First Thing: Norway attack suspect ‘showed signs of radicalisation’

By Clea Skopeliti
Police at the scene of the attack in Kongsberg, Norway
Police at the scene of the attack in Kongsberg, Norway. Photograph: Hakon Mosvold Larsen/AP

Good morning.

A Danish man suspected of a bow and arrow attack that killed five people and injured two others in the Norwegian town of Kongsberg is a Muslim convert who previously showed signs of radicalisation, police have said.

The 37-year-old suspect, who had been flagged as having been radicalised, was remanded in custody on Wednesday night. Police believe the man, who lived in Kongsberg, acted alone.

Two people remain in intensive care, including an off-duty police officer. Police told the Norwegian news agency NTB that the attacker also used other weapons, but did not say what they were.

  • Who were the victims? Four women and one man aged between 50 and 70 were killed, police said.

  • When and where were the attacks? Police were alerted to the attacks, which happened across a number of crime scenes in Kongsberg including a supermarket, at 6.15pm local time. The suspect was arrested 30 minutes later.

More than 1,000 firefighters battle California blaze

A firefighter from the Montecito fire department studies the Alisal fire as it drops into Refugio Canyon
A firefighter from the Montecito fire department studies the Alisal fire as it drops into Refugio Canyon. Photograph: Erick Madrid/Zuma Press Wire/Rex/Shutterstock

About 1,300 firefighters battled infernos spreading across southern California’s coast on Wednesday after the latest round of dry winds.

The Alisal blaze has covered more than 24 sq miles in the Santa Ynez mountains west of Santa Barbara, threatening more than 100 homes, ranches and other buildings. Rural communities have been ordered to evacuate the area.

In northern California, fire crews increased containment of a blaze that has destroyed 25 mobile homes, 16 RVs and a park building in Sacramento county. No injuries were reported. A blaze in the Islander mobile home park in San Joaquin county left a man with severe third-degree burns over most of his body after five mobile homes were damaged.

  • When did the Alisal fire start? It broke out on Monday, closing Amtrak lines and US 101, the area’s only large highway.

  • How bad have California’s fires been this year? Wildfires have scorched almost 3,900 sq miles of land, destroying more than 3,600 buildings.

Biden calls on companies to fix supply chain issues

Shipping containers are unloaded from ships at a container terminal at the Long Beach-Los Angeles port complex in California
Shipping containers are unloaded from ships at a container terminal at the Long Beach-Los Angeles port complex in California. Photograph: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Amid a supply chain crisis that threatens to disrupt the holiday season, Joe Biden has given companies an ultimatum: sort out the bottlenecks, or get “called out”.

Expanding the working hours of a key port in California, Biden called for the private sector to “step up”. He said Walmart, FedEx and UPS plan to speed up their round-the-clock operations, while Target, Home Depot and Samsung are also intensifying their work in off-peak hours.

  • What will change? The Port of Los Angeles will follow the Port of Long Beach in expanding to 24/7 operations. The pair handle 40% of shipping containers imported to the US but typically operate five days a week.

  • What caused the supply crisis? The pandemic has led to a supply/demand mismatch: sales of goods have jumped alongside worker shortages and slowdowns in transportation hubs.

In other news …

An Ethiopian child queues for food at the Um Rakuba camp, on the Sudan-Ethiopia border in Al-Qadarif state, Sudan
An Ethiopian child queues for food at the Um Rakuba camp, on the Sudan-Ethiopia border in Al-Qadarif state, Sudan. Photograph: Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters
  • The world will fail to end hunger by 2030 as progress is reversed by the climate crisis, conflict and the pandemic, projections have revealed. Efforts to achieve the target are “dangerously off track”.

  • The Star Trek actor William Shatner, 90, has become the oldest person to go to space. Shatner, who played Captain James T Kirk for four decades, broke down in tears after his 11-minute journey, saying: “I hope I never recover from this.”

  • Top Trump justice department official Jeffrey Clark has been subpoenaed as the House select committee investigating the Capitol attack intensifies its inquiry.

  • Covid vaccines for children aged five to 11 could be authorized by early November, but experts are concerned that persuading parents will be challenging. Just one-third plan to take up the shots immediately.

Stat of the day: 22% of scientists threatened with violence after discussing pandemic

Common triggers for abuse against scientists were them offering views on Covid vaccination, face masks and drug efficacy.
Common triggers for abuse against scientists were them offering views on Covid vaccination, face masks and drug efficacy. Photograph: Xinhua/Rex/Shutterstock

More than one-fifth of scientists were threatened with physical or sexual violence after speaking publicly about the Covid pandemic, an international survey has found. Of the 321 scientists polled by Nature magazine, 15% said they had been sent death threats, while views on vaccines, face masks and the virus’s origins were common triggers for unleashing abuse. Six scientists reported being physically attacked.

Don’t miss this: the climate disaster is here

The Bobcat fire in the Los Angeles national forest, California
The Bobcat fire in the Los Angeles national forest, California. Photograph: Kyle Grillot/AFP/Getty Images

When leaders meet at the Cop26 summit next month, the focus will be on what may seem like small temperature rises – 1.5C or 2C hotter than the preindustrial era. But the last time it was hotter than now was at least 125,000 years ago, and the difference between these numbers is a “death sentence” for countries such as the Maldives. Covering heatwaves, floods, wildfires and crop failure, this bracing piece sets out what is at stake as the planet’s warming “hits a curve we’ve never seen before”.

Climate check: the Swedish eco-town with a 20-storey plywood skyscraper

Stronger than steel … the Sara Cultural Centre topped with the Wood hotel
Stronger than steel … the Sara Cultural Centre topped with the Wood hotel Photograph: Jonas Westling

The Swedish town of Skellefteå is a window into what a climate-conscious future could look like. Powered by 100% renewable energy from hydropower and wind, Skellefteå recycles 120,000 tonnes of electronic waste a year, using excess heat to warm the city. It even has one of the world’s tallest wooden buildings – a 20-story structure built of material including supersized plywood that has been treated for fire safety. As the only really sustainable building material, “the future is wood”, writes the architecture and design critic Oliver Wainwright.

Last Thing: ancient feces shows humans enjoyed beer and blue cheese 2,700 years ago

An analysis of ancient human excrement from the Hallstatt salt mines in Austria revealed a diet of beans, millet and barley.
An analysis of ancient human excrement from the Hallstatt salt mines in Austria revealed a diet of beans, millet and barley. Photograph: Anwora/Museum of Natural History of Vie/AFP/Getty Images

Workers at a salt mine in the Austrian Alps were snacking on beer and blue cheese 2,700 years ago, scientists have learned after analysing samples of ancient excrement. “This is very sophisticated in my opinion,” the microbiologist Frank Maixner said. “This is something I did not expect at that time.”

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