In Iran, at least 41 people have been killed in a series of escalating protests demanding justice for a 22-year-old Kurdish woman named Mahsa Amini, who died in the custody of Iran’s so-called morality police. The Norway-based group Iran Human Rights has put the death toll at 57, with hundreds arrested over the past 10 days. On Saturday, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi vowed to “decisively” crack down on the protests. Solidarity rallies were also held across the globe this weekend. In Iraq, dozens of Iraqi and Iranian Kurds rallied Saturday to protest the death of Mahsa Amini.
Naman Ismaili: “They killed Mahsa Amini because of a piece of hair coming out from her hijab. The youth is asking for freedom. They are asking for rights for all the people, because everyone has the right to have dignity and freedom. The youth, the 15- and 16-year-olds, are asking for rights and freedom, but they kill us. They do not have a conscience, no humanity. They are killing immediately.”
In news from Italy, Giorgia Meloni appears poised to become Italy’s first far-right leader since World War II and the reign of Benito Mussolini. Meloni declared victory after projections show the neo-fascist Brothers of Italy party placed first in Sunday’s elections with about 26% of the vote — up from just 4% in 2018. Meloni campaigned in part on an anti-immigration platform and will become Italy’s first female prime minister. She spoke to supporters on Sunday night.
Giorgia Meloni: “When this night is over, we have to remember — we must remember — that we are not at the end point, we are at the starting point. It is from tomorrow that we must prove our worth.”
We will have more on the Italian election and the rise of the far right in Europe after headlines.
A county judge in Arizona has banned nearly all abortions in the state, citing a law signed in 1864, when Arizona was still a territory. Under the 1864 law, there is no exception for rape or incest, and anyone who helps a woman obtain an abortion could face two to five years in prison. The head of Planned Parenthood slammed the abortion ban, saying it was “sending Arizonians back nearly 150 years.” The judge’s ruling came a day before a new law went into effect in Arizona banning abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy.
The United States is warning Russia that it will face catastrophic consequences if it uses nuclear weapons in Ukraine. U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan appeared on ABC on Sunday.
Jake Sullivan: “We have communicated directly, privately to the Russians, at very high levels, that there will be catastrophic consequences for Russia if they use nuclear weapons in Ukraine. We have been clear with them and emphatic with them that the United States will respond decisively, alongside our allies and partners, and we have protected those communications, which we have done privately to the Russians, but they well understand what they would face if they went down that dark road.”
Jake Sullivan’s comment comes days after Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened to use nuclear weapons to protect Russia. This comes as Russia is moving toward annexing parts of occupied Ukraine, and vowing to protect the areas as if they were Russian territory. Referendums on joining Russia are being held in four areas.
In Russia, police arrested at least 730 people across 32 cities on Saturday as protesters demanded Putin reverse his decision to hold Russia’s first military draft since World War II to call up 300,000 additional troops to fight in Ukraine. Thousands of draft-age men have also attempted to flee Russia, which faces accusations it is disproportionately drafting men from rural areas and from ethnic minorities. In Siberia, a gunman was arrested for shooting the head of the local military draft office. Some of the most intense protests have been in the predominantly Muslim region of Dagestan, where at least 100 protesters have been arrested. There are also reports authorities are drafting Ukrainian men living in areas occupied by Russia to fight against Ukraine.
At the United Nations Saturday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi spoke at the U.N. General Assembly. He called for peace talks to end the war in Ukraine.
Wang Yi: “China supports all efforts conducive to the peaceful resolution of the Ukraine crisis. The pressing priority is to facilitate talks for peace. The fundamental solution is to address the legitimate security concerns of all parties and build a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture. We call on all parties concerned to keep the crisis from spilling over and to protect the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries.”
In other news from Russia, a gunman opened fire at a school today, killing at least 13 people, including seven children. The shooting occurred about 600 miles east of Moscow.
At least 97 asylum seekers have died after their boat sank off the coast of Syria. The boat had left Lebanon and was trying to reach Italy. One survivor, Ibrahim Mansour, spoke to Al Jazeera from a hospital bed.
Ibrahim Mansour: “I cry all the time. I’m in shock. I saw bodies and horrible images. My heart hurts. I tried to help children and another man, Abed. I tried to keep their spirits alive, but I couldn’t. This is hurting me, especially because of the child who was holding onto me before I lost him. They told me he died.”
The dead included 24 children and 31 women. Most of the boat’s passengers were Lebanese, Syrians and Palestinians. It was one of the deadliest boat disasters in the eastern Mediterranean.
In the Philippines, at least five people were killed after Typhoon Noru slammed into the northern island of Luzon Sunday with sustained winds of 115 miles per hour. The storm, which is known locally as Typhoon Karding, brought flash flooding that damaged thousands of homes, forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of residents and cut off electricity to millions of people across two provinces. The Philippines’ capital Manila was largely spared the storm’s wrath.
