Internationally, Russia praises OPEC+ oil production cut announcement:
Russia praised OPEC+ on Sunday for agreeing to sharply cut oil production and fight what it called the “mayhem” sown by the United States in global energy markets. The 13-nation OPEC+ group’s decision to cut oil output despite US opposition has put more distance in the relationship between US President Joe Biden and Saudi Arabia’s royal family. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was good that such “balanced, thoughtful and planned work of the countries that take a responsible position within OPEC is opposed to the actions of the US”. “This at least balances the mayhem that the Americans are causing,” Peskov said, according to Russian news agencies. The White House for months has engaged in diplomatic efforts to dissuade its Middle Eastern allies from cutting oil production. Biden hopes to keep US petrol prices from spiking again ahead of November’s elections, in which his Democratic Party is struggling to maintain control of Congress.
The exquisite golden tiara, inlaid with precious stones by master craftsmen some 1,500 years ago, was one of the world’s most valuable artifacts from the blood-letting rule of Attila the Hun, who rampaged with horseback warriors deep into Europe in the 5th century. The Hun diadem is now vanished from the museum in Ukraine that housed it — perhaps, historians fear, forever. Russian troops carted away the priceless crown and a hoard of other treasures after capturing the Ukrainian city of Melitopol in February, museum authorities say. The Russian invasion of Ukraine, now in its eighth month, is being accompanied by the destruction and pillaging of historical sites and treasures on an industrial scale, Ukrainian authorities say. In an interview with The Associated Press, Ukraine’s culture minister alleged that Russian soldiers helped themselves to artifacts in almost 40 Ukrainian museums. The looting and destruction of cultural sites has caused losses estimated in the hundreds of millions of euros (dollars), the minister, Oleksandr Tkachenko, added. “The attitude of Russians toward Ukrainian culture heritage is a war crime,” he said. For the moment, Ukraine’s government and its Western backers supplying weapons are mostly focused on defeating Russia on the battlefield. But if and when peace returns, the preservation of Ukrainian collections of art, history and culture also will be vital, so survivors of the war can begin the next fight: rebuilding their lives.
In one of the most liberal states in the country, the largest roadblocks to climate legislation do not come from fossil fuel producers or cultural conservatives bent on opposing any progress toward a clean energy economy. Instead, the most successful opposition comes from two giant investor-owned utility companies, which use their earnings from regulated monopolies to shape the state’s climate legislation to their liking. Gas and electric utility companies in Massachusetts collectively spent $439,000 on lobbying over the first half of this year, with the majority of this coming from the state’s two largest utilities, Eversource and National Grid. According to lobbying disclosures from the most recent legislative session, National Grid lobbied against bills promoting rooftop solar, renewable energy financing, clean heating, community representation in the regulatory process, and eliminating gas leaks. The clean energy measures that the utility did support were related to offshore wind, biogas, electric vehicles, and energy storage — topics that help the company maintain its profit-driven business model in the state. Eversource, meanwhile, registered essentially all of their lobbying (more than 99 percent) as “neutral,” while lobbying on many of the same bills.
Holding banners against rising unemployment and communal divide in society, a group of youths met Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in Tumkur, Karnataka, on Sunday and joined him in the Bharat Jodo Yatra that seeks to highlight their issues. On the 32nd day of the yatra that started on September 7, Gandhi said some political parties were trying to spread hatred in the country by misleading youngsters. The former Congress president, who was accompanied by senior leader Siddaramaiah and Karnataka PCC president D.K. Shivakumar, interacted with many people, including children, women and a local singer, during his 20-km yatra on Sunday. He appealed to the youth to join the yatra to spread the message of peace and brotherhood and unite India. Sharing a picture of his interaction, Gandhi said these youths are saying that there is no room for hate in our beloved India. “Why are the people of the country raising their voices against hatred? You all know it,” he said. The former Congress chief said a few years ago, the country did not have such an atmosphere as exists today.
In China, solar exploration satellite launches:
China sent a solar exploration satellite into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China on Sunday, furthering the country’s scientific endeavor to unravel the mysteries of the Sun. The Advanced Space-based Solar Observatory (ASO-S), nicknamed Kuafu-1 in Chinese, was launched aboard a Long March-2D rocket at 07:43 a.m. (Beijing Time) and entered its planned orbit successfully. After four to six months of testing, the 859-kg satellite will start normal operation 720 kilometers away from the Earth to study the causality between the solar magnetic field and two major eruptive phenomena, namely solar flares and coronal mass ejections, thus providing data support for space weather forecasting.
A massive crowd of protesters marched through the center of the French capital on Saturday demanding that France radically change its stance on NATO and the EU. The march was organized by the right-wing Les Patriotes (The Patriots) party led by Florian Philippot, the former deputy head of Marine Le Pen’s National Rally. Dubbed “the national meeting of resistance,” the rally attracted “thousands and thousands” of people, according to Philippot, who was also a member of the European Parliament between 2014 and 2019. The demonstrators were holding a large banner reading ‘Resistance’ and smaller placards that read ‘Frexit’ – a reference to a demand that France leave the EU. Many protesters were also waving the national flag. According to videos published by Philippot on social media, the crowd was chanting: “Let’s get out of NATO!” They also demanded the ouster of French President Emmanuel Macron as they marched near the parliament building, the footage purports to show.
In Honduras, government issues Red Alert for incoming storm Julia:
The Government of Honduras decreed this Sunday the Red Alert, maximum in its risk scale, before the eventual onslaught of tropical storm Julia, whose bands of rains already caused floods in several departments of the country. “The Secretariat of State in the Offices of Risk Management and National Contingencies [Copeco] raises to Red Alert to 10 departments of the country (…), which includes Lempira, Santa Barbara, Copán, Ocotepeque, Intibucá, La Paz, Cortés, Choluteca, Valle and El Paraíso”, informed the referred entity in a bulletin. Copeco maintains in Yellow Alert (second in danger level) the rest of the country, and warned about thunderstorms, rains and swells in the coast of the Caribbean Sea as well as in the Gulf of Fonseca. The weather is particularly hostile in the northern department of Cortes, which has been mobilized for several weeks by the inclement downpours associated with the “Central American winter”, as they call the rainy season in the region.
According to the publication, Reuben Sekwele, has opened a criminal case against President Cyril Ramaphosa at Booysens police station in Johannesburg. Sekwele, who is the CEO of Rubbytad Group, an independent power producer, has accused Ramaphosa of stealing his business plan which he had submitted as an unsolicited bid. Sekwele alleges that he hand-delivered his business plan to Ramaphosa around 2018 – and the president the used his plan as part of the national energy plan meant to tackle load shedding. He has reportedly opened a case against Ramaphosa – as well as three government departments. Sekwele further alleges that Ramaphosa was so impressed with his plan that he even introduced him to the said departments. “I have opened the case for theft of my intellectual property against the president and I am prepared for the war because I know they unleash snipers, in a form of journalists and commentators to character assassinate me,” Sekwele is quoted as having told the publication recently. This is another headache for Ramaphosa, who is being investigated by authorities for the farm robbery. Back in June, Fraser laid criminal charges against Ramaphosa, claiming that he concealed the theft of R62 million that had been kept on his farm in Phala Phala, Limpopo two years ago. He also alleges that the suspects were kidnapped and interrogated, before being offered money for their silence. Ramaphosa has admitted there was a robbery on his property, but denies being criminally liable and says the monies stolen were proceeds from the sale of cattle on his farm.