News in Brief
News ID: 85031
Date: 20 November 2020 - 19:47
LONDON (Reuters) -- Heatwaves caused a record 2,556 excess deaths in Britain this summer as the country was struggling to contain the coronavirus pandemic, according to a government estimate published on Thursday. Increasingly frequent and severe heatwaves are among the deadliest impacts of climate change, mostly hitting elderly people and other vulnerable groups the hardest, scientists say. "Unless the government takes urgent action to address the climate emergency, the number of excess deaths due to heatwaves is likely to increase year on year,” said Sandy Robertson of the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change, an advocacy group of health professionals. Britain suffered a series of heatwaves here in June, July and August in which many weather stations around the country broke or matched their maximum temperature records. The estimate of 2,556 excess deaths was the highest since the government launched a plan to manage the health effects of hot temperatures after an estimated 2,234 people died in England during a pan-European heatwave in 2003.
MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Russia has sentenced a man to 13 years in prison for trying to pass military secrets about Russia’s Northern Fleet to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Friday. The FSB said in a statement that a court in Bryansk, southwest of Moscow, had found Yuri Eschenko guilty of state treason on Nov. 17 and sentenced him to 13 years in a high-security facility. Eschenko pleaded guilty and said he regretted what he had done, the FSB said. Reuters could not immediately reach a lawyer for him. Eschenko, working in the town of Severomorsk, had a job servicing radio-electronic systems used by the Northern Fleet’s ships. The FSB said he had copied secret documents related to weapons systems used by the Northern Fleet. He had done the copying from 2015 to 2017 with a view to selling the information on to a third party, it said. In 2019, the FSB said he had made contact with the CIA. He was arrested in July by the FSB in the Bryansk region trying to hand over the state secrets, it said.
BERLIN (Reuters) -- Five people were injured in a stabbing attack in the western German town of Oberhausen on Thursday and a suspect was arrested in what police said appeared to be a family dispute. A spokesman for police in the nearby city of Essen said all five, including the attacker, had been treated in hospital and at least one sustained life-threatening injuries.
SHANGHAI (Reuters) -- An aggressive China-led shift to electric vehicles is expected to slash global oil demand growth by 70% by 2030 and will help bring an end to the "oil era”, according to research by the Carbon Tracker think tank published on Friday. Within 10 years, China could save more than $80 billion in annual oil import costs as new-energy vehicles (NEVs) become increasingly competitive, Carbon Tracker said. Its calculations were based on a "conservative” scenario by the International Energy Agency projecting that electric vehicles would account for 40% of China’s total car sales by 2030, and for 20% of sales in India and other emerging markets. The cost of importing the oil required to fuel an average car is 10 times higher than the cost of solar equipment required to power an electric vehicle, Carbon Tracker said.
LONDON (Reuters) -- British former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn will be suspended as a Labour member of Parliament for three months as the party faces calls to launch a new investigation, the Telegraph reported on Thursday. Corbyn was informed that the duration of the suspension could be reviewed depending on his actions, suggesting it could be shortened or extended depending on whether he issued an apology, the report added, citing sources. Corbyn was suspended from the party in October in light of his comments after a report said the party was responsible for unlawful harassment and discrimination in its handling of allegations of anti-Semitism. Less than a month after his suspension, on Corbyn was re-admitted to the party Tuesday. However, the current Labour leader Keir Starmer refused to re-admit Corbyn to the Parliamentary Labour Party, hence Corbyn would not officially represent Labour in parliament.
BOGOTA (Reuters) -- Thousands of workers and students protested in Colombia on Thursday against the social and economic policies of President Ivan Duque, despite restrictions to control the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Protesters marched peacefully in the country’s main cities and tried to respect requirements such as the use of face masks and maintaining social distancing. "This is a government that neither discusses nor negotiates, which means we need to maintain protests. The president is deaf, blind and mute in the face of other opinions,” Diogenes Orjuela, president of the Central Union of Workers (CUT), told Reuters in a telephone interview. Protesters’ demands include improving health coverage and education, establishing a basic income for the unemployed and those without pensions, as well as help for small businesses, the union leader said. In September the death of a man following his detention by police saw a wave of protests in Bogota and satellite city Soacha, in which 13 people died.