While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Sept 21

Boris Johnson tells world leaders ‘frustrated’ at climate inaction

Britain’s Boris Johnson took leaders of wealthy nations to task Monday (Sept 20) in a closed-door meeting he co-hosted with UN chief Antonio Guterres, saying he is “increasingly frustrated” at their failure to honour their climate fund pledges.

Ahead of the Paris agreement, developed countries pledged to mobilise US$100 billion (S$135.12 billion) a year from 2020 to support poorer nations to cut their carbon emissions, minimise the impact of climate change and adapt their economies to deal with its effects.

“Everyone nods and we all agree that ‘something must be done,'” said Johnson, whose country will host the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow in November.

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Texas doctor performs abortion in test of new restrictive law


A Texas doctor has revealed that he performed an abortion on a woman more than six weeks pregnant in what could be a test case for the constitutionality of the state’s new law restricting the procedure.

Alan Braid, in a column published in The Washington Post over the weekend, said he provided an abortion on September 6 to a woman who was still in her first trimester but was “beyond the state’s new limit.”

The “Texas Heartbeat Act,” which took effect September 1, bans abortion once a heartbeat can be detected, which usually takes place at six weeks – before many women even know they are pregnant. It makes no exceptions for rape or incest.

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Rivals allege mass fraud as Russian pro-Putin party wins big majority


Opponents accused Russian authorities of mass fraud on Monday after the ruling United Russia party, which supports President Vladimir Putin, won a bigger than expected parliamentary majority despite unease over living standards.

With 99.9 per cent of ballots counted, the Central Election Commission said United Russia had won nearly 50 per cent of the vote, with its nearest rival, the Communist Party, taking just under 19 per cent.

The scale of the victory means United Russia will have more than two-thirds of deputies in the 450-seat State Duma lower house of parliament. This will enable it to continue to push through laws without having to rely on other parties.

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Spain minister under fire over volcano tourism remarks


Spain’s Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto sparked a backlash on Monday after suggesting the volcanic eruption in the Canary Islands could be milked as “a tourist attraction”.

Her remarks came a day after La Cumbre Vieja erupted on La Palma island, forcing some 5,500 people to flee as the red-hot surges of lava engulfed at least 100 homes.

Spain should “make the most of this, as an attraction so tourists can enjoy what nature has bought to La Palma,” she told Canal Sur radio.

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Two injured in shooting at US high school: Police


Two people were injured in a shooting at a high school in the US state of Virginia on Monday, officials said, providing no further details as police rushed to the scene.

“Police are on scene of a shooting at Heritage High School,” Newport News Police Department said in a statement.

“Students are being evacuated and sent to the tennis courts. Parents can meet them there.

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