(Source: www.straitstimes.com)

Time ticking as nations meet on Paris climate deal

Environment ministers from some 30 countries gathered in Montreal on Saturday, seeking headway on the Paris climate accord, as a US envoy signalled a softening in President Donald Trump’s stance on the deal.

Called by Canada, China and the European Union, the summit took place 30 years to the day after the signing of the Montreal Protocol on protecting the ozone layer – which Canada’s environment minister hailed as a multilateral “success story” by governments, NGOs and ordinary citizens jointly tackling a major global threat.

“We have an opportunity to accomplish even more with the Paris agreement,” Catherine McKenna said at the summit, attended by more than half of the Group of 20 (G-20) members as well as some of the nations most vulnerable to climate change – from the low-lying Marshall Islands and Maldives to impoverished Mali and Ethiopia.

“Changes are real, extreme weather events are more frequent, more powerful and more distressful,” she told the gathering, pointing at the devastation wrought by mega-storms such as Harvey and Irma which many climate scientists believe are boosted by global warming.

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Russia strike wounds US-backed Syria forces, says coalition

The US-led coalition said on Saturday that Russian forces bombed American-backed fighters battling the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria group in eastern Syria wounding several, despite denials from Syrian regime ally Moscow.

The unprecedented strike was initially reported by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters supported by Washington.

The SDF accused Russian warplanes of bombing its fighters for the first time in the complex war, but Russia’s military spokesman denied targeting the group.

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U2 cancels concert in protest-hit St Louis

Rock giants U2 called off a concert planned for Saturday night in St Louis, Missouri as the US city braced for a second day of protests over the acquittal of a former police officer in the shooting death of a black man.

The Irish rock band and entertainment firm Live Nation announced the show’s cancellation in a statement citing concerns about their fans’ security.

“We have been informed by the St Louis Police Department that they are not in a position to provide the standard protection for our audience as would be expected for an event of this size,” they said.

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Football: Stuttgart’s Gentner saved by doctor after swallowing tongue

Only the quick thinking of VfB Stuttgart’s team doctor rescued captain Christian Gentner, who swallowed his tongue in a horror clash in Saturday’s Bundesliga game against Wolfsburg.

Genter was left bloodied after Wolfsburg goalkeeper Koen Casteels’ knee caught the midfielder on the head late in the 1-0 home victory.

Gentner swallowed his tongue in the collision and only the fast reactions of Stuttgart doctor Raymond Best, who ran onto the pitch, prevented a tragedy.

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Football: Rampant Manchester City go top, Palace slump continues

Manchester City thumped Watford 6-0 to move top of the Premier League on Saturday as Crystal Palace suffered their fifth successive loss in a 1-0 defeat by Southampton.

With joint leaders Manchester United playing on Sunday, along with Chelsea, City took their opportunity to lay down a title marker with another attacking masterclass and go three points clear of their neighbours at the summit.

Sergio Aguero scored his 10th City hat-trick, with strike partner Gabriel Jesus, Nicolas Otamendi and Raheem Sterling also netting against previously unbeaten Watford as City, who beat Liverpool 5-0 and Feyenoord 4-0 this week, romped home.

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