Even Chance World Will Breach 1.5C Warming Within 5 Years, Says UN

There is a 93 percent chance of at least one year between 2022-2026 becoming the warmest on record Hussein FALEH AFP/File
There is a 93 percent chance of at least one year between 2022-2026 becoming the warmest on record Hussein FALEH AFP/File
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Even Chance World Will Breach 1.5C Warming Within 5 Years, Says UN

There is a 93 percent chance of at least one year between 2022-2026 becoming the warmest on record Hussein FALEH AFP/File
There is a 93 percent chance of at least one year between 2022-2026 becoming the warmest on record Hussein FALEH AFP/File

There is an even chance that global temperatures will temporarily breach the benchmark of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels in one of the next five years, the United Nations warned Tuesday.

The 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change saw countries agree to cap global warming at "well below" 2C above levels measured between 1850 and 1900 -- and 1.5C if possible, AFP said.

"The chance of global near-surface temperature exceeding 1.5C above pre-industrial levels at least one year between 2022 and 2026 is about as likely as not," the UN's World Meteorological Organization said in an annual climate update.

The WMO put the likelihood at 48 percent, and said it was increasing with time.

An average temperature of 1.5 C above the pre-industrial level across a multi-year period would breach the Paris aspirational target.

There is a 93 percent chance of at least one year between 2022-2026 becoming the warmest on record and dislodging 2016 from the top ranking, said the WMO.

The chance of the five-year temperature average for 2022-2026 being higher than the last five years (2017-2021) was also put at 93 percent.

"This study shows -- with a high level of scientific skill -- that we are getting measurably closer to temporarily reaching the lower target of the Paris Agreement," said WMO chief Petteri Taalas.

"The 1.5C figure is not some random statistic. It is rather an indicator of the point at which climate impacts will become increasingly harmful for people and indeed the entire planet."

- 'Edging ever closer' -
The Paris Agreement level of 1.5C refers to long-term warming, but temporary exceedances are expected to occur with increasing frequency as global temperatures rise.

"A single year of exceedance above 1.5C does not mean we have breached the iconic threshold of the Paris Agreement, but it does reveal that we are edging ever closer to a situation where 1.5C could be exceeded for an extended period," said Leon Hermanson, of Britain's Met Office national weather service, who led the report.

The average global temperature in 2021 was around 1.11C above pre-industrial levels, according to provisional WMO figures.

The report said that back-to-back La Nina events at the start and end of 2021 had a cooling effect on global temperatures.

However, this was only temporary and did not reverse the long-term global warming trend.

La Nina refers to the large-scale cooling of surface temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean, typically occurring every two to seven years.

The effect has widespread impacts on weather around the world -- typically the opposite impacts to the El Nino warming phase in the Southern Oscillation cycle.

Any development of an El Nino event would immediately fuel temperatures, as it did in 2016, said the WMO.

- Greenhouse gas link -
The annual mean global near-surface temperature for each year between 2022 and 2026 is predicted to be between 1.1C and 1.7C higher than pre-industrial levels.

There is only a 10 percent chance of the five-year mean exceeding the 1.5C threshold.

"For as long as we continue to emit greenhouse gases, temperatures will continue to rise," said Taalas.

"And alongside that, our oceans will continue to become warmer and more acidic, sea ice and glaciers will continue to melt, sea level will continue to rise and our weather will become more extreme.

"Arctic warming is disproportionately high and what happens in the Arctic affects all of us."

Meanwhile, predicted precipitation patterns for 2022, compared to the 1991-2020 average, suggest an increased chance of drier conditions over southwestern Europe and southwestern North America, and wetter conditions in northern Europe, the Sahel, northeastern Brazil, and Australia.



