14th October Briefing: typhoon hits Japan, Kurds look for help, Poland’s election and more…

By October 16, 2019 No Comments

Record storm hits Japan

Typhoon Hagibis made landfall in Japan over the weekend, bringing with it high wind speeds and rain. The typhoon has weakened and left Japan, but its 140 miles per hour winds have left a trail of destruction in eight prefectures. At least 37 people are dead, 20 missing and 262,000 homes were without power.

Three Rugby World Cup matches were cancelled, though Japan’s game against Scotland, with a place in the quarter-finals up for grabs, went ahead. Japan won 28-21 and won a place in the last eight for the first time ever.

Kurds look to Assad for help

Syria’s Kurds have forged an uneasy alliance with President Bashar al-Assad as they fight against Turkish invading forces. With the help of the Russians, a deal was struck with the Kurds giving up two border towns and Mr Assad sending the army to stand in the way of Turkey.

Reports suggest that hundreds of prisoners from Islamic State have escaped as Kurdish forces have redeployed troops from guard duty to frontline service. The Kurd-led Syrian Democratic Forces, backed by the US, had been key in defeating Islamic State.

Poland re-elects Law and Justice party

The ruling right-wing Law and Justice party have claimed victory after Poles voted in a general election yesterday. An exit poll suggests that they won 43.6% of the vote, giving them 240 seats, with 230 need for a majority in the Sejm. Its centrist rival, the Civic Coalition, won only 27.4% of the vote. It increases Law and Justice’s majority won in the 2015 general election.

Hungarians elected a liberal rival of Viktor Orban, the right-wing leader of Hungary, in a mayoral election in Budapest, in a blow to his power.

Two-hour marathon mark broken

Eliud Kipchoge, a Kenyan athlete, broke the two-hour mark for running a marathon for the first time on Saturday. He ran the 26.2-mile race in one hour, 59 minutes and 40 seconds. It was not an open competition and Mr Kipchoge was assisted by pace runners and a pacing car so the record is not official. He holds the official record as well of two hours, one minute and 39 seconds.

The women’s marathon record was broken also over the weekend. Kenyan Brigid Kosgei ran the Chicago marathon in two hours, 15 minutes and 25 seconds.

Pope Francis declares five new saints

In a service held in Rome on Sunday morning, Pope Francis officially elevated five people to sainthood, including Cardinal John Henry Newman, a 19th century Englishman. He is the first English person to be declared a saint in nearly half a century and the first English saint born after the 17th century. Prince Charles attended the mass held in the Vatican.

Cardinal Newman was an Anglican theologian who converted to Catholicism. Four women, from Switzerland, Brazil, Italy and India, were also canonised.