even tougher winter next year as natural gas stocks are used up and as new supplies to replace Russian gas, including increased shipments from the United States or Qatar, are slow to come online, the International Energy Agency said in its annual World Energy Outlook, released last week.

Europe’s activity appears to be accelerating a global transition toward cleaner technologies, the I.E.A. added, as countries respond to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by embracing hydrogen fuels, electric vehicles, heat pumps and other green energies.

But in the short term, countries will be burning more fossil fuels in response to the natural gas shortages.

gas fields in Groningen, which had been slated to be sealed because of earthquakes triggered by the extraction of the fuel.

Eleven countries, including Germany, Finland and Estonia, are now building or expanding a total of 18 offshore terminals to process liquid gas shipped in from other countries. Other projects in Latvia and Lithuania are under consideration.

Nuclear power is winning new support in countries that had previously decided to abandon it, including Germany and Belgium. Finland is planning to extend the lifetime of one reactor, while Poland and Romania plan to build new nuclear power plants.

European Commission blueprint, are voluntary and rely on buy-ins from individuals and businesses whose utility bills may be subsidized by their governments.

Energy use dropped in September in several countries, although it is hard to know for sure if the cause was balmy weather, high prices or voluntary conservation efforts inspired by a sense of civic duty. But there are signs that businesses, organizations and the public are responding. In Sweden, for example, the Lund diocese said it planned to partially or fully close 150 out of 540 churches this winter to conserve energy.

Germany and France have issued sweeping guidance, which includes lowering heating in all homes, businesses and public buildings, using appliances at off-peak hours and unplugging electronic devices when not in use.

Denmark wants households to shun dryers and use clotheslines. Slovakia is urging citizens to use microwaves instead of stoves and brush their teeth with a single glass of water.

website. “Short showers,” wrote one homeowner; another announced: “18 solar panels coming to the roof in October.”

“In the coming winter, efforts to save electricity and schedule the consumption of electricity may be the key to avoiding electricity shortages,” Fingrad, the main grid operator, said.

Businesses are being asked to do even more, and most governments have set targets for retailers, manufacturers and offices to find ways to ratchet down their energy use by at least 10 percent in the coming months.

Governments, themselves huge users of energy, are reducing heating, curbing streetlight use and closing municipal swimming pools. In France, where the state operates a third of all buildings, the government plans to cut energy use by two terawatt-hours, the amount used by a midsize city.

Whether the campaigns succeed is far from clear, said Daniel Gros, director of the Centre for European Policy Studies, a European think tank. Because the recommendations are voluntary, there may be little incentive for people to follow suit — especially if governments are subsidizing energy bills.

In countries like Germany, where the government aims to spend up to €200 billion to help households and businesses offset rising energy prices starting next year, skyrocketing gas prices are hitting consumers now. “That is useful in getting them to lower their energy use,” he said. But when countries fund a large part of the bill, “there is zero incentive to save on energy,” he said.

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Seoul Crowd Crush: As Nation Mourns, a Focus on How a Festive Night Turned Deadly

Condolences poured in from world leaders, diplomats and prominent South Koreans overseas in the aftermath of the deadly crowd surge in Seoul.

President Joe Biden expressed condolences to the families of victims and best wishes for a quick recovery to the injured.

“We grieve with the people of the Republic of Korea,” he wrote in a statement. “The alliance between our two countries has never been more vibrant or more vital — and the ties between our people are stronger than ever.”

Britain’s new prime minister, Rishi Sunak, wrote on Twitter: “All our thoughts are with those currently responding and all South Koreans at this very distressing time.”

The Japanese prime minister, Fumio Kishida, also weighed in on Twitter. “I am deeply shocked and deeply saddened by the loss of many precious lives, including young people with a promising future,” he wrote.

“The tragic events in Seoul come as a shock to all of us,” Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany wrote. “Our thoughts are with the numerous victims and their families. This is a sad day for South Korea. Germany stands by their side.”

President Emmanuel Macron of France extended condolences in both French and Korean. “France is with you,” he wrote on Twitter.

Xi Jinping, China’s leader, conveyed condolences to victims and their families to the South Korean president, a Chinese state broadcaster reported. He expressed hopes that the South Korean authorities would make every effort to treat and rehabilitate the Chinese victims of the accident, according to the report.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said on its Telegram channel that President Vladimir V. Putin had sent condolences to South Korea’s president. His message read in part, “Please convey my sincere condolences and words of support to the families and friends of the victims and my wishes for an early recovery to those who were injured,” the ministry said.