World to Hit 1.4C of Warming in Record Hot 2023

(FILES) Burnt trees are seen after illegal fires were lit by farmers in Manaquiri, Amazonas state, Brazil, on September 6, 2023. (Photo by MICHAEL DANTAS / AFP)
(FILES) Burnt trees are seen after illegal fires were lit by farmers in Manaquiri, Amazonas state, Brazil, on September 6, 2023. (Photo by MICHAEL DANTAS / AFP)
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World to Hit 1.4C of Warming in Record Hot 2023

(FILES) Burnt trees are seen after illegal fires were lit by farmers in Manaquiri, Amazonas state, Brazil, on September 6, 2023. (Photo by MICHAEL DANTAS / AFP)
(FILES) Burnt trees are seen after illegal fires were lit by farmers in Manaquiri, Amazonas state, Brazil, on September 6, 2023. (Photo by MICHAEL DANTAS / AFP)

With a month to run, 2023 will reach global warming of about 1.4 degrees Celsius (2.5 Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels, adding to "a deafening cacophony" of broken climate records, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Thursday.
The WMO's provisional State of the Global Climate report confirms that 2023 will be the warmest year on record by a large margin, replacing the previous record-holder 2016, when the world was around 1.2C warmer than the preindustrial average, Reuters reported.

"Greenhouse gas levels are record high. Global temperatures are record high. Sea level rise is record high. Antarctic sea ice record low," WMO Secretary General Peterri Taalas said.
The report's finding, however, does not mean the world is about to cross the long-term warming threshold of 1.5C that scientists say is the ceiling for avoiding catastrophic climate change under the 2015 Paris Agreement.
For that, the level of warming would need to be sustained for longer.
Already, a year of 1.4C has provided a frightening preview of what permanently crossing 1.5C might mean.
This year, Antarctic sea ice reached its lowest winter maximum extent on record, some 1 million square kilometers (386,000 sq miles) less than the previous record. Swiss glaciers lost about 10% of their remaining volume over the last two years, the report said. And wildfires burned a record area in Canada, amounting to about 5% of the country's woodlands.
Climate change, driven by the burning of fossil fuels, combined with the emergence of the natural El Nino climate pattern in the Eastern Pacific pushed the world into record territory this year.
Next year could be worse, the scientists said, as El Nino's impacts are likely to peak this winter and drive higher temperatures in 2024.


Noor Riyadh 2023: Grand Launch Marks Start of Incredible Event

The Noor Riyadh Festival 2023 takes place from November 30 to December 16. SPA
The Noor Riyadh Festival 2023 takes place from November 30 to December 16. SPA
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Noor Riyadh 2023: Grand Launch Marks Start of Incredible Event

The Noor Riyadh Festival 2023 takes place from November 30 to December 16. SPA
The Noor Riyadh Festival 2023 takes place from November 30 to December 16. SPA

The Noor Riyadh Festival 2023, taking place from November 30 to December 16, was launched at the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD), setting the stage for Thursday's official start under the theme 'The Bright Side of the Desert Moon'.

The festival showcases over 120 artworks by 100 artists from various countries, including 35 local artists.

Spread across five locations in Riyadh city: KAFD, JAX District, Salam Park, Wadi Hanifah, and Wadi Namar, the festival invites visitors on a captivating artistic journey spanning five chapters, seamlessly connecting the heart of Riyadh to the desert outskirts.

The event is organized under the guidance of esteemed artistic curators. The lead artistic curator is Jérôme Sans, accompanied by curators Pedro Alonzo, Alaa Taabzouni, and Fahad bin Naif.

Accompanying this year's celebration is the exhibition 'Refracted Identities, Shared Future' at Jax District. Running until March 2, 2024, the exhibition features 32 artists from around the world. Curated by Neville Wakefield and Maya Al Athel, both renowned for their involvement in major global arts festivals.

"The Noor Riyadh Festival aligns with the city's transformation into an accessible art exhibition. It offers diverse artistic experiences and community engagement, improving the quality of life in the capital,” said Executive Director of Riyadh Art Program Khalid Al-Hazani.

“The celebration serves as a platform for cultural exchange, supporting local talent and bolstering the Kingdom's cultural economy, in line with the goals of the Riyadh Art Program,” he added.

