Dismissing Israeli threats
Iran’s defense minister has played down the recent Israeli threats against his country, saying the Islamic Republic will give a crushing response to any unwise move. Brigadier General Mohammad-Reza Ashtiani says Israel’s recent accusations against Iran were out of desperation. Ashtiani has warned that Tel Aviv will pay dearly for any act of aggression. Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid recently accused Iran of marching toward a nuclear weapon. Lapid also threatened that the regime will act IF the world fails to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear capabilities. Iran has time and again said that its nuclear program is non-military and is solely for civilian purposes including power generation.
UK energy market crisis
Gas prices hit record highs in Britain, threatening consumers with huge power bills and small suppliers' futures. A leading trade association for the UK offshore oil and gas industry says wholesale prices for gas are up 250-percent since January. The figure shows a 70-percent increase since august. Experts say households will get hit by surging power bills this coming winter, while small energy firms risk collapsing. The hike is largely blamed on high global demand and a fire that knocked out a vital point connecting the country's power grid to France. Supermarkets and food firms say the price rise has caused a shortage of carbon dioxide which is threatening UK supplies of meat and fresh produce. The government has held an emergency meeting over the issue.
Russian parliamentary election
Russia’s president thanks his people for their trust as the ruling United Russia party wins the majority of the votes in the country’s parliamentary election. Vladimir Putin made the remark in a televised meeting with head of the central election commission. Near final results show United Russia leading the election with nearly 50-percent of the vote. Its nearest rival, the Communist Party, has less than 19-percent of the votes. Opposition parties have accused the authorities of large-scale vote rigging, claiming the election was in any case a sham. Meanwhile, the European Union has denounced what it called a climate of intimidation in the run up to Russia's parliamentary vote, and complained of a lack of independent observers. Also Germany said allegations of fraud in Russia's elections must be taken seriously and fully investigated.