World breaking news today (April 18): US and China commit to cooperating on climate crisis
US and China commit to cooperating on climate crisis
The US and China are “committed to cooperating” on the pressing issue of climate change, the two sides said in a joint statement Saturday, following a visit to Shanghai by US climate envoy John Kerry.
“The United States and China are committed to cooperating with each other and with other countries to tackle the climate crisis, which must be addressed with the seriousness and urgency that it demands,” said the statement from Kerry and China’s special envoy for climate change Xie Zhenhua.
Kerry, the former US secretary of state, was the first official from president Joe Biden’s administration to visit China, signalling hopes the two sides could work together on the global challenge despite sky-high tensions on multiple other fronts.
The joint statement listed multiple avenues of cooperation between the US and China, the world’s top two economies that together account for nearly half of the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for climate change.
It stressed “enhancing their respective actions and cooperating in multilateral processes, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement”.
The nations also agreed to discuss specific “concrete” emission reduction actions including energy storage, carbon capture and hydrogen, and agreed to take action to maximise financing for developing countries to switch to low-carbon energy sources.
The statement said both countries “look forward” to Biden’s upcoming virtual climate-summit and shared the summit’s goal of raising global climate ambition on “mitigation, adaptation, and support on the road to COP 26 in Glasgow”, Guardian reported.
Queen Elizabeth bids farewell to Prince Philip at intimate funeral
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II sat alone through Saturday's funeral of her late husband, Prince Philip, in what was an emotional yet muted affair that took place as a nation healed from a pandemic, and a rift that saw Prince Harry step back from the royal family.
The intimate service at St. George's Chapel, within the grounds of Windsor Castle, was attended by 30 people including members of the royal family.
Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, died at the age of 99 on April 9 in Windsor Castle. He was the nation's longest-serving consort -- the name used to describe the spouse of a reigning monarch -- and had been married to the Queen for 73 years.
With her head bowed, the Queen sat alone as she made her final farewell to her husband during the sad and subdued event -- by royal standards. The duke was intimately involved in its planning, selecting the music and ensuring the ceremony reflects his military affiliations and personal interests.
The sparse congregation did not sing along to the music during the service, as per health restrictions. A four-person choir more than made up for it, with their voices filling the chapel with the hymns chosen by the duke including "Melita" by J. B. Dykes.
The event was poignant as it echoed, on a more grander scale, the lonely devastation of the pandemic -- which has taken more than 120,000 lives in the UK and forced countless families to grieve in pared-down funerals.
Myanmar junta pardons more than 23,000 prisoners
Myanmar’s junta on Saturday announced it pardoned and released more than 23,000 prisoners to mark the traditional Thingyan New Year holiday, but it wasn’t immediately clear if they included pro-democracy activists who were detained in the wake of the military’s seizure of power in February.
The releases were announced on state broadcaster MRTV, which said that junta chief Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing had pardoned 23,047 prisoners, including 137 foreigners who will be deported from Myanmar. He also reduced sentences for others.
|(Photo: France 24)|
The move comes as daily protests against the Feb. 1 ouster of the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi continue, as does the use of deadly force against them.
According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, which monitors casualties and arrests, government forces have killed at least 728 protesters and bystanders since the takeover. The group says 3,141 people, including Suu Kyi, are in detention.
Unconfirmed but credible accounts with photos on social media claimed that three people were killed Saturday by security forces in a violent crackdown in the central city of Mogok, in Myanmar’s gem mining region, AFP reported.
Russia: FSB detains Ukrainian diplomat over classified information
The intelligence agency says Alexander Sosonyuk was caught "red-handed" receiving sensitive data from a Russian official. Tensions between the neighbors have escalated over a Russian military buildup along the border.
Russia has detained a Ukrainian diplomat for allegedly receiving classified information from a database of the country's main security agency.
The move comes amid heightened tensions between the two foes amid a Russian troop build-up close to the Ukrainian border.
The Federal Security Service, or FSB, said in a statement Saturday that Alexander Sosonyuk, Ukraine's consul in St. Petersburg, was taken into custody a day earlier.
The FSB's headquarters in Moscow (Photo: AP)
The intelligence agency added that Sosonyuk was caught "red-handed" during a meeting with a Russian in which he received "information of a classified nature contained in the databases of law enforcement agencies and the FSB."
"Such activity is not compatible with his diplomatic status and is of clearly hostile nature towards the Russian Federation."
The statement, reported by Russian news agencies, didn't give further details.
Ukraine's foreign ministry said Sosonyuk was held for several hours, but was now back at the country's consulate in St. Petersburg, as reported by DW.
Gold price forecast – gold markets continue to reach higher
Gold markets have rallied a bit during the trading session on Friday again, as we continue to see a recovery in this market.
Gold markets have rallied significantly during the trading session again on Friday, as we continue to see gold recover from extreme lows. That being said, I want to see how this market behaves on a pullback in order to tell whether or not there are buyers willing to get involved and support it. The US dollar of course will have its say as to where we go next, as a stronger dollar can work against the value of gold. However, most importantly we need to pay close attention to the yields in America, because quite frankly the yields in the treasury markets have been a major driver of where the greenback goes. As the greenback rises, it most certainly will put downward pressure on the gold market.
|(Photo: Financial Express)|
If we were to turn around a break down below the $1725 level, that would be very negative, and almost certainly would have this market looking for the $1500 level, perhaps even down to the $1300 level given enough time. Obviously, that would come with massive US dollar strength so keep that in mind, according to FX Empire.
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