I have plugged my brain into the global media sphere.
If you want yesterday’s update, click here.
- Europe: Russia’s halt of European gas could see ‘catastrophic’ winter pricing, veteran trader warns
- Eurozone growth slips as Russia-Ukraine war pushes up energy costs
- Eurozone inflation hits record high for the sixth month in a row
- Europe: EU states offer Russian gas to neighbors
- Europe: As Europe scrambles to ditch Russian oil, the US is shaping up to fill that gap, thanks to its ‘super suitable’ cheaper crude- Russia: The Russian ruble is now more valuable than it has been since November 2021, and the last time it was consistently this valuable was in 2020 and before.
- Russia: Russia cuts interest rate
- Russia: Russia’s gas blackmail: Putin is bringing a knife to a gun fight. By weaponising gas exports, Putin is digging the grave of Russia’s economy.
- Moldova: The Moldovan president says that Gazprom, not her, is to blame for the country’s high gas prices.
- Moldova: Looks like Moldova has confirmed it will get gas from Gazprom for this month despite the issues with audits and agreements.
- Poland: Poland seizes Russian gas assets
- Germany: MP Tino Krupalla says Germany should launch Nord Stream 2 in exchange for Russia’s agreement to accept euros for gas.
- UK: UK starts new post-Brexit trade talks with Switzerland
- UK: An ‘army’ of Indian workers ready to ease UK labour shortages. Good luck with that.
- France: Half of France’s nuclear reactors taken offline, adding to electricity demand on European grid
- France: Much of Europe is facing stagflation. France is already there
- France’s economy unexpectedly grinds to a halt in first quarter, inflation hits new record
Asia and Oceania
- China: Is China Bringing Back the Planned Economy? Sort of. Maybe. Not really. Depends on the timescale.
- China: China pledges more economic support as lockdowns stymie growth
- China: China food security: ‘severe challenges’ ahead as rising incomes, geopolitical turmoil strain resources
- Taiwan: US says room for improvement in Taiwan semiconductor supplies
- Laos: Laos Pushes Forward With Seventh Mekong River Dam Project
- Sri Lanka: To Avoid Default, Sri Lanka Might Need to Get Tougher on Climate Change
- Thailand: Prayut admits Thai govt has run out of money
- Philippines: Philippine govt to borrow P200 billion more weeks before Duterte is gone
- Azerbaijan: Azerbaijan has no intention to compete with Russia on European gas market.
- Pakistan & India: Extreme heatwave in India and Pakistan causes power and water shortages
- Senegal: new measures to mitigate cost of living crisis
- Algeria: Algeria Threatens to Cut Off Gas Exports to Spain Amid Rising Geopolitical Tensions
- Zambia: China Will Help Restructure Zambia’s Debt. What Exactly Does That Mean?
- Nigeria: How expensive are everyday items in Nigeria? Very.
- Ghana: Surging Inflation Set to Derail Ghana’s 2022 Growth Target.
- Namibia: Fuel Prices Drop
- Namibia: Central Bank Unable to Process Payments to Russia
- Mozambique: Chinese Businessmen to Set Up Plant for Ceramic Products
- Mozambique: Mozambican Goverment Will Not Abandon Coal Mining
- USA: ‘This Is Robbery’: Chevron Profits Quadruple and Exxon’s Double Amid Ukraine Crisis
- USA: US tech giant expects chip challenges to persist for two more years
- USA: Has Inflation Peaked? Fed’s Favorite Indicator Says Maybe So—Despite Another ‘Startling’ Reading. Bro, I swear, this time, bro.
- USA: Amazon shares sink 12%, on pace for worst day in at least 8 years
- USA: Cryptocurrency group lobbies Congress against bills that target Russian oligarchs
- USA: If We’re Going to Give Handouts to Oil and Gas, Let’s Attach Strings. Good luck with that.
- USA: Bank of America trims S&P 500 forecast as the market prices in a ‘1 in 3 chance’ of a recession and recommends investors get defensive by adding consumer staples
- Cuba: Cuba approves cryptocurrency services, requires central bank license
- Caribbean: China pledges disaster relief fund for Caribbean countries
- Brazil: Brazil’s Drought: The Trigger that Could Take Corn Prices Higher?
