- British supermarkets battle rising wages as pandemic resets market
Tesco this month became the latest big grocer to increase basic hourly pay rates above £10, higher than both the statutory minimum wage of £9.50 and the voluntary “UK real living wage”.
Much of [the savings that supermarkets are planning in response to the economic crisis] will come from incremental changes. Tesco, for example, has moved replenishment work into daytime shifts at some stores, reducing the number of staff receiving the £2.30 per hour premium for night working. Asda changed its definition of “night” to between midnight and 5am.
Layers of salaried store management roles have also been axed, while some labour-intensive services such as delicatessens and hot food counters have been closed.
- Why Germany can’t quit Russian gas. Nothing very new here, just yet another article on Germany’s situation.
- How China’s Ukraine stance may be final straw for eastern EU countries
Huo Yuzhen, Beijing’s special representative for the China-Central and Eastern Europe Investment Cooperation Fund (CEEC), toured eight countries in the region – the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, and Poland — this week.
Ostensibly, the trip was to promote further cooperation but it also came as Beijing continues to claim neutrality over the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
China has increased its economic and political footprint in the central and eastern European region over the past decade through its Belt and Road Initiative with investments to boost bilateral trade and local infrastructure.
This has had some influence on internal EU politics with some member states that have benefited from investments using their voices to water down criticism of Beijing on certain issues.
“Many countries of the so-called 16+1 cooperation complained about the lack of tangible economic results and the slow progress of the initiative,” Tamas Matura from the Cornivus University of Budapest, explained to Euronews.
- Moon of Alabama: EU Commission, U.S. Submit To Reality
Asia and Oceania:
- China’s 2022 soybean demand falling up to 6% as feed requirements dip
- ‘Companies are beginning to panic’: Experts say China’s lockdowns will make inflation and the supply chain nightmare even worse
One in five container ships is now stuck at ports worldwide, with 30% of the backlog coming from China. And Lars Jensen, the CEO of the shipping container industry consulting firm Vespucci Maritime, told Fortune that the full impact of China’s policies will only begin to reveal itself over the coming weeks.
- China’s Economists Are Getting Into Modern Monetary Theory
- India To Extend Additional $500 Million Credit Line To Sri Lanka For Buying Fuel
- Reliance Industries, in India, has bought at least 15 million barrels of Russian oil since Russia invaded Ukraine. Indian refiners rarely bought Russian oil before the war due to high freight costs.
- Boris Johnson makes India trade deal progress, but does not push Modi on Putin
- Fact check: Has extreme poverty in India really dropped below 1%, as a new IMF paper claims?
Economists are sceptical of the claim that the country’s food security scheme helped avert a rise in extreme poverty.
- Indonesia is halting palm oil exports, which are “impossible to replace”, as Indonesia accounts for more than a third of major vegetable oil exports.
- The Persian Gulf is Now Taking an Independent Geopolitical Stance
- Why aren’t US oil producers drilling more as prices rise?
Oil prices have now risen to $104 a barrel. But investments in producing more, as measured by the number of oil rigs actively drilling for oil and gas, have barely responded.
- Koch Industries reverses course and says it will stop doing business in Russia
- “[Biden] indicated to Xi Jinping that I was going to pull together the Quad: Australia, India, Japan, and the United States. [Xi] said, ‘You’re just doing that to affect us.’ [Biden] said, ‘No, it’s because we’re trying to put together those folks who have an opportunity to work together in the Indo-Pacific’,” Biden said during a party fundraiser event at a private residence in Seattle.
- Crypto millionaires are erecting their own tax-free utopias in Central America. The locals aren’t happy.
- The world’s engines are spluttering: IMF points to deeper problems beyond 2022
- What Russia’s advance in east Ukraine means for food security
“There is no sufficient alternative to cover the gap,” Roman Slaston, director of the Ukrainian Agribusiness Club (UCAB), adding many countries in the world will be prone to “starvation, hunger riots, refugee migration without Ukraine’s food supply”.
Diplomatically and Politically:
In/between Ukraine or Russia:
- Russia sends a deep-diving submersible to the wreck of the Moskva.
- Russia says that 1 person died and 27 are missing after the Moskva sinks. I assume that “missing” also means “dead” in a shipwreck, days after it happened.
- Ukrainian PM calls Mariupol century’s ‘biggest humanitarian catastrophe’ of the century “and maybe during the last centuries, because many thousands of people have died in Mariupol” ???
