India is likely to receive above-average rainfall in October, an official with the state-run weather office said on Friday, posing risks for summer-sown crops such as rice and the planting of wheat. Monthly rainfall is expected at 115% of the long-term average, Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, director general of the India Meteorological Department, told a virtual news conference. Heavy rains in October could damage ripening crops such as rice, pulses, cotton and soybeans, and may delay wheat planting in parts of India, the world's leading producer of an array of farm goods.
President Joe Biden's plan to forgive up to $20,000 per student loan borrower is facing a legal challenge from GOP-led states.
STORY: A suicide attack at a tutoring center in the Afghan capital Kabul killed at least 19 people and wounded dozens, police said on Friday.But there was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast.Many of those living in the western area where it happened are Hazara, an ethnic mostly Shi'ite Muslim minority targeted in past attacks launched by the ultra-radical Islamic State and others.Police said the attack was at a private tutoring center where an exam was taking place. "We were in the midst of the exam and suddenly an explosion occurred. The blast happened between where the girls were seated. The girls were sitting at the first row and we (the boys) were sitting behind them. When I got out of the class, I injured myself with a barbed wire.""I was sitting inside my booth when the blast happened. When I heard the sound of the explosion, I saw pieces of flesh in the air. People were so panicked, some were injured and some were crying. I went to help them, I helped to carry some dead bodies. The casualty toll was so high and the Taliban did not allow us to take photos."The official death toll is likely to rise.A Taliban source said 33 people had been killed and that female students were among the casualties.Girls' high schools have been closed in the city in recent months after the ruling Taliban made a U-turn on promises to open all schools.But Kabul residents and education workers have said female students have still been attending private tutoring centers.The U.S. condemned the blast as "shameful", adding that "students should be able to pursue an education in peace & without fear".
Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha's success in a court case seeking to throw him out of office is the latest victory for the former army chief who has escaped unscathed from several legal skirmishes.
STORY: Missiles slammed into a car market in the southern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia on Friday (September 30), hitting a convoy of civilian vehicles and leaving bloodied bodies strewn across the ground.At least 23 people were killed and 28 wounded in the attack local officials blamed on Russia.The convoy had been preparing to leave Ukrainian territory to visit relatives and deliver supplies in an area controlled by Russia, witnesses and Ukrainian officials said.The head of the explosive disposal unit of the Zaporizhzhia police department said the market was hit by three S300 missiles.Bodies lay on the ground or still in vehicles at the scene as police and emergency workers arrived. Vehicles were packed with the occupants' belongings, blankets and suitcases.A missile had left a crater in the ground near two lines of vehicles. The impact peppered the cars and vans with shrapnel and left windows blown out.Russia, which invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24 in what it calls a special military operation, denies deliberately targeting civilians, though its attacks have devastated Ukrainian towns and cities.
"I know with absolute certainty that if everyone caring for my pets experiences the same level of burnout that I did, there won’t be anyone like my vet and his staff left."
An ex-United Nations diplomat and a veteran politician emerged on Friday as contenders to lead India's main opposition Congress party as it prepares to elect a new president from outside the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty for the first time in nearly 25 years. Shashi Tharoor, a three-term federal lawmaker who previously served as a U.N. Under-Secretary General, said he had submitted nomination papers to lead the 137-year-old party. The Congress, which helped lead India's struggle for independence from Britain that was achieved in 1947 and dominated Indian politics for decades afterwards, has mostly been led by a member of the Gandhi family.
A 14-year-old British girl died from an act of self harm while suffering from the "negative effects of online content", a coroner said Friday in a case that shone a spotlight on social media companies.
James' office said it wants an expedited schedule because the Trumps are engaged in "an ongoing scheme."
STORY: The massive storm, now plowing north along the southeast coast of the United States, caused Cuba's grid to collapse earlier this week. It knocked out power to the entire island of 11 million people, flattened homes and obliterated agricultural fields.For some Cubans - already reeling from shortages of food, fuel and medicine - the prolonged blackout was the last straw.Protests on the street in communist-run Cuba are very rare. Last July 11, anti-government rallies saw police arrest more than 1,000 people, according to estimates from human rights groups, and hundreds of protesters remain in jail, official figures show.A Reuters journalist saw pot-banging and small groups protesting peacefully on the street in several other areas of the city. Reports on social media also showed small protests throughout Havana, and some provinces, beginning Thursday afternoon through early Friday morning.In Havana, the pot-banging appeared to align with areas without electricity. Elsewhere in the city, streets were largely quiet.Officials earlier on Thursday had announced progress in restoring power to Havana, where the lights were back on in neighborhoods throughout the capital. However, parts of the city, outlying provinces as well as vast swathes of western Cuba, still remained in the dark.