- Inflation bites hardest in developing world as Ukraine war raises prices
- Unilever starts raising prices.
- Why GPS Should Embrace Privatization To Avoid Obsolescence
Diplomatically and Politically
Involving Ukraine or Russia
- Russia: The Speaker of the State Duma says that Zelensky is driving Ukraine into a debt hole, to the benefit of American military corporations.
- Ukraine: Russia Nearly Captured Zelensky in First Few Hours of Ukraine Invasion
- Ukraine: Russia Trying To ‘Humiliate’ United Nations With Kyiv Airstrikes, Zelensky Says
- Sweden failed to integrate immigrants, says Prime Minister, saying segregation in Swedish society has gone “too far”.
- Montenegro: Montenegro’s parliament approves new minority pro-EU government
- Switzerland: Ukraine war fails to nudge neutral Switzerland closer to NATO
Asia and Oceania
- China: A representative of China’s Foreign Ministry says that the goal of the US is to prolong the conflict.
- China: China Calls For Respect For Small States and Multilateralism
- China: China says Nato has ‘messed up Europe’ and warns over role in Asia-Pacific
- China: China’s military: new PLA rule seen to cement troop loyalty to President Xi Jinping
- Myanmar: NUG settling in for long fight against junta
- India: Washington Keeps “Courting” New Delhi
- India: India’s School Education Is in Grave Crisis
- Pacific: Climate crisis – not China – is biggest threat to Pacific, say former leaders
- Afghanistan: A terrorist attack on a mosque in Kabul today kills at least 10 people, after two terrorist attacks yesterday in Mazar-i-Sharif that killed over 30 people.
- Pakistan: New Pakistan PM on 1st trip to Saudi amid political division
- African Union: Will AU give support to Ukraine after Zelensky’s second request to address African leaders? Maybe.
- Central African Republic: Neighbouring countries and UNHCR to step up efforts to support displaced populations
- Ethiopia: Notes From Wartorn Ethiopia
- Somalia: Drought, Russia’s War Open a Window for al-Shabaab
- USA: Kenyon College Student Workers Are Striking to Demand Union Recognition
- USA: Blinken to detail U.S. national strategy for China in coming weeks
- USA: Black Americans are most strongly opposed to increasing risk of war with Russia:
- USA: US Navy chief issues new China warning
- USA: Biden’s Approval Rating Falls Further as GOP Opens Up Huge Lead: Poll
- USA: Thirty Years After L.A. Riots, Many Residents Say New Riots Possible
- Cuba: Biden finally cracks the door open to Cuba
- Argentina: ALBA Movements’ Assembly Kicks Off In Argentina
- Venezuela: Venezuela & Turkey Run 3rd Joint Commission To Boost Relations
- USA: Vladimir Putin Not Welcome at G20, Says Pentagon: ‘Inappropriate’. This comes after news that Indonesia says that Putin should come. The US’s insistence that Russia is isolated is a little tenuous.
- USA: Psaki says that the US can only spend $250 million on military assistance to Ukraine, as this is all that remains of the $3.5 billion allocated by Congress in March. So the $33 billion is a whole new batch of spending, then? Well, I’m feeling pretty good about the US’s chances now - they spent $2 trillion on the Afghanistan War, and that… oh. Oh no.
- USA: The United States is not going to send its warships to the Black Sea in order to prevent escalation.
- UK: British troops prepare for major foreign deployment to participate in drills.
- Russia: How Russia Beat America to the Hypersonic Missile
- Poland: Poland sends 200 T-72 tanks and several dozen infantry carriers to Ukraine.
- Belarus: Belarus is putting military equipment on its border with Poland.
- Indonesia: The President of Indonesia refuses Ukraine’s request to supply weapons.
- NATO: NATO’s indirect donations to the Russian Army continues, as they show off their new trophies.
- Moon of Alabama article about how the West is doubling down as Ukraine continues to lose, even as some are beginning to accept this.
- Three more Ukrainian railways hit by missile strikes.
