The Guardian 2024-07-11 12:18:00


China a ‘decisive enabler’ of Russia’s war in Ukraine, says Nato in stern rebuke

Nato’s communique highlights concerns over Beijing’s nuclear arsenal and its capabilities in space, with Jens Stoltenberg calling it an important message

  • Ukraine war briefing: Path to Nato membership ‘irreversible’

Nato leaders have labelled China a “decisive enabler” of Russia’s war against Ukraine and called its deepening ties with Moscow a cause of “deep concern”, in what’s been seen as the most serious rebuke against Beijing from the alliance.

The final communique, approved by the 32 Nato members at the summit in Washington, also highlights concerns about Beijing’s nuclear arsenal and its capabilities in space.

“I think the message sent from Nato from this summit is very strong and very clear, and we are clearly defining China’s responsibility when it comes to enabling Russia’s war,” Nato secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg said, calling the statement an important message.

Nato leaders have urged China “to cease all material and political support to Russia’s war effort,” adding that Beijing has become a large-scale supporter of Russia’s “defence industrial base”.

“This includes the transfer of dual-use materials, such as weapons components, equipment, and raw materials that serve as inputs for Russia’s defence sector,” the declaration said.

Beijing insists that it does not provide direct military aid to Russia, but has maintained strong trade ties with its neighbour throughout the conflict.

China’s foreign ministry expressed displeasure at Nato’s growing interest in Asia and demanded the alliance stay out of the Asia-Pacific region and not incite confrontation. Beijing’s mission to the EU said the summit was “filled with cold war mentality and belligerent rhetoric.”

“The China-related paragraphs are provocative with obvious lies and smears,” the mission said in a statement.

The Nato statement came as leaders from Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea were set to attend summit talks on Thursday. It will be the third year in a row that leaders from the four Asia-Pacific partners have met at the summit.

The final communique also accused China of being behind sustained, malicious cyber and hybrid activities, including disinformation. It also raised alarms that China is rapidly expanding and diversifying its nuclear arsenal with more warheads and a larger number of sophisticated delivery systems.

Danny Russel, the former US assistant secretary of state for Asia, called the new wording by Nato “an extraordinary step”.

“It is a mark of how badly Beijing’s attempt to straddle Russia and western Europe has failed and how hollow its claim of neutrality rings,” said Russel, who is vice-president for international security and diplomacy at the Asia Society Policy Institute. “China’s attempts at divide-and-conquer have instead produced remarkable solidarity between key nations of the Euro-Atlantic and the Asia-Pacific regions.”

This week Chinese troops have been conducting joint military drills in Belarus, to which neighbouring Poland says it is paying close attention. China and Belarus are allies of Russia, while Poland is a Nato member and supporter of Kyiv.

“The defence ministry is well aware of the risk of the operations in question being used for disinformation and propaganda purposes,” Poland’s defence ministry told Agence France-Presse on Wednesday.

China has previously held joint drills with Belarus, though these are the first since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. The “Falcon Assault” drills started on Monday and are set to run until mid-July, with China’s defence ministry saying it hoped to deepen cooperation with Minsk.

Reuters, Agence France-Presse and the Associated Press contributed to this report

Explore more on these topics

  • Nato
  • China
  • Russia
  • Asia Pacific
  • US foreign policy
  • Europe
  • news
Share

Reuse this content

Most viewed

  • Uruguay 0-1 Colombia: Copa América 2024 semi-final – as it happened
  • Ollie Watkins’ bolt from blue stuns Netherlands and sends England to final
  • ‘The beginning of two legends’: Messi photos with baby Lamine Yamal go viral
  • Tributes paid to three women killed in ‘devastating’ Bushey crossbow attack
  • Netherlands 1-2 England: Euro 2024 semi-final – as it happened

First F-16 jets heading to Ukraine after months of training and negotiations

Dutch and Danish leaders say Ukraine will be ‘flying operational F-16s this summer’ as Kyiv seeks battlefield wins

The first F-16 fighter jets are on their way to Ukraine and will be flying sorties this summer, according to a statement from the Dutch and Danish governments that was released by the White House at the Nato summit.

Dick Schoof, the prime minister of the Netherlands, and Mette Frederiksen, his counterpart from Denmark, said the “transfer process” of F-16s to Kyiv was under way after months of pilot training and political negotiations.

The two leaders said that “Ukraine will be flying operational F-16s this summer” – the first of about 85 of the combat aircraft that have been committed to Kyiv to turn around its fortunes on the battlefield, and Ukraine signalled more may be to come.

The long-awaited supply of F-16s is part of what Nato’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, said would be “a substantial package” of support for Ukraine, which includes the donation of four Patriot air defence systems, Nato-led training for Ukraine’s troops – and a commitment that Kyiv’s eventual path to Nato membership is “irreversible”.

Allies also criticised China, with stronger language than used before, for assisting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, calling it a “decisive enabler” of the war by supporting Moscow in its “no limits” partnership, and supplying components for military equipment and chemicals for explosives. “This increases the threat Russia poses to its neighbours and to Euro-Atlantic security,” they declared in the summit communique.

An announcement on F-16s had been expected at the same time as the summit, and the hope is that the fighters will be able to stifle Russian glide bomb attacks launched from warplanes operating up to 43 miles (70km) away that have been devastating frontline positions.

But it remains unclear how far Ukraine will be able to use F-16s to attack targets in Russian territory or airspace. The US had previously been concerned about the potential for escalation but partially relaxed its position to allow the bombing of targets inside Russia by long-range artillery.

Keir Starmer, the UK’s prime minister, said he was happy to see Ukraine use Storm Shadow missiles to attack targets inside Russia as long as they were used to defend itself, reconfirming existing UK policy. “It is for defensive purposes, but it is for Ukraine to decide how to deploy it for those defensive purposes,” he said.

It ends a lengthy wait for Ukraine, whose president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has been lobbying for at least 18 months for western jets to complement its small and ageing Soviet standard air force, which is no match for Russia’s.

Zelenskiy said he was grateful to Denmark, the Netherlands and the US for taking what he described as practical steps of assistance – and indicated that he was hopeful of more donations to boost numbers to a target of 130.

“F-16s will also be used to bolster Ukraine’s air defence. I am confident that they will assist us in better protecting Ukrainians from brutal Russian attacks, such as this week’s strike on the Okhmatdyt children’s hospital in Kyiv,” the president said.

Norway and Belgium have also committed to supplying F-16s in the future, but Zelenskiy went further and said: “I anticipate that our air force capability coalition will be strengthened even further through the joining of new participants.”

It remains unclear how effective the F-16s, a combat jet designed in the 1970s, will be in the war against Russia. Particularly important will be how they are concealed and protected when on the ground, at a time when Ukraine’s air defences have been stretched.

This month, Russia said it had destroyed five Ukrainian Su-27 jets in an Iskander missile attack on an airbase in Myrhorod. Ukraine acknowledged some losses amid criticism that the planes were lined up on the tarmac in daylight within range of Russian missiles.

On Tuesday night, Joe Biden, the US president, announced that Nato members would supply four Patriot anti-missile batteries, while Italy would supply a similar Samp-t, which could be used to protect airbases from Russian attacks.

Confirming the development, Antony Blinken, the US secretary of state, said: “As we speak, the transfer of F-16 jets is under way, coming from Denmark, coming from the Netherlands”.” It should, he added, “concentrate Vladimir Putin’s mind on the fact that he will not outlast Ukraine”.

Ukraine is not expected to become a member of Nato until the end of its war with Russia, as several countries, led by the US, believe that immediate membership would in effect lead to a war between Moscow and the military alliance.

Explore more on these topics

  • Ukraine
  • Russia
  • Nato
  • Denmark
  • Netherlands
  • Europe
  • news
Share

Reuse this content

Most viewed

  • Uruguay 0-1 Colombia: Copa América 2024 semi-final – as it happened
  • Ollie Watkins’ bolt from blue stuns Netherlands and sends England to final
  • ‘The beginning of two legends’: Messi photos with baby Lamine Yamal go viral
  • Tributes paid to three women killed in ‘devastating’ Bushey crossbow attack
  • Netherlands 1-2 England: Euro 2024 semi-final – as it happened

UK will give Ukraine £3bn a year ‘for as long as it takes’, says Starmer

Prime minister holds first official bilateral talks with Volodymyr Zelenskiy at Nato summit in Washington

The new government will stick with plans to spend at least £3bn every year on military support for Ukraine for “as long as is it takes” in its conflict with Russia, Keir Starmer has said.

After his first official bilateral talks with the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, at the Nato summit in Washington, the prime minister confirmed the military aid would continue until at least 2030-31.

The UK has to date promised almost £12bn in support to Ukraine since February 2022, of which £7.1bn is for military assistance. The rest is for humanitarian and economic support.

In his talks with Zelenskiy, Starmer underscored that Ukraine was on an “irreversible” path to Nato membership. However, diplomats at the Nato summit say that setting out any firm timetable would be a gift to the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.

On Thursday, the prime minister will tell his fellow leaders: “Nato was founded by the generation who defeated fascism. They understood not just the value of our strength, but the strength of our values.

“Those values are under attack once again. Putin needs to hear a clear message ringing out from this summit – a message of unity and determination, that we will support Ukraine with whatever it takes, for as long as it takes to uphold our shared values and our shared security.”

British officials have said that while the potential return to the White House of Donald Trump – whose commitment to Nato and Ukraine is unclear – is at the back of their minds, their focus is on getting the alliance into the best possible shape, whoever wins the US election.

Starmer has called on Nato allies to increase defence spending in response to rising global threats, including from Russia, as he launches a review setting out UK plans to spend tens of billions of pounds extra on the military.

He will tell the other 31 Nato countries that the frontline defence of the Euro-Atlantic region is the Ukrainian trenches, and that the international community cannot waver in the face of relentless Russian aggression.

One of Kyiv’s most pressing asks of Nato states has been multi-year funding, which allows it to plan its defence against Russian forces. The UK will deliver a new package of artillery and 90 Brimstone missiles in the coming weeks.

The government will launch its strategic defence review next week, but this is likely to take up to a year to complete, meaning Starmer has come under growing pressure to confirm a timetable for the UK to boost defence spending to its target of 2.5% of GDP.

However, Luke Pollard, the armed forces minister, said on Wednesday that the government would not increase spending on the military unless it was also able to grow the economy.

“The way we deliver increased public spending on defence, on schools, hospitals or prisons, is by growing our economy,” he told the BBC.

“If we don’t grow our economy, there won’t be the money to support those public services and the ambitions that we have – and that includes defence.”

A senior No 10 source suggested that the 2.5% commitment would stand, irrespective of whether the new government hit its growth targets, and even though that would raise difficult questions over how it would be funded.

“Yes of course,” they said. “The commitment to defence is absolute. But we are also confident that we will get growth in the economy so I don’t accept that we have to wait for one, for the other.”

Downing Street was unable to confirm whether the strategic defence review would be published before the comprehensive spending review, expected this autumn, but suggested it would not take the full year.

Starmer met Joe Biden for the first time at the Nato summit’s welcome event. The pair shared a few private words as they shook hands before the cameras. Later, Starmer held his first bilateral talks with the US president at the White House.

The prime minister, a passionate football fan, gave the president an Arsenal football shirt with the name “Biden” and the number 46 on the back – a reference to his status as the 46th US president. “It’s [Starmer’s] team and [he] thought it would make a personal gift,” a senior No 10 official said.

He has previously given Emmanuel Macron, the French president, an Arsenal top as a gift. He also gave Biden a framed copy of the original Atlantic charter that led to the formation of Nato, with then Labour prime minister Clement Attlee’s amendments.

Explore more on these topics

  • Defence policy
  • Nato
  • Ukraine
  • Military
  • Keir Starmer
  • Europe
  • news
Share

Reuse this content

Most viewed

  • Uruguay 0-1 Colombia: Copa América 2024 semi-final – as it happened
  • Ollie Watkins’ bolt from blue stuns Netherlands and sends England to final
  • ‘The beginning of two legends’: Messi photos with baby Lamine Yamal go viral
  • Tributes paid to three women killed in ‘devastating’ Bushey crossbow attack
  • Netherlands 1-2 England: Euro 2024 semi-final – as it happened

Explainer

Ukraine war briefing: Path to Nato membership ‘irreversible’

Alliance censures China as Russian war enabler and supplier; F-16 fighter jets flying for Ukraine’s defence this summer. What we know on day 869

  • See all our Ukraine war coverage
  • Nato allies at their Washington summit have said Ukraine’s “future is in Nato” and its path to membership is “irreversible”, making the declaration in a statement published on Thursday. Jens Stoltenberg, the Nato secretary general, said Ukraine’s membership to Nato is not a “question of if, but when”.

  • The member states criticised China in stronger language than before for assisting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, calling it a “decisive enabler” supplying components for military equipment and chemicals for explosives. “This increases the threat Russia poses to its neighbours and to Euro-Atlantic security,” they declared in their summit communique.

  • The first F-16 fighter jets are on their way to Ukraine and will be flying missions this summer, the Dutch and Danish governments have said. Dan Sabbagh writes that they will be the first of about 85 of the combat aircraft that have been committed to Kyiv to turn around its fortunes on the battlefield, and Ukraine signalled more may be to come.

  • A Russian missile attack on the Odesa region killed two people and damaged port infrastructure on Wednesday, the region’s governor said.

  • Russia’s security service, the FSB, claimed to have thwarted an attempt by Ukrainian intelligence services to induce a crew member on the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov in Murmansk to sabotage the ship.

  • The Kremlin has criticised the new British prime minister, Keir Starmer, for his comments affirming that Ukraine can use British-supplied Storm Shadow missiles against legitimate targets within Russia.

  • Keir Starmer is expected to promise that the UK will support Ukraine for “as long as it takes” as he confirms Britain’s £3bn a year funding package for Kyiv will continue for as long as needed. At the Nato summit on Thursday, Starmer will warn that the frontline defence of the Euro-Atlantic region is the Ukrainian trenches. Britain’s new defence secretary, John Healey, has visited Ukraine promising artillery guns and shells and 90 Brimstone missiles. The UK has also confirmed it will contribute £40m to Nato’s comprehensive assistance package for Ukraine and the UK-administered international fund for Ukraine will place a new order, worth £300m, for 120,000 rounds of 152mm artillery ammunition.

Explore more on these topics

  • Ukraine
  • Russia-Ukraine war at a glance
  • Russia
  • Europe
  • Nato
  • explainers
Share

Reuse this content

Most viewed

  • Uruguay 0-1 Colombia: Copa América 2024 semi-final – as it happened
  • Ollie Watkins’ bolt from blue stuns Netherlands and sends England to final
  • ‘The beginning of two legends’: Messi photos with baby Lamine Yamal go viral
  • Tributes paid to three women killed in ‘devastating’ Bushey crossbow attack
  • Netherlands 1-2 England: Euro 2024 semi-final – as it happened

Biden under renewed pressure to step aside as top Democrats make agonized appeals

Senator Michael Bennet said Trump may win ‘by a landslide’ while two more senators echoed his concerns

Joe Biden came under renewed moral pressure on Wednesday to abandon his presidential candidacy amid agonised appeals by a succession of senior Democrats for him to consider the broader picture.

Those calls came as the US president dug in his heels to make it hard to supplant him as the nominee.

With the backlash over his 27 June TV debate fiasco refusing to abate, Nancy Pelosi, the former speaker of the House of Representatives, became the most senior party member yet to subtly float the possibility of Biden stepping down while stopping short of explicitly telling him to do so.

Republicans in Congress, meanwhile, gleefully sought to further tighten the screw by summoning three White House aides to testify about Biden’s mental fitness.

The summons came in the form of a subpoena from James Comer, the GOP chair of the House oversight committee, who demanded testimony from Anthony Bernal, the top aide to the first lady Jill Biden; the deputy White House chief of staff Annie Tomasini, and the president’s senior adviser Ashley Williams, Axios reported.

Pelosi, 84, who was speaker until Republicans regained control of the House in the 2022 midterm elections, told MSNBC’s Morning Joe that “it’s up to the president to decide if he is going to run”, adding: “We’re all encouraging him to make that decision. Because time is running short.”

That remark came as the president seemed intent on running down the clock until next month’s Democratic national convention in Chicago, to make it practically impossible to replace him. Pelosi later qualified her comments, claiming they had been subject to “misrepresentations”, while adding: “The president is great.”

But they prefaced further critical interventions from Senate Democrats, who followed the lead of Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado in voicing doubts over whether Biden could beat Donald Trump in November.

Bennet told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins on Tuesday evening that Trump was likely to win November’s poll in a landslide because of the widespread concerns over Biden’s age and mental acuity.

“This race is on a trajectory that is very worrisome if you care about the future of this country,” he said in an impassioned interview. “Donald Trump is on track, I think, to win this election and maybe win it by a landslide, and take with him the Senate and the House. It’s not a question about politics, it’s a moral question about the future of our country.”

He added: “I have not seen anything remotely approaching the kind of plan we need to see out of the White House that can demonstrate that he can actually beat Donald Trump, which is not going to be about the accomplishments that we all had, you know, three and four years ago. This is something for the president to consider.”

Bennet’s comments stopped short of a full-blown appeal for Biden’s withdrawal, in contrast to Democrats in the House – where seven members have explicitly made such calls in the wake of the debate, where the president repeatedly appeared confused, mangled his words and allowed Trump to lie without effective contradiction.

Soon after, Pete Welch of Vermont became the first senator to call on Biden to withdraw from the election. Welch said he was worried about the race because “the stakes could not be higher”.

“I understand why President Biden wants to run,” Welch wrote in a Washington Post op-ed. “He saved us from Donald Trump once and wants to do it again. But he needs to reassess whether he is the best candidate to do so. In my view, he is not.

“For the good of the country, I’m calling on President Biden to withdraw from the race.”

Richard Blumenthal, a senator from Connecticut, also voiced concerns.

“I am deeply concerned about Joe Biden winning this November,” Blumenthal told reporters, adding that the party “had to reach a conclusion as soon as possible” and that Biden still retained his support.

A similarly circumspect call to reconsider came from Katie Hobbs, the Democratic governor of Arizona, a battleground state that was one of six moved by the Cook Political Report – a non-partisan election forecaster – in Trump’s direction following the president’s post-debate poll slide.

“I want the president to look at the evidence and make a hard decision,” Hobbs told reporters, adding that Biden had “a lot to do to assure Americans and Arizonans”.

And on Wednesday evening, Representative Earl Blumenauer, the longest-serving Democrat in Oregon’s House delegation, put it bluntly: “President Biden should not be the Democratic presidential nominee.”

“The question before the country is whether the president should continue his candidacy for re-election. This is not just about extending his presidency but protecting democracy,” he said in an emailed statement.

“It is a painful and difficult conclusion but there is no question in my mind that we will all be better served if the president steps aside as the Democratic nominee and manages a transition under his terms.”

There were even signs of slippage within the staunchly loyal Congressional Black Caucus, which had pledged its support on Monday night. On Wednesday one of its members, Marc Veasey of Texas, became the first to break ranks by telling CNN that Democrats running in tight races should “distance themselves” from Biden in an effort to “do whatever it is they need to do” to win.

The public agonising illustrated how Biden’s debate failure has plunged the Democrats into paralysis as the campaign approaches a key phase.

Yet there seemed little imminent sign of Biden – who has already written to the party’s congressional group en masse telling doubters to challenge him at the convention – yielding to pressure to bow out.

He retains the support – at least in public – of key party figures such as the Senate majority leader, Chuck Schumer; the Democratic minority leader in the House, Hakeem Jeffries; and Gavin Newsom, the California governor who has been touted as a potential replacement candidate but who has acted as a loyal surrogate.

Far from Biden retreating, plans were announced for a second primetime television interview – this time with NBC’s Lester Holt next Monday in the symbolic setting of the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas – to follow last Friday’s with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.

The latest interview, coming on the heels of Biden’s hosting of Nato’s 75th anniversary summit in Washington this week – where he has been meeting a succession of world leaders – appeared designed to reinforce the message that he intends to stay the course.

On Wednesday, the president visited the Washington headquarters of the main US trade union body, the AFL-CIO, an important Democrat constituency.

The trade union visit followed a virtual meeting from the White House on Tuesday evening with about 200 Democratic mayors, in which he restated his determination to remain and reportedly won their support.

Explore more on these topics

  • US elections 2024
  • Joe Biden
  • US Senate
  • Democrats
  • US Congress
  • US politics
  • Donald Trump
  • news
Share

Reuse this content

Most viewed

  • Uruguay 0-1 Colombia: Copa América 2024 semi-final – as it happened
  • Ollie Watkins’ bolt from blue stuns Netherlands and sends England to final
  • ‘The beginning of two legends’: Messi photos with baby Lamine Yamal go viral
  • Tributes paid to three women killed in ‘devastating’ Bushey crossbow attack
  • Netherlands 1-2 England: Euro 2024 semi-final – as it happened

Ollie Watkins’ bolt from blue stuns Netherlands and sends England to final

Is it time for a rethink about Gareth Southgate’s substitutions? As the tension rose at the BVB Stadion and extra time beckoned, it was England who found an extra burst when two players who had not been on the pitch long combined to send them through to a first final on foreign soil.

They were all off the bench when Ollie Watkins collected Cole Palmer’s pass, swivelled away from Stefan de Vrij and arrowed a stunning shot into the Netherlands net. Having trailed to a spectacular early goal from Xavi Simons, England had rallied through Harry Kane’s penalty, but they had run out of steam during the second half. When Southgate took Kane off for Watkins, nobody could have imagined the impact the striker would make.

After a day of sweltering temperatures, a torrential downpour that left supporters running for cover not long before kick-off was never going to douse the sense of occasion. With the famous Yellow Wall turned a brilliant shade of orange for the evening, there was no holding back from the Dutch during a blistering opening period.

Structural frailties were evident in England straight away. Seven minutes in, they were slow to react when Marc Guéhi, restored at left centre-back after a one-match ban, headed away a long ball. Declan Rice gathered possession, but he did not sort out his feet and was swiftly dispossessed by Simons.

In a tournament of great goals by wonderkids, here was another one. Simons advanced with one thought in his mind, any doubt banished by John Stones backing off. A few yards outside the area, the midfielder laced a right-footed effort towards the far corner and pretty much stunned Jordan Pickford, who was beaten by the power of the shot despite getting a hand to the ball.

England were behind for the third successive game. Over on the left, Kieran Trippier called for calm. There was no need to panic. England, again arranged in a 3-4-2-1, had looked bright. Jude Bellingham was purposeful and Bukayo Saka was lively on the right again. Phil Foden and Kobbie Mainoo were in the mood for some fun.

As for Kane, he had a point to prove. There was more zip to the captain’s movement, more energy. England sensed a way back when Kane, having pulled away from Virgil van Dijk, tested Bart Verbruggen from 25 yards.

Saka was next to drive forward, wriggling away from Nathan Aké, who was having a torrid time. Desperation taking over, the Dutch defence panicked as the ball reached Kane, who shot over a split second before being caught by a high foot from Denzel Dumfries.

It was a clear foul, albeit one that needed a VAR review, and Kane stepped up to take his first penalty in a tournament since his miss against France. Would he blink again? No chance. Verbruggen guessed correctly, diving to his right, but Kane’s shot was too hard and England celebrated a deserved equaliser.

Now they poured forward, Trippier pushing up the left and Kyle Walker supporting Saka with a stream of overlapping runs. Foden, always in space, was having a splendid game. He almost Lamine Yamal’d in a left-footed shot from 25 yards and was also denied by a goalline clearance from Dumfries.

The Netherlands right-back was having quite the half. There was a warning for England when Dumfries headed a corner against the bar. But the Dutch were hanging on. Mainoo, who took the breath away with one delightful mid-air turn, was running midfield.

Ronald Koeman responded, replacing the hamstrung Memphis Depay and stiffening his midfield with Joey Veerman. A turning point? Southgate has been attacked for his in-game management. Koeman would also change the complexion of his attack at half-time, Donyell Malen making way for big Wout Weghorst, whose first contribution was to clobber Stones.

Southgate had also made a move, the arrival of Luke Shaw for Trippier giving England more balance on the left. Yet there was less urgency at the start of the second half. England had the ball but they were finding it harder to break through the lines, the Dutch more compact with Veerman providing the defence with an extra shield.

It became edgy as the spectacle descended into long spells of sideways passing from England. The ball was no longer finding its way to Saka in space. Bellingham and Foden were probing without success. From a poorly defended free-kick, Pickford made a smart stop from Aké.

England were fading, their bluntness captured by Jerdy Schouten halting Bellingham’s burst down the left. Bellingham, desperate to make an impact, was booked for a clumsy foul. Moments later he failed to gather a huge throw from Pickford.

The sight of Tijjani Reijnders, Schouten and Veerman dictating the tempo felt all too familiar. England needed fresh legs and Southgate reacted after Saka had a goal disallowed for a tight offside against Walker, Foden and a tiring Kane making way for Palmer and Watkins. But still the Dutch pressed and it needed a vital challenge from Guéhi to deny Weghorst.

Cody Gakpo had finally come alive on the left, worrying Walker with his dangerous dribbling. At the other end, a rare England attack ended with Shaw’s cross reaching Palmer. With glory beckoning, he sliced a shot wide.

But Palmer kept his head up. As the 90th minute arrived, he slipped a lovely pass to Watkins. His turn and shot ended the argument. England were on their way to Berlin to face Spain in Sunday’s final. They will not be favourites. But they have depths of resilience that should not be underestimated. After Bellingham’s overhead kick against Slovakia and the penalty heroics against Switzerland, here was the latest act of defiance.

Explore more on these topics

  • Euro 2024
  • Netherlands
  • England
  • European Championship
  • match reports
Share

Reuse this content

Most viewed

  • Uruguay 0-1 Colombia: Copa América 2024 semi-final – as it happened
  • Ollie Watkins’ bolt from blue stuns Netherlands and sends England to final
  • ‘The beginning of two legends’: Messi photos with baby Lamine Yamal go viral
  • Tributes paid to three women killed in ‘devastating’ Bushey crossbow attack
  • Netherlands 1-2 England: Euro 2024 semi-final – as it happened

‘Wat a finish!’: what the papers say as England go through to the Euro 2024 final

A last-minute goal from Ollie Watkins was enough for England to triumph over the Netherlands and set up a final against Spain in Berlin on Sunday

  • ‘So good, so good’: England fans in Germany revel in special night

After a night of high drama in Dortmund, England are through to the European Championship final and will face Spain in Berlin. The 2-1 win against the Netherlands – thanks to a last-minute genius strike from substitute Ollie Watkins – is celebrated across Thursday’s UK newspapers.

An image of Watkins – with his arm around Marc Guéhi – dominates the Guardian front page. “Holland-daze. Watkins puts England in dreamland” is the headline, with chief sports writer Barney Ronay noting that as the ball was hammered home, the stadium “just exploded, a huge wave of noise barrelling down from the England end”.

The final seconds of the nail-biting match are captured in all their glory across the Guardian’s back page. England celebrate, assured of victory, while the Netherlands look on despondently. “Olé, Olé, Ollie!” is the headline.

“Here we go again!” is the i’s assessment. Above an image of Harry Kane embracing Watkins – who was subbed on to replace the England captain in the 80th minute – the paper states “Southgate vindicated as his substitutions win England the game”.

The view is shared on the Times back page as well, with the headline “Southgate roars again”.

The paper quotes Watkins speaking after the match as saying “I swear on my life, I said to Cole we’re coming on today and you’re setting me up”, in reference to fellow substitute Cole Palmer.

The Telegraph has “Oh, Wat a night!” next to a jubilant Watkins, with an inset image featuring a fiercely jubilant Southgate.

“Wat a finish!”, says the Express sports pages. The paper says the team were “deserved winners” and that the winning goal sparked “ecstatic scenes of celebration amongst England fans”.

The mood is decidedly dampened on the front page of AD Sportwereld, a Netherlands sporting newspaper.

“This hurts”, reads the headline, alongside a full page picture of midfielder Xavi Simons – who scored the first goal of the match – commiserating as the final whistle is blown.

The celebrations are in full flow in the Metro however, with “Nether in doubt!”. The paper notes that England is now through its second consecutive Euros final.

“Wat a night!”, says the Star. Reporter Jerry Layton applauds Watkins last-minute goal and looks ahead to the final, saying “be very, very afraid, Spain.”

Spain’s daily tabloid, Marca, appears prepared to take up that challenge. Under a full-page picture of England midfielder Jude Bellingham celebrating, the paper’s headline reads: “Hey Jude, see you in Berlin”.

Explore more on these topics

  • Euro 2024
  • What the papers say
  • Newspapers
  • England
  • Netherlands
  • news
Share

Reuse this content

Most viewed

  • Uruguay 0-1 Colombia: Copa América 2024 semi-final – as it happened
  • Ollie Watkins’ bolt from blue stuns Netherlands and sends England to final
  • ‘The beginning of two legends’: Messi photos with baby Lamine Yamal go viral
  • Tributes paid to three women killed in ‘devastating’ Bushey crossbow attack
  • Netherlands 1-2 England: Euro 2024 semi-final – as it happened

‘So good, so good’: England fans in Germany revel in special night

Fans from Westfalenstadion to Keir Starmer in Washington celebrate hard-won but worthy semi-final win over Netherlands

Phil Foden is finally on fire – and England are heading to Berlin for their first major tournament final outside Wembley.

A 2-1 win against the Netherlands, and a performance that in large parts of the game finally lived up to the nation’s inflated expectations, will mean England play Spain in what will be back-to-back European Championship finals for Gareth Southgate and his team.

The prime minister, Keir Starmer, led the tributes from England fans. “What a game England and what a winner,” he wrote on X, as he attended the Nato summit in Washington DC.

“Berlin here we come!” he added. No 10 confirmed Starmer and the culture secretary, Lisa Nandy, will be in attendance on Sunday.

The Killers, playing at the O2 Arena in London, paused their gig to show the end of the match on a big screen and let off confetti at the final whistle, as music and football fans celebrated wildly.

To date, there had perhaps been an ironic edge to England supporters’ own musical tribute to Foden in their rehashed version of Bruce Springsteen’s Dancing in the Dark (“Can’t start a fire, can’t start a fire without a spark, Phil Foden is on fire”).

But the Manchester City midfielder’s conducting of his team’s talents on a humid night in Dortmund, at least in the first half, offered reason for glorious extra gusto from England’s travelling support in the Westfalenstadion.

Rather than sit back, as has been the complaint about Southgate’s team, England piled on the pressure.

“This is more like it,” said Ryan Shaw, 32, a roofer from Macclesfield who had come to Dortmund for the game without a ticket.

Southgate, perhaps uncharacteristically, made a bold change, deciding to substitute Kane and Foden 10 minutes before full-time. It was a night on which everything seemed to be paying off.

It was Kane’s replacement, Ollie Watkins, with his back to goal and Stefan De Vrij right behind him, who turned on a penny to rifle a stunning low shot into the far corner.

“Unbelievable, I’ve been waiting for that moment for weeks,” said Watkins. “It’s taken a lot of hard work to get where I am today. I swear on my kids’ lives that I told Cole [Palmer]: ‘We are going to come on today, and you are going to set me up.’ We are in the final and that is all that matters. We are ready for Spain.”

England now have the potential to lift a trophy for the first time since 1966, with fresh evidence that they can play the sort of football that will make Spain notice.

There had certainly been plenty of doubters after a series of poor performances in the group stage, and a near-death experience against Slovakia in the round of 16 followed by a win on penalties against Switzerland.

But as the victorious England players joined the crowd in a raucous rendition of Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline, and about 25 million people at home cheered the final whistle, there was belief in the air.

Jude Bellingham, a former Borussia Dortmund player, admitted that England had tired over the 90 minutes but that he was pleased the team had put on the sort of performance the fans had hoped for.