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine wrote on Twitter, “We share your pain and sincerely wish a speedy recovery to all the victims.”

And Pope Francis tweeted asking for prayers for the victims.

Diplomats

The American flag was lowered to half-staff at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul on Sunday, in what Ambassador Philip Goldberg called a gesture of “sorrow and respect.”

“Please know my thoughts, and those of our team at U.S. Embassy Seoul, are with the Korean people and especially the loved ones of those who perished, as well as the many injured in this catastrophic incident,’” he wrote on Twitter.

Josep Borrell Fontelles, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, wrote that he was deeply saddened. “What meant to be a celebration turned into a tragedy with so many young casualties,” he said in a tweet. “We are with the people of the Republic of Korea at this difficult moment.”

Catherine Raper, the Australian ambassador to South Korea, asked all Australians in Seoul to check in with their family and friends while the embassy was making “urgent enquiries” to find out whether any Australians were among the victims. She extended deepest condolences to all those affected by the accident.

Park Jin, Seoul’s foreign minister, wrote that the government was putting all its efforts toward supporting the bereaved and injured, including foreign citizens. “Your thoughts and support are of great comfort to the Korean people in this moment of heartbreaking grief,” he said on Twitter.

South Koreans Abroad

Son Heung-min, a South Korean soccer star who is a forward with the British club Tottenham Hotspur, expressed sorrow, too.

“All my thoughts are with you all back home in Korea. I am heartbroken to be reading this news,” he wrote on Instagram after winning a match on Saturday. “I want you to all know I am thinking of you and sending all of my strength from here.”

Claire Fu contributed reporting.

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Iran will not remain indifferent if proven Russia using its drones in Ukraine – official

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DUBAI, Oct 24 (Reuters) – Iran will not remain indifferent if it is proven that its drones are being used by Russia in the Ukraine war, the Iranian foreign minister said on Monday, amid allegations the Islamic Republic has supplied drones to Moscow to attack Ukraine.

“If it is proven to us that Iranian drones are being used in the Ukraine war against people, we should not remain indifferent,” state media cited Hossein Amirabdollahian as saying.

However, Amirabdollahian said defence cooperation between Tehran and Moscow will continue.

Britain, France and Germany on Friday called for a United Nations probe of accusations Russia has used Iranian-origin drones to attack Ukraine, allegedly violating a U.N. Security Council resolution.

Citing diplomats and officials, Reuters reported last week that in addition to more drones, Iran had promised to provide Russia with surface-to-surface missiles.

Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Alex Richardson and Jonathan Oatis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Explainer: What is a dirty bomb and why is Russia talking about one now?

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LONDON, Oct 25 (Reuters) – In Russia’s latest advocacy campaign over its invasion of Ukraine, Moscow has focused on accusations that Kyiv might be planning to use a so-called “dirty bomb” – a conventional explosive device laced with toxic nuclear material.

Kyiv and its Western allies say there is no truth at all to the accusation, and that the idea that Ukraine would poison its own territory is patently absurd. They say Moscow could be making the allegation to justify an escalation of its own.

Following is a look at dirty bombs and how they might be used in Ukraine, either as a real threat or as the basis of propaganda:

HOW MUCH DAMAGE CAN THEY DO?

Dirty bombs do not create city-flattening atomic explosion but are designed to spread toxic waste. Security experts have worried about them mostly as a form of terrorist weapon to be used on cities to cause havoc among civilians, rather than as a tactical device for use by warring parties in conflict.

Experts say the immediate health impact would probably be limited, since most people in an affected area would be able to escape before experiencing lethal doses of radiation. But the economic damage could be massive from having to evacuate urban areas or even abandon whole cities.

In testimony to the United States Senate during the Obama administration, physicist Henry Kelly, then president of the Federation of Scientists, outlined a wide range of hypothetical scenarios, depending on the amount and type of nuclear material used and how far it was spread.

A bomb using radioactive caesium from a misplaced or stolen medical device might require the evacuation of an area of several city blocks, making it unsafe for decades.

