“Human activity is the cause of the climate problem. Human action must be the solution. Action to re-establish ambition. And action to rebuild trust - especially between North and South. The science is clear: any hope of limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees means achieving global net zero emissions by 2050. But that 1.5 degrees goal is on life support - and the machines are rattling,” UN secretary-general, Antonio Guterres said.
Hundreds of thousands of people across France are set to strike and demonstrate in response to President Emmanuel Macron's pension reform, which raises the retirement age to 64. Despite growing popular anger, Macron has rejected calls to abandon the reform, sparking further protests with rubbish bins set alight and scuffles with police. Polls show a majority of French oppose the legislation, making it Macron's most serious challenge since the "Yellow Vest" revolt four years ago.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was asked by BBC Breakfast about the cost of living crisis in the UK, using the example of a woman named Nikki from Cornwall who can't afford a light bulb for her kitchen. Sunak responded that he was proud of the difficult decisions he had made, and that the government was putting billions of pounds into social care to help people like Nikki and was covering her energy bill.
Prince William made an unannounced trip to Poland to thank British and Polish troops involved in the Ukraine war, and meet refugees who have fled the conflict. He spoke to members of the Polish defence force and British troops and will meet President Duda and lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
China's military said it drove away a U.S. destroyer that had illegally entered its waters around the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea. Tension between the two countries has been growing in the area, as the U.S. seeks to counter China's assertiveness in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait.
President Joe Biden expressed solidarity with China's Uyghur minority and other Muslim communities facing persecution in a message for Ramadan. He reaffirmed US support for those suffering hardships, including earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria, and flood victims in Pakistan. Biden's highlighting of the Uyghurs, who the US government says are subjected to genocide, comes at a time of tension between Washington and Beijing.
The UN nuclear agency's chief has warned that the situation at Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia power plant is "precarious" following a Russian missile strike, which has left it reliant on a single backup power line and emergency diesel generators. Without the electricity produced by these generators, a nuclear accident similar to Fukushima in 2011 could occur. Ukrainian President Zelensky has called for a more effective mechanism for the de-occupation of the plant.
U.S. officials have warned North Korea may resume nuclear testing for the first time since 2017 and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has warned of this possibility in May 2022. However, U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency Director Scott Berrier said there has been no indication that Kim Jong Un plans to carry out a test during U.S.-South Korea military exercises. The U.N. Security Council has long been banned North Korea from nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches.
An earthquake of magnitude 5.9 on the Richter scale struck 51 km north-north west of Novobod, Tajikistan on Thursday, according to the USGS. Its epicentre was 39.452°N and 69.953°E, at a depth of 5.6 km. No casualties have been reported yet.
British Foreign Minister James Cleverly said the UK will review security at the Indian High Commission in London following "unacceptable acts of violence" towards the mission's staff. India summoned the most senior British diplomat in New Delhi to protest the violence, which included broken windows and the removal of the Indian flag from the mission's building. A hundred police officers guarded the premises on Wednesday.
The Biden administration has invited 120 global leaders to its Summit for Democracy, including representatives from 8 countries not invited to the 2021 gathering. The summit will take place next Wednesday and Thursday, co-hosted by Costa Rica, Netherlands, South Korea and Zambia. The president will look to make the case that democracies are a better vehicle for societies than autocracies.
A new report reveals that since 2015, over 119,000 people have been injured by tear gas and other chemical irritants, and 2,000 by "less lethal" impact projectiles. The report calls for tighter restrictions on weapons used indiscriminately and for independent testing. In the US, Sen. Ron Wyden has echoed these concerns. Injuries are often underreported, and the report is a reminder of the dangers of crowd-control weapons.
North Korea fired multiple cruise missiles off its east coast Wednesday as South Korea and the U.S. held joint military exercises. South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the launches came three days after North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile. The U.S. State Department said it called on North Korea to "refrain from any further destabilising acts".
A 6.5 magnitude earthquake struck northwestern Argentina on Wednesday, with no immediate reports of damage or injuries. It was felt in northern Chile and Jujuy residents were alerted to it on their mobile phones. Argentina's National Seismic Prevention Institute said the quake was strong enough to make "hanging objects swing" in affected areas.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan switched on the city's first ever Ramadan lights in Piccadilly Circus, making it the first European city to celebrate the Islamic holy month with 30,000 sustainable lights. Aisha Desai, founder of Ramadan Lights UK, organised the display to bring joy and raise awareness about the month of fasting, prayer, reflection and community. The festive lights will remain up throughout the month, reminding Londoners of the magic of the month of Ramadan.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin have called for "peace talks" to settle the Ukraine crisis, and have opposed any unilateral sanctions unauthorised by the UN Security Council. They also call for NATO to respect the sovereignty and security of other countries, and for an "objective, impartial and professional investigation" into the Nord Stream pipeline explosion.