The United Nations is warning of a looming famine in Somalia, where a searing drought fueled by the climate crisis has withered crops, killed livestock and left nearly 8 million people — or half of Somalia’s population — in need of humanitarian assistance. The U.N.’s humanitarian chief, Martin Griffiths, spoke to reporters Monday in the capital Mogadishu after touring camps for internally displaced people and visiting hospitals treating malnourished children. Griffiths said afterward that hundreds of thousands of people are at imminent risk of death.
Martin Griffiths: “I have been shocked to my core these past few days by the level of pain and suffering we see so many Somalis enduring. Famine is at the door, and today we are receiving a final warning.”
The U.N. warns millions more are at risk of hunger and famine across East Africa, including in Kenya and Ethiopia.
In Ukraine, the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station began using one of its own reactors to power critical cooling systems Monday after heavy fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces destroyed electrical lines leading to the plant. It’s the second time in the last two weeks Europe’s largest nuclear power plant has been forced to turn to emergency backup power to prevent a nuclear catastrophe. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of using the power plant as a “nuclear weapon.” Today the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, will brief the U.N. Security Council on his agency’s findings after a team of IAEA inspectors reached Zaporizhzhia last week.
Elsewhere, Ukrainian officials say Russian rocket attacks killed three civilians in Kharkiv, while in the south, officials in the Russian-occupied city of Kherson have postponed a voter referendum on whether to join Russia, as Ukraine presses a counteroffensive to retake the region.
The Russian energy giant Gazprom has cut off the flow of gas through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, compounding energy shortages across Europe, which is heavily reliant on Russian fossil fuel. A spokesperson for Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that Western sanctions had made it impossible for Russian engineers to maintain components of the pipeline, including a turbine critical to its operation.
Dmitry Peskov: “Pumping problems arose because of sanctions imposed against our country and against a number of companies by Western states, including Germany and the United Kingdom. There are no other reasons that would lead to problems with pumping.”
Gas prices across Europe jumped by over 30% upon news that the Nord Stream 1 pipeline would be closed indefinitely, while the euro sank below the value of the dollar for the first time in nearly two decades. Germany’s government moved to delay the planned closure of two aging nuclear power plants, citing the need to preserve energy supplies. Meanwhile, Sweden’s prime minister is warning of the prospect of a “war winter” ahead due to the shutoff of gas.
Here in the United States, a vast high-pressure dome brought record heat to California and other western states over the Labor Day weekend. In Southern California, Burbank reached 110 degrees Fahrenheit on Monday, while in the north, Livermore hit a high of 116 degrees — 8 degrees higher than the previous record. Fresno’s forecast today calls for 114-degree heat, which would be an all-time temperature record for September. The intense heat has helped fuel wildfires, including the Mill Fire, which killed two people Sunday as it tore through the Northern California town of Weed.
In South Korea, two people were killed and 10 others remain missing after Super Typhoon Hinnamnor crashed ashore earlier today as one of the most powerful storms ever recorded in the Korean Peninsula. The typhoon dumped more than three feet of water in some regions and forced a nuclear power plant offline. At its peak, the typhoon packed winds equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane, and experts say South Korea narrowly avoided a much worse disaster.
In Britain, the Conservative Party has elected Foreign Secretary Liz Truss to become the United Kingdom’s next prime minister, replacing Boris Johnson, who stepped down following a number of scandals. Truss defeated Finance Minister Rishi Sunak in a party vote on Monday. Truss comes to power as the U.K. is facing an economic crisis with inflation and energy prices soaring. On Monday, Truss vowed to slash taxes.
Liz Truss: “I will deliver a bold plan to cut taxes and grow our economy. I will deliver on the energy crisis, dealing with people’s energy bills but also dealing with the long-term issues we have on energy supply.”
We’ll have more on the rise of British Prime Minister Liz Truss after headlines; we’ll speak with journalist George Monbiot.
In Chile, voters have rejected a new constitution that would have replaced the one imposed by military dictator General Augusto Pinochet after he was installed in a U.S.-backed military coup more than 40 years ago. Results show about 62% of Chileans voted “no” on the new charter, while 38% voted in favor. The proposed constitution was the first in the world to be written by an equal number of male and female delegates, and included new rights for Indigenous peoples, legalized abortion, mandated universal healthcare and new commitments to address the climate crisis. We’ll have more on Chile’s constitution later in the broadcast.
Burkina Faso’s government says at least 35 civilians were killed and more than three dozen injured Monday after a military vehicle struck a roadside bomb north of the capital. Fighting between rebels linked to the Islamic State and the government has increased since January, when Burkina Faso’s army deposed President Roch Kaboré and installed Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Damiba as leader.