A piece of radioactive cobalt from a food irradiation plant could, if blasted apart in a bomb in New York, contaminate a 380 square mile (1,000 square km) area and potentially make the island of Manhattan uninhabitable, Kelly said.

WHAT DOES RUSSIA ALLEGE?

Moscow sent a letter detailing its allegations about Kyiv to the United Nations late on Monday, and diplomats said Russia planned to raise the issue at a closed meeting with the Security Council on Tuesday.

The head of Russia’s nuclear, biological and chemical protection troops, Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov, told a media briefing Ukraine’s aim for such an attack would be to blame Russia.

“The aim of the provocation would be to accuse Russia of using a weapon of mass destruction in the Ukrainian military theatre and by that means to launch a powerful anti-Russian campaign in the world, aimed at undermining trust in Moscow.”

WHAT IS THE RESPONSE OF UKRAINE AND THE WEST?

Kyiv and its Western allies say Moscow’s allegation that Ukraine would intentionally make some of its own territory uninhabitable is absurd, especially at a time when Ukrainian forces are recapturing territory on the battlefield.

In a joint statement, the United States, Britain and France called the Russian allegations “transparently false” and warned Moscow against using them as a “pretext” for escalation.

The Kremlin warned the West on Tuesday it was dangerous to dismiss Moscow’s position.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy suggested Moscow might be using the allegations as cover for plans for a similar attack of its own: “If Russia calls and says that Ukraine is allegedly preparing something, it means one thing: Russia has already prepared all this.”

Editing by Philippa Fletcher

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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U.K. Live Updates: Liz Truss Resigns as Prime Minister

LONDON — For Liz Truss, the end came on Thursday in a midday meeting with grandees of the Conservative Party. But Ms. Truss’s fate as prime minister was all but sealed three weeks earlier when currency and bond traders reacted to her new fiscal program by torpedoing the pound and other British financial assets.

The market’s swift, withering verdict on Ms. Truss’s tax-cutting agenda shattered her credibility, degraded Britain’s reputation with investors, drove up home mortgage rates, pushed the pound down to near parity with the American dollar, and forced the Bank of England to intervene to prop up British bonds.

That repudiation, measured in the second-by-second fluctuations of bond yields and exchange rates, mattered more than the noisy departures of Ms. Truss’s cabinet ministers or the hothouse anxieties of Conservative lawmakers that ultimately made her position untenable.

For that reason, world leaders, buffeted by economic challenges, are watching the turmoil in Britain with anything but relish, concerned about the stability of Britain itself. Interest rates, energy costs and inflation are rising around the world. Labor unrest is proliferating across borders. Non-British pension funds potentially face the same financial stresses that afflicted those in Britain. The last thing leaders want is for Ms. Truss’s woes to be a harbinger for other countries.

President Emmanuel Macron of France, who recently mended fences with Ms. Truss after she refused last summer to characterize him as a friend or foe, said: “I wish in any case that Great Britain will find stability again and moves on, as soon as possible. It’s good for us, and it’s good for our Europe.”

Credit…Henry Nicholls/Reuters

Ms. Truss, economists said, is correct to argue that markets are driven by global trends broader than her tax cuts. Central banks worldwide are raising rates to battle inflation, which has been fueled by a surge in demand as the coronavirus pandemic ebbed and a spike in gas prices driven by Russia’s war in Ukraine.

“The problems are by no means all Truss’s doing but she should have known that getting blamed for everything comes with the territory,” said Kenneth Rogoff, a professor of economics at Harvard and a scholar of financial upheavals.

“What is really worrisome now,” he said, is that the situation in Britain “might be the canary in the coal mine as global interest rates keep soaring, especially as they do not seem likely to come down anytime soon.”

Ms. Truss long cultivated a reputation as a disrupter and a free-market evangelist in the tradition of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. Her tax cut proposals made her an outlier among leaders of big economies fighting inflation. But she made no apologies for offending either economic orthodoxy or the expectations of financial markets in pursuit of her vision of a “low-tax, high growth” Britain.

“Not everyone will be in favor of change,” a defiant Ms. Truss said a week ago at the annual meeting of the Conservative Party, even though one of her planned tax cuts, for high-earning people, had already been reversed. “But everyone will benefit from the result: a growing economy and a better future.”

The prime minister’s fatal miscalculation, experts said, was to believe that Britain could defy the gravity of the markets by passing sweeping tax cuts, without corresponding spending cuts, at a time when inflation is running in double digits and interest rates were rising.

