Leaders of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), including U.S. President Joe Biden, met at a summit on Monday in a bid to rebuild solidarity among member states.
The summit of the 30-member NATO was the first of its kind Biden attended as U.S. President, after four years of chaos seen under his predecessor Donald Trump, who called the military alliance “obsolete.”
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters that the leaders were meeting “at a pivotal moment for our alliance, and today we’ll open a new chapter in our trans-Atlantic relationship.”
Stoltenberg noted that the summit would address the “NATO 2030″ agenda, a comprehensive initiative about making sure the alliance remained ready to face challenges.
He said that the leaders at the summit would strengthen Article V of NATO’s founding treaty, which stipulates that an attack on one will be considered an attack on all.
He added that NATO’s operation area would cover not only air, sea, and land, but also cyberspace and space.
Among the concerns NATO is facing is how to reconcile its role with the increasing defense autonomy the European Union wants.
French President Emmanuel Macron has emphasised the importance of Europe in the Western defense alliance, tweeting that it was Europe’s destiny to play a balancing role in the world in the future.
The summit will also touch on the bloc’s relations with Russia and China, and the aftermath of its military withdrawal from Afghanistan. (Xinhua/NAN)
Ruto Sworn In As Kenya’s President
William Ruto was sworn in as Kenya’s fifth post-independence president at a pomp-filled ceremony on Tuesday, after his narrow victory in a bitterly-fought but largely peaceful election.
He was sworn in by the Chief Judge, Martha Koome, on Tuesday at a ceremony held in the packed Moi International Sports Centre in Kasarani.
Amid cheers from the excited crowd, Ruto swore an oath of allegiance and another oath for the execution of the functions of the office.
“I William Samoei Ruto, in full realisation of the high calling I assume as president of Kenya, do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the public of Kenya, that I will obey, preserve and protect this constitution of Kenya,” he said.
Ruto beat his rival Raila Odinga — who had been backed by outgoing president Uhuru Kenyatta — by less than two percentage points in the August 9 poll.
The 55-year-old rags-to-riches businessman, who once sold chickens on the roadside, now faces a daunting task to steer a polarised country gripped by a cost-of-living crisis and punishing drought.
His rise to State House has been closely watched by the international community, which looks to Kenya as a reliable and stable democracy in a turbulent region.
Foreign allies and independent observers praised the conduct of the vote, which was largely peaceful and free of the violence that has marred past elections in the country of 50 million people.
Ruto won by only around 200,000 votes out of 14 million but the Supreme Court on September 5 upheld his victory, dismissing his opponents’ claims of fraud and mismanagement.
Outgoing head of state Kenyatta, who in a stunning turn of events had backed his longtime arch-rival Odinga in the election race, has promised a smooth transfer of power.
Kenyatta finally shook hands with Ruto at a meeting at the presidential residence on Monday after pointedly failing to publicly congratulate his deputy for several weeks.
Ruto has struck a conciliatory tone, extending a “hand of brotherhood” to his rivals and their supporters.
“We are not enemies. We are Kenyans,” Ruto said after the court’s decision.
But Odinga turned down an invitation to attend Tuesday’s ceremony and instead travelled outside the country, charging in a statement that the election body did not conduct a “free and fair” poll.
Queen Elizabeth II dies at age 96
The United Kingdom’s longest serving monarch, Queen Elizabeth II has died
The Queen died at Balmoral at the age of 96, after reigning for 70 years.
Family members gathered at Queen’s Scottish estate after concerns grew about her health earlier on Thursday.
The Queen came to the throne in 1952 and witnessed enormous social change.
With her death, her eldest son Charles, the former Prince of Wales, will lead the country in mourning as the new King and head of state for 14 Commonwealth realms.
A statement by the Buckingham Palace said: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon.
“The King and the Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”
All the Queen’s children travelled to Balmoral, near Aberdeen, after doctors placed the Queen under medical supervision.
Her grandson, Prince William, is also there, with his brother, Prince Harry, on his way.
Pakistan Flood: Death Toll Tops 1,000
The death toll from monsoon flooding in Pakistan since June has reached 1,033, according to figures released Sunday by the country’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
It said 119 people had died in the previous 24 hours as heavy rains continued to lash parts of the country.
The annual monsoon is essential for irrigating crops and replenishing lakes and dams across the Indian subcontinent, but each year it also brings a wave of destruction.
Officials say this year’s monsoon flooding has affected more than 33 million people — one in seven Pakistanis — destroying or badly damaging nearly a million homes.
The NDMA said more than two million acres of cultivated crops have been wiped out, 3,451 kilometers (2,150 miles) of roads destroyed, and 149 bridges washed away.
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