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FIFA names first female refereeing trio for a men’s World Cup

Nov 29 (Reuters) - Stephanie Frappart, Neuza Back and Karen Diaz will become the first all-female refereeing team for a men's World Cup match as they have been named to take charge of the Costa Rica-Germany Group E match on Thursday, FIFA announced on Tuesday.
Frappart, the fourth official for the Poland-Mexico Group C clash last week, will be the main referee as she reaches another milestone after being the first female to officiate at a men’s World Cup qualifier in March and Champions League match in 2020.
The 38-year-old Frenchwoman will be joined by Brazilian Neuza and Mexican Diaz as assistants.
Salima Mukansanga of Rwanda and Yamashita Yoshimi of Japan are also taking part at the tournament in Qatar.

Earthquake rattles Greece, felt in Athens

ATHENS, Nov 29 (Reuters) - An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.0 shook central Greece on Tuesday and was felt as far as Athens, according to witnesses, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or serious damage.
The quake occurred at 2006 GMT and its epicentre was 57 km (35 miles) northeast of Athens, according to the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre. Its focal depth was initially estimated at 2 km (1.2 miles).
Earlier on Tuesday, an earthquake measuring 4.7 on the Richter scale shook the island of Evia, in central Greece, damaging old buildings in the area and forcing authorities to shut down schools protectively. Smaller scale tremors followed.

US Supreme Court to hear fight over Biden immigration enforcement policy

WASHINGTON, Nov 29 (Reuters) - The US Supreme Court on Tuesday is set to consider whether President Joe Biden's administration can implement guidelines - challenged by two conservative-leaning states - shifting immigration enforcement toward public safety threats in a case testing executive branch power to set enforcement priorities.
The justices will hear the administration’s bid to overturn a judge’s ruling in favor of Texas and Louisiana that vacated US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) guidelines narrowing the scope of those who can be targeted by immigration agents for arrest and deportation.
The Democratic president’s policy departed from the hardline approach of his Republican predecessor, Donald Trump, who sought to broaden the range of immigrants subject to arrest and removal. Biden campaigned on a more humane approach to immigration but has been faced with large numbers of migrants crossing the US-Mexico border.
The guidelines, announced by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in September 2021, prioritized apprehending and deporting non-US citizens who pose a threat to national security, public safety or border security.
In a memo, Mayorkas called the guidelines necessary because his department lacks the resources to apprehend and seek the removal of every one of the estimated 11 million immigrants living in the United States illegally.
Mayorkas cited the longstanding practice of government officials exercising discretion to decide who should be subject to deportation and said that a majority of immigrants subject to deportation “have been contributing members of our communities for years.”
Republicans have criticized Biden’s administration, saying fewer detentions and deportations have encouraged more illegal border crossings. The top Republican in the US House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, last week called on Mayorkas to step down and said the House may try to impeach him when Republicans formally take control of the chamber in January.
Republican state attorneys general in Texas and Louisiana sued to block the guidelines after Republican-led legal challenges successfully thwarted other Biden administration attempts to ease enforcement.
Their lawsuit, filed in Texas, argued that the guidelines ran counter to provisions in immigration laws that make it mandatory to detain non-US citizens who have been convicted of certain crimes or have final orders of removal.
US District Judge Drew Tipton, a Trump appointee, ruled in favor of the challengers, finding that while immigration agents could on a case-by-case basis act with discretion the administration’s guidelines were a generalized policy that contravened the detention mandate set out by Congress.
“Whatever the outer limits of its authority, ...

Smog engulfs Indian capital as winter pollution worsens

NEW DELHI, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Thick smog engulfed India's capital New Delhi on Tuesday as air pollution worsened with the setting in of winter, shooting up concentrations of fine particles in the air three times above the acceptable limits.
The world’s most polluted capital city struggles to breathe easy every winter as cold temperatures and calm winds trap pollutants closer to the ground.
“As the minimum temperature is dropping, gradual fog occurrence during early morning hours is likely to increase, leading to deterioration of air quality index (AQI),” said the federal government’s System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) in a daily bulletin.
The AQI in parts of the city shot up above 400 on Tuesday, which is classified as the ‘severe’ category of air pollution, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
The level of fine particles measuring 2.5 micrograms or PM2.5 was 180 micrograms per cubic metre of air as of 10am in the Delhi National Capital Region, CPCB data showed, three times above the 24 hour acceptable limit of 60 micrograms per cubic metre of air.
Authorities have brought in several measures over the years to improve the city’s air quality, including switching Delhi’s fleet of public transport to cleaner fuel, spraying water from on top of towers and on roads and controlling burning of firewood and waste during cold weather.
But experts have said these measures need to be applied across northern India and in cities and towns around New Delhi that form the wider National Capital Region, which also suffer from poor air quality, to effectively control pollution.
By Shivam Patel
(Reporting by Shivam Patel in New Delhi; Editing by Michael Perry)

UN panel recommends Great Barrier Reef be put on ‘in danger’ list

SYDNEY, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Australia's Great Barrier Reef should be listed as a world heritage site that is "in danger", a UN panel recommended on Tuesday, saying the world's biggest coral reef ecosystem was significantly impacted by climate change and warming of oceans.
Frequent bleaching events are threatening the reef, including four over the last seven years and the first during a La Nina phenomenon, which typically brings cooler temperatures, this year.
Bleaching happens when the water warms too much, causing corals to expel the colourful algae living in their tissues and turn white.
“The resilience of the (reef) to recover from climate change impacts is substantially compromised,” a report by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) scientists, who visited the reef in March, said.
Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek said the government would push UNESCO to not list the reef as endangered because climate change was threatening all coral reefs across the world.
“We’ll clearly make the point to UNESCO that there is no need to single the Great Barrier Reef out in this way,” Plibersek said during a media briefing.
“The reason that UNESCO in the past has singled out a place as at risk is because they wanted to see greater government investment or greater government action and since the change of government, both of those things have happened.”
Australia’s recently elected Labor government has pledged to spend A$1.2 billion ($800 million) in coming years to protect the reef. The parliament in September passed a legislation for net zero emissions by 2050.
Canberra has lobbied for years to keep the reef – which contributes A$6.4 billion ($4.3 billion) to the economy – off the endangered list as it could lead to losing the heritage status, taking some shine off its attraction for tourists.
Last year, Australia dodged an “in danger” listing for the reef after heavy lobbying by the previous government led UNESCO to postpone a decision to this year.
(Reporting by Renju Jose; Editing by Sam Holmes)

Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano erupts for first time in nearly 40 years

Nov 28 (Reuters) - Hawaii's Mauna Loa, the world's largest active volcano, began erupting on Sunday for the first time since 1984, ending its longest quiet period in recorded history.
The night sky above Hawaii’s largest island glowed a hellish red as bright, hot lava sprang forth at the volcano’s summit at around 11:30 p.m. local time on Sunday (0930 GMT Monday).
The lava is contained within the summit and does not threaten Hawaiians living downslope for now, the U.S. Geological Service (USGS) said.
The service warned residents on Monday that volcanic gases and fine ash may drift their way.
Mauna Loa rises 13,679 feet (4,169 meters) above the Pacific Ocean, part of the chain of volcanoes that formed the islands of Hawaii. It last erupted in March and April of 1984, sending a flow of lava within 5 miles (8.05 km) of Hilo, the island’s largest city.
Hawaii’s Emergency Management Agency said it had opened two shelters on the island as a precaution but also emphasized that there are no signs that lava will threaten populated areas and that it had not issued any evacuation orders.
About half of all recorded eruptions of Mauna Loa had been confined to the summit, the agency said.
(Reporting by Shubham Kalia in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Jonathan Allen in New York; Editing by Toby Chopra and Lisa Shumaker)

Buffalo supermarket shooter pleads guilty to terrorism, murder

Nov 28 (Reuters) - An avowed white supremacist pleaded guilty on Monday to first-degree murder and other state charges in a mass shooting in May that killed 10 people at a supermarket in a predominantly Black neighborhood of Buffalo, New York, prosecutors said.
At a hearing at Erie County Court, Payton Gendron, 19, pleaded guilty to multiple counts related to the shooting, including a charge of domestic terrorism motivated by hate.
Gendron was accused of carrying out the attack, which also wounded three other people, with the intention of killing as many African Americans as he could.
“It was established beyond a reasonable doubt that he had this gruesome motive, that in just over two minutes he murdered as many African Americans as he could,” Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said at a press conference after the plea. “Justice has been done today.”
Gendron, who was 18 at the time of the attack, initially pleaded not guilty after a grand jury returned an indictment in June.
He faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole on the domestic terrorism charge alone. New York does not have a death penalty. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 15, according to media reports.
Gendron was the first defendant in New York ever to be indicted for a domestic act of terrorism motivated by hate in the first degree.
He drove three hours from his home near Binghamton, New York, to the Tops Friendly Markets store in Buffalo after planning the attack for weeks, authorities said. He was looking for a public location in an area where many Black people lived.
At the supermarket, he shot 13 people with a semi-automatic, assault-style rifle. Eleven of the victims were Black.
Police say he left a racist manifesto online before the attack and live-streamed the shooting on social media.
A separate indictment returned in U.S. District Court in July charged Gendron with 27 federal hate crimes and firearms offenses, for which he could face the death penalty if convicted.
At a press conference following the court proceeding, civil rights attorney Ben Crump described the hearing as a “gut-wrenching” experience for the victims‘ families he represents. He called for Gendron to be given the “most-harsh sentence” for the crimes.
“We don’t want it to be marginalized because these were Black people. We want the whole world to never let this be swept under the rug,” Crump said. “We want the same justice if the (races) were reversed.”
By ...

Rolls-Royce successfully tests hydrogen-powered jet engine

LONDON, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Britain's Rolls-Royce RR.L said it has successfully run an aircraft engine on hydrogen, a world aviation first that marks a major step towards proving the gas could be key to decarbonising air travel.
The ground test, using a converted Rolls-Royce AE 2100-A regional aircraft engine, used green hydrogen created by wind and tidal power, the British company said on Monday.
Rolls and its testing programme partner easyJet EZJ.L are seeking to prove that hydrogen can safely and efficiently deliver power for civil aero engines.
They said they were already planning a second set of tests, with a longer-term ambition to carry out flight tests.
Hydrogen is one of a number of competing technologies that could help the aviation industry achieve its goal of becoming net zero by 2050.
Planemaker Airbus is working with French-U.S. engine maker CFM International to test hydrogen propulsion technology.
It said in February it planned to fit a specially adapted version of a current generation engine near the back of an A380 superjumbo test plane.
The aircraft manufacturer however told the European Union in 2021 that most airliners will rely on traditional jet engines until at least 2050.
A switch to hydrogen-powered engines would require a complete redesign of airframes and infrastructure at airports.
Eric Schulz, chief executive of SHZ Consulting, said in July that the changes in design are so massive it would take more than one generation of aircraft to get there.
Other technologies backed by companies such as Rolls-Royce include electric engines, which would be initially suitable for short flights, and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
Engines that are already in service can use a mixture of SAF and conventional fuels, but it is only currently produced in miniscule levels.
It could eventually be produced by combining carbon captured from the air with green hydrogen, but the process is energy intensive and not yet available on a large scale.
(Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Jan Harvey)

Russia denies planning to give up vast Ukrainian nuclear plant

KYIV, Nov 28 (Reuters) - The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine is still under Russian control and will remain so, the Kremlin said on Monday, after a Ukrainian official suggested Russian forces were preparing to leave.
The head of Ukraine’s state-run nuclear energy company said on Sunday there were signs that Russian forces might be preparing to vacate Europe’s biggest nuclear plant, which they seized in March, soon after invading Ukraine.
The Kremlin dismissed the statement.
“There’s no need to look for signs where there are none and cannot be any,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters in a briefing on Monday.
Russia and Ukraine, which both suffered from the world’s worst nuclear accident in Chornobyl in 1986, have accused each other of shelling the complex, which has six reactors.
Both sides have warned of the danger of a nuclear catastrophe. The U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, wants to create a protection zone around the plant.
Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said late on Sunday that he had no doubt Russian forces would leave the plant, where Ukrainian staff are still working.
“The defence line is starting to retreat to the borders of the Russian Federation,” Podolyak told Ukrainian television, adding that Ukraine would take the plant back.
Ukraine’s military said last week that about 30 Russian servicemen had been wounded near Enerhodar, the town closest to the plant. Reuters was not able to immediately verify the reports.
Russian President Vladimir Putin moved in September to annex Ukraine’s Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, which Russian forces partially control. Kyiv and its Western allies condemned the move as illegal.
By Pavel Polityuk
(Writing by Lidia Kelly and Kevin Liffey; editing by Philippa Fletcher)

South Korea president warns of crackdown as trucker strike enters second day

SEOUL, Nov 25 (Reuters) - South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol warned the government might step in to break up a nationwide strike by truckers, describing it as an illegal and unacceptable move to take the national supply chain "hostage" during an economic crisis.
Thousands of unionised truckers on Thursday launched their second major strike in less than six months seeking better pay and working conditions. The action is already disrupting supply chains across the world’s 10th largest economy, affecting automakers, cement and steel producers.
Union officials told Reuters there were no ongoing negotiations or dialogue with the government. The country’s transport ministry said it requested dialogue with the union on Thursday, but the parties have yet to agree on a date.
Union officials estimated about 25,000 people were joining the strike, out of about 420,000 total transport workers in South Korea. The transport ministry said about 6,700 people attended on Friday in about160 locations nationwide, down from 9,600 people on Thursday.
“The public will not tolerate taking the logistics system hostage in the face of a national crisis,” Yoon said in a Facebook message late on Thursday, noting that exports were key to overcoming economic instability and financial market volatility.
“If the irresponsible denial of transport continues, the government will have no choice but to review a number of measures, including a work start order.”
According to South Korean law, during a serious disruption to transportation the government may issue an order to force transport workers back to their jobs. Failure to comply is punishable by up to three years of jail, or a fine of up to 30 million won ($22,550).
Were the government to take this option, it would be the first time in South Korean history such a order is issued.
The strike comes after South Korea saw October exports fall the most in 26 months as its trade deficit persisted for a seventh month, underlining the slowdown in its export-driven economy.
Amid the economic gloom, Yoon’s approval rating remained mostly flat for the fifth week at 30%, according to Gallup Korea on Friday, although his focus on economic affairs received a positive response.
Outside the gate of the container depot at transport hub Uiwang, dozens of unionised truckers have set up camp and are staying overnight in white tents, watched by patrolling police although the strike has been peaceful so far.
“We are going to pour everything, resources and money, and execute every strategy we have,” ...

Trump Sued for battery by E. Jean Carroll under NY’s new law

Former President Donald Trump was sued for battery under a New York law that took effect Thursday, expanding his legal fight with a former Elle magazine advice columnist who claims he raped her in a dressing room in the 1990s.
E. Jean Carroll filed the complaint in Manhattan federal court, where she already has a defamation suit pending against Trump over remarks he made about her from the White House after she went public with the rape claim in 2019.
The lawsuit was filed under New York’s Adult Survivors Act, which lifts the statute of limitations for one year on civil claims for sexual offenses. The suit also includes a fresh claim for defamation, because Trump repeated his comments about Carroll in a social-media post last month.
The battery complaint revisits previously reported details from the alleged attack, which Carroll says unfolded after she and Trump ran into each other while shopping and joked about one of them trying on a bodysuit in an empty lingerie sales area.
“Roughly 27 years ago, playful banter at the luxury department store Bergdorf Goodman on Fifth Avenue in New York City took a dark turn when Defendant Donald J. Trump seized Plaintiff E. Jean Carroll, forced her up against a dressing room wall, pinned her in place with his shoulder, and raped her,” her lawyer Roberta Kaplan said in the new complaint.
The complaint adds to a growing list of legal troubles facing Trump as he embarks on a third run for the White House, including a criminal probe into his handling of classified documents and a civil fraud case against his company by the New York attorney general, among others.
Read More: Trump Gives Answers in Rape Accuser’s Defamation Suit Deposition
Trump has vigorously denied attacking Carroll or touching her in any way.
“While I respect and admire individuals that come forward, this case is unfortunately an abuse of the purpose of this Act which creates a terrible precedent and runs the risk of delegitimizing the credibility of actual victims,” Trump’s lawyer, Alina Habba, said.
Legal Test
The lawsuit tees up Carroll’s claim as one of the first tests of the Adult Survivors Act, which was passed by New York lawmakers in the wake of the “Me Too” movement. Kaplan said at a virtual court hearing on Nov. 21 that she wants to combine the battery suit with her current defamation case under the same judge for a proposed joint trial as ...

Ukraine Latest: Power Cuts in Focus as War Hits 9-Month Mark

(Bloomberg) -- Ukraine is attempting to recover from repeated Russian missile strikes against its energy systems, even as its government prepares for the possibility for even worse conditions. By late Thursday, shortages were cut to below 50% as repairs were made as quickly as possible, and water had been restored to Kyiv.
President Vladimir Putin’s invasion, launched in February as a “special operation,” has reached the nine-month mark. US President Joe Biden said he was confident there will be support in Congress for additional aid to Ukraine, even after Republicans — who have vowed greater oversight of the spending — take control of the House in January.
European Union diplomats are optimistic they can reach a deal on a price cap level for Russian oil exports despite sharp splits over the plan. The EU is also working “full speed” on a ninth sanctions package against Russia, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in Finland.
(See RSAN on the Bloomberg Terminal for the Russian Sanctions Dashboard.)
Key Developments
Ukraine Blackouts Threaten Pipeline Bringing Gas to Europe
Kremlin Faces Rising Ire From Wives, Mothers of Mobilized Troops
Ukraine Struggles to Restore Utilities After Big Russian Strikes
EU Prolongs Oil Price Cap Talks as Russia Hints View May Soften
Estonia Searches for Bomb Shelters Amid Growing Fears of Attack
On the Ground
Ukrainian forces repelled assaults in the Donetsk region, including in Bakhmut, as the country struggled to cope with power and water outages brought on by Russian missile attacks a day earlier. On the front in the east, Ukrainian forces repelled assaults near eight settlements in the Donetsk region over the past day, including Bakhmut, the General Staff said on Facebook. Russia in total launched 78 missile strikes, 23 air strikes and more than 70 multiple rocket launcher attacks in the past 24-hour period including shelling of Ukrainian areas along the contact line. Seven civilians were killed in Russia’s most recent missile attacks on energy infrastructure, officials in Kyiv said late Thursday.
(All times CET)
Power Deficit Cut to Less Than 50%, Grid Operator Says (7:45 p.m.)
Ukraine’s power producers were back above 50% capacity by late Thursday after repairs following Wednesday’s extensive Russian missile attacks on energy targets, the grid company NPC Ukrenergo says on its Telegram channel. It’s impossible to say when systems will be fully restored, the company said.
Kremlin troops have repeatedly targeted Ukraine’s power systems for over a month, leaving Kyiv and many other parts of the country without electricity ...

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