“It was the combination of the wrong fiscal policy at the wrong time — borrowing when rates were rising rather than, as in 2010s, when they were low,” said Jonathan Portes, a professor of economics and public policy at Kings College London.

He cited what he called Ms. Truss’s “institutional vandalism,’’ in particular the way she and her ousted chancellor of the Exchequer, Kwasi Kwarteng, broke with custom by announcing sweeping tax cuts without subjecting them to the scrutiny of the government’s fiscal watchdog, the Office of Budget Responsibility.

In that sense, he said, Ms. Truss was following in the footsteps of her predecessor, Boris Johnson, who resigned as prime minister barely three months earlier after a series of scandals prompted a wholesale walkout of his ministers.

Credit…Oli Scarff/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Mr. Kwarteng’s budget maneuvering led many in the markets to suspect the government was engaged in a kind of fiscal sleight of hand, which would inevitably require massive borrowing to cover a hole in the budget estimated at 72 billion pounds ($81.5 billion).

Mr. Kwarteng, who studied the history of financial crises as a doctoral student at Cambridge University, brushed off the blowback in financial markets as a temporary phenomenon. Like Ms. Truss, he is a believer in disruptive change. Together, they were among the authors of “Britannia Unchained,” a manifesto for a Thatcher-style, free-market revolution in post-Brexit Britain. Among other things, the authors described Britons as “among the worst idlers in the world.”

When, or even whether, Britain can fully recover from this period of political and economic turbulence is not yet clear. On Thursday, as news of Ms. Truss’s resignation broke, the pound rose against the dollar and yields on British government bonds fell.

Virtually all the government’s planned tax cuts have been reversed, and the next prime minister, regardless of his or her politics, will have little choice but to pursue a policy of spending cuts and strict fiscal discipline. Some fear a return to the bleak austerity of Prime Minister David Cameron in the years after the 2008 financial crisis.

“Rishi or another can steady the ship and calm the markets,” Professor Portes said, referring to Rishi Sunak, a former chancellor who ran unsuccessfully against Ms. Truss and may seek to succeed her. “But it’s hard to see how, given the state of the Conservatives, any Tory prime minister can repair the longer-term damage.”

Much of that damage is to Britain’s once-sterling reputation in the markets. Economists have begun mentioning Britain in the same breath as fiscally wayward countries like Italy and Greece. Lawrence H. Summers, the former U.S. Treasury secretary, told Bloomberg News, “It makes me very sorry to say, but I think the U.K. is behaving a bit like an emerging market turning itself into a submerging market.”

That is a humbling comedown for a country that in 2009 announced a $1.1 trillion emergency fund to bail out the global economy.

“If you’re an American fund manager, you’re not going to put Britain in the super-safe category you might have earlier,” said Jonathan Powell, who served as chief of staff to Prime Minister Tony Blair. “It’s not about Britain’s standing in the world, but what category we’ve put ourselves in.”

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EDF says strike hits a third of French nuclear plants, delaying maintenance work

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PARIS, Oct 15 (Reuters) – Strike action over wage demands was hitting a third of EDF’s 18 French nuclear plants as of Friday night, a spokesperson for the utility said, further delaying the maintenance of its reactors.

“Six sites (were) affected by strikes as of last night,” the spokesperson said on Saturday.

This led to the postponement of the restart date of five reactors currently under maintenance by “one to several days”, the spokesperson for EDF (EDF.PA) added.

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Nuclear power represented more than two thirds of France’s total electricity production in 2021, according to data from grid operator RTE.

The country will be short of between 5 and 15 gigawatts (GW) of power at peak demand this winter depending on the temperature and will need to mainly rely on imports, according to forecast models developed by EDF’s works council CSE.

France will have to buy electricity on the market this winter or produce it from gas, and there is no guarantee that neighbouring countries will be in a position to sell their electricity, CSE representative Philippe Page le Merour has said, given the energy crisis in Europe.

A representative for France’s FNME trade union said on Friday that maintenance work at nine nuclear reactors split between five sites had been delayed due to a strike over wages.

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Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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Three Women of Bucha: Their Deaths and Lives

BUCHA, Ukraine — One woman was badly beaten and shot through the eye. Another, held captive by Russian soldiers, was found in a cellar, shot in the head. An 81-year-old grandmother was discovered hanging in her garden, perhaps killed, perhaps driven to suicide.

