11-15 Nov Weekly News


Nov 11, 2019  

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One of Italy's most popular tourism towns is requesting a state of emergency as it slogs through its worst flood in 50 years. An unusually high tide filled Venice's streets with water last night, flooding at least 45% of the city. At least one person has died as a result. As the city starts to clean up, residents and businesses will be able to better assess the damage. Venice is a lagoon town that is prone to flooding, and wintertime high tides, known as acqua alta, are uncommon but not unprecedented. Venice's mayor said in a tweet that the tide was "a wound that will leave a permanent mark."


Tax returns

A Trump-appointed federal judge decided Monday that President Trump can't currently sue New York state officials in a Washington, DC, court to stop the release of his tax returns to Congress. The ruling, decided by Judge Carl Nichols, is the latest call in a near-constant tug-of-war between the President and House Democrats who want to obtain his financial records. Courts have sided with the House multiple times in similar cases where its committees have subpoenaed Trump's financial records, but here's the rub: Trump is still appealing those rulings, so the subpoenas are still on hold. The ruling says Trump could file a similar lawsuit with another court, such as in New York state, or later to prevent the request from Congress.


Chemical attack in China

A chemical attack in China injured 51 children and three teachers on Monday afternoon. According to a state-run news agency, a 23-year-old suspect climbed into the school in Kaiyuan city, Yunnan province, and sprayed a corrosive chemical known as caustic soda. He was detained about an hour after the attack. Local police said he allegedly sprayed the chemical as an act of revenge on society. The incident continues a worrying series of school attacks in the country. In October of 2018, a woman attacked a kindergarten class with a knife and injured at least 14 students. Earlier that year, a man stabbed and killed nine students at a middle school. In 2017, 11 kindergarten students were injured in another knife attack.


California school shooting

A student walked into his Southern California high school yesterday, pulled a gun out of his backpack and shot five classmates, killing two, police say. It was the suspect's 16th birthday. The terror unfolded at Santa Clarita's Saugus High School in a matter of seconds, and when it was all over, the shooter turned the gun on himself. He remains in critical condition. A 16-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy died at a hospital. Authorities said they are looking into the suspected shooter's Instagram account, which was taken down after the shooting. It appears he may have posted a warning before the attack, but police want to determine who else had access to the account.


Saudi Aramco IPO starts November 17

Saudi Aramco, the world's biggest oil producer, will float its shares on the Saudi Stock Exchange. This anticipated event is exciting speculators worldwide. Aramco will allocate 0.5 per cent of its shares to individual investors. It could be the largest ever IPO (Initial Public Offering). Investors have until December 4 to buy shares in the world's most profitable company. It is valued at up to $2.3 trillion. Its rival, Exxon Mobil, has a valuation of $300 billion.

Saudi Aramco's CEO hopes the IPO will help diversify Saudi Arabia's economy. Further share offerings may take place later worldwide. Saudi is heavily reliant on oil. The IPO is part of a plan from Saudi's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to reform the kingdom's economy. He hopes it will boost many areas of the economy and society. He is heading the development of a range of non-oil industries, like healthcare, mining and tourism.


Airlines create extra CO2 by 'fuel-tankering'

An employee who works for British Airways (BA) has told newspapers about the company creating more CO2. The unnamed person is a whistleblower - someone who tells the truth about company secrets. The whistleblower said BA and many other airlines use "fuel-tankering" to save money. However, fuel-tankering is very bad for the environment. Scientists say it adds to global warming. Fuel-tankering is when airplanes store extra fuel to get to their destination and back. This means the airline saves money by paying for all the fuel in its home country instead of buying more expensive fuel at its destination. Scientists say fuel-tankering puts as much CO2 in the air each year as a large town.

A documentary about British Airways and fuel-tankering was shown on the BBC this week. In the documentary, the CEO of BA promised to look again at how it carries fuel. He said the airline uses the fuel-tankering method and said it was "maybe the wrong thing to do". The money saved by fuel-tankering for each flight is very small, but there is a big cost to the environment. A recent flight from London to Italy had three tons of extra fuel. The airline saved just $50 on the flight but an extra 600kg of CO2 was put into the atmosphere. Greenpeace said this was a "classic example of a company putting profit before planet". It said: "They'll happily pour extra fuel on the fire for a small boost to their profit margin."


Bolivian senator declares herself acting president

Bolivia has a new leader after the resignation of former-president Evo Morales. She is opposition senator Jeanine Áñez. She said she was next in line to be president and vowed to hold elections soon, and "to pacify the country". Lawmakers from Mr Morales' socialist party boycotted the vote. His party branded Ms Áñez "a coup-mongering right-wing senator". Mr Morales said the takeover was the, "sneakiest, most [evil] coup in history".

Mr Morales feared for his life and fled to Mexico by private jet to seek asylum. He released a photo of himself sleeping on a concrete floor. He said he was forced to stand down but had done so willingly, "to ensure there would be no more bloodshed". Weeks of social turmoil and violent protests took place after election fraud. Mr Morales tweeted: "It pains me to leave Bolivia for political reasons....I'll return soon, with more strength and energy."


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