The Today Radio News team brings you the latest news headlines for Thursday, 7 December.

Luxembourg

TRAM EXTENSION - The tram extension to Howald has been given the green light. Minister for Mobility Yuriko Backes has reached an amicable agreement with a landowner, who was challenging the decision for their property to be designated for public use. The Ministry of Mobility confirmed on Wednesday that with this resolution, preparations for the expansion can start "soon."

CHILD POVERTY - UNICEF Luxembourg has presented the latest findings on child poverty, labelling the situation as a "time bomb" that demands immediate attention. The report reveals that nearly one in four children in Luxembourg are at risk of poverty and social exclusion, with Luxembourg ranking at the bottom of the league table among 39 EU and OECD countries in terms of monetary poverty affecting children.

PENSION PROJECTIONS - Projections indicate that in four years, the current pension income may no longer adequately cover annual expenditures, necessitating a re-evaluation of the existing model. In response, the government has proposed an inclusive consultation involving all stakeholders. However, the opposition, notably the LSAP and the Left, expressed "alarm" over the current reform proposals.

World

ISRAEL HAMAS WAR - It is absolutely necessary that a further ceasefire be decided, and that the discussions for a complete ceasefire continue. This is what Xavier Bettel said yesterday, in a video conference that was initiated by France as a follow-up to the international humanitarian conference on the Gaza Strip at the beginning of November. The Minister of Foreign Affairs made an appeal to all the countries that have an influence on the parties in the conflict, to do everything to stop the suffering of the civilian population in this war. Since the beginning of the war, Luxembourg has unblocked up to €3 million in humanitarian aid money, as well as material support to the amount of €140,000, for example in the form of tents, or medicines.

UN Secretary-General Guterres, meanwhile, for the first time in his mandate period has made use of Article 99 of the UN Charter, calling for a ceasefire. Guterres said he expects "public order to completely break down soon due to the desperate conditions" in Gaza, with "potentially irreversible implications for Palestinians as a whole."

EU CHINA - European leaders have met Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing for talks dominated by divisions between the bloc and its largest economic partner over everything from trade to the war in Ukraine. China's state news agency Xinhua reported this morning that President Xi had kicked off talks with EU chiefs Charles Michel and Ursula von der Leyen in the capital.

US SHOOTING - Police in Las Vegas say at least 3 people have died and 1 seriously injured at a shooting at a local university campus. University police officers shot dead the gunman.

US AID - The US Senate has blocked President Biden’s foreign aid legislation, which would help Ukraine fund its resistance to the Russian invasion. Republican senators said they wouldn’t approve more foreign spending until the US funded tougher immigration controls at the border with Mexico.

PERSON OF THE YEAR - Taylor Swift has been named Time Magazine’s person of the year, beating out Barbie and King Charles III. The magazine said that while her popularity had grown across the decades, this is the year that Swift achieved a kind of nuclear fusion: shooting art and commerce together to release an energy of historic force.

Sport

FOOTBALL - Starting with football, in the German cup, Saarbrücken has moved on to the next stage after beating Eintracht Frankfurt 2-0. Stuttgart won 2-0 against Dortmund, Hertha Berlin won the penalty shootout against Hamburger SV and Leverkusen has eliminated Paderbon 3-1.

In the English Premier League, among the highlights,  Aston Villa has beaten Manchester City 1-0 and Manchester United beat Chelsea 2-1.

TENNIS - Showstopper Nick Kyrgios and former US Open champion Emma Raducanu are notable absentees from the 2024 Australian Open entry list, but Rafael Nadal and Naomi Osaka are set for their Grand Slam comebacks. Fiery Australian Kyrgios had knee surgery in January and then aborted plans to return at Wimbledon after tearing a ligament in his wrist. Briton Raducanu has been out of action since April after undergoing operations on both wrists and an ankle.

Weather

To start the day, a freezing fog is looming over Luxembourg. The cloudy morning will continue into a cloudy afternoon with some sweet, albeit fleeting, moments of bright skies. By the evening, you can expect rain but perhaps some snow too, to carry us all the way through to Friday. The morning's temperatures span from -1-2°C, then increases slightly to 1-4°C in the afternoon.

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