They were three victims among hundreds during the Russian occupation of Bucha in the spring. Bucha, a suburb of Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, quickly became the main focus of atrocities by Russian soldiers before they withdrew from the area.

The crimes gained worldwide attention. But these women were unknown, their deaths unseen and unexplained.

reported at the time on the Russian brutality and came across these cases. So we went back to Bucha, the place of so many deaths, to learn about these three women — to find out about their lives and who they were.

We found that each woman, in her own way, was a fighter, struggling to survive weeks of hunger, cold, bombardment and shooting, yet tragically vulnerable to the ruthless violence of an occupying army.

Many of the circumstances of their last days remain unclear, but for their families and Ukrainian officials, there is no doubt that they were victims of Russia’s aggression against their country.

Oksana Sulyma, 34, was in Bucha only by chance.

A former public servant, she lived in Kyiv with her 5-year-old daughter, but had visited Bucha to stay with friends only 48 hours before the war began in February. Within days, Russian troops had stormed the wooded suburb and roads and transport links had been cut. Oksana was stuck, said Oleksiy, a childhood friend, who asked that only his first name be used for privacy.

She had grown up and lived much of her adult life in Bucha. Her grandmother lived in an apartment near the center of town. Oksana had moved to Kyiv only after divorcing her husband several years ago; she wanted to be closer to her parents, who helped look after her daughter.

Her mother, Larysa Sulyma, agreed to provide a few details of Oksana’s life for her to be remembered by.

“She was a very bright child,” her mother said. She learned French during an exchange visit to France, completed a degree in sociology at the National Aviation University in Kyiv, and later worked at the Ministry of Infrastructure.

“She was very vivacious,” her mother added. She shared photographs of her daughter on a beach in Crimea, where she used to vacation every year before Russia annexed the peninsula in 2014. “She loved life, she loved to travel.”

In early March, Russian troops set up bases and firing positions in Bucha and began to impose greater control on the streets. They searched houses, confiscated cellphones and began detaining people and killing.

Oksana was last seen by friends on March 10 at Shevchenko Square, her mother said. The square, marked by a statue of the Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko, is a popular meeting place.

Her mother posted a message on Facebook on March 15 expressing concern. Oksana had experienced mental health issues, and anxiety at the onset of the war may have exacerbated her condition, her mother wrote.

“Her behavior may have manifestations of anger, aggression or incompetence,” her post said. “If anyone knows her whereabouts, please call.”

Anna Noha, 36, had lived most of her life in Bucha and had no intention of leaving.

She had friends and family in the town, and even when her former partner and half sister fled the occupation in early March, she chose to stay. Anna hung out with friends in the basement of her two-story building, sometimes venturing into the streets, visiting her father and rescuing cats.

“She was very independent, very active,” said her stepmother, Tetyana Kopachova, 51. “At the same time, she was very kind, very helpful. She chopped wood all winter for me.”

Anna’s father and stepmother were dog breeders and kept 11 Central Asian sheepdogs in cages on their property in the center of town. Anna would come around to help.

She had always been a tearaway, her stepmother said. She married young, divorced, had a teenage daughter. She had served time in prison for dealing drugs, but had since given that up, her stepmother said.

Anna was also a survivor. Her former partner was abusive and she came over to their house for a couple of nights with a friend, nursing bruises, Ms. Kopachova said.

Her parents pressed her to stay, but she left again on March 13, promising to find dog food because they were running out. She never came back.

Lyudmyla Shchehlova, 81, also did not want to leave Bucha. A retired epidemiologist, she had lived for almost 40 years in a cottage styled like a wood cabin, nestled amid pine trees.

The house had belonged to her husband, also a physician, and together they had raised a daughter, Olena, and later their grandson, Yevhen.

His grandfather was the soft one, Yevhen, 22, recalled in an interview. His grandmother was strict, “It was like good cop, bad cop,” he said laughing. “She taught me a lot,” he added.

Ms. Shchehlova was Russian by origin, and her bookshelves were full of Russian classics. Since her husband died a few years ago, she had lived alone, surrounded by her books and family photographs, with Ralph, a German shepherd, and a cat for company.

Her daughter, Olena, lived in a neighboring suburb, Irpin, and wanted her mother to join her there when the war started, but the roads were blocked by the fighting. Within days, the electricity and telephones went down. She tried to call her mother on March 7, her birthday, but could not reach her.

When the bombardment worsened sharply in their neighborhood, Olena and Yevhen fled on foot across a destroyed bridge toward Kyiv.

The last time Yevhen spoke to his grandmother, she was weeping but was happy that they were out of danger. “She said everything was fine,” he said.

By mid-March, the atmosphere in Bucha was growing uglier. New Russian units had taken over control and reprisals against civilians grew.

For several days around March 18, a lot of killing occurred in Bucha.

Russian troops had occupied School No. 3 on Vokzalna Street, and they were firing mortars from empty land behind it. Soldiers smashed their armored vehicles through garden fences and camped in people’s homes.

At some point, Oksana Sulyma was apprehended and taken to a house on Vokzalna Street. The house backed up to School No. 3, which she had attended as a girl. Oksana was found there in April, imprisoned in a potato cellar, shot in the head. She was wearing only a fur coat.

The police found bullet casings by the trap door of the cellar and determined she was killed on March 17, a week after going missing. Her passport and ID card were later found by the Ukrainian police near the railway tracks.

Russian soldiers had been living in the house, sleeping on mattresses in the living room and heating water for washing. In a bedroom upstairs, women’s clothes and underwear were strewn about and the police found a used condom. An official familiar with the case said there was evidence that Oksana had been raped.

Around the same time, Anna Noha moved to an apartment a few blocks away, just west of Vokzalna Street. Her windows had been blown out by the shelling and it was freezing, so a friend, Vladyslav, took her and a former classmate, Yuriy, to stay with his mother, Lyudmyla.

Anna brought coffee and tea with her and asked Lyudmyla if she could also bring an abandoned cat, a beautiful longhaired Siamese, that she had found.

“She seemed very kind,” said Lyudmyla, who asked that only her first name be used. “That’s why I gave her shelter.”

On the evening of March 18, the three friends cleaned the apartment and took out the trash, Lyudmyla said. They said they would have a smoke while they were outside. They never came back.

Lyudmyla later learned from neighbors that Russian troops had detained them by the trash bins and marched them with bags over their heads into the basement of a nearby 10-story building. Neighbors said Anna had shouted out “Glory to Ukraine.”

A week later, Lyudmyla was gathering firewood with a friend when she found their bodies. First she saw Anna and Yuriy, lying in the garden of an unoccupied house. Later she found her son, Vladyslav, inside a shed. They had been beaten and each was shot through an eye. Anna was so badly bludgeoned that her face was unrecognizable, Lyudmyla said.

“She was cheerful, strong,” Lyudmyla said of Anna. “Maybe she suffered for her outspokenness.”

By March 19, only two residents, Ms. Shchehlova, the 81-year-old retired epidemiologist, and Mariya, 84, a former factory worker, remained on their narrow lane.

Soldiers occupied a house at the end of the lane, Mariya said. “There were 15 of them in that gang and they made such trouble here,” she said. Someone stole bottles of alcohol from her fridge while she dozed in an armchair, she said.

A builder, Bogdan Barkar, 37, was out scouring for food one day and came across Ms. Shchehlova in the alley behind her house. “She had tears in her eyes,” he said. He sensed she was being threatened by someone. “Just come by in two days and see if I am alive or not,” she told him.

Some days later, Mariya said she heard Ms. Shchehlova arguing with someone and saw a strange man in her yard. But weak from hunger and fearful, Mariya did not intervene.

It was only days later when the Russians withdrew from Bucha that Mariya’s son came back and discovered Ms. Shchehlova hanging from a tree, a ladder propped against the trunk.

The police recorded it as a suicide, but few who knew Ms. Shchehlova believed she could have done it herself. She was religious and knew it to be a sin, said her neighbor Valentyn Melnyk.

Her grandson Yevhen cut the ropes down from the tree and said he doubted that she would have been able to tie them on the high branches. But he was resigned to his doubts.

“I am a realist,” he said. “How is it possible to find out what happened if all the neighbors left, and she was alone at that moment?”

The grief and loss remains overwhelming. His mother, a refugee in Sweden, wept at missing her mother’s funeral.

Anna Noha’s father, Volodymyr Kopachov, died on July 7, soon after burying his daughter. He lies beside her in Bucha City Cemetery in the section reserved for victims of the war.

Oksana Sulyma’s parents made separate visits to the cellar where she died. Weeping, her mother distributed sweets to the neighbors.

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Toll of Russian Strikes Mounts, Adding Urgency to Ukraine’s Pleas for Weapons

Credit…Jean-Francois Badias/Associated Press

PARIS — France began pumping natural gas directly to Germany for the first time on Thursday, part of a landmark agreement struck by both governments to help each other confront Europe’s energy crisis as Russia cuts off gas supplies to Europe.

Volumes of gas capable of producing around 31 gigawatt-hours per day of electricity began flowing early on Thursday into Germany, the French network operator GRTgaz said. The connection has a maximum capacity of 100 gigawatt-hours per day, equal to the power output of four nuclear reactors, or about 10 percent of the amount of liquefied natural gas that France imports each day, the company said.

GRTgaz said that months ago it had begun modifying its pipeline networks to be able to send gas to Germany. For years, the German economy has relied on Russian gas exports, but this year Moscow has slashed them in response to Western sanctions for its invasion of Ukraine.

France gets its gas from the Netherlands, Norway and Russia, according to the International Energy Agency, although supplies from Russia were cut off in September. It also receives deliveries of liquefied natural gas from several L.N.G. terminals.

To face the energy crunch, France has been storing gas and getting more of it from its European partners and Qatar. Recently, President Emmanuel Macron has burnished relations with Algeria, a former French colony, which has agreed to sharply increase gas exports to France.

In exchange for the gas from France, Germany has pledged to export more electricity to that country as it grapples with an unprecedented crisis in its nuclear power industry that has reduced power production.

“Germany needs our gas, and we need the electricity produced in the rest of Europe, and in particular in Germany,” President Emmanuel Macron said last month after speaking with the German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, about the agreement. “We will contribute to European solidarity in gas and benefit from European solidarity in electricity.”

“Merci beaucoup,” Klaus Müller, the head of Germany’s federal network agency, wrote in a Twitter message to GRTGaz on Thursday. “The gas deliveries from France, through Saarland, help Germany’s energy security.”

European countries have pledged to work together to get through winter as Russia’s aggression in Ukraine raises the prospect of a prolonged energy crisis. On Thursday, Spain proposed increasing its gas deliveries to France by 18 percent in the coming months, Spain’s ecological transition minister, Teresa Ribera, said.

As Europe’s largest economy and the one most dependent on Russian gas, Germany has been among the countries worst affected by the energy crisis rippling across Europe, where natural gas costs about 10 times what it did a year ago. Both Berlin and Paris have imposed a broad range of conservation measures, including lowering thermostats and hot water heaters, encouraging the use of public transport and requiring public buildings to turn off lights early.

The energy crunch has forced European governments to fall back on less-desirable power sources that they had been trying to phase out in a push to go green. Germany, for instance, has decided to keep coal-fired power plants online and restart several others that had been mothballed.

In addition, Germany decided to keep two of its three remaining nuclear power plants operational as an emergency reserve for its electricity supply, breaking a political taboo and delaying its plans to become the first industrial power to go nuclear-free for its energy.

And in France, the government is facing an energy crisis of its own after half its fleet of nuclear power plants — the largest in Europe — was taken offline earlier this year for inspections and repairs. The electricity shortage has driven prices to record levels, forcing factories to cut production and put tens of thousands of employees on furlough.

Bruno Le Maire, France’s economy minister, warned Thursday that high energy prices continued to pose a “major risk” to French industry and would lead to a 10 percent decline in industrial production this winter.

Berlin this month announced a 200 billion euro (about $196 billion) aid plan for German households, businesses and industries. It includes policies to curb natural gas and electricity prices domestically. And France has already spent around €100 billion since last winter doing the same.

But with Mr. Scholz facing pushback over his government’s decision to keep nuclear plants running, Germany’s ability to uphold its end of the energy-swap deal with France may wind up depending on the French themselves: GRTgaz said that the exported French gas would allow Germany to produce more electricity, which in turn would be sent back to the French grid during peak hours.

“If we did not have European solidarity,” Mr. Macron said in a televised interview on Wednesday, “we would have serious problems.”

