Iran began enriching uranium to 4.5%, just breaking the limit set by its nuclear deal with world powers, while it is still seeking a way for Europe to help it bypass U.S. sanctions amid heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington. The acknowledgement by the spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran to AP shows that the Islamic Republic is trying to increase pressure on those still in the 2015 nuclear deal. It also comes just days after Iran acknowledged breaking the 300-kilogram (661-pound) limit on its low-enriched uranium stockpile, another term of the accord.
Enriched uranium at the 3.67% level is enough for peaceful pursuits but is far below weapons-grade levels of 90%. At the 4.5% level, it is enough to help power Iran’s Bushehr reactor, the country’s only nuclear power plant. There are fears that a miscalculation in the crisis could explode into open conflict.
Climate crisis disasters are happening at the rate of one a week, though most draw little international attention and work is urgently needed to prepare developing countries for the profound impacts, the UN has warned.
Catastrophes such as cyclones Idai and Kenneth in Mozambique and the drought afflicting India make headlines around the world. But large numbers of “lower impact events” that are causing death, displacement and suffering are occurring much faster than predicted, said Mami Mizutori, the UN secretary-general’s special representative on disaster risk reduction. “This is not about the future, this is about today.” This means that adapting to the climate crisis could no longer be seen as a long-term problem, but one that needed investment now, she said.
Tens of thousands of people, many wearing black shirts and some carrying British colonial-era flags, marched in Hong Kong on Sunday, targeting a mainland Chinese audience as a month-old protest movement showed no signs of abating. Chanting “Free Hong Kong” and words of encouragement to their fellow citizens, wave after wave of demonstrators streamed by a shopping district popular with mainland visitors on a march to the high-speed railway station that connects the semi-autonomous Chinese territory to Guangdong and other mainland cities.
Hong Kong has been riven by protests, sparked by proposed changes to extradition laws that would have allowed suspects to be sent to the mainland to face trial. Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam suspended the bill and apologized for how it was handled, but protesters want it to be formally withdrawn and for Lam to resign. Organizers said 230,000 people marched on Sunday, while police estimated the crowd at 56,000. Lam the next day called the bill ‘dead’.
Conservative opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis comfortably won Greece’s parliamentary elections, delivering a stinging blow to leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras after a tumultuous four years in office as the country struggled through a crippling financial crisis. With more than 90% of votes counted, Mitsotakis’ New Democracy party had 39.8% of the votes, compared to 31.5% for Tsipras’ left-wing Syriza party.
The extreme right-wing Golden Dawn party, founded by neo-Nazi supporters, narrowly failed to make the 3% threshold needed to enter parliament — a huge fall of support for a party that had become the third-largest in the Greek legislature during the country’s financial crisis. The winners though, pledged to make Greece more business-friendly, attract foreign investment, to modernize the country’s notorious bureaucracy and to cut taxes.