Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 2 December 2020

From Israel to Chernobyl fires, the non-coronavirus news you may have missed

Luxembourg has blocked a US bid for 9/11 compensation from Iran and Bernie Sanders endorsed Joe Biden as the next US president

A forest fire burns in the exclusion zone around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Ukraine. EPA
A forest fire burns in the exclusion zone around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Ukraine. EPA

Luxembourg blocks US bid for 9/11 compensation from Iran

A long-running US request to transfer US$1.6 billion (Dh 5.88 billion) in Iranian assets to victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York has been blocked by a Luxembourg court.

An official statement said that an appeals court on April 1 found the US seizure demand "inadmissible", but that the verdict can be appealed.

Israel extends government formation deadline

Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin has accepted a last minute request from opposition leader Benny Gantz to extend the deadline to form a coalition government, after previously rejecting a similar request on the grounds that he was not close to reaching a power-sharing agreement with rival Benjamin Netanyahu. The pair said they had made “meaningful progress” in their efforts to form a joint government.

Forest fires rage near Chernobyl nuclear plant

Forest fires are raging in the contaminated area near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, but officials say there is no radiation threat.

Hundreds of firefighters backed by aircraft have been battling the fires since last week. They managed to contain the initial blazes, but new fires are now raging close to the decommissioned plant.

Sanders endorses Biden for US president

Bernie Sanders endorsed the Democratic candidate and former vice president Joe Biden for president, a week after ending his own campaign.

“We need you in the White House,” Mr Sanders told Mr Biden during a videolink event Mr Biden streamed live online because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Cardinal Pell links abuse accusations to his fight against corruption

Cardinal George Pell served 13 months in prison before Australia’s High Court last week acquitted him for molesting two choirboys in St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne while he was archbishop in the 1990s.

The former finance minister to Pope Francis said on TV on Tuesday that some church officials believed he was prosecuted by Australian authorities because of the trouble he had caused in the Vatican with financial reforms.

“Most of the senior people in Rome who are in any way sympathetic to financial reform believe that they are” linked to his prosecution, the 78-year-old cleric told Sky News.

Updated: April 14, 2020 05:51 PM

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