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In Global Slowdown, China Holds Sway Over Countries’ Fates

BEIJING — When Suriname couldn’t make its debt payments, a Chinese state bank seized the money from one of the South American country’s accounts.

As Pakistan has struggled to cope with a devastating flood that has inundated a third of the country, its loan repayments to China have been rising fast.

When Kenyans and Angolans went to the polls in presidential elections in August, the countries’ Chinese loans, and how to repay them, were a hot-button political issue.

Across much of the developing world, China finds itself in an uncomfortable position, a geopolitical giant that now holds significant sway over the financial futures of many nations but is also owed huge sums of money that may never be repaid in full.

the lender of choice for many nations over the past decade, doling out funds for governments to build bullet trains, hydroelectric dams, airports and superhighways. As inflation has climbed and economies have weakened, China has the power to cut them off, lend more or, in its most accommodating moments, forgive small portions of their debts.

The economic distress in poor countries is palpable, given the lingering effects of the pandemic, coupled with high food and energy prices after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Many borrowed heavily from China. In Pakistan, overall public debt has more than doubled over the past decade, with loans from China growing fastest; in Kenya, public debt is up ninefold and in Suriname tenfold.

two hydroelectric dams in southern Patagonia. Bradley Parks, the executive director of AidData, a research institute at William and Mary, a university in Williamsburg, Va., estimated that Argentina’s twice-a-year interest payment was $87 million in January and $137 million in July.

Argentina will owe a payment of over $170 million on the loan in January if interest rates keep rising at the same pace, he calculated. Argentina’s finance ministry did not respond to emails and text messages about the loan.

According to the I.M.F., three-fifths of the world’s developing countries are now having considerable trouble repaying loans or have already fallen behind on their debts. More than half the world’s poor countries owe more to China than to all Western governments combined.

For now, Chinese officials in poor countries face unpleasant jobs as debt collectors.

“You have a lot more influence when you’re providing the loan,” said Brad Setser, an international payments specialist at the Council on Foreign Relations, “than when you’re begging for repayment.”

Abdi Latif Dahir in Nairobi, Emily Schmall in New Delhi, Skandha Gunasekara in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Salman Masood in Islamabad, Pakistan, contributed reporting. Li You and Ana Lankes contributed research.

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Worldwide Passivated Emitter Rear Cell Industry to 2027 – Key Drivers and Challenges – ResearchAndMarkets.com

DUBLIN–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The “Global Passivated Emitter Rear Cell Market By Component (Anti-Reflective Coating, Silicon wafers, Passivation layer, Capping Layer, Others), By Type (Monocrystalline, Polycrystalline, Thin Film), By Application, By Region, Competition, Forecast and Opportunities , 2017-2027” report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s offering.

The global passivated emitter rear cell market is projected to register a significant CAGR during the forecast years, 2023-2027. Increasing demand for better and more efficient energy storage solutions to meet the growing energy requirement worldwide is the primary driver for the global passivated emitter rear cell market.

Solar panels with passivated emitter rear cells (PERCs) contain an extra layer covering the typical solar cells’ backs, increasing the efficiency and output of electrical energy from solar radiation. The safety of the solar panels can be enhanced by using PERC (passivated emitter rear cell) modules.

These modules are able to reduce back recombination and prevent longer-wavelength solar light from turning into heat energy, both of which are detrimental to the device and its performance. Market players are continuously making high-end investments in research and development activities to find new innovative solutions and upgrade the existing infrastructure.

Further improvements to the device are being made to lower installation and maintenance costs in addition to improving its efficiency. Modern PERC panels make better use of available space and operate more efficiently even when fewer panels are put in, which reduces installation time and expense.

The global passivated emitter rear cell market segmentation is based on component, type, application, regional distribution, and competitive landscape. Based on type, the market is divided into monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin film. The monocrystalline segment is expected to hold the largest market share during the forecast period, 2023-2027.

Monocrystalline passivated emitter rear cell is a combination of single-crystal cell, passivated emitter cell, and back cell. The solar panel provides high flexibility and has various placements viability & tilt options without compromising efficiency. Monocrystalline passivated emitter rear cells are also efficient in case of low lighting; thus, regions such as Europe can effectively use these for power generation.

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In this report, global passivated emitter rear cell market has been segmented into the following categories, in addition to the industry trends which have also been detailed below:

Passivated Emitter Rear Cell Market, By Component:

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For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/n6onw8

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