The Guardian • Issue #2068

GLOBAL BRIEFS

  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2068
Global briefs

RUSSIA: The Kremlin last week rejected allegations that it was behind a plane crash that is presumed to have killed mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters: “Right now, of course, there are lots of speculations around this plane crash and the tragic deaths of the passengers of the plane, including Yevgeny Prigozhin.” He said: “Of course, in the West those speculations are put out under a certain angle, and all of it is a complete lie.”

DENMARK: The Danish government said that it will propose a law that would make it illegal to desecrate any holy book in Denmark, where a recent string of public desecrations of the Koran by anti-Islam activists has sparked angry demonstrations in Muslim countries. The right-wing government also said that it would extend Denmark’s existing ban on burning foreign flags.

FRANCE: Investigative magistrates ordered former president Nicolas Sarkozy and 12 others to go on trial on charges that his 2007 presidential campaign received millions in illegal financing from the government of late Libyan leader Muammar Gadaffi. The national financial prosecutor, Jean-Francois Bohnert, said that the trial will run from January to April 2025. Meanwhile, President Emmanuel Macron vowed to press on with key economic, immigration, and education changes despite political challenges that have included months of protests against an attack on pension rights and an uprising over the police killing of a teenager. Macron said in an interview with Le Point magazine that he would meet the “main political leaders” next week for talks on the issues confronting France.

GREECE: Authorities battling a major wildfire in north-eastern Greece, described as the European Union’s largest single recorded fire, have recovered more bodies, bringing the total death toll from wildfires in Greece last week to 21.

IRELAND: At a protest outside the Irish Department of foreign affairs organised by the Communist Party of Ireland, the CPI handed in a letter of protest to the Department of Foreign Affairs condemning the recent escalation of Irish state policy that will see Ireland actively involve itself in the Ukraine-Russian conflict by agreeing to train Ukraine military personnel. The vast majority of Irish people have clearly stated support for neutrality and the demand for a ceasefire through peaceful negotiations in the Ukraine war.

ZIMBABWE: President Emmerson Mnangagwa was forced to extend voting in the general election for an extra day at dozens of polling stations due to massive delays in the distribution of ballot papers. Ballot papers were still being printed hours after voting should have ended, while vote counting had begun at other polling stations.

SOUTH AFRICA: Six more countries are to join the BRICS bloc of developing economies. Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Ethiopia, and Argentina are to be invited to become members of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) from next year. The announcement was made at a Johannesburg summit of the bloc by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, whose country chairs BRICS at present. South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor said that BRICS leaders had arrived at a consensus on the bloc’s enlargement and how to go about it.

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