- Fierce battles for Orekhovo and Svetlichnoye.
- Fighting on the outskirts of Rubizhne - some of Ukraine’s troops still hold the industrial zone, while others retreated across a bridge, blew it up, and are shooting across it.
- Russian troops entered the village of Russkaya Lozovaya in the suburbs of Kharkov.
- 1000 Ukrainian soldiers are surrounded near Izyum, and are now being bombarded by artillery. This was confirmed by Ukraine.
- Ukraine says Russia taking ‘colossal losses’ in eastern battle. Also: Russia is making ‘slow and uneven’ gains in Ukraine, at ‘significant cost’ to its army, U.S., U.K. assess. Given the Law of Ukrainian Inversion, this is an admission of how fucked Ukraine is.
- Similarly, there may be up to 1000 Ukrainian soldiers trapped, or close to being trapped, on the coast between Mykolaiv and Kherson.
- Some children hiding in Mariupol’s steel plant are losing their hair and teeth from stress after watching their parents get killed, report says
- Ukraine says it’s launching a mission to extract civilians from the Mariupol steel plant surrounded by Russian forces
Climate and Water
Realistically this will have strong overlaps with economy, so I’m gonna put more “pure” climate-related stuff here and save things like droughts causing food shortages for economy.
- Study Warns Only ‘Rapid Action’ Can Prevent Worst Marine Extinction in 250 Million Years
- New Report Details Fracking’s ‘Widespread and Severe Harm’ to Health and Climate
- Study: Climate change increases cross-species viral transmission risk
- Why the Great American Lawn is terrible for the West’s water crisis
- Wind Projects Rejected In Nebraska And Ohio, Wind Rejections Across U.S. Now Total 328 Since 2015
- South Africa: Rising Atmospheric CO₂ May Benefit Maize Crops - First Experiment in African Conditions. It’s been a while since I’ve had biology lessons, but AFAIK the temperature increase cooks the plants far before the CO2 increase helps it. But I’m not a scientist and these people are, so I don’t know.
- ‘Deep-sea gold rush’ for rare metals could cause irreversible harm
Dipshittery and Cope
Is China Juicing GDP Data? Economists Can’t Help But Wonder
USA: Looking for the Silver Linings in Shrinking GDP
Putin has created an unexpected opportunity. Literally shouting “My hegemon isn’t owned!” as it shrinks into a decaying wasteland.
At first glance, there’s no immediately apparent connection between Elon Musk’s efforts to control Twitter, the war in Ukraine and the recent election in France. And yet, there was a perplexing similarity in the current of unease that gripped the world as all three of these events unfolded this past week.
If you consider it closely, you can see the common thread. They may be thousands of miles apart in geography and substance, but at the heart of each lies a concern about the future of democracy.
The challenges to global democracy are deeply worrisome, but it’s not all dismal. In fact, the current crises have created unexpected opportunities.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s campaign to erase Ukraine’s nationhood and counter NATO has already backfired on multiple fronts. By unwittingly fortifying and uniting NATO, boosting Ukraine’s national identity and eroding Russia’s standing, Putin may have just created the conditions to strengthen the forces of democracy.
For several years, Putin, along with other authoritarian leaders, have tried to use propaganda brigades to sow divisions among Americans in an attempt to weaken the West and prove to their own people that their system is superior. It didn’t help that the US political discourse was dominated by divisive squabbles, many of which were fomented by politicians with authoritarian, populist leanings. It’s no wonder democracy had been losing ground as people grew exhausted, apathetic and disgusted with politics.
But Russia’s brutal and unprovoked war, which has resulted in thousands of civilian casualties, has shown us just what is at stake. And many who have taken democracy for granted and viewed it with jaded eyes, now understand that it is in need of safeguarding.
Americans overwhelmingly support Ukraine’s right to set its own democratic course. And nearly three out of every four Americans back the efforts to supply Ukraine with weapons, according to a Reuters/IPSOS poll, with strong majorities among both Democrats and Republicans saying they prefer candidates in November’s midterm elections to support arming Ukraine.
Americans are also worried about their own democracy, telling pollsters that they’re concerned that Russia will try to interfere with the midterms through misinformation and disinformation on social media.
