World

San Francisco News

Queen Elizabeth II: a moderniser who steered the British monarchy into the 21st century

Sean Lang, Anglia Ruskin University When the late historian Sir Ben Pimlott embarked on his 1996 biography, his colleagues expressed surprise that he should consider Queen Elizabeth II worthy of serious study at all. Yet Pimlott’s judgement proved sound and, if few academics have followed his lead, the political role of the monarchy has received thoughtful treatment in the creative arts. Stephen Frears’s 2006 film, The Queen, showed her dilemma after the death of Princess Diana; Peter Morgan’s stage play The Audience showed the monarch’s weekly meetings with her prime ministers. And she has been shown in a generally positive

Read More »

Liz Truss: who is the UK’s new prime minister and why has she replaced Boris Johnson?

Nicholas Allen, Royal Holloway University of London The United Kingdom’s next prime minister will be Liz Truss. After a two-month contest, Conservative Party members have chosen her as their new leader. All that remains is for Truss to travel to Balmoral in Scotland where she will be formally invited by the Queen to form a government. Truss will become the Conservatives’ fourth leader and prime minister in just over six years. She’s Queen Elizabeth’s fifteenth prime minister, and the third woman to hold the job. Her rapid rise to the top started in 2010 when she was first elected to

Read More »

UN nuclear agency calls for protection zone around imperiled Ukrainian power plant – a safety expert explains why that could be crucial

Najmedin Meshkati, University of Southern California The United Nations’ nuclear watchdog has called on Russia and Ukraine to set up a “safety and security protection zone” around the embattled Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station in the Ukrainian city of Enerhodar. The plea, made on Sept. 6, 2022, by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), comes amid mounting concern that the facility – Europe’s largest nuclear power plant – is vulnerable to nearby fighting, and that damage to the site could cause a catastrophic accident. Shelling has already damaged power and communication lines to the plant, prompting fears for the plant’s safety

Read More »

Unexpected Ukrainian resistance continues to thwart Russia’s initial plans for quick, decisive victories

Liam Collins, United States Military Academy West Point As Ukrainian forces fight a late-summer counterattack to wrest the southern province of Kherson from Russian control, Russian President Vladimir Putin is learning a lesson that many political leaders have learned before: War is often much longer and costlier than anticipated. In the six months since Russia launched its assault on Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, Putin and his military leaders have faced unexpected resistance from Ukrainian forces. That’s been the case in the southern province of Kherson, where Ukrainian forces launched a counterattack on Aug. 28, 2022. Oleksiy Arestovych, a Ukrainian

Read More »

Russia’s withdrawal from the International Space Station could mean the early demise of the orbital lab – and sever another Russian link with the West

Wendy Whitman Cobb, Air University Russia intends to withdraw from the International Space Station after 2024, according to an announcement from Yuri Borisov, the new head of the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, in a meeting with Vladimir Putin on July 26, 2022. Borisov also said future efforts will focus on a new a Russian space station. Current agreements on the ISS have it operating through 2024, and the station needs Russian modules to stay in orbit. The U.S. and its partners have been seeking to extend the station’s life to 2030. Russia’s announcement, while not a breach of any agreement

Read More »

Ukraine war: why Moscow could go nuclear over Kyiv’s ‘threats’ to Crimea

Stefan Wolff, University of Birmingham and Tatyana Malyarenko, National University Odesa Law Academy As the war in Ukraine is about to head into its sixth month, the ferocity with which it is fought shows no signs of abating – neither on the battlefield, nor in the rhetoric emerging from Moscow and Kyiv. Russian attacks continue to target Ukrainian cities such as Vinnytsia in western Ukraine that are far away from the front lines and those like Mykolaiv and Odesa that are of high strategic value in the battle over control of Ukraine’s Black Sea coast. Meanwhile, the battle over Donbas

Read More »

NASA’s head warned that China may try to claim the Moon – two space scholars explain why that’s unlikely to happen

Svetla Ben-Itzhak, Air University and R. Lincoln Hines, Air University NASA Administrator Bill Nelson recently expressed concerns over China’s aims in space, and in particular, that China would, in some way, claim ownership over the Moon and stop other countries from exploring it. In an interview with a German newspaper, Nelson cautioned, “We must be very concerned that China is landing on the Moon and saying: ‘It’s ours now and you stay out.‘” China immediately denounced the claims as a

Read More »

Ukraine war: what are the risks that Russia will turn to its nuclear arsenal?