The Riyadh Art Program aims to install 1,000 artworks in public spaces across the city, encompassing 12 projects. Additionally, the festival has achieved eight Guinness World Records in the past two editions.


Europe's New Ariane 6 Rocket to Launch June 15-July 31, 2024

FILE PHOTO: A worker of Ariane Group stands in front of a Ariane 6 rocket's Vulcain 2.1 engine, prior to the visit of French President Emmanuel Macron, in Vernon, France January 12, 2021. Christophe Ena/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: A worker of Ariane Group stands in front of a Ariane 6 rocket's Vulcain 2.1 engine, prior to the visit of French President Emmanuel Macron, in Vernon, France January 12, 2021. Christophe Ena/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
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Europe's New Ariane 6 Rocket to Launch June 15-July 31, 2024

FILE PHOTO: A worker of Ariane Group stands in front of a Ariane 6 rocket's Vulcain 2.1 engine, prior to the visit of French President Emmanuel Macron, in Vernon, France January 12, 2021. Christophe Ena/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: A worker of Ariane Group stands in front of a Ariane 6 rocket's Vulcain 2.1 engine, prior to the visit of French President Emmanuel Macron, in Vernon, France January 12, 2021. Christophe Ena/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

Europe's new Ariane 6 rocket will stage an inaugural flight between June 15 and July 31 in 2024, the European Space Agency said on Thursday.
The keenly awaited window for the first test flight came after a test model of the new rocket passed a key long-firing engine test in French Guiana last week, Reuters reported.
ESA nations agreed in 2014 to develop Ariane 6 in response to growing competition in the commercial launch market but its arrival, originally due in 2020, has been repeatedly delayed.
"I am really happy to make this announcement today because it shows that we are on the good track to flight access to space for Europe," ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher told a news conference.
The maiden flight will carry some smaller satellites, including two from NASA, but since it is still considered a test flight, it will not carry "a major payload", ESA added.
The ESA will carry out a few additional tests before the launch to make sure the design is "fault tolerant".
The ESA said it planned a second flight by the end of 2024 and would ramp up further in 2025 to reach a target of 9-10 flights per year.
The launcher is being developed by ArianeGroup, a joint venture between Airbus and Safran, in order to better compete with US private launch provider SpaceX.
Its predecessor, Ariane 5, flew for the last time in July and the smaller Vega C remains grounded following a failure in December last year, leaving Europe without independent access to space. Russia blocked European use of its Soyuz rockets last year in response to Western sanctions over Ukraine.
Last week's test at the European spaceport in French Guiana involved igniting the core-stage Vulcain 2.1 engine and then running it for seven minutes, which is about the time it would take for the launcher to reach space.
Aschbacher said last month he hoped to be able to announce a launch window for an inaugural flight to be held in 2024, depending on the results of the engine test.


Six-Planet Solar System in Perfect Synchrony Discovered in Milky Way

This illustration provided by the European Space Agency shows an artist's rendering of the Cheops telescope in orbit above Earth. Astronomers have discovered six planets orbiting a bright nearby star in perfect rhythmic harmony. (European Space Agency via AP)
This illustration provided by the European Space Agency shows an artist's rendering of the Cheops telescope in orbit above Earth. Astronomers have discovered six planets orbiting a bright nearby star in perfect rhythmic harmony. (European Space Agency via AP)
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Six-Planet Solar System in Perfect Synchrony Discovered in Milky Way

This illustration provided by the European Space Agency shows an artist's rendering of the Cheops telescope in orbit above Earth. Astronomers have discovered six planets orbiting a bright nearby star in perfect rhythmic harmony. (European Space Agency via AP)
This illustration provided by the European Space Agency shows an artist's rendering of the Cheops telescope in orbit above Earth. Astronomers have discovered six planets orbiting a bright nearby star in perfect rhythmic harmony. (European Space Agency via AP)

Astronomers have discovered a rare in-sync solar system with six planets moving like a grand cosmic orchestra, untouched by outside forces since their birth billions of years ago.

The find, announced Wednesday, can help explain how solar systems across the Milky Way galaxy came to be. This one is 100 light-years away in the constellation Coma Berenices. A light-year is 5.8 trillion miles.

A pair of planet-hunting satellites — NASA’s Tess and the European Space Agency’s Cheops — teamed up for the observations.

None of the planets in perfect synchrony are within the star’s so-called habitable zone, which means little if any likelihood of life, at least as we know it.

“Here we have a golden target” for comparison, said Adrien Leleu of the University of Geneva, who was part of an international team that published the results in the journal Nature.

This star, known as HD 110067, may have even more planets. The six found so far are roughly two to three times the size of Earth, but with densities closer to the gas giants in our own solar system. Their orbits range from nine to 54 days, putting them closer to their star than Venus is to the sun and making them exceedingly hot.

As gas planets, they're believed to have solid cores made of rock, metal or ice, enveloped by thick layers of hydrogen, according to the scientists. More observations are needed to determine what's in their atmospheres.

This solar system is unique because all six planets move similar to a perfectly synchronized symphony, scientists said. In technical terms, it’s known as resonance that's “precise, very orderly,” said co-author Enric Palle of the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands.

The innermost planet completes three orbits for every two by its closest neighbor. It's the same for the second- and third-closest planets, and the third- and fourth-closest planets.

The two outermost planets complete an orbit in 41 and 54.7 days, resulting in four orbits for every three. The innermost planet, meanwhile, completes six orbits in exactly the time the outermost completes one.

All solar systems, including our own, are thought to have started out like this one, according to the scientists. But it's estimated only 1-in-100 systems have retained that synchrony, and ours isn't one of them. Giant planets can throw things off-kilter. So can meteor bombardments, close encounters with neighboring stars and other disturbances.

While astronomers know of 40 to 50 in-sync solar systems, none have as many planets in such perfect step or as bright a star as this one, Palle said.

The University of Bern’s Hugh Osborn, who was part of the team, was “shocked and delighted” when the orbital periods of this star system’s planets came close to what scientists predicted.

“My jaw was on the floor,” he said. “That was a really nice moment.”


France Reports Bird Flu on Turkey Farm as Disease Spreads in Europe 

A hen stands next to an egg, Jan. 10, 2023, at a farm in Glenview, Ill. (AP)
A hen stands next to an egg, Jan. 10, 2023, at a farm in Glenview, Ill. (AP)
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France Reports Bird Flu on Turkey Farm as Disease Spreads in Europe 

A hen stands next to an egg, Jan. 10, 2023, at a farm in Glenview, Ill. (AP)
A hen stands next to an egg, Jan. 10, 2023, at a farm in Glenview, Ill. (AP)

France has detected an outbreak of highly pathogenic bird flu virus on a turkey farm in the northwest of the country, the agriculture ministry said on Tuesday, as a seasonal wave of infections spreads across Europe.

The outbreak in the Brittany region, France's first farm case this autumn, occurred near where an infected wild bird was found, the ministry said in a statement.

Several cases among wild birds have been recorded in recent days, it said, adding the government had raised its national alert level for bird flu to moderate from negligible.

Poultry flocks in areas particularly exposed to contact with wild birds would now be confined indoors, the ministry said.

Avian influenza, commonly known as bird flu, has led to the culling of hundreds of millions of birds in the past years. It usually strikes in Europe during autumn and winter and has recently been detected on farms in countries including Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Croatia and Hungary.

To counter the disease, which has disrupted the supply of poultry meat and eggs and sent prices rocketing in parts of the world in recent years, France launched a vaccination campaign against bird flu in early October.

The French program is being initially limited to ducks, which are the most vulnerable to the virus. Ducks accounted for only 8% of total French poultry output in 2022.


