World this week
The Republican-led House elected Rep. Mike Johnson as the new House speaker on Wednesday - a major leadership change that comes three weeks after the historic ouster of Kevin McCarthy. Johnson, a vocal supporter of former President Donald Trump and a key congressional figure in the failed efforts to overturn the 2020 election, will now take the reins of the bitterly divided House Republican majority and faces the looming threat of a government shutdown next month.
Johnson's elevation puts an end to the paralysis the House had been stuck in after McCarthy was pushed out by hardline conservatives - an unprecedented move that plunged the chamber into uncharted territory. Republicans tried and failed three separate times to coalesce behind a new speaker nominee before ultimately uniting around Johnson, a conservative lawmaker who has so far had a relatively low profile on the national stage. In a remarkable show of unity following weeks of fierce GOP infighting, the Louisiana Republican was elected with 220 votes and no Republican defections.
Survivors of a Category 5 storm that killed at least 27 people as it devastated Mexico's resort city of Acapulco spent Thursday (Oct. 26) searching for acquaintances and necessities and hoping that aid would come quickly in the wake of Hurricane Otis. The Pacific storm had strengthened with shocking swiftness before slamming into the coast early Wednesday, and the Mexican government deployed around 10,000 troops to deal with the aftermath. But equipment to move tons of mud and fallen trees from the streets was slow in arriving.
Resentment grew Thursday in impoverished neighbourhoods as residents worried that government attention would go to repairing infrastructure for the city's economic engine of tourism rather than helping the neediest. Acapulco was told to expect a tropical storm just below hurricane strength. Just 24 hours later, Otis blasted ashore with 165 mph (266 kph) winds, the strongest landfall of any East Pacific hurricane.
A Pakistani court has granted bail to three-time former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in two corruption cases. Sharif was convicted in the two cases after his removal as prime minister in 2017. Sharif returned to Pakistan last week after four years of self-imposed exile in London in a bid to stand in next year's elections against his biggest rival, former Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Sharif had not set foot in Pakistan since 2019 when he travelled to the United Kingdom's capital for medical treatment while serving a 14-year prison sentence for corruption. Earlier, his bail in a separate case was confirmed by a corruption court in Islamabad. Currently, Khan, Sharif's successor, is imprisoned on corruption charges and serving a three-year sentence. Khan was removed from office in a no-confidence vote in April 2022, but he is still Pakistan's leading opposition figure and enjoys a large following along with his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party. Like Khan, Sharif is not currently eligible to run for a seat in parliament.
No matter how much the world cuts back on carbon emissions, a key and sizable chunk of Antarctica is essentially doomed to an "unavoidable" melt, a new study found. Though the full melt will take hundreds of years, slowly adding nearly 6 feet (1.8 metres) to sea levels, it will be enough to reshape where and how people live in the future, the study's lead author said.
Researchers used computer simulations to calculate future melting of protective ice shelves jutting over Antarctica's Amundsen Sea in western Antarctica. The study in Monday's journal Nature Climate Change found even if future warming was limited to just a few tenths of a degree more - an international goal that many scientists say is unlikely to be met - it would have "limited power to prevent ocean warming that could lead to the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet."
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