And given that Russia has used social media to further its goals, it’s no wonder there has been a fierce debate about the future of Twitter. The platform, which provides a direct port into America’s political bloodstream, has tried to rein in extremists, conspiracy theorists and those who used it to divide the country with hate speech, disinformation and propaganda.
Of all the polls about Americans and Ukraine, perhaps none is as stunning at this: 78% of Americans said they support the resettlement of 100,000 Ukrainians refugees in the United States, according to Gallup.
That level of public support is the highest Gallup has found for admitting refugees since 1939. For context, only 26% said they’d support bringing 10,000 refugee children from Germany in 1939; 16% said they supported more Jewish and other European refugees than were strictly allowed by law to be admitted in 1946, just after World War II.
Wait, hang on, that’s not something you brag about, lmfao. What an incredible self-own.
Clearly, the war in Ukraine has touched a nerve in the American psyche. The deep sympathy and concern for the Ukrainian people and the outrage over Putin’s push to usurp their freedom has sparked a renewed appreciation for democracy.
- However: Americans believe nothing is getting better. Biden feeds that disillusionment
- Russian troops appear to be learning from their mistakes and making more progress in eastern Ukraine, though still face logistical problems, US says
A senior NATO official told CNN that the troops appear to be learning from their earlier mistakes in Kyiv and are combining their air and ground operations more effectively.
The Russians — who were hoping to seize Kyiv in days — failed to combine both operations and proved incapable of adjusting to setbacks, the Associated Press reported. But despite their current progress, the Russian soldiers still “haven’t overcome all their logistics problems” and are facing strong resistance from Ukraine, the Pentagon official said.
“Just from logistics alone, they’re only able to sustain several-kilometers-or-so progress on any given day … because they don’t want to run out too far ahead of their logistics and sustainment lines,” the official said, according to the news brief.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is under increasing pressure to demonstrate he can show some sort of victory by May 9, Western officials have said.
- Bill Clinton says blaming US for Ukraine war is ‘biggest load of bull’
“It is not true that we did anything to isolate, humiliate or ignore Putin,” Clinton said. “That’s the biggest load of bull you’ll ever hear.”
“I do not believe that there was anything we could have done to prevent this. Ukraine needs to prevail.”
Clinton detailed how his administration started the process of admitting the Baltic states – Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia – into NATO in the late 1990s.
“The idea that we were trying to jam Russia or isolate them … that’s just not true,” he said.
The former president said he met with Russia’s leaders 23 times throughout his eight-year presidency, including both former Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Putin.
“I made the argument to Yelstin, which was confirmed later by Putin, that there was nothing preventing them from joining NATO if they thought their biggest security threats were going to come from non-state actors.”
- A growing number of European countries are signaling they have enough energy to stop relying on Russia
As EU countries scramble to wean themselves off Russian energy, a trickle of member states have signaled that they are finding alternative sources of oil, coal, or gas, and won’t need to rely on Russia for long.
Austria’s government also said Wednesday that it would continue buying Russian energy, but is scrambling for alternative sources to fill its needs, per Reuters. The next day, the Czech Republic’s Prime Minister Petr Fiala said that the country has oil for three months, gas for two months, as well as nuclear reserves for two years, according to Czech outlet iROZHLAS.
But while it does not buy directly from Russia’s Gazprom, it is heavily dependent on energy sold by Russia through western markets, the outlet reported.
For those countries without immediate alternatives, the transition to is unlikely to happen quickly — Germany, for example, relies on Russia for around a third of its gas, according to Reuters.
And while Germany has an outsize influence in the European bloc, all 27 member states must agree to a full ban, and some are dragging their heels.
- Europe Shows Splits Over Putin’s Gas Demands
I Thought I’d Mention
- There’s footage of humanitarian aid from Germany being thrown out at the Polish border rather than being delivered to Ukrainians, and presumably weapons are instead being transported to the front lines in those trucks.
- US reports first human case of H5N1 bird flu
- Russia deployed trained dolphins to guard Black Sea naval base, satellite images show. :pog-dolphin: