Leaders from around the world have offered condolences and expressed their solidarity with the people of France after the nation suffered a second suspected Islamist extremist attack on its soil in a fortnight. President Emmanuel Macron said France was “under attack” in the wake of the killings inside the Notre-Dame basilica in the coastal city of Nice on Thursday which left three worshippers dead.
New Zealanders voted to legalize euthanasia in a binding referendum, but preliminary results released Friday showed they would likely not legalize recreational marijuana use. The two referendums represented significant potential changes to New Zealand’s social fabric, although the campaigns for each ended up being overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic and a parallel political race, in which Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her liberal Labour Party won a second term in a landslide.
Paris has seen hundreds of miles of traffic jams as people tried to leave the city ahead of France’s new national lockdown. Crowded scenes on the roads and railways came as the World Health Organisation warned that Europe has become the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic once again. The region accounted for nearly half of the 2.8 million new COVID-19 cases reported worldwide last week, WHO said.
Invasive searches on female passengers from 10 aircraft at Doha’s Hamad airport violated standard procedures, a preliminary report by the Qatar government found, saying those responsible for the “illegal actions” have been referred to the public prosecution office. The incident on Oct. 2, involving at least 13 Australian women on a state-owned Qatar Airways flight who were forced to disembark, and undergo invasive physical examinations in ambulances.
A study of dog DNA has shown that our “best friend” in the animal world may also be our oldest one. The analysis reveals that dog domestication can be traced back 11,000 years, to the end of the last Ice Age. This confirms that dogs were domesticated before any other known species. Our canine companions were widespread across the northern hemisphere at this time.
Both Germany and France announced new nationwide lockdowns on Wednesday as Europe enters a deadly new phase of the coronavirus pandemic. Chancellor Angela Merkel says German officials have agreed to a four-week shutdown of restaurants, bars, cinemas, theaters and other leisure facilities in a bid to curb a sharp rise in coronavirus infections. More than half of France’s intensive care units are already occupied by COVID-19 patients.
A woman has been decapitated in a suspected terror attack in Nice, French police say. Three people have died and several others are injured after a knife attack took place near the Notre Dame church. Nice’s mayor Christian Estrosi tweeted the attacker shouted “Allahu Akbar” several times. The nation raised the security alert for French territory to the highest level in response to the attack.
An anonymous Trump administration official who wrote a 2018 New York Times opinion article criticizing the president has identified himself. Miles Taylor is a former chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security. “We do not owe the President our silence,” Mr Taylor said. “We owe him and the American people the truth.” Shortly afterwards, Mr Taylor wrote a book about working under President Trump, called The Warning.
Vietnam hunted for survivors on Thursday after landslides triggered by Typhoon Molave, one of its strongest storms in decades, lashed a central region already reeling from weeks of heavy rains that have killed at least 160 people. Hundreds of soldiers with heavy equipment were deployed to landslides in remote areas of Quang Nam province, where 19 people were killed and 12 were missing.
La Niña climate event is under way, heralding a colder and stormier winter than usual across the northern hemisphere, but 2020 remains likely to be one of the warmest years on record. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has declared La Niña event – a cooling of surface ocean water along the Pacific coast of the South American tropics – to help governments and humanitarian agencies plan for extreme weather events around the world.