- More Serbs are now opposed to joining the EU than support joining, for the first time in recent years.
- Britain to reopen Kyiv embassy in show of support for Ukraine
- Bank of Italy’s Visco Says Recession in Italy Unlikely
The event doesn’t have “the global dimension” of the last worldwide financial crisis or the pandemic,” Visco told TG3.
Uh, are you sure?
- Jacobin: Jean-Luc Mélenchon Defied the Smears — and Provided Hope for France’s Left. I was gonna put this in Dipshittery and Cope but that’s already overpopulated today so I’ll just let this one slide. Lmao at this part though:
Macron has made tiny “concessions,” for instance saying that he will increase the retirement age to 64 and not 65.
- Discontent Grows in Berlin over Chancellor’s Ukraine Response
Germany’s chancellor is coming under increasing pressure for his restrained Ukraine policies – in Brussels, but also in Berlin. A revolt has even begun within his own coalition, with calls growing louder for the country to supply Kyiv with heavy weapons.
Asia and Oceania:
- 75% of Chinese residents support the Russian operation in Ukraine, and 70% consider the information about American biological laboratories in Ukraine reliable. However, 60% believe that China should support the Russian operation in Ukraine, and only 16% believe that China should provide Russia with weapons.
- Pakistan-Afghanistan tensions climb: Militants in Afghanistan strike Pakistan army post, kill three
- Could the West punish China the way it has punished Russia? No.
- Biden once again greets the Ghost of Kiev after a speech.
- U.S. Blasts China’s Support for Russia, Vows to Help India.
China wasn’t helping the situation in Ukraine by doing things like amplifying Russian disinformation campaigns, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said at an event in Brussels on Thursday. She said she hoped Beijing will learn the “right lessons” from Russia’s war, including that it can’t separate the U.S. from its allies.
Sherman also said the U.S. would work with India to help the country move away from its traditional reliance on Russian weapons, given the impact global sanctions are having on Russia’s arms industry.
- Why India can buy Russian oil, and still be friends with the US
- U.S. Treasury’s Yellen, White House say World Bank needs major ‘reboot’
Janet Yellen and a top White House adviser called for major reforms at the World Bank on Thursday, saying the seven-decade-old multilateral development bank was not built to address multiple and overlapping global crises.
Moon of Alabama: The ‘Rules Based Order’ Knows No Distance
Nakedcapitalism: The Ukraine War Clock Is a Time Bomb – It Blows Up On November 8, US Election Day
- Russia takes out Ukrainian rocket and artillery weapon depots.
- Tons of shelling continues.
- UK to send Stormer vehicles to Ukraine, which can shoot Starstreak missiles.
- US to send 121 ‘Phoenix Ghost’ drones to Ukraine. The Pentagon says they are “well-suited for the open terrain of Ukraine’s Donbas region”, and are attack drones akin to the Switchblade drones. They are effective against medium armored ground targets and can operate at night and have a lingering loitering time than the Switchblade.
- France sending heavy artillery to Ukraine.
“We are delivering significant equipment, from Milan (anti-tank missiles) to Caesar (self-propelled howitzers),” Macron told regional newspaper Ouest-France.
- Russia shoots down a Su-25 aircraft in Kharkiv region.
- Russian forces continue to advance in the direction of Slavyansk north of the cauldron and also towards Gulyaipol south of the cauldron. Intelslava notes that “it is obvious that most of the forces have no yet been put into action”.
- On Saturday, Luhansk governor Serhiy Gaidai said Ukrainian forces were pulling back from some settlements to new defensive lines to preserve their units in the face of an intensifying barrage on all cities in the region.
- Russia strikes a military facility in Mykolaiv.
- Russia strikes fuel, lubricants, and military facilities in Odessa. Also apparently a downed rocket or maybe a faulty anti-aircraft missile hit a residential building there.
- Russia announces that the situation in Mariupol has normalized, aid is being delivering, the streets are being cleared of rubble, and the DPR is establishing law enforcement there.
Dipshittery and Cope:
- Beijing-Moscow Axis Is Driving the Emergence of the EU as the Next Superpower.
Beijing seems to be running out of non-consequences in its drive to dominate the world. The cost of alienating the European Union is something that it must have underestimated. But playing Russian roulette on the international stage eventually has its price, and it looks like China will be paying a big one.
