The United States House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, departed Taiwan on Wednesday, ending a controversial landmark visit that Beijing responded to with threats and military drills.
The 82-year-old lawmaker waved to waiting dignitaries at Taipei’s Songshan airport before boarding a US military aircraft that took off at 6 pm (10:00 GMT), live broadcasts showed.
Sweden To Help Consumers Facing High Electricity Costs
Sweden’s government on Wednesday vowed to compensate households and companies for soaring electricity costs in the wake of the Ukraine war, to the tune of up to 60 billion kronor ($5.76 billion).
At least half of the amount was to go to households who could expect to be compensated “this winter”, Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson told reporters.
“We have electricity and gas prices at a level we’ve never seen before”, she said.
On Wednesday, electricity on the Nordpool market hit a record 5.69 kronor per kilowatt hour in southern Sweden. It was expected to fall back slightly to 5.50 kronor on Thursday.
Swedish electricity prices have soared after Russia drastically curtailed gas supplies to Europe following its invasion of Ukraine.
Gas prices have thereby soared, at a time when there is little wind energy being generated in northern Europe due to current weather conditions.
Svenska Kraftnat, the state-owned operator of the national grid, has therefore been raking in soaring so-called capacity fees, which have left it with a surplus despite massive investments in its grid, Andersson said.
That surplus should make its way back to consumers, Andersson said, adding: “The higher the electricity price goes, the higher the amounts we’re talking about”.
Hydropower for about half of the electricity generated in Sweden, which also relies on nuclear and wind power.
It is not yet known what form the compensation would take nor when it would be introduced, but the government said measures could include lower electricity prices as well as direct refunds to households and companies.
The government has tasked Svenska Kraftnat with drawing up a concrete proposal by November 15.
The Social Democratic government’s announcement comes just three weeks ahead of legislative elections, with opinion polls putting the left and right blocs neck-and-neck.
$418m Paris Club Refund: Malami’s Action Fraudulent, Self Serving – NGF
The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has criticized the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, describing his recent claims and actions as fraudulent and self-serving over the $418m Paris Club refund.
The Chairman of the group, Kayode Fayemi, told the media after a meeting on Wednesday that the Forum would take every constitutional and legal means to ensure that the purported consultancies are fully litigated by the Supreme Court.
The Minister of Justice had days ago stated that the Governors had no basis to reject the proposed deductions of 418 million dollars from the Paris Club refund because they had been indemnified and conceded that such payments be made to the consultants.
The NGF Chairman insisted that there is no liability by the states and only the courts can determine if the NGF states are indeed liable. Mister Malami, according to him, is acting in his personal and public interest.
In a communique at the end of the meeting, it added: “The Forum extensively reviewed the purported attempt by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the Minister of Finance (HMF) to circumvent the law and a recent judgement of the Supreme Court to secure the approval of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to effect payment of the sum of US$418 million to contractors who allegedly executed consultant in respect to the Paris Club refunds to the state and local governments.
“A committee was set up comprising the Chairman, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, and Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State to interface with the committee set up by Mr. President to review the matter.”
War: China, India, Tajikistan, Others To Send Troops To Russia
China’s People’s Liberation Army will send troops to Russia to participate in the “East-2022” drills.
The East-2022 is also called the Vostok-2022 and this was disclosed by the Chinese Ministry of Defense on Wednesday, according to CNN.
“China’s participation in the exercise is aimed at deepening practical and friendly cooperation with the armies of the participating countries,” the ministry added.
It further explained that the Asian giants’ participation would enhance the level of strategic cooperation among countries involved.
The exercise would further strengthen the ability to respond to various security threats, according to the defense ministry.
It, however, added that the exercise is unrelated to the current international and regional situation.
Other nations to join in the exercise are India, Belarus, Tajikistan, Mongolia and other countries
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