The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, September 15, 2020 1:00 am


Greenland sheds large section of glacier

Associated Press

COPENHAGEN, Denmark – An enormous chunk of Greenland's ice cap has broken off in the far northeastern Arctic, a development that scientists say is evidence of rapid climate change.

The glacier section that broke off is 42.3 square miles. It came off of the fjord called Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden, which is roughly 50 miles long and 12 miles wide, the National Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland said Monday.

The glacier is at the end of the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream, where it flows off the land and into the ocean.

Annual end-of-melt-season changes for the Arctic's largest ice shelf in Northeast Greenland are measured by optical satellite imagery, the survey known as GEUS said. It shows that the area's ice losses for the past two years each exceeded 19 square miles.

“We should be very concerned about what appears to be progressive disintegration at the Arctic's largest remaining ice shelf,” said GEUS professor Jason Box.

Rwandan rescuer facing 13 charges

A Rwandan court on Monday charged Paul Rusesabagina, whose story inspired the film “Hotel Rwanda,” with terrorism, complicity in murder and forming an armed rebel group.

Rusesabagina declined to respond to all 13 charges, saying some did not qualify as criminal offenses. He denied the accusations when questioned by Rwandan investigators.

Rusesabagina, 66, asked to be released on bail, citing poor health that has caused him to be taken to hospital three times in the time he has been held in Rwanda. The court said it will rule Thursday on his bail application.

Rusesabagina, credited with saving more than 1,000 lives during Rwanda's 1994 genocide, appeared in handcuffs in Kagarama Court in the capital city Kigali for a pre-trial hearing in which the prosecution requested court permission to continue detaining him until investigations are completed.

Japan party picks successor to Abe

Yoshihide Suga was elected as the new head of Japan's ruling party on Monday, all but assuring that he will become the country's new prime minister when a parliamentary election is held Wednesday.

Suga, 71, has been an important figure in outgoing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's administration, serving as the government's top spokesperson in his role as chief Cabinet secretary. Abe announced last month that he would resign because of health problems.

Suga, the son of a strawberry grower in northern Japan's Akita prefecture, said his top priorities will be fighting the coronavirus and turning around a Japanese economy battered by the pandemic. He gained the support of party heavyweights and members early in the campaign on expectations that he would continue Abe's policies.

Germany: Navalny breathing on own

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is able to breathe on his own and briefly leave his hospital bed, his doctors said Monday, while Germany announced that French and Swedish labs have confirmed its findings that he was poisoned with the Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok.

Navalny, 44, was flown to Berlin for treatment at the Charite hospital two days after falling ill on a domestic flight in Russia on Aug. 20. Germany has demanded that Russia investigate the case, while Moscow has accused the West of trying to smear Russia.

Navalny has “successfully been removed from mechanical ventilation” and is able to leave his bed “for short periods of time,” the hospital said.

Navalny's associates made gains in regional elections held across Russia on Sunday. In Novosibirsk, which Navalny visited before falling ill, the head of his regional headquarters, Sergei Boiko, won a seat on the city council. United Russia, the main Kremlin party that Navalny has dubbed a “party of crooks and thieves,” lost its majority on the council, according to preliminary returns. Another Navalny representative, Ksenia Fadeyeva, won a city council seat in Tomsk.

Belarus president pays visit to Putin

Belarus' authoritarian president visited Russia on Monday in a bid to secure more loans and political support as demonstrations against the extension of his 26-year rule entered their sixth week.

President Alexander Lukashenko's talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea resort of Sochi came a day after an estimated 150,000 people flooded the streets of the Belarusian capital, demanding Lukashenko's resignation. The Interior Ministry said 774 people were arrested in Minsk and other cities of Belarus for holding unsanctioned rallies on Sunday.

Putin said Russia would provide a $1.5 billion loan to Belarus and fulfill all its obligations under a union treaty between the two neighbors. He emphasized that the Belarusians themselves must settle their political situation without any foreign meddling.

Venezuela claims American is spy

Venezuela's chief prosecutor on Monday accused a U.S. citizen recently arrested in the Caribbean nation of spying and planning to sabotage oil refineries and electrical service in order to stir unrest and kill innocent people.

The man, alleged to have CIA ties, had help from three Venezuelan conspirators, who were arrested with him last week near a pair of oil refineries on the north Caribbean coast, Venezuela's Chief Prosecutor Tarek William Saab said on state television.

The office gave the suspect's name as Matthew John Heath. President Nicolás Maduro announced on Friday that an unnamed suspected U.S. spy had been captured.

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