Festival of Light and Art 'Noor Riyadh 2023' Returns November 30

Noor Riyadh festival in previous editions won eight Guinness World Records - SPA
Noor Riyadh festival in previous editions won eight Guinness World Records - SPA
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Festival of Light and Art 'Noor Riyadh 2023' Returns November 30

Noor Riyadh festival in previous editions won eight Guinness World Records - SPA
Noor Riyadh festival in previous editions won eight Guinness World Records - SPA

Noor Riyadh 2023, the largest lights and art festival in the world, announced the official launch of the ticket platform for visitors, which returns in its third edition under the slogan “The Bright Side of the Desert Moon” under the supervision of lead artistic curator Jérôme Sans (Lead Curator), and curators Pedro Alonzo, Alaa Tarabzouni, and Fahad bin Naif.

The celebration includes more than 120 artworks introduced by more than 100 artists from more than 35 countries, including 35 from the Kingdom.

The event is held in this year in partnership with the Ministry of Culture, the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD), and the JAX District as celebration partners, in addition to the Kingdom Center and Al Khozama Investment Company as official partners, the Saudi Research and Media Group (SRMG) as a media partner, the Misk Art Institute as a program partner.

Nova, the Rouh El Saudia, the King Fahd National Library (KFNL), Via Riyadh, and Digital City are supporting partners, and AlTanfeethi is a hospitality partner, SPA reported.

Noor Riyadh festival director Nouf AlMoneef said this year's event is presented in a different and unique formula, inviting all visitors from all over the world to experience fun and amazing experiences in five centers in the capital, which include creative artistic works, in addition to hosting various dialogues and workshops.
She pointed out that the Noor Riyadh festival in previous editions won eight Guinness World Records, including the largest festival of lights in the world, where the number of visitors hit more than 2.8 million people.
This year, we look forward to welcoming art lovers and all members of society in an edition distinguished by its experiences and its various artistic activities, she added.
The Noor Riyadh festival includes 44 dialogue sessions, 122 workshops, 13 creative experiments, more than 1,000 guided tours, and more than 100 activities for families. Visitors can access all the events and reserve tickets allocated to all centers for free through the official website of Riyadh Art www.riyadhart.sa


Royal Commission for AlUla Participates in Saudi Green Initiative and COP28

Royal Commission for AlUla Participates in Saudi Green Initiative and COP28
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Royal Commission for AlUla Participates in Saudi Green Initiative and COP28

Royal Commission for AlUla Participates in Saudi Green Initiative and COP28

The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) is participating in the third edition of the Saudi Green Initiative (SGI) and the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28), which will be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from November 30 to December 12.

RCU will showcase major efforts, initiatives and programs within the AlUla Vision and the AlUla Charter, SPA reported.

It will also participate in an exhibition to showcase its efforts. Several experts and specialists from the RCU will participate in the dialogue sessions on related topics.


What’s Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year for 2023? Hint: Be True to Yourself 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks before unveiling the Model Y at Tesla's design studio March 14, 2019, in Hawthorne, Calif. (AP)
Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks before unveiling the Model Y at Tesla's design studio March 14, 2019, in Hawthorne, Calif. (AP)
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What’s Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year for 2023? Hint: Be True to Yourself 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks before unveiling the Model Y at Tesla's design studio March 14, 2019, in Hawthorne, Calif. (AP)
Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks before unveiling the Model Y at Tesla's design studio March 14, 2019, in Hawthorne, Calif. (AP)

In an age of deepfakes and post-truth, as artificial intelligence rose and Elon Musk turned Twitter into X, the Merriam-Webster word of the year for 2023 is “authentic.”

Authentic cuisine. Authentic voice. Authentic self. Authenticity as artifice. Lookups for the word are routinely heavy on the dictionary company's site but were boosted to new heights throughout the year, editor at large Peter Sokolowski told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview.

“We see in 2023 a kind of crisis of authenticity,” he said ahead of Monday's announcement of this year's word. “What we realize is that when we question authenticity, we value it even more.”

Sokolowski and his team don't delve into the reasons people head for dictionaries and websites in search of specific words. Rather, they chase the data on lookup spikes and world events that correlate. This time around, there was no particularly huge boost at any given time but a constancy to the increased interest in “authentic.”

This was the year of artificial intelligence, for sure, but also a moment when ChatGPT-maker OpenAI suffered a leadership crisis. Taylor Swift and Prince Harry chased after authenticity in their words and deeds. Musk himself, at February's World Government Summit in Dubai, urged the heads of companies, politicians, ministers and other leaders to “speak authentically” on social media by running their own accounts.

“Can we trust whether a student wrote this paper? Can we trust whether a politician made this statement? We don't always trust what we see anymore,” Sokolowski said. “We sometimes don't believe our own eyes or our own ears. We are now recognizing that authenticity is a performance itself."

Merriam-Webster's entry for “authentic” is busy with meaning.

There is “not false or imitation: real, actual,” as in an authentic cockney accent. There's “true to one's own personality, spirit or character.” There's “worthy of acceptance or belief as conforming to or based on fact.” There is “made or done the same way as an original.” And, perhaps the most telling, there's “conforming to an original so as to reproduce essential features.”

“Authentic” follows 2022’s choice of “gaslighting.” And 2023 marks Merriam-Webster’s 20th anniversary choosing a top word.

The company’s data crunchers filter out evergreen words like “love” and “affect” vs. “effect” that are always high in lookups among the 500,000 words it defines online. This year, the wordsmiths also filtered out numerous five-letter words because Wordle and Quordle players clearly use the company’s site in search of them as they play the daily games, Sokolowski said.

Sokolowski, a lexicologist, and his colleagues have a bevy of runners-up for word of the year that also attracted unusual traffic. They include “X” (lookups spiked in July after Musk's rebranding of Twitter), “EGOT” (there was a boost in February when Viola Davis achieved that rare quadruple-award status with a Grammy) and “Elemental,” the title of a new Pixar film that had lookups jumping in June.

Rounding out the company's top words of 2023, in no particular order:

RIZZ: Slang for “romantic appeal or charm" and seemingly short for charisma. Merriam-Webster added the word to its online dictionary in September and it's been among the top lookups since, Sokolowski said.

KIBBUTZ: There was a massive spike in lookups for “a communal farm or settlement in Israel” after Hamas militants attacked several near the Gaza Strip on Oct. 7. The first kibbutz in Israel was founded circa 1909.

IMPLODE: The June 18 implosion of the Titan submersible on a commercial expedition to explore the Titanic wreckage sent lookups soaring for this word, meaning “to burst inward.” “It was a story that completely occupied the world,” Sokolowski said.

DOPPEL GANGER: Sokolowski calls this “a word lover's word.” Merriam-Webster defines it as a “double,” an “alter ego” or a “ghostly counterpart.” It derives from German folklore. Interest in the word surrounded Naomi Klein's latest book, “Doppelganger: A Trip Into the Mirror World,” released this year. She uses her own experience of often being confused with feminist author and conspiracy theorist Naomi Wolf as a springboard into a broader narrative on the crazy times we're all living in.

CORONATION: King Charles III had one on May 6, sending lookups for the word soaring 15,681% over the year before, Sokolowski said. Merriam-Webster defines it as “the act or occasion of crowning.”

DEEPFAKE: The dictionary company's definition is “an image or recording that has been convincingly altered and manipulated to misrepresent someone as doing or saying something that was not actually done or said.” Interest spiked after Musk’s lawyers in a Tesla lawsuit said he is often the subject of deepfake videos and again after the likeness of Ryan Reynolds appeared in a fake, AI-generated Tesla ad.

DYSTOPIAN: Climate chaos brought on interest in the word. So did books, movies and TV fare intended to entertain. “It's unusual to me to see a word that is used in both contexts,” Sokolowski said.

COVENANT: Lookups for the word meaning “a usually formal, solemn, and binding agreement” swelled on March 27, after a deadly mass shooting at The Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee. The shooter was a former student killed by police after killing three students and three adults.

