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Palestine UN membership bid 

Palestine renews its bid for full membership at the United Nations despite US threats to block the move. The Palestinian ambassador to the UN says he has started consulting with all Security Council members. Riyad Mansour says the issue should move forward given that there is no peace initiative on the table. He added, the success of the Palestinian bid would send a signal to Israeli leaders that they can never destroy a two-state solution. Any application for full UN membership needs approval from the 15-member security council. The US, which holds veto power, has opposed previous Palestinian attempts. And now, it has reportedly warned again that it would veto any such move. In 2012, the General Assembly grated Palestine a non-member status. That allows Palestine to participate in the UN and sign treaties, but without the full rights other members enjoy.

UK cost of living crisis 

Protesters have gathered outside the office of British energy regulator, Ofgem, in London. That came after Ofgem confirmed the cost of electricity and gas will rise by 80-percent as of October the first. The protest was organized by “Don’t pay UK”. That’s a campaign calling on people to stop paying their bills at the renewed prices. Ofgem has partly blamed the increase on the Russia-Ukraine war that has led to a curb in Russian energy supplies to Europe. Leaders of parliaments in Wales and Scotland as well as British opposition parties have called for an immediate freeze on the price increase. Britons are also grappling with soaring food prices. That, coupled with the rising energy prices, sent inflation to above ten percent in July, a rate unseen in over 40 years. 

Pakistan floods 

Pakistan declares a state of emergency to deal with monsoon flooding it says has killed hundreds and affected more than 30 million people across the country. Historic rains have devastated Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces. Balochistan is the hardest hit, losing communication with the rest of the country. All four highways there, are blocked due to landslides and damaged bridges. A major railway bridge is also washed away. So far, at least 235 people have been confirmed dead in Balochistan. That pushes the number of people killed nationwide to over 900 this summer. Residents have been advised to shift to camps while the army has been deployed to help civil authorities in the relief operation. Pakistan has also called for international help to cope with the aftermath of floods. 

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