Extinction Rebellion Unfurls Banner On Eiffel Tower

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Eight activists from climate change protest group Extinction Rebellion scaled the outside of the Eiffel Tower on Sunday to hang a banner reading “REBEL” at the first level, kicking off a week of civil disobedience events around France.

Organisers said that in addition to the eight climbers, another dozen Extinction Rebellion activists were inside the monument to help with the unfurling of the giant pink banner emblazoned with black letters.

The climbers were arrested and are set to appear before a magistrate, the group told AFP.





The coronavirus pandemic has shown that governments “can’t pretend that they can’t act”, Extinction Rebellion said
 AFP / STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN

“The public health crisis reinforces our message,” activist Lea Lecouple said outside the Paris landmark. “Covid is just a symptom. It takes a virus to bring the economy to its knees. We’ve seen that CO2 emissions can stop, that airplanes can be grounded.

“We want to say: ‘Stop everything! Let’s open our eyes, this is an emergency’.”

Extinction Rebellion is a network of climate activists which uses acts of civil disobedience to spotlight inaction on global warming.

The movement launched its first major action in April 2019 with 11 days of street blockades

Colombian Ex-president Uribe Released From House Arrest

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A Colombian judge on Saturday ordered an end to house arrest for former president Alvaro Uribe, who is under investigation for alleged witness tampering and fraud.

The conservative Uribe, 68, is considered the most influential politician in Colombia of this century, and is currently its most popular one and the political mentor of the current president, Ivan Duque.

Uribe served from 2002 to 2010 and was known for his tough approach to fighting leftist FARC guerrillas and later for opposing an historic 2016 peace accord with them that ended a half century of war.





A man walks past a mural with an image of former Colombian President (2002-2010) Alvaro Uribe, in Bogota on August 21, 2020
 AFP / Juan BARRETO

The Supreme Court had placed him under house arrest in August in a case involving a leftist senator, Ivan Cepeda, who Uribe said hatched a plot to falsely link him to right wing paramilitary groups — one of the players that fought in Colombia’s long, complex war. Uribe was accused of manipulating a witness against Cepeda.

On Saturday a lower court judge accepted a defense motion for Uribe to be released from house arrest while the probe continues.

The former

White House To Propose $1.8 Trillion Stimulus, Trump Says Go Bigger

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With the presidential election fast approaching, the White House is preparing a $1.8 trillion economic rescue plan to try to coax congressional Democrats into an agreement, according to media reports Friday.

President Donald Trump, who this week has veered wildly in his position on stimulus to help the world’s largest economy recover from the damage done by the Covid-19 pandemic, now seems to be making a major push to roll out funding before his November 3 bid for re-election.

The new proposal, an improvement over the administration’s previous $1.6 billion offer, brings them closer to the Democrats’ latest package costing $2.2 trillion.

But Trump, who is trailing in the polls against Democratic rival Joe Biden, said he wants an even more robust plan.





It’s unlikely that Congress will be able to pass a new stimulus package for the US economy before the November 3 election, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said
 AFP / Nicholas Kamm

“A lot of people are being hurt. I would like to see a bigger stimulus package frankly than either the Democrats or the Republicans are offering,” Trump said in an interview with conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh.

“I would like to see money going

Canada Announces Can$590 Mn Investment In Ford Electric Car Plant

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government and the province of Ontario announced Thursday investments of Can$295 million (US$223 million) each in a Ford factory billed as the largest electric vehicle plant in North America.

At a joint news conference with Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Trudeau called the investments totaling Can$590 million “one of the first steps to build a next-generation auto industry.”

It will also help Canada — if Canadians buy the electric vehicles produced at the plant — move toward its goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, he said.

The Oakville, Ontario assembly plant is to be repurposed as part of a deal announced last month between the Ford Motor Company and the Canadian union Unifor, to build five new electric vehicle models and the batteries that will power them.

The project is valued at Can$1.8 billion and will secure up to 5,400 Ford jobs in Canada, including over 3,000 at the Oakville plant.

“Today’s announcement represents the largest investment in Ontario’s auto sector in over 15 years,” said Doug Ford, adding that the plant “will be the largest electric car manufacturing facility anywhere in North America.”

“This is a historic moment,” he said.

According to Statistics Canada,

2021 Davos Summit Shifted To Lucerne In May

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The World Economic Forum announced Wednesday that its postponed 2021 Davos summit, themed as “The Great Reset” in the coronavirus crisis, will take place in Lucerne, Switzerland from May 18 to 21.

The annual gathering of the world’s political, economic and business elite traditionally takes place in January against the idyllic snowy backdrop of the Swiss Alpine village of Davos.

But it was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and, charged with remodelling the world economy in the wake of the crisis, will now be held 125 kilometres (75 miles) away in the plush Burgenstock resort overlooking Lake Lucerne.

“The meeting will take place as long as all conditions are in place to guarantee the health and safety of participants and the host community,” WEF spokesman Adrian Monck said in a statement.

“The meeting will focus on the solutions required to address the world’s most pressing challenges.

“Global leaders will come together to design a common recovery path, to shape ‘The Great Reset’ in the post-Covid-19 era and rebuild a more cohesive and sustainable society.”

The WEF announced in June that the 51st edition of its annual meeting would take place in a hybrid format, then in August said it

North Cyprus To Open Disputed ‘Ghost Town’ With Turkish Backing

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Authorities in breakaway northern Cyprus are to open the coastal section of the long-fenced-off disputed town of Varosha, a Turkish Cypriot leader announced Tuesday ahead of elections at the weekend.

The internationally-recognised government of the divided Mediterranean island swiftly condemned the decision as a “pre-election stunt” and said it would lodge protests to the UN Security Council and European Union.

Speaking after a meeting in Ankara with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish Cypriot premier Ersin Tatar told reporters that “the coast will open to the public from Thursday morning”.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the bloc was “very concerned” about the announcement concerning Varosha — part of the wider Famagusta area — and stressed the “urgency of restoring confidence and not of creating greater divisions.”

The Turkish army has kept Varosha fenced off since its Greek Cypriot residents fled when it invaded northern Cyprus in 1974 in response to an Athens-engineered coup attempting to unite the island with Greece.

Backed by Ankara, right-winger Tatar is running in Sunday’s presidential election in northern Cyprus against the incumbent, Mustafa Akinci, seen as a pro-reunification moderate.

Turkey, the only country that recognises the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC),

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