Here are the top ten news from around the world today, with headlines and summaries:
# 1. Nuclear fusion breakthrough as reactor runs seven times hotter than the Sun
- – Scientists in South Korea have managed to sustain a nuclear fusion reaction running at temperatures in excess of 100 million°C for 30 seconds for the first time.
- – The experiment was conducted at the Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research (KSTAR) facility, which aims to replicate the energy source of the Sun and stars.
- – Nuclear fusion is seen as a potential solution for clean and unlimited energy, but it is extremely difficult to achieve and control.
# 2. Israel launches strikes on Palestinian West Bank camp
- – A large-scale Israeli military operation is under way in the northern West Bank city of Jenin.
- – At least four Palestinians have been killed in the ongoing raid, Palestinians officials say.
- – Israel says it is targeting militants behind a series of deadly attacks on Israelis.
# 3. French teen’s family tell BBC lethal force rules must change
- – The family of Nahel, a 15-year-old boy who was shot dead by police in Marseille, France, have spoken to the BBC.
- – They say the police used excessive force and that the rules on when to use lethal weapons must change.
- – Nahel’s death sparked a wave of riots across France, which have eased after mayors called for an anti-violence rally.
# 4. Judges ban Bolsonaro from running for office for eight years over ‘appalling lies’
- – Brazil’s former far-right president Jair Bolsonaro has been barred from running for office for eight years by electoral judges.
- – The judges ruled that Bolsonaro spread “appalling lies” during last year’s election campaign, such as claiming that there was widespread fraud in the electronic voting system.
- – Bolsonaro, who lost to leftist Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in October, has said he will appeal the decision and that he is the victim of political persecution.
# 5. EU softens China strategy by adopting ‘de-risking’ approach
- – The European Union has agreed to adopt a more pragmatic and less confrontational approach to China, amid concerns over its economic dependence and strategic vulnerability.
- – The EU leaders decided to pursue a policy of “de-risking” rather than “decoupling” from China, which means diversifying supply chains and strengthening partnerships with other countries in the Indo-Pacific region.
- – The move comes as tensions between China and the West have escalated over issues such as human rights, trade, Taiwan and the South China Sea.
# 6. US and Russia hold talks on Ukraine crisis in Geneva
- – US and Russian officials have met in Geneva, Switzerland, for talks on the escalating tensions over Ukraine.
- – The US delegation, led by Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, warned Russia of “severe costs” if it invades Ukraine, and urged it to de-escalate and return to diplomacy.
- – The Russian delegation, led by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, reiterated its demands for security guarantees from NATO and the US, and accused them of provoking the crisis.
# 7. Omicron variant spreads rapidly across the world
- – The Omicron variant of the coronavirus has been detected in more than 90 countries and territories, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
- – The WHO said that Omicron is spreading faster than any previous variant, and that it poses a very high global risk of infection surges, hospitalizations and deaths.
- – The WHO also said that existing vaccines, treatments and tests remain effective against Omicron, but that booster doses may be needed to enhance immunity.
# 8. New Zealand bans plastic bags for fresh produce
- – New Zealand has banned single-use plastic bags for fresh produce, such as fruit and vegetables, from July 2022.
- – The move is part of the government’s plan to phase out hard-to-recycle plastics and reduce waste.
- – The ban will affect supermarkets, grocery stores, farmers’ markets and online retailers, and will save an estimated 1.2 billion plastic bags per year.
# 9. Twitter fined $61000 sparking India free speech fears
- – Twitter has been fined 4.5 million rupees ($61000) by an Indian court for failing to comply with new IT rules that require social media platforms to appoint local officers and remove content deemed illegal by the government.
- – Twitter said it was disappointed by the verdict and that it would appeal against it.
- – The case has raised concerns over free speech and digital rights in India, where the government has clashed with Twitter over several issues, such as farmers’ protests, Kashmir and Covid-19 misinformation.
# 10. Watch: Mexican mayor ‘marries’ crocodile for ritual
- – A mayor in southern Mexico has ‘married’ a crocodile as part of an ancient ritual to bring good fortune to the local fishermen.
- – Victor Aguilar Ricardez, the mayor of San Pedro Huamelula in Oaxaca state, kissed and danced with the reptile bride, which was dressed in a white gown and veil.
- – The ceremony is believed to date back to pre-Hispanic times and symbolizes the union between the Chontal people and the water goddess.