4 Bits Of News From Around The World You May Have Missed Amid The Tory Scandals

News in the UK has been dominated by the latest stream of Tory headlines, so it’s understandable if you’ve missed a few of the international stories over the last week.

While PM Rishi Sunak was fined for not wearing a seatbelt, Tory Party chair Nadhim Zahawi faces scrutiny over his finances and there’s pressure over the ex-PM Boris Johnson and the BBC chairman’s connection, here are just four stories from the rest of the world.

1. Third mass shootings in eight days in the US

The US has been shaken by three different mass shootings on the West Coast in a matter of days.

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In Half Moon Bay, south of San Francisco, a man shot seven ex-colleagues dead on Wednesday in the deadliest attack in San Mateo County’s history. The suspect has been charged.

In Monterey Park, six hours away from Half Moon Bay, 11 people were killed during the Lunar New Year Celebrations, before the gunman killed himself – one of the deadliest mass shootings in California’s recent history.

Six people were also killed at a property in central California – including a mother and her baby – on Tuesday 17 January. Authorities are still looking for those responsible.

Responding to the tragedies, California governor Gavin Newsom said: “What the hell is wrong with us that we allow these weapons of war and large capacity magazines out on the streets and sidewalks? Why have we allowed this culture, this pattern, to continue?”

He added: “Only in America do we see this kind of carnage.”

US President Joe Biden called on Congress to back legislation which would raise the minimum age to buy assault weapons in the country to 21.

Gun Violence Archive also said that Half Moon Bay attack was the 37th mass shooting in the US in just 24 days.

2. Zelenskyy dismisses idea of meeting Putin

The Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy told Sky News that he had no plans to meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, almost a year on since the war between their countries began.

He said: “They don’t want any talks, and this was the case before the invasion. President Putin decided so.”

Zelenskyy continued: “He doesn’t want negotiations because he doesn’t want peace.

“I am convinced that Ukraine is just the first step for him. I am convinced that he is waging a big war.”

Speaking after Western allies just agreed to send tanks to Ukraine (after weeks of hesitation), Zelenskyy continued: “And having the whole world helping Ukraine now – he [Putin] is not thinking about that. He is thinking, ‘Well, it’s not working out in Ukraine now but we will wait…. the world won’t stay united, they will get tired and I will move further.’

“But after Ukraine there will be further steps, there will be other countries, if we fail to withstand.

“I think we will manage, we will get support and we will win.”

He dismissed the idea of meeting Putin too, saying: “It is not interesting for me. Not interesting to meet, not interesting to speak. Why? Because we had meeting with him in Normandy Format, it was before full-scale invasion. I saw the man who said one thing and then did another.

“I can’t understand – is it his decisions or somebody else? So to meet what, to shake hands? Not interesting. To speak? I really don’t understand who makes decisions in Russia.

“Who is he now? After full-scale invasion, for me he is nobody, nobody.”

3. Doomsday clock creeps closer to midnight

The Doomsday Clock is just 90 seconds to midnight as of Tuesday.

This is clock is a countdown which is used as a metaphor for global collapse, first created in 1947, meant to symbolise how close the world is to nuclear Armageddon.

And now, it is 10 seconds closer to midnight than it was before, having been at just 100 seconds since 2020.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists – the independent non-profit organisation team of experts who decide where to put the clock who worked on the first atomic bomb – said it was all down to Russia’s “thinly veiled threats to use nuclear weapons” shows how close the world is to conflict.

“The possibility that the conflict could spin out of anyone’s control remains high,” the experts said.

They added that the last remaining nuclear weapons treaty between Moscow and Washington DC is “in jeopardy” unless they “resume negotiations and find a basis for further reductions, the treaty will expire in February 2026″.

This is the closest the clock has ever been to midnight.

Rachel Bronson, president and CEO of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists said: “We are living in a time of unprecedented danger, and the Doomsday Clock time reflects that reality.”

The 2023 Doomsday Clock is displayed before of a live-streamed event with members of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists on January 24, 2023

Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images

4. An asteroid is set to sail close to the Earth this week

An asteroid, named 2023 BU, is set to stream past our planet just after midnight on Friday, January 27.

It will be 3,500km above the planet’s surface at its closest point. That’s less than 3% the average distance between the Earth and the moon and significantly closer than most satellites around the planet, which orbit at around 35,000km.

That makes it the fourth closest to pass by our planet since our records began.

It won’t crash into the Earth, but will be between 3.8 and 8.4 metres in size, the size of a small truck.

Undated handout graphic issued by Nasa of the Orbital diagram from CNEO's close approach viewer showing BU's trajectory - in red - during its close approach with Earth.
Undated handout graphic issued by Nasa of the Orbital diagram from CNEO’s close approach viewer showing BU’s trajectory – in red – during its close approach with Earth.

NASA/JPL-Caltech via PA Media

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