“To be back here at the club that has helped me turn into the man and player I am is special,” he said. “The most important thing is we have come out with the win. I am really grateful to Ollie because I am not sure I had another half an hour in me.”

The Dutch fans left the Westfalenstadion with little to be ashamed about. Their good-natured support had lit up the west German city, with more than 75,000 turning Dortmund orange.

There were some scuffles between supporters earlier in they day. Five England supporters were said to have sustained minor injuries after being attacked by rival Dutch fans during an altercation over a Saint George’s flag.

The UK Football Policing Unit (UKFPU) had also indicated that some groups of supporters who had travelled from the Netherlands were known to the authorities but there was no major incident reported.

England fans can enjoy a few wondrous days contemplating whether they will see modern-day equivalents of Geoff Hurst, Bobby Charlton and Bobby Moore lift a trophy on Sunday evening.

“So good, so good, so good,” chorused the fans in the bars of Dortmund as they offered yet up another rendition of Sweet Caroline. It would be difficult to argue.

Explore more on these topics

  • Euro 2024
  • England
  • Netherlands
  • European Championship
  • features
Share

Reuse this content

Most viewed

  • Uruguay 0-1 Colombia: Copa América 2024 semi-final – as it happened
  • Ollie Watkins’ bolt from blue stuns Netherlands and sends England to final
  • ‘The beginning of two legends’: Messi photos with baby Lamine Yamal go viral
  • Tributes paid to three women killed in ‘devastating’ Bushey crossbow attack
  • Netherlands 1-2 England: Euro 2024 semi-final – as it happened

China building twice as much wind and solar power as rest of world – report

Country on track reach 1,200GW of installed wind and solar capacity by end of 2024 – six years ahead of Beijing’s target

The amount of wind and solar power under construction in China is now nearly twice as much as the rest of the world combined, a report has found.

Research published on Thursday by Global Energy Monitor (GEM), an NGO, found that China has 180 gigawatts (GW) of utility-scale solar power under construction and 15GW of wind power. That brings the total of wind and solar power under construction to 339GW, well ahead of the 40GW under construction in the US.

The researchers only looked at solar farms with a capacity of 20MW or more, which feed directly into the grid. That means that the total volume of solar power in China could be much higher, as small scale solar farms account for about 40% of China’s solar capacity.

The findings underscore China’s leading position in global renewable energy production at a time when the US is increasingly worried about Chinese overcapacity and dumping, particularly in the solar industry.

China has experienced a boom in renewables in recent years, encouraged by strong government support. Xi Jinping, China’s president, has stressed the need for “new quality productive forces”, a slogan which signifies a desire to pivot China’s economy towards technology and innovation. Xi has said that “new quality productive forces” includes strengthening green manufacturing.

Between March 2023 and March 2024, China installed more solar than it had in the previous three years combined, and more than the rest of the world combined for 2023, the GEM analysts found. China is on track to reach 1,200GW of installed wind and solar capacity by the end of 2024, six years ahead of the government’s target.

“The unabated wave of construction guarantees that China will continue leading in wind and solar installation in the near future, far ahead of the rest of the world,” the report said.

However, analysts have cautioned that still more renewable capacity will be needed if China is to meet its target of reducing the carbon intensity of the economy by 18%, which is an important factor in reducing emissions. Carbon intensity refers to how many grams of CO2 are released to produce a kilowatt hour of electricity.

Earlier analysis suggests that China will need to install between 1,600GW and 1,800GW of wind and solar energy by 2030 to meet its target of producing 25% of all energy from non-fossil sources.

Between 2020 and 2023, only 30% of the growth in energy consumption was met by renewable sources, compared with the target of 50%.

“It is obviously important for China to keep on adding more renewable energy to meet its targets,” said Li Shuo, the director of the China Climate Hub at the Asia Policy Institute in Washington DC. “But it’s not as simple as you just keep building and it will be solved … [because] there is no sign that the country is trying to steer away from its coal consumption.”

Previous analysis by GEM and the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, a thinktank, found that approvals of new coal power plants increased fourfold in 2022-2023, compared with the previous five-year period of 2016-2020, despite a pledge in 2021 to “strictly control” new coal power. Growth in total coal consumption increased from an average of 0.5% a year to 3.8% a year between the two time periods.

Geopolitical tensions such as the war in Ukraine, which focused many countries’ attention on energy supplies, and major power cuts in parts of China in recent years, have increased Chinese officials’ concerns about energy security.

China’s power grid remains reliant on coal, which officials see as necessary to mitigate the intermittency of renewable energy. And officials often see the coal industry as being a safe way to boost local GDP figures, although clean energy sectors are now the biggest driver of China’s economic growth, accounting for 40% of GDP expansion in 2023.

Analysts say that better storage and grid flexibility is necessary to efficiently use the increasing volume of clean energy being generated on China’s wind and solar farms.

The Chinese government is aware of this challenge, naming lithium-ion batteries as one of the “new three” technologies important for creating high-quality growth, along with electric vehicles and solar panels. Last year, $11bn was invested in grid-connected batteries, an increase of 364% on 2022.

The GEM report also highlighted China’s lead in actually building planned renewable energy infrastructure. The 339GW of wind and solar that has reached the construction stage represents one-third of proposed projects, far surpassing the global construction rate of 7%.

“China’s renewable energy pipeline is two times larger than the rest of the world,” Li said. “But the question we should increasingly ask ourselves is, how come the rest of the world is so slow?”

Explore more on these topics

  • China
  • Renewable energy
  • Solar power
  • Wind power
  • Energy
  • news
Share

Reuse this content

Most viewed

  • Uruguay 0-1 Colombia: Copa América 2024 semi-final – as it happened
  • Ollie Watkins’ bolt from blue stuns Netherlands and sends England to final
  • ‘The beginning of two legends’: Messi photos with baby Lamine Yamal go viral
  • Tributes paid to three women killed in ‘devastating’ Bushey crossbow attack
  • Netherlands 1-2 England: Euro 2024 semi-final – as it happened

China building twice as much wind and solar power as rest of world – report

Country on track reach 1,200GW of installed wind and solar capacity by end of 2024 – six years ahead of Beijing’s target

The amount of wind and solar power under construction in China is now nearly twice as much as the rest of the world combined, a report has found.

Research published on Thursday by Global Energy Monitor (GEM), an NGO, found that China has 180 gigawatts (GW) of utility-scale solar power under construction and 15GW of wind power. That brings the total of wind and solar power under construction to 339GW, well ahead of the 40GW under construction in the US.

The researchers only looked at solar farms with a capacity of 20MW or more, which feed directly into the grid. That means that the total volume of solar power in China could be much higher, as small scale solar farms account for about 40% of China’s solar capacity.

The findings underscore China’s leading position in global renewable energy production at a time when the US is increasingly worried about Chinese overcapacity and dumping, particularly in the solar industry.

China has experienced a boom in renewables in recent years, encouraged by strong government support. Xi Jinping, China’s president, has stressed the need for “new quality productive forces”, a slogan which signifies a desire to pivot China’s economy towards technology and innovation. Xi has said that “new quality productive forces” includes strengthening green manufacturing.

Between March 2023 and March 2024, China installed more solar than it had in the previous three years combined, and more than the rest of the world combined for 2023, the GEM analysts found. China is on track to reach 1,200GW of installed wind and solar capacity by the end of 2024, six years ahead of the government’s target.

“The unabated wave of construction guarantees that China will continue leading in wind and solar installation in the near future, far ahead of the rest of the world,” the report said.

However, analysts have cautioned that still more renewable capacity will be needed if China is to meet its target of reducing the carbon intensity of the economy by 18%, which is an important factor in reducing emissions. Carbon intensity refers to how many grams of CO2 are released to produce a kilowatt hour of electricity.

Earlier analysis suggests that China will need to install between 1,600GW and 1,800GW of wind and solar energy by 2030 to meet its target of producing 25% of all energy from non-fossil sources.

Between 2020 and 2023, only 30% of the growth in energy consumption was met by renewable sources, compared with the target of 50%.

“It is obviously important for China to keep on adding more renewable energy to meet its targets,” said Li Shuo, the director of the China Climate Hub at the Asia Policy Institute in Washington DC. “But it’s not as simple as you just keep building and it will be solved … [because] there is no sign that the country is trying to steer away from its coal consumption.”

