South China Morning Post – Jeffie Lam, Sum Lok-kei & Ng kang-chung / Hong Kong elections: pro-democracy camp wins 17 out of 18 districts while city leader says she will reflect on the result
- The anti-establishment reverberations from almost six months of street protests swept through polling stations across Hong Kong on Sunday, as voters in record numbers roundly rejected pro-Beijing candidates in favour of pan-democrats.
- Among the 452 seats up for grabs, the pan-democrats were victorious in 347, the independents – many of them pro-democracy – won 45, while the pro-establishment camp achieved 60. The pro-democracy camp now has control of 17 out of 18 district councils. The only council held by the pro-establishment camp was the 18-member Islands district, where eight seats were handed out automatically to pro-establishment rural chiefs.
- Youthful, fresh-faced candidates, many active in the anti-government protests roiling the city over the past six months, were among prominent winners of the historic district council elections which had a record turnout of 2.94 million voters, representing 71.2 per cent of registered electors, up from the previous figure of 47 per cent in 2015.
- Euractiv – AFP / Pro-European Iohannis re-elected as Romanian president
- The New York Times – Daniel Politi & Ernesto Londoño / Tight Uruguayan election has Luis Lacalle Pou leading
The Washington Post – Sudarsan Raghavan / Libya’s civil war creates opening for ISIS return as counterterrorism effort falters
- There are signs of how the expanding civil war in Libya has created a potential opening for the Islamic State to revive itself in the state, according to Libyan commanders and Western officials. The militias that targeted the Islamic State are themselves targets of airstrikes by the forces of eastern warlord Khalifa Hifter, who is seeking to oust the United Nations-installed government. The small contingent of U.S. troops that coordinated with the militias left Libya months ago.
- Since Hifter launched his offensive on the capital of Tripoli in April, the militants have staged nine attacks, mostly in the south, said U.S. military officials. These included one that killed nine in the city of Sabha and another that targeted an oil field, killing three.
- After the ouster of longtime ruler Moammar Gaddafi during the 2011 Arab Spring uprising and NATO intervention, militias ruled their own fiefdoms and rival governments emerged. The Islamic State exploited this unsettled situation.
The Guardian – Damian Carrington / Climate-heating greenhouse gases hit new high, UN reports
- The concentration of climate-heating greenhouse gases has hit a record high, according to a report from the UN’s World Meteorological Organization. The jumps in the key gases measured in 2018 were all above the average for the last decade, showing that the action on the climate emergency to date is having no effect in the atmosphere. The WMO said the gap between targets and reality were both “glaring and growing”.
- The rise in concentration of greenhouses gases follows inevitably from the continued surge in global emissions, which was described as “brutal news” for 2018. The world’s scientists calculate that emissions must fall by half by 2030 to give a good chance of limiting global heating to 1.5C, beyond which hundreds of millions of people will suffer more heatwaves.
- The WMO report found the global average concentration of CO2 reached 407.8 parts per million in 2018, up from 405.5ppm in 2017. It is now 50% higher than in 1750, before the industrial revolution sparked the widespread burning of coal, oil and gas.
- Financial Times – Leslie Hook / Climate change: how China moved from leader to laggard
POLITICO – Eleni Courea / UK Conservatives launch manifesto with promise of speedy Brexit
- Boris Johnson has launched his party’s manifesto on Sunday with a promise to put his Brexit deal to parliament by Christmas. Mr Johnson defended that he would “end the acrimony and the chaos” over Brexit, while Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn threatens to rip up the current deal.
- The manifesto rules out any extension of the Brexit transition period past December 2020, meaning that the U.K. would have to negotiate a new trading relationship with the EU by then or else leave with no deal. Moreover, the manifesto includes a plan to recruit 50,000 more nurses, spend £1 billion on childcare and £6.3 billion on efficiency measures to cut fuel bills in 2.2 million homes. The party has refrained from publishing a social care policy after an attempt to do so in 2017 by Theresa May derailed her campaign.
- Moreover, a Conservative government would ban the export of plastic waste to non-OECD countries in order to reduce the environmental impact on the oceans and developing countries that do not have the capacity to process it.
- The Guardian – Heather Stewart, Jamie Grierson, Hilary Osborne & Richard Partington / Conservative party manifesto: what it says and what it means
The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and EsadeGeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces.