Death toll rises to 41 in Turkey coal mine explosion
AMASRA, Turkey (AP) — Funerals for the miners killed in a coal mine explosion in northern Turkey have begun as officials raised the death toll to at least 41 people. There were 110 miners working in the mine when the explosion occurred Friday evening at the state-owned Turkish Hard Coal Enterprise’s mine in Amasra. The town is in the Black Sea coastal province of Bartin. Officials said 11 miners were injured and hospitalized while 58 others managed to get out of the mine on their own or were rescued unharmed. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived at the scene Saturday after tweeting that any neglect would be punished.
New UK Treasury chief: Mistakes were made, tax rises coming
LONDON (AP) — Britain’s new Treasury chief has acknowledged mistakes made by his predecessor and suggested that he may reverse much of Conservative Prime Minister Liz Truss’ tax-cutting plans, in order to bring stability to the country after weeks of economic and political turbulence. Jeremy Hunt was brought in Friday to replace Kwasi Kwarteng and restore order in Truss’ administration. He warned of “difficult decisions” to come, saying taxes could rise and public spending budgets would likely be squeezed further in the coming months. Truss had previously insisted that her tax-cutting plans were what Britain needs to boost economic growth. But a “mini-budget” which she and Kwarteng unveiled in September sent the British pound tumbling and left her credibility in tatters.
Musk has a ‘super app’ plan for Twitter. It’s super vague
For months, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO has expressed interest in creating his own version of China’s WeChat — a “super app” that does video chats, messaging, streaming and payments — for the rest of the world.. At least, that is, once he’s done buying Twitter after months of legal infighting over the $44 billion purchase agreement he signed in April. Musk has claimed on Twitter that his acquisition of the company would speed development of an “everything app” he calls X by three to five years. But there are just a few obstacles.
Social Security boost seen as unlikely to help Dems at polls
WASHINGTON (AP) — The news that 70 million people will see an 8.7% boost in their Social Security checks next year came just weeks before Election Day, but it’s unlikely to give Democrats the edge they’re desperately seeking at the polls. In fact, the promise of bigger payments in 2023 could call even more attention to the surging prices that have been inflicting pain on households. And inflation was the reason behind Thursday’s announcement of the the program’s largest cost-of-living increase in four decades. One analyst says the boost is going “to bring more money to people’s pockets, but it primes people to think about high inflation.”
In France, fuel crisis frays nerves and workers’ resilience
VERSAILLES, France (AP) — Chronic fuel shortages in France sparked by strikes and panic buying are fraying nerves and testing both the resilience and ingenuity of millions of French workers who depend on their vehicles to do their jobs. After runs on toilet paper, pasta and other essentials at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, fuel and where to find it are the latest obsessions in France. The government has urged motorists not to panic-buy. Some gas stations have banned jerrycans. Nurses are among those hard hit, because they need their cars to visit patients at home. For nurses making their morning rounds on Saturday, gasoline was the No. 1 subject for discussion.
11 Russian troops slain at shooting range as fighting rages
ZAPORIZHZHIA, Ukraine (AP) — At least 11 Russian soldiers have been killed in a shooting incident that underlines the challenges posed by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s hasty mobilization. Saturday’s shooting at a firing range in Russia’s western Belgorod region came just as Ukrainian troops pressed an offensive to reclaim the areas in southern Ukraine illegally annexed by Moscow. As fighting raged, a missile strike also seriously damaged a key energy facility in Ukraine’s capital region. Following mounting setbacks, the Russian military has worked to cut off power and water in far-flung populated areas while also fending off Ukrainian counterattacks in occupied or partially occupied areas.
Musk: SpaceX might keep funding satellite service in Ukraine
NEW YORK (AP) — Billionaire Elon Musk suggested in a Saturday tweet that his rocket company SpaceX may continue to fund its satellite-based Starlink internet service in Ukraine. But Musk’s tone and wording also raised the possibility that the irascible Tesla CEO was just being sarcastic. On Friday, senior U.S. officials confirmed that SpaceX and Musk had asked the Defense Department to take over funding for the Starlink service, which provides broadband internet via more than 2,200 low-orbiting satellits. Starlink has provided key battlefield communications for Ukrainian military forces since almost the beginning of its defense against Russia’s February invasion , U.S. officials said.
German chancellor calls for EU reforms, military autonomy
BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has called for reforms of the European Union to make it fit for the admission of new countries as well as more military autonomy of the 27-country pact. Scholz was speaking at the Congress of the Party of European Socialists in Berlin on Saturday. He advocated for gradually abolishing the principle of unanimity for decisions in foreign policy but also in other areas such as tax policy. Scholz also advocated for more military autonomy of the EU. He called for coordinated procurement of weapons and equipment, the establishment of an EU rapid reaction force by 2025 and a EU headquarters for European armed forces.
Apple workers in Oklahoma vote to unionize in 2nd labor win
NEW YORK (AP) — The National Labor Relations Board says workers at an Apple store in Oklahoma City voted to unionize, marking the second unionized Apple store in the U.S. in a matter of months. The vote signaled another win for the labor movement, which has been gaining momentum since the pandemic. A preliminary tally shows 56 workers at the store voted to be represented by The Communications Workers of America, while 32 voted against it. Worker discontent has triggered labor movements at several major companies in the U.S. in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which triggered tensions over sick leave policies, scheduling, safety and other issues.
Officials: Musk seeks US funds for Ukraine satellite network
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senior U.S. officials say the Defense Department has gotten a request from SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk to take over funding for his satellite network that has provided crucial battlefield communications for Ukrainian military forces during the war with Russia. The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter not yet made public, said the issue has been discussed in meetings and senior leaders are weighing the matter. There have been no decisions. Musk’s Starlink system of more than 2,200 low-orbiting satellites has provided broadband internet to more than 150,000 Ukrainian ground stations. Early Friday, Musk tweeted that it was costing SpaceX $20 million a month to support Ukraine’s communications needs.
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