Aw, that’s really cute, but I think– ah, yeah, I see it, there’s a US boot with some dogshit on it. Get to it, EU.
- Does Putin read the news? One expert says he’d be surprised if the Russian president’s media diet ‘includes much of anything at all’
“He’s not just clicking on CNN or whatever news to see what the Americans are saying.” As such, Putin is getting a “very filtered” stream of information, Miles said, and his few trusted advisors are unlikely to bring him “bad” news or unflattering stories out of fear of being punished. “There’s no excuse for Putin. There’s no excuse for Russian analysts or Russian military intelligence leaders today to make such colossal blunders,” he said. “He could sit down and do some research for an hour and understand that his fantasies about Ukraine are wrong.”
- Kill the Tank: America’s Javelin Missile Is Second to None
The U.S.-made FGM-148 Javelin is one of the premier portable anti-tank missile systems in the world. It’s also an expensive piece of kit, with each missile typically costing more than the targets it eliminates.
As they’re so expensive, I’m sure the DPR appreciates the donations!
- The battles in Ukraine’s east offer Russia some advantages, but their forces may be too bloodied for it to make much difference, experts say
However, the problems the Russian military experienced in the first phase of the war — such as poor leadership, sloppy tactics and ill-trained troops — will likely continue to plague them and hurt their chances to seize more territory against an entrenched and increasingly well-supplied Ukraine, which is now receiving artillery and armored vehicles from the US. “[Russia is] sort of continuing to just feed these small units into minor attacks that probably aren’t going to achieve any major gains, particularly since a lot of the units are incredibly damaged from the fighting in northeastern Ukraine,” Clark said.
- The fundamental reasons why Russia’s war against Ukraine will continue to fail
Two months on from the start of the war, Russia seems no closer to achieving its original aims. Even if taken at face value, the recent announcement that the goal is now the capture of Donbas and southern Ukrainian territory, creating a land bridge from Crimea, is a dramatic climbdown from the original goals of conquering the whole country, effecting regime change, and forcing Nato to retreat to the force posture of the mid-1990s.
RUSSIA NEVER SAID THEY INTENDED TO TAKE THE WHOLE COUNTRY. YOU SAID THAT THEY INTENDED TO TAKE THE WHOLE COUNTRY. YOU MOTHERFUCKERS. EVEN IF RUSSIA DOES TAKE THE WHOLE COUNTRY, YOU’D JUST BE LIKE “Ah, Russia’s goal of the total domination of Eastern Europe as they previously stated has met a major snag as they tone down their mission to only annex Ukraine. Once again, the bumbling Putler needs to face reality.”
AI Is Already Learning from Russia’s War in Ukraine, DOD Says. This article might actually be serious but at this point I automatically regard anything that tries to use “AI” in these kinds of contexts as bogus. If there’s any techier people here that think this article might actually be meaningful then let me know.
Does America’s Foreign Policy Need to Get Real?
At the risk of criminal oversimplification, one could look at the last seven decades of U.S. foreign policy as a story of two competing ideas.
One, which flowered after the fall of the Soviet Union, is liberalism. Among its tenets is that America benefits if it spreads its values across the globe and is willing to use its economic and military power where liberty, sovereignty and universal rights are threatened. This school brought us the good (Ukraine, at least for now), the bad (the 2003 Iraq invasion) and the ugly (Kosovo in the late 1990s). There are various factions — liberals, interventionists, neoconservatives, etc. — but the idea is that the U.S. does well by doing good.
The other school of thought, which largely held sway through the Cold War, is realism. It holds that the world is a scary place, and America’s leaders have a duty to protect core national interests above all. This too is not a monolith; a dinner party with George Kennan, Henry Kissinger and James Baker would have been a contentious affair. Nor does it engage in sheer cynicism or isolationism — the U.S. can and must intervene when those interests are gravely threatened — but it needs to choose from its head not its heart.
This is what idealism does to a mfer.
- How a Recession Might — and Might Not — Happen
… there is always a chance of a recession in the near future, no matter what the current data look like … What we do know, or at least what I’d argue, is that there is a path through this difficult moment that needn’t involve a recession. And while the Fed can get it wrong — and will almost surely get it wrong to some degree, because these are tricky times — it can get things wrong in either direction. Right now I am, if anything, worried that the Fed is overreacting to inflation.