Prince William greeted US President Joe Biden at the waterfront in Boston on Friday, part of a three-day visit by British royals trying to focus attention on tackling environmental issues.
William and his wife, Kate, attempted to keep the spotlight on climate and other causes they champion on their first overseas trip since taking on the titles of Prince and Princess of Wales after the death of Queen Elizabeth in September.
In the middle of their US visit, however, Netflix Inc released a trailer for an upcoming documentary series about William’s younger brother, Harry, and his American wife, Meghan, reviving talk about rifts in the royal family. Buckingham Palace also was dealing with a new racism controversy, Reuters reported.
On Friday afternoon, William smiled as he met Biden outdoors in cold weather along Boston’s waterfront. The two men took a brief stroll before a private meeting at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.
The pair were expected to discuss “shared climate goals” and “prioritization of mental health issues,” White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters before the meeting.
Later on Friday, William and Kate were due to honor winners of the Earthshot Prize, an award William established to recognize people working to fight the effects of climate change. Grammy-winning singer Billie Eilish and others were scheduled to perform at the star-studded ceremony.
“We want to demonstrate what we can all do to help put the world on a path towards a stable climate, where communities, nature and oceans thrive in harmony,” William said in an opinion piece published in The Huffington Post on Friday.
Kate and William last visited the United States in 2014, when they were guests of then-President Barack Obama at the White House.
Russia voices support for Afghanistan’s participation at COP29
A Russian official has said that Afghanistan’s representatives should have presence in international climate change meetings including this year’s COP29 U.N. climate summit that will be held in Azerbaijan’s Baku.
Ruslan Edelgeriyev, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Change of the Russian Federation, said this as he met with Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi in Kabul on Saturday.
The meeting focused on bilateral relations between IEA and the Russian Federation, economic cooperation, cooperation in the area of climate change and ways to upgrade diplomatic relations between the two countries, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Stressing on enhanced bilateral relations, Muttaqi said that further progress can be made in several areas by upgrading diplomatic relations, adding that despite Afghanistan not being a greenhouse gas emitter, it remains vulnerable to hazardous effects of climate change.
Urging Russia to cooperate in providing training to the staff of the relevant bodies in environment protection and forestation, Muttaqi requested Russian support in ensuring the participation of Afghan representatives in international forums on environmental protection.
Exchanging views on upgrading bilateral diplomatic relations, Edelgeriyev pledged to duly reflect developments in Afghanistan to the Russian president, according to the statement.
He emphasized that Afghanistan’s representatives should participate in international climate change meetings, highlighting that Russia will support participation of the Afghan delegation in COP29 to be held in Baku, Azerbaijan.
He also stressed on the commencement of the work of the bilateral trade commission between Afghanistan and Russia.
The Russian official separately met also with Acting Industry and Commerce Minister Nooruddin Azizi, where they discussed expansion of trade relations.
This comes as a two-day international conference on climate change began in Nangarhar province on Saturday.
Philippine landslide death toll climbs to 37
The number of people killed by a landslide in the southern Philippines has risen to 37, an official said on Sunday, as rescue workers continued to dig through mud even as hope of finding more survivors dimmed.
The landslide struck on Tuesday night outside a gold mine in Maco town in the province of Davao de Oro, burying homes and vehicles ferrying employees to the site operated by Apex Mining, Reuters reported.
Edward Macapili, an official of Davao de Oro province, said 37 people had died from the landslide, in the latest update after two more bodies were found on Sunday.
However, the tally of missing people was revised down to 63 from 77, while there were 32 injured. Officials did not immediately cite a reason for the revision.
Macapili said over 300 people were involved in the rescue, but operations were being hampered by heavy rain, thick mud and the threat of further landslides. Rescue work resumed on Sunday morning, Macapili said.
Asked if there were still survivors, Macapili said it was already “unlikely”, but the search would continue.
“The rescue team is doing its best, even if it’s very difficult,” Macapili said by phone.
Torrential rains have battered Davao de Oro in recent weeks, triggering floods and landslides.
Australia sweats through heatwave, bushfire risk rated ‘extreme’
Large swaths of Australia on Sunday sweltered through a heatwave as authorities warned of elevated bushfire risk in an already high-risk fire season during an El Nino weather pattern.
The nation’s weather forecaster had heatwave alerts in place for Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory and Western Australia, warning temperatures in some parts of the country could hit the low 40s Celsius, Reuters reported.
An El Nino is a climate pattern in which unusually warm Pacific Ocean temperatures are associated with phenomena such as cyclones, droughts, wildfires and heatwaves.
The high in the west of Sydney, the capital of New South Wales, was forecast at 39 C, almost 10 degrees above the February mean, forecaster data showed.
Hot and dry conditions combined with gusty winds prompted the forecaster to issue “extreme fire danger” warnings for parts of Victoria and South Australia states.
Sunday’s hot weather – the latest in a string of heatwaves to scorch Australia – comes after the country’s east was hit last month by damaging floods.
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