- Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn hailed ‘Stop the War’ as “one of the most important democratic campaigns of modern time” at a fundraising dinner. Corbyn, who used to be chair of the group, had faced calls to disown them after controversial tweets and articles posted in the wake of the Paris attacks. Statements on Stop the War’s website, later taken down, said that France had “reaped the whirlwind” of Western intervention and that ISIS had a “spirit of internationalism and solidarity” which they likened to the International Brigades that fought fascism in the Spanish Civil War. Green MP Caroline Lucas recently resigned from the group, while human rights campaigner and Corbyn supporter Peter Tatchell said that “it has lost its moral compass and authority”. Stop the War’s convener Lindsey German pointed out in reply that they had “unequivocally condemned the terrible massacre in Paris”.
- Storm Desmond caused a total of £500 million of damage as 5200 homes were flooded. A further 45000 houses lost electricity, 1000 of them for more than four days. Lancaster University cancelled its last week of term.
- A “final draft text” has been produced at the climate talks in Paris. A deal was reached after nearly two weeks of negotiation, and sixteen hours after the scheduled finish time. Countries agreed on a target to keep the temperature rise to 2°C, and to make an effort to restrict it to 1.5°C. The kind of demands to be placed on poorer countries when compared to richer areas was a major cause of dispute during the talks. US President Barack Obama has called the deal, “the best chance we have to save the one planet we have”.
- Donald Trump, who is campaigning to be the Republican presidential nominee, has called for all Muslims to be banned from entering the US. His comments came in the wake of a shooting in California which was carried out by a Muslim couple who are believed to have been radicalised. The attack killed fourteen people and injured twenty-two more. His views were widely condemned by both the White House and his rivals for the Republican nomination but have shown no signs of changing. Trump also claimed that “there are places in London… that are so radicalised that the police are afraid for their own lives”. Boris Johnson, the Mayor or London, said in response: “The only reason I wouldn’t go to some parts of New York is the real risk of meeting Donald Trump.”
- Women in Saudi Arabia voted in municipal elections for the first time on Saturday. The extension of voting rights to women is seen as a major part of the legacy of the late King Abdullah, who also appointed women to the Shura Council, which is Saudi Arabia’s formal advisory body. Although relatively few women registered to vote or stood as candidates, this is seen as a major step forward for women’s rights in the Kingdom. “It feels great. This is a historical moment. I thank God I am living it,” said Hatoon al-Fassi, a Saudi academic and women’s rights campaigner, after casting her first ever vote. This morning it was revealed that a woman, Salma bint Hizab al-Oteibi, had won a seat on the municipal council in the Mecca province. 978 woman had registered as candidates in the election compared to 5938 men.