Typhoon Nanmdol makes landfall in Japan causings floods and landslides

Nearly six million people were still under evacuation warnings after Typhoon Nanmadol slammed into Japan on Monday, dumping heavy rain, paralysing traffic and leaving tens of thousands of homes without power. Two people have died and more than 100 were injured. About 130,000 homes, most of them in the Kyushu region, were still without electricity on Tuesday morning. Many convenience stores were closed at one point and there was disruption to some supply lines. Japan is struck by about 20 typhoons a year, mainly in the autumn, and routinely experiences heavy rainfall that causes landslides and...

Mass exhumations at Izyum forest grave site in Ukraine

Ukrainian police say there are 445 new graves at the site, but some contain more than one body. It's unclear how all of them died. Many are said to be civilians, women and children among them. They are trying to establish the cause of death of hundreds of people buried in a forest at the edge of the city, recently liberated by advancing Ukrainian forces. Kharkiv regional prosecutor Olexander Ilyenkov says there is no doubt war crimes have been committed here. "In the first grave, there is a civilian who has a rope over her neck. So we see the traces of torture," he told the BBC. He said...

EU expects to raise €140bn from windfall tax on energy firms

The EU expects to raise €140bn from windfall taxes on energy company profits to “cushion the blow” of the energy crisis. The European Commission published the proposals on Wednesday as the 27-member European Union grapples with an energy crisis fuelled by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. During her annual speech, EU Chief Ursula Von der Leyen laid out measures to address the energy crisis. The emergency levy will be placed on oil, gas and coal firms alongside a separate measure to cap revenues from renewable electricity generators at less than half of current market prices. Fossil fuel...

Clashes erupt in Tigray region as Ethiopian airstrikes kill 10

Two airstrikes hit the capital of the Tigray region, Mekele on Wednesday morning, killing 10 people, many of them first responders, the director of the city’s flagship Ayder Referral Hospital said Since the conflict broke out in November 2020, tens of thousands are believed to have been killed and millions displaced in the Tigray, Amhara and Afar regions. The conflict has also repeatedly spilled into the neighbouring regions of Amhara and Afar. The Tigray leadership said they were ready to participate in an “immediate” cessation of hostilities with Ethiopian forces leading to a comprehensive...

Armenia and Azerbaijan clashes leave almost 100 dead

Fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan on Monday night killed almost 100 soldiers, with Armenia accusing Azerbaijan of acts of aggression. Armenia's Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said 49 of its soldiers died in overnight clashes, while Azerbaijan's defence ministry said 50 of its servicemen were also killed. At the core of the dispute is the region of Nagorno-Karabakh. It is, according to internationally-recognised borders, firmly a part of Azerbaijan - but is populated by ethnic Armenians. The dispute has led to full-scale war in the 1980s and 1990s, a six-week war in 2020 and continuing...

Russian rout? Ukraine reclaims territory in northeast

Ukraine has reclaimed vast swathes of territory in the eastern region after a rapid counter-offensive forcing the retreat of Russian forces. President Volodymyr Zelensky said his forces were now working on fortifying their hold over 8,000 sq km of retaken territory in the Kharkiv region. While Russia still controls around a fifth of Ukraine's territory, towns in the Donbas that fell early in the war are now under threat from Kyiv's advancing forces. The Kremlin has admitted that its forces have moved out of some eastern towns, but refused to call it a retreat, instead insisting that its...

UN envoy meets with Polisario Front in Algeria

The UN's Western Sahara envoy, Staffan de Mistura met with representatives of the Polisario Front. De Mistura met at a Sahrawi refugee camp with Khatri Addouh, the Polisario’s chief negotiator, and Omar Sidi Mohamed, the group’s permanent representative to the United Nations. The camp is located in Tindouf, where the Polisario Front is based in far southwestern Algeria near the borders with Morocco and Western Sahara. Announcing the visit on Friday, a UN spokeswoman said de Mistura was “looking forward to deepening consultations with all parties concerned on the prospect of constructively...

Chile rejects new constitution

Chileans have voted against a new, progressive constitution that had been drafted to replace the 1980 document written under Gen Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship. In 2020, an initial plebiscite saw nearly 80% of voters opt to draft a new constitution, but after an arduous year of negotiations, people appear to have expressed their dissatisfaction with the end product. The proposed constitution included a long list of social rights and guarantees that had appeared to respond to the demands of that vast social movement. It enshrined gender parity across government and other organs of the state...

Catalan Parliament leaders' political rights violated by Spain - UN

The UN Human rights Committee have ruled that the suspension of former Catalan government and parliament members from public duties prior to their conviction, following an independence referendum in 2017 was a violation of their political rights by Spain. The findings by the group of independent human rights experts were published after revision of a complaint filed by Oriol Junqueras i Vies, former Vice-President of Catalonia, and three former ministers, Raül Romeva i Rueda, Josep Rull i Andreu and Jordi Turull i Negre. The Parliament of Catalonia passed a law authorising a referendum on...

Taiwan tycoon to fund 3.3 million civilian defence force

A Taiwanese tycoon has announced his plan to train 3.3 million “civilian warriors” and marksmen to defend Taiwan from a Chinese invasion via the Kuma Academy, using one billion Taiwan dollars ($32m) of his own money. Robert Tsao, a Taiwanese businessman and founder of United Microelectronics Corp said at an announcement that he pledges to train "three million people in three years". Working in tandem with the island civilian defence organisation, the Kuma academy, Tsao said 60% of the fund would go to building an army of "warriors" and 40% to training another 300,000 in how to shoot. “If we...

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