Mark Webber, University of Birmingham and Nicolò Fasola, University of Birmingham Is Russia now led by someone who would contemplate using nuclear weapons without any great concern? Over Ukraine, Vladimir Putin has dropped some pretty big hints that he is prepared to cross that strategic Rubicon. Just days before the invasion of Ukraine, Russia and its ally Belarus engaged in nuclear exercises. In announcing the invasion itself, Putin pointedly referred to Russia’s standing as “one of the most powerful nuclear powers in the world”. The Russian president seemed to reserve the nuclear option as a response to a “direct attack

Read More »

“Houses thrown around”: Australian police reports significant damage eruption, tsunami in Tonga

Damage in the tsunami-hit Tonga following volcanic eruptions was assessed through surveillance flights from New Zealand and Australia on Monday, CNA reported. The eruption and tsunami on Saturday caused no mass casualties, said Australia’s Minister for the Pacific Zed Seselja, citing initial reports. ‘Significant damage’ was however noted by Australian police who went to beaches and reported “houses thrown around.” “We know there is some significant damage, and know there is significant damage to resorts,” he told an Australian radio station. In addition, Tonga’s airport seemed to be in good shape, he said. He said one British woman disappeared after

Read More »

Four killed, many others injured in this year’s Piranha attacks in Paraguay

Locals in Paraguay are voicing concern on the danger brought about by piranhas, having killed four victims and injured 20 others in different attacks this year, FOX News reported. A piranha attack was recorded last Jan. 2, victimizing a 22-year-old man who disappeared during a family gathering as he was dragged underwater off the Paraguay River, located at Itá Enramada, south of the capital Asuncion. The incident was reported to the police by his family. An hour later, the man, suffering from serious piranha bite marks, was located. Another male victim, 29, was also killed after a piranha attack in

Read More »

Curfew, checkpoints announced in Congo after suicide bombing

Following the fatal suicide bomber incident, eastern Congo authorities unveiled evening curfew and new security checkpoints on Sunday. Police colonel Beni Mayor Narcisse Muteba cautions bars, churches, and hotels in town that added security personnel is necessary, particularly armed with metal detectors, as “terrorists” could attack again. “We are asking people to be vigilant and to avoid public places during this festive period,” he said on Sunday to The Associated Press. North Kivu province’s military governor Brig. Gen. Constant Ndima said that a 7:00 p.m. curfew and additional road checkpoints will be in place. The suicide bombing at the Inbox

Read More »

Typhoon kills 140 in Philippines; local leaders ask for food assistance

At least 146 individuals were killed by Typhoon Rai, the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year, and the damages go beyond what was reported, according to a provincial governor whose area was devastated the most, ABC News reported. Located in the central Philippines, Bohol province, home to over 1.2 million people, has recorded 72 deaths, Gov. Arthur Yap said. Ten others are still missing while 13 suffered from injuries. The governor said the death toll can even increase as there are some mayors who are yet to report fatalities due to communications issues. Yap posted statements on Facebook

Read More »

Nicaragua switches to China, cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan

The diplomatic relations between Nicaragua and Taiwan reached an end after the former’s government announced its recognition of Beijing, saying that “that there is only one China in the world.” The recent declaration now leaves self-ruled Taiwan with little more than 12 nations worldwide that still maintain their ties with them, like the fellow Central American countries Guatemala and Honduras, CNN reported. “The People’s Republic of China is the only legitimate government representing all of China and Taiwan is an undoubted part of the Chinese territory,” declared Nicaragua’s Foreign Minister Denis Moncada on Thursday as he spoke in a televised

Read More »