STORY: "We have to remove the incentives that are there for Russia to manipulate with volumes. And well, the answer is clear, we have to offer price cap for all Russian gas, not only pipeline but also LNG and for our partners with whom we can negotiate, we have to negotiate price corridors," EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson said ahead of the meeting.The EU executive already suggested a Russian gas price cap earlier this month, but shelved the idea after resistance from central and eastern European countries worried Moscow would retaliate by cutting off the remaining gas it still sends to them.Simson said it was important to reach a consensus among EU members on how to deal with the ongoing energy crisis. Some member states, notably Germany, remain opposed to the gas price cap.Energy ministers from the 27 EU member countries are negotiating measures proposed by Brussels last week to attempt to contain an energy price surge that is stoking record-high inflation and threatening a recession.
STORY: Here are five business stories making headlines in sub-Saharan Africa this week.Swiss engineering firm ABB said on Friday (September 30) that it's setting aside a provision of around $325 million to cover costs related to investigations surrounding the Kusile power plant in South Africa.In 2020 ABB agreed to pay 1.56 billion rand, then worth $104 million, to South Africa's state-owned Eskom to settle an investigation into improper payments and compliance issues related to the project.Also on Eskom, the South African government has said it will makes changes to the struggling power utility's board of directors, after electricity outages reached record levels this year.Eskom, saddled with unreliable coal-fired power stations and a mountain of debt, has struggled to meet electricity demand for more than a decade.Production is expected to begin at what would be Ghana's first lithium mine by the second half of 2024, the interim chief executive of Australia-based Atlantic Lithium has said.Lennard Kolff said that a recent scoping study showed revenue could reach nearly $5 billion over the mine's lifetime.Uganda's president has criticized a European Union parliament intervention over a $3.5 billion oil pipeline to carry the landlocked country's crude to a port in Tanzania.A resolution passed earlier this month urged TotalEnergies to delay development of the pipeline by a year to explore an alternative route or alternative renewable energy projects.Speaking at a conference where a third oil block licensing round in Uganda was announced, Yoweri Museveni said the European Parliament's move was a "wrong battleground for them" and that "we don't take kindly to arrogance".And finally, Japan's Daikin Industries has said it will begin assembling air conditioners in Nigeria, a regional head has said, as it renews a push into Africa that had been delayed by the global health crisis.Daikin is also aiming to becoming the leading seller of air conditioners, chillers and other cooling equipment in East African countries such as Kenya and Tanzania by 2025.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday launched a third Indian-made high speed train in his home state of Gujarat, as a part of plans to modernise the country's rail network. New Delhi plans to launch 75 of the Vande Bharat Express trains by August 2023 to connect all major industrial and business cities. The average speed of Indian trains has remained around 50 kmh, and of freight trains around 25 kmh, hitting the state-owned railways' earnings, according to a national auditor's report in April.
STORY: China’s new COVID vaccine has won its first national approval for use - but not in China. Indonesia is the first nation to green light use of the shot. On Friday (September 30) officials there said they would start producing it in the country. Known as AWcorna, the vaccine uses the mRNA technology. Penny Lukito is head of the Indonesia’s national food and drug agency: “The emergency authorization can be given to premier and booster vaccinations for adults.”Lukito said the new drug is over 71% effective against the highly contagious Omicron variant, and over 83% effective against some other strains. However, there were no details on how the shot will be used in Indonesia. More than 63% of its population is already fully vaccinated. The country already uses mRNA vaccines made by Pfizer and others. But the AWcorna shot has a longer shelf life, which could make it useful in Indonesia and other countries which have poor logistics in remote areas.
STORY: The convoy had been assembling at the car market on the edge of the city of Zaporizhzhia, preparing to leave Ukrainian territory to visit relatives and deliver supplies in an area controlled by Russia, witnesses and Ukrainian officials said."So far, 23 dead and 28 wounded. All civilians," Oleksandr Starukh, the Zaporizhzhia regional governor, wrote on the Telegram messaging app.Police Colonel Sergey Ujryumov, head of the explosive disposal unit of the Zaporizhzhia police department said the market was hit by three S300 missiles.Russia, which invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what it calls a "special military operation", denies deliberately targeting civilians.