Interest also spiked with this year's release of “Guy Ritchie's The Covenant” and Abraham Verghese's long-awaited new novel, “The Covenant of Water,” which Oprah Winfrey chose as a book club pick.

More recently, soon after US Rep. Mike Johnson ascended to House speaker, a 2022 interview with the Louisiana congressman recirculated. He discussed how his teen son was then his “accountability partner” on Covenant Eyes, software that tracks browser history and sends reports to each partner when porn or other potentially objectionable sites are viewed.

INDICT: Former President Donald Trump has been indicted on felony charges in four criminal cases in New York, Florida, Georgia and Washington, D.C., in addition to fighting a lawsuit threatening his real estate empire.


Riyadh Season Draws 5 Million Visitors in Less Than a Month

Photo by SPA
Photo by SPA
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Riyadh Season Draws 5 Million Visitors in Less Than a Month

Photo by SPA
Photo by SPA

The number of visitors to Riyadh Season has exceeded 5 million since its launch on October 28, indicating a significant acceleration in the widespread interest in the Season's zones, diverse events, and its unique experiences.
The Riyadh Season stands out with its increasing entertainment momentum and the rising number of visits since its very beginning under the theme "Big Time."

Starting with its opening featuring "The Battle of the Baddest," attended by large numbers of visitors and renowned personalities from around the world, the event marked a unique milestone in the region, SPA reported.

The Season's visits are expected to double in the coming periods, given the increasing activities day by day. The Season organizes several exhibitions, festivals, and boxing matches, in addition to various exhibitions, festivals, and diverse events.
Riyadh Season marks its fourth edition under the theme "Big Time," featuring a diverse array of global entertainment options and experiences.


Heavy Snowfall in Romania, Bulgaria, and Moldova Leaves 1 Person Dead

A man shovels snow, as he tries to clear his car in town of Isperih, Northeast Bulgaria, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2023. (AP Photo/Bulgarian News Agency)
A man shovels snow, as he tries to clear his car in town of Isperih, Northeast Bulgaria, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2023. (AP Photo/Bulgarian News Agency)
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Heavy Snowfall in Romania, Bulgaria, and Moldova Leaves 1 Person Dead

A man shovels snow, as he tries to clear his car in town of Isperih, Northeast Bulgaria, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2023. (AP Photo/Bulgarian News Agency)
A man shovels snow, as he tries to clear his car in town of Isperih, Northeast Bulgaria, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2023. (AP Photo/Bulgarian News Agency)

Heavy snowfall and strong blizzards in Romania and Moldova on Sunday left one person dead and hundreds of localities without electricity, as well as forcing the closure of some national roads, authorities said.

A 40-year-old man in Moldova died on Sunday after the vehicle he was in skidded off the road and crashed into a tree, Moldova’s national police said, adding that six road accidents had been reported by about midday.

“We repeatedly appeal to drivers not to hit the road with unequipped cars and to drive at low speed,” Moldovan police said in a statement posted on Telegram, and warned against driving “without an urgent need.”

In Romania, red weather warnings were issued in the eastern counties of Constanta, Tulcea, Galati, and Braila where winds were forecast to reach as high as 100 kph (62 mph), the National Meteorological Administration said.

Romania's Minister of Energy Sebastian Burduja told The Associated Press on Sunday that more than 400 localities had suffered electrical outages.

Emergency authorities said that both national and local roads in the four counties were closed on Sunday. Officials in the counties of Constanta and Braila reported that at least 69 localities had been left without electricity but that teams had been deployed to fix the outages. Other, less severe weather warnings were also issued to other parts of Romania.

In neighboring Bulgaria, powerful winter storms also brought heavy snowfall and prompted the government to declare a state of emergency on Sunday in large parts of the country. More than 1,000 settlements, mostly in Bulgaria's northeast, were left without electricity on Sunday, according to Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov.

Two people in Bulgaria had died in traffic accidents and 36 were left injured during the stormy weather in the last 24 hours. Strong winds also closed roads, caused traffic accidents and travel delays, and downed trees and power lines, Denkov said.