Today’s biggest stories
|Acting German Chancellor Angela Merkel receives a bouquet from acting German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz prior to the weekly cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, November 24, 2021|
Social Democrat Olaf Scholz moved closer to becoming German chancellor after agreeing on a coalition deal that aims to modernize Europe’s largest economy, accelerate its green transition and bring the curtain down on the Angela Merkel era. Here are the main policy goals of the coalition partners.
Russia staged military drills in the Black Sea, south of Ukraine, and said it needed to sharpen the combat-readiness of its conventional and nuclear forces because of heightened NATO activity near its borders. Ukraine staged exercises of its own near the border with Belarus.
The Biden administration has invited Taiwan to its ‘Summit for Democracy’ next month, a move that infuriated China, which views the democratically governed island as its territory. The State Department’s invitation list for the virtual event does not include China or Russia.
The United Arab Emirates has held talks with the Taliban to run Kabul airport, going up against Gulf rival Qatar in a diplomatic tussle for influence with Afghanistan’s new rulers, according to sources with knowledge of the matter.
Social Democrat leader Magdalena Andersson became Sweden’s first female prime minister, and immediately faced a crisis over a budget vote that her government looked set to lose.
|A woman shouts outside the Glynn County Courthouse as the jury deliberates over whether Greg McMichael, his son Travis McMichael and William ‘Roddie’ Bryan murdered Ahmaud Arbery, in Brunswick, Georgia, November 23, 2021|
The man accused of driving his vehicle into a traditional Christmas parade near Milwaukee made his first court appearance since the weekend rampage and was charged with homicide, as the death toll rose to six.
A federal jury in Charlottesville, Virginia, found the organizers of the 2017 ‘Unite the Right’ white nationalist rally liable for injuries sustained by counter-protesters and awarded approximately $26 million in damages.
A spacecraft that must ultimately crash to succeed was launched from California on a NASA mission to demonstrate the world’s first planetary defense system, designed to deflect an asteroid from a potential doomsday collision with Earth.
The Department of Defense said it will establish a new group to investigate reports on the presence of UFOs in restricted airspace, after the government released a report in June which said there was a lack of sufficient data to determine the nature of mysterious flying objects.
Turks attempting to buy iPhones and other electronics received online error messages, including from Apple’s local website, after a historic 15% plunge in the lira yesterday caused havoc. Goods priced in the local currency have seen an effective sharp discount compared to prices elsewhere, with retailers struggling to keep up with price adjustments amid the market turmoil.
A global shortage of nitrogen fertilizer is driving prices to record levels, prompting North America’s farmers to delay purchases and raising the risk of a spring scramble to apply the crop nutrient before planting season. Farmers apply nitrogen to boost yields of corn, canola and wheat, and higher fertilizer costs could translate into higher meat and bread prices.
Samsung Electronics has picked Taylor, Texas as the location for a new $17 billion plant to make advanced chips for functions such as mobile, 5G, high-performance computing and artificial intelligence. The plant will create 2,000 high-tech jobs with construction to begin in the first half of next year.
Orange CEO Stephane Richard said it was up to the board of France’s biggest telecoms company to decide whether he should remain after a Paris appeal court convicted him of complicity of misuse of public funds. Richard said in a statement he would appeal the court’s verdict, which handed him a one-year suspended prison sentence, adding it was “deeply unfair”.
A patch of virtual real estate in the online world Decentraland sold for a record $2.4 million worth of cryptocurrency. The ‘metaverse’ allows users to buy land, visit buildings, walk around and meet people as avatars.