Previous analysis by GEM and the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, a thinktank, found that approvals of new coal power plants increased fourfold in 2022-2023, compared with the previous five-year period of 2016-2020, despite a pledge in 2021 to “strictly control” new coal power. Growth in total coal consumption increased from an average of 0.5% a year to 3.8% a year between the two time periods.

Geopolitical tensions such as the war in Ukraine, which focused many countries’ attention on energy supplies, and major power cuts in parts of China in recent years, have increased Chinese officials’ concerns about energy security.

China’s power grid remains reliant on coal, which officials see as necessary to mitigate the intermittency of renewable energy. And officials often see the coal industry as being a safe way to boost local GDP figures, although clean energy sectors are now the biggest driver of China’s economic growth, accounting for 40% of GDP expansion in 2023.

Analysts say that better storage and grid flexibility is necessary to efficiently use the increasing volume of clean energy being generated on China’s wind and solar farms.

The Chinese government is aware of this challenge, naming lithium-ion batteries as one of the “new three” technologies important for creating high-quality growth, along with electric vehicles and solar panels. Last year, $11bn was invested in grid-connected batteries, an increase of 364% on 2022.

The GEM report also highlighted China’s lead in actually building planned renewable energy infrastructure. The 339GW of wind and solar that has reached the construction stage represents one-third of proposed projects, far surpassing the global construction rate of 7%.

“China’s renewable energy pipeline is two times larger than the rest of the world,” Li said. “But the question we should increasingly ask ourselves is, how come the rest of the world is so slow?”

Explore more on these topics

  • China
  • Renewable energy
  • Solar power
  • Wind power
  • Energy
  • news
Share

Reuse this content

Most viewed

  • Uruguay 0-1 Colombia: Copa América 2024 semi-final – as it happened
  • Ollie Watkins’ bolt from blue stuns Netherlands and sends England to final
  • ‘The beginning of two legends’: Messi photos with baby Lamine Yamal go viral
  • Tributes paid to three women killed in ‘devastating’ Bushey crossbow attack
  • Netherlands 1-2 England: Euro 2024 semi-final – as it happened

Europeans are experiencing a ‘wave of antisemitism’, survey finds

EU agency says 96% of respondents reported anti-Jewish behaviour, with conflict in Middle East one of the causes

Europe is experiencing “a wave of antisemitism” caused partly by the conflict in the Middle East, the EU’s leading rights agency has said, as it published a survey finding that nearly all respondents reported recent anti-Jewish prejudice.

The survey by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights found that 96% of respondents had experienced antisemitism in the year before the survey, which was carried out between January and June 2023. A total of 84% considered antisemitism to be a “very big” or “fairly big problem” in their country, while fewer than one in five (18%) thought governments were handling it effectively.

Although the survey – of 8,000 Jewish people aged over 16 – was completed before the 7 October Hamas attacks on Israel that led to ferocious reprisals on Gaza, the Vienna-based agency also collected data from 12 Jewish umbrella organisations. Some of these organisations have reported a 400% increase in antisemitic attacks since October 2023.

“Europe is witnessing a wave of antisemitism, partly driven by the conflict in the Middle East,” the agency’s director, Sirpa Rautio, said. “This severely limits Jewish people’s ability to live in safety and with dignity. We need to build on existing laws and strategies to protect communities from all forms of hate and intolerance, online as well as offline.”

The survey was the third of its kind carried out by the agency since 2013 and found only marginal signs of progress in some areas.

Four in five people (80%) told the agency that antisemitism had increased over the past five years in their country, while 64% of respondents who encountered antisemitism said they experienced it “all the time”. More than nine in 10 described antisemitism on the internet and social media as a “very big” problem.

Six in 10 people said they worried about their family’s safety, while a similar number (62%) said the Arab-Israeli conflict affected their feeling of safety.

The survey covered 13 EU countries, where 96% of the EU’s Jewish population live, including France, Germany, Poland and Spain.

In France – home to the largest Jewish population in Europe – Jewish communities reported feeling torn before Sunday’s second-round election.

In the first month after the 7 October attacks antisemitic acts “exploded” in France, the interior minister, Gérard Darmanin, said last year, reporting 1,000 such incidents.

Since 7 October, Germany has also seen an increase in anti-Jewish violence, with the country’s antisemitism commissioner warning that it risked transporting the country “back to its most horrific times”.

The EU agency is urging governments to fund the security and protection needs of Jewish communities, including schools, synagogues and community centres. It also calls for making full use of EU legislation regulating the internet, the Digital Services Act, to remove antisemitic content online, as well as intensifying efforts to prosecute antisemitic hate crimes.

Explore more on these topics

  • Antisemitism
  • Europe
  • Israel-Gaza war
  • France
  • news
Share

Reuse this content

Most viewed

  • Uruguay 0-1 Colombia: Copa América 2024 semi-final – as it happened
  • Ollie Watkins’ bolt from blue stuns Netherlands and sends England to final
  • ‘The beginning of two legends’: Messi photos with baby Lamine Yamal go viral
  • Tributes paid to three women killed in ‘devastating’ Bushey crossbow attack
  • Netherlands 1-2 England: Euro 2024 semi-final – as it happened

Tributes paid to three women killed in ‘devastating’ Bushey crossbow attack

Neighbours of Carol Hunt and her daughters express shock as racing community sends John Hunt sympathy

  • Suspect found with injuries after triple crossbow killings in Bushey

Tributes have been paid to three women killed in an “utterly devastating” crossbow attack.

Carol Hunt and her two daughters, beautician Hannah Hunt, 28, and dog groomer Louise Hunt, 25, were found injured at a home in Bushey, Hertfordshire on Tuesday and died shortly after at the scene.

It emerged on Wednesday that they were the family of John Hunt, the BBC racing commentator.

Glyn Nicholas, 77, retired, who has lived on the same road as the victims for 50 years, said: “They were a private family, all very nice, a private family. They all did their own things. Louise started a business a couple of years ago, and it was a thriving business – we all took our dogs there to be groomed.”

He added: “A very close-knit family and they used to love the street.”

Su Kehinde, 60, who lives nearby, spoke after laying some flowers at a makeshift tribute at the end of the police cordon.

Kehinde said: “They were the loveliest, gentlest family. They were the meekest human beings. They did not deserve this. They were beautiful souls.”

Her daughter April, 32, said that Hannah “always had a smile”.

She added: “She was hard-working, a hard grafter and really gentle.”

As tearful residents around the scene in Ashlyn Close started to lay flowers, Hunt’s colleagues offered their love and thoughts.

A note sent to staff at BBC Radio 5 Live on Wednesday said the organisation would provide the commentator with “all the support we can”.

It read: “The news today about John Hunt’s family is utterly devastating. Our thoughts are with John and his family at this incredibly difficult time and we will provide him with all the support we can.”

The BBC racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght said: “There are no words. Like everyone else I feel numb and sick on John’s behalf at such incomprehensible evil.

“Everyone who knows John knows he is the absolute archetypal family man, so proud of them, so it’s impossible to know what he can be going through.

“But I know I’m speaking for the whole racing community and the whole wider sports media community as well, both of which he’s been part of for so long, when I say everyone is sending sympathy, love and support to him. It’s just awful.”

The ITV and Sky Sports racing commentator Matt Chapman said: “News like this is shocking enough but on a personal level even more so when it involves a friend and colleague you totally respect.

“There are no words here. Just the wish to let John know we love him and racing loves him. There are loads of us who he can talk to should he need or want to.

“John is an outstanding commentator and broadcaster – but he’s also just a lovely bloke.”

A statement from Sky Sports Racing read: “Everyone at Sky Sports Racing is deeply saddened by the tragic deaths in Hertfordshire and our thoughts are with our colleague John Hunt, his family and friends at this awful time.”

