a statement he published to social media that he suspected the American player to be involved in cheating. Niemann’s recent play, Carlsen alleged, suggested that he was received outside assistance given the dramatic leaps in ability which he says he observed in the 19-year-old’s performances. Carlsen’s accusations appeared to be backed by a 72-page report published on this week in which they also noted that some of Niemann’s performances seemed to match moves suggested by a computerized chess engine, and in which it was claimed that he cheated in more than 100 online games with some as recent as 2020.

In Brazil, poll predicts Lula win over Bolsanaro in runoff election:

Former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (2003-2011) would win the elections in the runoff with a wide lead over the current president, Jair Bolsonaro, according to a survey by the Ipec institute released on Wednesday. According to the poll, in the second round, scheduled for October 30, Lula would have 51 percent of the votes, compared to 43 percent for Bolsonaro. Counting only valid votes, discounting blank and invalid ballots, Lula would have 55 percent and Bolsonaro 45 percent. The survey shows a slight growth of the leftist candidate against the stagnation of Bolsonaro, who would have practically the same result as in the first round. In the first round, Lula obtained 48.4 percent of the valid votes against 43.2 percent for Bolsonaro. Opinion polls failed remarkably, as, on the eve of the elections, they even predicted a lead of more than ten points for the leftist leader. On October 1, the Ipec institute gave 51 percent of votes to Lula and 37 percent to Bolsonaro, while Simone Tebet and Ciro Gomes would tie with five percent each. The distance between the forecasts and the result served as fuel for Bolsonaro and several politicians of his closest circle to question the polls and even proposed the creation of legal mechanisms to punish their mistakes.

Published by jim

Curator of things...

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