World this week
Hong Kong's district elections have delivered an unprecedented landslide victory for the city's pro-democracy movement, leaving the government reeling. Seventeen of the 18 district councils are now controlled by pro-democracy councillors, according to local media. The election, the first since the wave of anti-Beijing protests began, saw an unprecedented turnout of more than 71%. It is being seen as a stinging rebuke of Chief Executive Carrie Lam's leadership and a show of support for the protest movement.
In a statement released online, Lam said the government respected the results. She said many felt the results reflected "people's dissatisfaction with the current situation and the deep-seated problems in society". The government would "listen to the opinions of members of the public humbly and seriously reflect," she said. Hong Kong has seen months of increasingly violent protests since Lam tried to introduce a controversial bill enabling extradition to China.
Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases once again reached new highs in 2018. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) says the increase in CO2 was just above the average rise recorded over the last decade. Levels of other warming gases, such as methane and nitrous oxide, have also surged by above average amounts. Since 1990 there's been an increase of 43% in the warming effect on the climate of long lived greenhouse gases.
The WMO report looks at concentrations of warming gases in the atmosphere rather than just emissions. The difference between the two is that emissions refer to the amount of gases that go up into the atmosphere from the use of fossil fuels, such as burning coal for electricity and from deforestation. Concentrations are what's left in the air after a complex series of interactions between the atmosphere, the oceans, the forests and the land.
US Navy chief Richard Spencer was fired over his handling of the case of a Navy Seal demoted for misconduct. The case of Edward Gallagher, who was convicted for posing with a corpse in Iraq, had sparked tensions between US President Donald Trump and military officials. The navy officer had been due to face a disciplinary review where he could have been stripped of his Seals membership.
There have been differing accounts as to why Richard Spencer was asked to resign. US Defence Secretary Mark Esper said he had lost confidence in the navy secretary because his private conversations with the White House contradicted his public position. However, Trump said he was not happy with "cost overruns" and how Chief Petty Officer Gallagher's trial was run, and suggested this was why Spencer was fired.
London's transit authority refused to renew Uber's operating license over concerns about impostor drivers, with the ride-hailing company vowing to appeal the decision as it struggles to secure its future in the British capital. It's the latest chapter in Uber's rocky history with London transport officials, who have subjected the San Francisco-based tech company to ever tighter scrutiny over concerns about passenger safety and security.
Uber called the decision "extraordinary and wrong," and has 21 days to file an appeal, which it said it would do. It can continue operating during the appeals process. Transport for London cited "several breaches that placed passengers and their safety at risk" in its decision not to extend Uber's license, which expired at midnight on November 25.
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