In Afghanistan, a suicide bomber struck the Russian Embassy in Kabul on Monday, killing six people. A Russian diplomat and a security guard were among the dead. The attack was claimed by the Islamic State affiliate known as ISIS-K, which is also behind a series of attacks on the Taliban and on Afghanistan’s minority communities.
In Canada, police are searching for one of two murder suspects who remains at large after 10 people were stabbed to death and 18 others injured in a remote region of Saskatchewan. It was among the worst acts of mass violence in Canada’s modern history. On Sunday, a pair of men began their violent rampage in the James Smith Cree Nation community, ultimately stabbing 28 victims in 13 different locations. Many of the victims are Indigenous. After police launched a manhunt across Saskatchewan and neighboring provinces, they discovered the body of 31-year-old Damien Sanderson; the second suspect, his younger brother, Myles Sanderson, remains at large. Police say they still haven’t identified a motive for the killings.
A federal judge has agreed to appoint an independent arbiter known as a “special master” to review whether the FBI properly seized documents from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home. U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon agreed with Trump’s lawyers that the Justice Department must halt its review of thousands of classified documents recovered by agents executing a search warrant on Trump’s home on August 8. Many of the documents were marked “Top Secret.” Judge Cannon’s ruling will delay the Department of Justice investigation into whether Trump violated the Espionage Act and presidential records laws — and whether he obstructed justice to cover up those crimes. Judge Cannon was nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in 2020 by then-President Donald Trump.
In immigration news, at least nine asylum seekers drowned over the weekend as they attempted to cross the Rio Grande along the Texas-Mexico border. Thirty-seven others were rescued. The river is several feet higher than normal as the region has been hit by torrential rain in recent days. The tragedy has intensified calls for Congress and the Biden administration to enact policies that ensure a safe passage for asylum seekers, including an end to the Trump-era Title 42, which has blocked about 2 million asylum seekers from entering the United States to find refuge, forcing them to take dangerous routes into the country.
In related news, about 125 asylum seekers have arrived in Chicago on buses sent from Texas. On Sunday alone, the city welcomed some 50 asylum seekers, most of them families. Local officials are demanding that Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott collaborate on a more humane treatment of asylum seekers as Chicago calls on more volunteers to assist the arriving asylum seekers. For months Abbott has forcibly relocated hundreds of asylum seekers to so-called liberal cities, including New York and Washington, D.C.
In the occupied West Bank, Israeli troops killed a Palestinian man during a large military raid in Jenin city early this morning. Twenty-nine-year-old Mohammad Sabaaneh was killed during the assault; 16 others were injured by live fire or shrapnel. The Israeli troops surrounded the family home of a Palestinian blamed for a deadly attack in Tel Aviv, cleared the area and blew it up. Such home demolitions are illegal under international law.
Israel has for the first time admitted its army may have been responsible for the death of Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot in the head in May while covering an Israeli raid on Jenin. On Monday, Israeli authorities said Abu Akleh may have been “accidentally” hit by Israeli troops’ gunfire after they came under fire from Palestinian fighters. Israel says it will not launch a criminal probe into the killing. In Ramallah, Al Jazeera’s West Bank bureau chief rejected the Israeli claims.
Walid al-Omari: “It is clear that they are trying to perpetuate ambiguity and deception on the one hand, while at the same time clear themselves of wrongdoing by claiming that there was an exchange of fire. These are all lies, because all the accounts and videos and witnesses disprove their claims.”
In labor news, Amazon has lost its efforts to overturn a historic vote unionizing its JFK8 warehouse in Staten Island, New York. Last week, the National Labor Relations Board recommended Amazon’s demands should be rejected, after it failed to prove union organizers had allegedly tampered with the election by intimidating workers. The Staten Island Amazon warehouse workers in April voted decisively in favor of joining the newly formed Amazon Labor Union despite the retail giant’s multimillion-dollar union-busting campaign.
Tennis superstar Serena Williams lost in the third round of the U.S. Open on Friday in a thrilling match against Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia. Williams recently said she would retire after the U.S. Open. Since becoming a pro at the age of 14, Serena Williams won 23 Grand Slam championships and spent 319 weeks ranked as the top female tennis player in the world. She and her sister Venus redefined the sport of tennis and inspired new generations of African Americans to play the game.
In other news from the U.S. Open, Frances Tiafoe has upset 22-time Grand Slam champ Rafael Nadal to reach the quarterfinals. Tiafoe is the son of refugees from Sierra Leone. His father was a day laborer who helped build the Junior Tennis Champions Center in Maryland. The family lived for years in a vacant storage room at the tennis center.