STORY: Location: Cheongju, South KoreaThese kimchi makers in South Korea are feeling the pinch.Faced with stiff competition from China's cheaper offerings...and a climate change induced shortage of cabbages...many are struggling to produce the spicy pickled side dish so central to Korean identity.Such is the sense of crisis, that the government is stepping in to store cabbages and supply the industry at affordable ratesFor Kimchi makers, like Ahn Ik-jin, the help can't come soon enough.Storage units at his factory have been all but emptied forcing him to source inferior-quality cabbages to keep production going. He's had to increase his prices by two-thirds to cope with rising costs.[Ahn Ik-jin, CEO, Cheongone Organic]"(Korean peninsula) has changed to a subtropical climate, which has caused great temperature differences between day and night, damaging cabbages in spring. Cabbages in May to June have been damaged, and the effect lasted even till July and August. We used to produce 16.5 tons (of kimchi) a day but now we are only producing 11 tons or less."To help boost kimchi production, the government recently laid out plans to build two massive cabbage storage facilities, equivalent to the size of three football fields.They will be able to store 11,000 tons of cabbages and pickle 55 tons of cabbages daily.The construction is expected to cost taxpayers $40 million and is due to be completed in 2025.[Lim Jeung-guen, Deputy Director, Agricultural Ministry's Food Industry Promotion Division]"We are planning to put 58 billion won ($40 million) into constructing two kimchi ingredient supply facilities in the country to help small kimchi making companies and those suffering from a lack of storage space. The project includes building storage which can store 11,000 tons of cabbage and a facility that can make 55 tons of salted cabbages."Korean kimchi makers are hoping the government's plan will at least prevent home-grown producers from losing further ground against China.Chinese imports, often priced at about a third of locally made kimchi, have surged over the past two decades.. They now account for 40% of the domestic market for commercially made kimchi.Concern is also growing that the cabbage shortage will also torpedo the tradition of 'Kimjang' - the making and sharing of kimchi among families, friends and communities.One supermarket shopper said the prices of raw ingredients were too high.[Kim Sook-Kyung, 72-year-old customer]"I normally make kimchi myself, but the cost of ingredients has gone up so much. There's no difference between the price of homemade kimchi and ready-made kimchi. So, I bought packages of kimchi today. It feels like 20-30 percent of ingredient prices are up compared to the past."
Director Kathryn Ferguson re-centers the singer-songwriter as the icon she rightly is. But that comes with limitations.
Elijah McClain believed in the healing power of love, he played violin for kittens, and none of it was enough to convince police that he wasn't a bad person.
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will be hoping his record as the most popular president in Brazilian history can trump the ignominy of a graft conviction to hand him a third term at the helm -- 12 years after his last.
Four years after storming in to shake up a Brazil disgusted with politics, far-right President Jair Bolsonaro finds it increasingly hard to cast himself as an outsider, but remains as vitriolic and polarizing as ever.
A weeks-long Covid-19 lockdown in Tibet has brought an "expansion of already suffocating living conditions", a rights group has said, after a top regional official issued a rare apology this month over virus restrictions.
STORY: Checkpoints were set up by police at flooded bridges and collapsed roads to prevent people from crossing. The authorities also evacuated people in areas prone to landslides and flooding. Footage on state media showed soldiers pushing boats loaded with supplies to families that were stranded by the flood waters, as excavators worked to clear debris and boulders on roads blocked by landslides. Noru was the most powerful typhoon to hit Vietnam in 20 years, according to Vietnam’s national weather service.
STORY: The Kyiv Independent newspaper and President Zelenskiy are currently favorites to be named Nobel Peace Prize laureates on October 7, according to bookmakers, joining the likes of Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter, Mikhail Gorbachev and Andrei Sakharov."It could be a prize either for actors internally in Ukraine - fact-finding, humanitarian assistance," Henrik Urdal, director of the Peace Research Institute Oslo, told Reuters.Thousands of people can propose names, including former laureates, members of parliaments and university professors of history or law. Nominations are secret for 50 years but those who nominate can choose to reveal their choices.
Thailand's suspended prime minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha can resume office, the country's constitutional court said Friday, ruling that he has not exceeded his eight-year term limit.