In Canada, Hurricane Fiona crashed into Nova Scotia Saturday with record-setting ferocity, devastating coastal communities with hurricane-force winds and leaving hundreds of thousands of people in the dark. Fiona was fueled by anomalously warm ocean surface temperatures that allowed it to maintain its strength much farther north than usual; it made landfall with the lowest barometric pressure of any storm ever observed in Canada. In Newfoundland, the mayor of Port aux Basques said Fiona had left the seaside town looking “like a war zone,” with at least one person missing and presumed dead after her home was washed out to sea. This is Nova Scotia’s premier, Tim Houston.
Premier Tim Houston: “We know that the climate is changing for sure. We’re seeing — you know, look around the world. You’re seeing fires, storms. Certainly this is a historic storm for this province. There’s no question about that. The damage is significant. But right now — the priority right now is getting power back to people, getting people a safe shelter, getting, you know, some return to normal. That will take time.”
In Puerto Rico, about half the island remains without electricity, one week after Hurricane Fiona brought devastating flooding that overwhelmed the island’s fragile electrical grid. Officials say one in five households and businesses still have no running water. Meanwhile, Puerto Rican farmers are warning of a food crisis, after Fiona flooded fields near peak harvest time, destroying crops of staple foods. A farmers’ association in eastern Puerto Rico says 90% of the plantain crop was destroyed.
A hurricane warning is in effect for parts of the Caribbean, with Tropical Storm Ian forecast to strengthen before its expected landfall in far-western Cuba late this evening. In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis has declared a statewide state of emergency ahead of the storm’s expected arrival on Wednesday. Forecast models predict Ian will strengthen to a major Category 4 hurricane with 130-mile-per-hour winds before slamming into the Florida Panhandle late Wednesday.
Leaders of the small island state of Vanuatu have made an urgent plea for nations to sign a fossil fuel nonproliferation treaty. The proposal would see nations agree to end all new coal, oil and gas projects, while phasing out the use of fossil fuels. Speaking to the U.N. General Assembly on Friday, Vanuatu’s president also called for nations to make ecocide a crime punishable by the International Criminal Court, and he called on the U.N.’s International Court of Justice to rule that people have a right to be protected from the adverse impacts of the climate crisis.
President Nikenike Vurobaravu: “Fundamental human rights are being violated as we begin measuring climate change not in degrees of Celsius or tons of carbon but in human lives. The time is up. Action is required now. And that is why the nations of the Blue Pacific Continent are leading a global initiative to bring climate change to the International Court of Justice, the only principal U.N. organ that has not yet been given an opportunity to weigh in on the climate crisis.”
Here in New York, thousands of people marched through the streets Friday to demand urgent action on the climate crisis, as world leaders wrapped up the U.N. General Assembly. It was one of 450 climate strike demonstrations held worldwide by the youth-led climate movement Fridays for Future. This is Nemonte Nenquimo, an Indigenous activist from Ecuador’s Amazon region and winner of the 2020 Goldman Environmental Prize.
Nemonte Nenquimo: “As female defenders living in the community, we come to make visible our struggle, because it’s very important people out there, such as in New York, understand our struggle, our need to defend ourselves. Our forest is our home, and we love and respect it. Also, we contribute life to the world — air.”
Authorities in Colorado have released shocking video of a train crashing into a parked police car where a handcuffed woman was sitting inside alone. The incident occurred in Platteville, Colorado, on September 16. Police had arrested 20-year-old Yareni Rios-Gonzalez after a traffic stop. After officers drew a gun on her and placed her in handcuffs, they put her in a patrol car parked on the train tracks. In this police video released on Friday, a train can be heard blasting its horn before crashing into the car.
Yareni Rios-Gonzalez: “What’s going on? Why am I being arrested?”
Police officer 1: “We’ll explain everything in a second. … Tell you in a second.”
Yareni Rios-Gonzalez: “I’m so confused. Can I get my cellphone, please?”
Police officer 1: “Take a seat. I will get your cellphone for you. Take a seat.”
Police officer 2: “[bleep]! Move your car! Stay back!”
Police officer 1: “Lupton 346, patrol car was just hit by a train. Dispatch, Lupton 346, status medical emergent. The suspect was in the vehicle that was hit by the train.”
According to her attorney, Yareni Rios-Gonzalez suffered nine broken ribs, a fractured sternum and back and head injuries. The lawyer told The Denver Post, “She saw it coming and could hear the horn. She was trying to get the police officers’ attention, screaming at them. She tried unlocking the door. She had her hands behind her back and was frantically trying to unlock the door.”
The American Civil Liberties Union is urging the Biden administration to close the privately run Torrance County Detention Facility in New Mexico, where about 160 immigrants are being held in what the ACLU calls atrocious conditions. A 23-year-old asylum seeker from Brazil died by suicide at Torrance last month. The detention center is run by the company CoreCivic, formerly the Corrections Corporation of America.
A property management partly owned by Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner has agreed to pay at least $3.25 million to the state of Maryland and to reimburse tens of thousands of tenants in Baltimore. Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh accused the company, Westminster Management, of deceiving and cheating tenants and subjecting them to miserable living conditions.