Explore more on these topics

  • Hertfordshire
  • London
  • Police
  • Crime
  • news
Share

Reuse this content

Most viewed

  • Uruguay 0-1 Colombia: Copa América 2024 semi-final – as it happened
  • Ollie Watkins’ bolt from blue stuns Netherlands and sends England to final
  • ‘The beginning of two legends’: Messi photos with baby Lamine Yamal go viral
  • Tributes paid to three women killed in ‘devastating’ Bushey crossbow attack
  • Netherlands 1-2 England: Euro 2024 semi-final – as it happened

Widow of Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi given death sentence by Iraqi court

Judgement deems one of Baghdadi’s widows complicit in crimes against Yazidi women

An Iraqi court has issued a death sentence against one of the widows of the late Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, alleging that she was complicit in crimes committed against Yazidi women captured by the militant group.

The ruling comes weeks before the 10-year mark since IS launched a series of attacks against the Yazidi religious minority in the northern Iraqi region of Sinjar in early August 2014, killing and capturing thousands – including women and girls who were subjected to human trafficking and sexual abuse. The UN said the campaign against the Yazidis amounted to genocide.

A statement by Iraq’s judicial council said the Karkh criminal court sentenced the woman for “detaining Yazidi women in her home” and facilitating their kidnapping by “the terrorist Isis gangs in Sinjar district”, the state-run Iraqi News Agency reported. It also said the ruling was issued in accordance with Iraq’s anti-terrorism law and its “Yazidi survivors law”.

The statement did not name the defendant, but two court officials
identified her as Asma Mohammed, who was arrested in 2018 in Turkey and
later extradited. A senior Iraqi security official told the Associated
Press that another wife of al-Baghdadi and his daughter, who were also
extradited from Turkey to Iraq, had been sentenced to life in prison.

The sentences were handed down a week ago but were announced by the judicial council on Wednesday, he said.

Survivors of the IS attacks in Iraq have complained of a lack of accountability and have criticised the decision – made at the request of the Iraqi government – to wind down a UN investigation of IS crimes, including the alleged use of chemical weapons.

At the same time, human rights groups have raised concerns about the lack of due process in trials of alleged IS members in Iraq and have particularly criticised mass executions of those convicted on terrorism charges. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have said the convictions are often extracted under torture and urged Iraq to abolish the death penalty.

On 29 June 2014, al-Baghdadi, known as one of the most ruthlessly effective jihadist leaders of modern times, declared the militant group’s caliphate in large swaths of Iraq and Syria.

In 2019, he was killed in a US raid in Syria, dealing a big blow to the militant group which has now lost its hold on all the areas it previously controlled, though some of its cells continue to carry out attacks.

Explore more on these topics

  • Islamic State
  • Iraq
  • Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
  • Middle East and north Africa
  • news
Share

Reuse this content

Most viewed

  • Uruguay 0-1 Colombia: Copa América 2024 semi-final – as it happened
  • Ollie Watkins’ bolt from blue stuns Netherlands and sends England to final
  • ‘The beginning of two legends’: Messi photos with baby Lamine Yamal go viral
  • Tributes paid to three women killed in ‘devastating’ Bushey crossbow attack
  • Netherlands 1-2 England: Euro 2024 semi-final – as it happened

Widow of Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi given death sentence by Iraqi court

Judgement deems one of Baghdadi’s widows complicit in crimes against Yazidi women

An Iraqi court has issued a death sentence against one of the widows of the late Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, alleging that she was complicit in crimes committed against Yazidi women captured by the militant group.

The ruling comes weeks before the 10-year mark since IS launched a series of attacks against the Yazidi religious minority in the northern Iraqi region of Sinjar in early August 2014, killing and capturing thousands – including women and girls who were subjected to human trafficking and sexual abuse. The UN said the campaign against the Yazidis amounted to genocide.

A statement by Iraq’s judicial council said the Karkh criminal court sentenced the woman for “detaining Yazidi women in her home” and facilitating their kidnapping by “the terrorist Isis gangs in Sinjar district”, the state-run Iraqi News Agency reported. It also said the ruling was issued in accordance with Iraq’s anti-terrorism law and its “Yazidi survivors law”.

The statement did not name the defendant, but two court officials
identified her as Asma Mohammed, who was arrested in 2018 in Turkey and
later extradited. A senior Iraqi security official told the Associated
Press that another wife of al-Baghdadi and his daughter, who were also
extradited from Turkey to Iraq, had been sentenced to life in prison.

The sentences were handed down a week ago but were announced by the judicial council on Wednesday, he said.

Survivors of the IS attacks in Iraq have complained of a lack of accountability and have criticised the decision – made at the request of the Iraqi government – to wind down a UN investigation of IS crimes, including the alleged use of chemical weapons.

At the same time, human rights groups have raised concerns about the lack of due process in trials of alleged IS members in Iraq and have particularly criticised mass executions of those convicted on terrorism charges. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have said the convictions are often extracted under torture and urged Iraq to abolish the death penalty.

On 29 June 2014, al-Baghdadi, known as one of the most ruthlessly effective jihadist leaders of modern times, declared the militant group’s caliphate in large swaths of Iraq and Syria.

In 2019, he was killed in a US raid in Syria, dealing a big blow to the militant group which has now lost its hold on all the areas it previously controlled, though some of its cells continue to carry out attacks.

Explore more on these topics

  • Islamic State
  • Iraq
  • Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
  • Middle East and north Africa
  • news
Share

Reuse this content

Most viewed

  • Uruguay 0-1 Colombia: Copa América 2024 semi-final – as it happened
  • Ollie Watkins’ bolt from blue stuns Netherlands and sends England to final
  • ‘The beginning of two legends’: Messi photos with baby Lamine Yamal go viral
  • Tributes paid to three women killed in ‘devastating’ Bushey crossbow attack
  • Netherlands 1-2 England: Euro 2024 semi-final – as it happened

Nasa astronauts from Boeing’s Starliner may be stuck in space until August

Engineers working on problems preventing return of Sunita Williams and Butch Wilmore, who are on the ISS

Two Nasa astronauts from Boeing’s troubled Starliner capsule may have to remain in space until the middle of August as engineers continue to work through technical problems that prevented their return in June.

Sunita Williams and Butch Wilmore have been onboard the International Space Station (ISS) since 6 June after the first crewed docking of the next-generation spacecraft. The test mission was scheduled to last about a week, but Starliner’s undocking was delayed several times as faulty thrusters and then a series of small helium leaks raised safety concerns.

On Wednesday, Nasa announced that it was still performing tests to ensure the capsule would perform as expected, and although the space agency was confident the craft would be safe for an emergency evacuation, mission managers were not yet ready to schedule its departure.

“Some of the data suggests optimistically, maybe it’s by the end of July, but we’ll just follow the data each step at a time,” Steve Stich, Nasa’s commercial crew program manager, said at a lunchtime press conference.

“We’re going to work methodically through our processes, including a return flight readiness review with the agency, before we get the go to proceed towards undocking and landing. This is a very standard process.”

He added that a routine ISS crew rotation in mid-August was “kind of a back end” to the mission to avoid overcrowding in orbit.

“Obviously, a few days before that launch opportunity we would need to get Butch and Suni home on Starliner,” he said.

But he noted that the space station, currently occupied by a regular crew of seven in addition to the two Starliner astronauts, had sufficient supplies and resources, and there was no risk to anybody onboard.

That, he said, gave engineers time to perform ground fire evaluations of replica thrusters at Nasa’s White Sands test facility in New Mexico, and close out the helium leak issues he believed could be signed off by the end of this week.

Mark Nappi, vice-president and program manager of Boeing’s commercial crew program, told reporters that he was confident the Starliner program would emerge stronger because of the issues.

“All this information is going to go in a big bucket, and all the engineers are going to review it and try to see if it doesn’t point to root cause or point to some additional testing that we can do in the future to eliminate this problem once and for all,” he said.

Although Boeing’s space operations are separate from its aviation wing, the ongoing problems with Starliner have added to the company’s recent public relations crisis, sparked by the crash of two 737 Max airliners and a number of other safety-related incidents.

Despite being years behind schedule and more than $1.5bn over budget when it launched from Florida on 5 June, Starliner was intended to restore some of the company’s lost lustre and offer Nasa a second private commercial crew alternative for the transportation of astronauts in lower Earth orbit to SpaceX’s Dragon capsule.

