Five global stories to watch as the US awaits midterm election results


The world is waiting to assess the impact of the next wild turn in the politics of the United States, a power that tried to ensure global stability for decades but whose domestic politics are increasingly turning it into a force of unpredictability and interruption

Tuesday’s election results will be available overnight US time on CNN, CNN International and (Watch live here.)

In the meantime, here’s the latest of five other consequential global news stories that deserve attention as America’s middle tests race toward their toxic conclusion.

President Vladimir Putin’s assault on Ukraine is getting more and more brutal. Its siege against the neighboring country’s infrastructure, including the use of deadly Iranian-made drones, is causing deep suffering to the city’s residents. In Kyiv, power cuts last up to 12 hours a day, streets are pitch black and Mayor Vitali Klitschko has warned that residents could face a winter without electricity, heat or water. “Generally, they want us all dead,” he said.

Putin hopes to break the will of the Ukrainian people, after their resistance humiliated his forces on the battlefield. So far, there are no signs of that, although a Republican House after the legislature may be unwilling to continue spending billions of dollars on military assistance to Ukraine. The most tangible signs of fraying morale are actually on Moscow’s side: This week, some Russian soldiers complained in a letter that they had been sent into an “incomprehensible battle” in the Donetsk region, where Ukraine says his enemy suffered heavy losses.

Iran’s ties to Russia are causing growing concern in the United States. At home, the Islamic Republic is facing an unprecedented popular uprising, sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman, after she was arrested by the country’s so-called “morality police”.

More than 220 members of Iran’s parliament have called for protesters to be taught a “good lesson” by the clerical leadership, to deter others who threaten their authority. Iran has charged at least 1,000 people in Tehran province alone over protests across the country, the largest demonstration of dissent in years, state news agency IRNA reported.

In Pakistan, former Prime Minister Imran Khan says he has insider knowledge of the apparent assassination attempt that led to his shooting last week and three bullets in his leg. Khan has accused senior members of the government of planning the attack, which they and Pakistan’s intelligence service strongly deny.

“I have connections with the intelligence agencies, the different agencies that operate. How did I get the information? From within the intelligence agencies. Why? Because most people are horrified by what is happening in this country,” the former cricket legend told CNN’s Becky Anderson.

Political furor is intensifying over the World Cup finals in Qatar starting this month as players, FIFA officials and pundits scramble to answer questions about the Gulf state’s human rights record and death of foreign workers while building the stadiums for the world football spectacle.

Their discomfort will be compounded by FIFA World Cup ambassador and former footballer Khalid Salman’s comment that homosexuality is “damage to the mind”, in an interview with German broadcaster ZDF.

Salman said being gay was “haram” or forbidden in Islamic law. “It’s damage to the mind,” he continued, adding that it was necessary to “talk about gays” before the tournament. The interview, filmed in Doha less than two weeks before the start of the tournament, was immediately stopped by a World Cup organizing committee official.

To be honest, it was a close call if this next story was to be seen on the radar. World leaders are burning huge amounts of jet fuel to gather in Egypt for this year’s COP27 climate summit. The urgency of the problem is clear: This year has seen ample evidence, from floods in Pakistan to massive wildfires in the United States to vicious heat waves in Europe, that global warming is accelerating. But will another climate summit achieve anything meaningful in catching up with missed targets for reducing carbon emissions?

A big question at the conference is whether there will be agreement on loss and damage — the principle that rich countries responsible for decades of carbon emissions should spend money to help developing countries, which bear the brunt of the climate consequences

“He keeps getting kicked out,” former White House national climate adviser Gina McCarthy told CNN. “There is a need for real accountability and some specific short-term commitments.”

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