If the current test mission concludes successfully, Starliner capsules, known officially as CST-100 (crew space transportation), will operate six further astronaut rotation flights to the space station as part of Nasa’s commercial crew program.

Wilmore, speaking from the ISS earlier on Wednesday, said he and Williams were enjoying their “extra” time in space, and were unconcerned by the technical problems.

“This is the world of test. This is a tough business that we’re in, human spaceflight is not easy in any regime, and there have been multiple issues with every spacecraft that’s ever been designed,” he said.

“We are very close friends with those that are making these decisions, and we trust them. We trust their integrity, we trust their technical acumen, and we trust that the tests that we’re doing are the ones that we need to do to get the right answers to give us the data that we need to come back.”

“I have a real good feeling in my heart that this spacecraft will bring us home, no problem,” Williams said.

Explore more on these topics

  • Space
  • Nasa
  • Boeing
  • International Space Station
  • news
Share

Reuse this content

Most viewed

  • Uruguay 0-1 Colombia: Copa América 2024 semi-final – as it happened
  • Ollie Watkins’ bolt from blue stuns Netherlands and sends England to final
  • ‘The beginning of two legends’: Messi photos with baby Lamine Yamal go viral
  • Tributes paid to three women killed in ‘devastating’ Bushey crossbow attack
  • Netherlands 1-2 England: Euro 2024 semi-final – as it happened

Ex-Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist sued for wrongful death in alleged fatal collision

Josh Klinghoffer, who is touring with Pearl Jam, is being sued after allegedly hitting and killing a pedestrian in a crash in Alhambra earlier this year

Ex-Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer is being sued for wrongful death and negligence after allegedly hitting and killing a pedestrian earlier this year.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday by Ashley Sanchez, the daughter of 47-year-old Israel Sanchez, who died after being hit while walking in a crosswalk in Alhambra, east of Los Angeles.

The collision happened the afternoon of 18 March, when plaintiffs allege Klinghoffer was driving a black SUV with no licence plates and turned left at an intersection with a marked crosswalk.

Video from the plaintiffs shows a black car hitting a man, who was Israel Sanchez, during the turn before pulling over. The footage was obtained from a neighbor’s Ring camera.

Israel Sanchez suffered blunt force trauma to the head and died from his injuries a few hours later at the hospital, the lawsuit said. No arrest was made in the incident.

The lawsuit also alleges Klinghoffer was using a cellphone while driving, as video footage shows the driver holding an object above the steering wheel. Video also shows a 40-foot-wide grassy median dividing the road that should have given Klinghoffer time to see pedestrians in the crosswalk, the lawsuit said.

“My dad was known for being a great chef, the most talented of his family, the greatest grandpa always full of love and joy,” Ashley Sanchez said in a news release. “His smile was so infectious. His life was taken by a careless act of a person who didn’t bother to look where he was driving.”

Klinghoffer’s attorney, Andrew Brettler, told NBC News on Wednesday that it was a “tragic accident”.

“After the car struck the pedestrian, Josh immediately pulled over, stopped the vehicle, called 911, and waited until police and the ambulance arrived. He is fully cooperating with the traffic investigation,” Brettler said.

The plaintiff’s attorney, Nick Rowley, called the incident a “reckless homicide” that law enforcement has failed to properly investigate.

Alhambra police spokesperson Sgt. Brian Chung said the case was still active and could not comment further.

Klinghoffer is on tour with the band Pearl Jam. He could not be reached for comment. Representatives for Pearl Jam did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Explore more on these topics

  • Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Los Angeles
  • news
Share

Reuse this content

Most viewed

  • Uruguay 0-1 Colombia: Copa América 2024 semi-final – as it happened
  • Ollie Watkins’ bolt from blue stuns Netherlands and sends England to final
  • ‘The beginning of two legends’: Messi photos with baby Lamine Yamal go viral
  • Tributes paid to three women killed in ‘devastating’ Bushey crossbow attack
  • Netherlands 1-2 England: Euro 2024 semi-final – as it happened

Night owls’ cognitive function ‘superior’ to early risers, study suggests

Research on 26,000 people found those who stay up late scored better on intelligence, reasoning and memory tests

The idea that night owls who don’t go to bed until the early hours struggle to get anything done during the day may have to be revised.

It turns out that staying up late could be good for our brain power as research suggests that people who identify as night owls could be sharper than those who go to bed early.

Researchers led by academics at Imperial College London studied data from the UK Biobank study on more than 26,000 people who had completed intelligence, reasoning, reaction time and memory tests.

They then examined how participants’ sleep duration, quality, and chronotype (which determines what time of day we feel most alert and productive) affected brain performance.

They found that those who stay up late and those classed as “intermediate” had “superior cognitive function”, while morning larks had the lowest scores.

Going to bed late is strongly associated with creative types. Artists, authors and musicians known to be night owls include Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, James Joyce, Kanye West and Lady Gaga.

But while politicians such as Margaret Thatcher, Winston Churchill and Barack Obama famously seemed to thrive on little sleep, the study found that sleep duration is important for brain function, with those getting between seven and nine hours of shut-eye each night performing best in cognitive tests.

Dr Raha West, lead author and clinical research fellow at the department of surgery and cancer at Imperial College London, said: “While understanding and working with your natural sleep tendencies is essential, it’s equally important to remember to get just enough sleep, not too long or too short. This is crucial for keeping your brain healthy and functioning at its best.”

Prof Daqing Ma, the co-leader of the study who is also from Imperial’s department of surgery and cancer, added: “We found that sleep duration has a direct effect on brain function, and we believe that proactively managing sleep patterns is really important for boosting, and safeguarding, the way our brains work.

“We’d ideally like to see policy interventions to help sleep patterns improve in the general population.”

But some experts urged caution in interpreting the findings. Jacqui Hanley, head of research funding at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “Without a detailed picture of what is going on in the brain, we don’t know if being a ‘morning’ or ‘evening’ person affects memory and thinking, or if a decline in cognition is causing changes to sleeping patterns.”

Jessica Chelekis, a senior lecturer in sustainability global value chains and sleep expert at Brunel University London, said there were “important limitations” to the study as the research did not account for education attainment, or include the time of day the cognitive tests were conducted in the results. The main value of the study was challenging stereotypes around sleep, she added.

Explore more on these topics

  • Neuroscience
  • Sleep
  • Medical research
  • news
Share

Reuse this content

Most viewed

  • Uruguay 0-1 Colombia: Copa América 2024 semi-final – as it happened
  • Ollie Watkins’ bolt from blue stuns Netherlands and sends England to final
  • ‘The beginning of two legends’: Messi photos with baby Lamine Yamal go viral
  • Tributes paid to three women killed in ‘devastating’ Bushey crossbow attack
  • Netherlands 1-2 England: Euro 2024 semi-final – as it happened

Swimmer rescued 80km off Japan coast, 36 hours after being swept out to sea

Twenty-one year old spent two nights in the ocean before being spotted by a cargo ship

A woman who was swept out to see while swimming at a beach in Japan has been rescued about 80km (50 miles) off the coast, 36 hours after she went missing, officials have said.

The 21-year-old Chinese national, buoyed by a rubber ring, had been swimming at Shirahama Ohama beach at about 7.30pm on Monday with a friend, the coast guard said on Thursday.

Authorities launched a search and rescue operation after her friend raised the alarm at the beach in the central Shizuoka region that same evening.

“It was around 7.55pm on July 8 when we received the information after the woman’s friend reported to a nearby convenience store that she was missing,” a local Japan coast guard official said.

The woman, who was not named, told rescuers that she was swept out to sea and could not return to the beach as she was swimming with a rubber ring.

She was finally spotted floating off the southern tip of Chiba’s Boso peninsula by a cargo ship at 7.48am on Wednesday, the official said.

Two crew members of a smaller nearby tanker were contacted by radio and jumped into the sea to rescue her.

“There are 80km in a straight line [between the beach and rescue spot] … but it is assumed she drifted for an even greater distance,” the official said.

The woman was taken to hospital after the rescue but did not need to be admitted as she was clear-headed and her dehydration was not life-threatening.

Explore more on these topics

  • Japan
  • China
  • news
Share

Reuse this content

Leave a Reply