Link back to the discussion thread.


  • Energy crisis an ‘existential threat’ to EU metal production -Eurometaux Reuters

The European Union needs to reduce power costs in the region to prevent the permanent closure of metal producing plants in the region, which would increase reliance on imports with higher carbon footprints, industry association Eurometaux said.

About 50% of EU aluminium and zinc production capacity “has already been forced offline due to the power crisis”, Eurometaux said in a letter to EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

  • A New Toilet Paper Crisis Shows Inflation Is Still Spiraling Bloomberg

Who would have thought? It turns out hoarding toilet paper in the early days of the pandemic was a wise financial decision. If your bathroom cupboard is still stockpiled with rolls, you don’t have to feel ashamed anymore.

The toilet paper shortage of 2020 was an early warning sign of the large supply-chain disruptions that the global economy was about to suffer. Now wholesale tissue paper prices are surging to an all-time high — a new crisis that indicates inflationary pressures are still building up.

The toilet-paper industry is a microcosm of the much larger, energy-intensive manufacturing sector, where production costs are continuing to skyrocket in line with soaring wholesale energy prices. It’s the same issue across European industrial commodities — from glass, ceramics and synthetic fibres to aluminum, cement, fertilizer and dozens of other daily-life goods.

Wall Street hopes that the worst of the inflationary wave is behind us. But one look into the industrial sector via the ups and downs of the toilet-paper industry suggests that price pressures are not letting up. Central banks will have to tighten their monetary policy in response, even as economic growth, in Europe in particular, slows down.

As is true for many manufacturers, the core of the problem for toilet paper is the cost of energy.

Transforming wood into pulp and then into toilet tissue is very energy-intensive — more so than for other kinds of papers. In Europe, the process is now prohibitively expensive as natural gas and electricity wholesale prices surge to an all-time high.

  • Europe’s banks dim lights as they brace for winter blackout Reuters

Some of Europe’s biggest banks are preparing back-up generators and to dim the lights as they brace for potential power cuts and energy rationing that threaten the money system underpinning the region’s economy.

As Russia throttles gas supplies to the continent, banks are stress-testing how they can cope with power shortages and lining up alternative sources of energy, such as generators, so that ATMs and online banking don’t go dark.

There is a special urgency for financial firms to act because of the importance of payments and transactions to Europe’s economy, already fragile due to the fallout of war.


  • Russia’s VTB launches transfers in Chinese yuan bypassing SWIFT Reuters

VTB said on Tuesday it had become the first Russian bank to launch money transfers to China in yuan without using the international messaging system SWIFT that underpins financial transactions globally.

Demand for the yuan in Russia has increased since Feb. 24 when Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine and the West imposed sanctions against Moscow, limiting its access to the dollar and euro markets.

  • China To Pay for Russian Gas in Local Currencies: Ruble & Yuan TeleSUR

On Tuesday, Russian energy giant Gazprom announced the start of transactions between Russia and China for gas supplies in rubles and yuan.

“The new payment mechanism is a practical, reliable, timely and mutually beneficial solution. I believe it will simplify calculations, become an excellent example for other companies and give additional impetus to the development of our economies,” said Gazprom’s President Alexei Miller.

  • ‘It’s not scary to die for the motherland’: Russian students return to school with new Kremlin-designed classes to instill ‘patriotism’ and ‘love’ Fortune

What kind of totalitarian hellscape has their nation’s flag in every classroom and pressures its children to stand and sing nationalist songs to reaffirm their commitment to the state? Where all the information they receive on their history is that they are not the aggressor of wars, but instead trying to bring peace and freedom to the whole world? Where military service is put on a divine pedestal, and all those who serve in the military expected to receive commanding respect and admiration from everybody around them? I can’t imagine anything like this.

Russian students returned to school this week to a new mandatory course that explains “key aspects of life in modern Russia,” including how to love the motherland and the purpose of Russia’s so-called special military operation in Ukraine.

Russia’s Ministry of Education has now mandated that schools nationwide teach this lesson weekly, called “Important Conversations,” to all students from first through 11th grades.

Over the weekend, Russian president Vladimir Putin met with a group of schoolchildren to explain the importance of the new curriculum, particularly to clear up the notion that “aggression is coming from the Russian side.”

The new Kremlin-designed class, which cost $361,000 to develop, is the latest iteration in a government push to change the narrative of Russia as the aggressor, as criticism of its war on Ukraine—both outside and inside of the country—grows.

Russian schoolchildren will sit through lectures and videos, and participate in individual and group exercises to learn about Russia’s “traditional values” and the “true meaning of patriotism.”

Children in grades one and two will learn how to “manifest love” for Russia, by listening to patriotic songs—including those from the Soviet era—and photos of Russian nature. From grades three to four, students will learn “how to cultivate effective love for the motherland” through learning about Russian literary works, and more. The goal is to “enable younger students to feel a sense of pride in our motherland,” according to the teachers’ training manual.

From grades five to seven, the teachings will encourage students “to think about their personal responsibility for the country… [and] involvement in its fate,” the manual says. In one exercise, students are asked to write on the leaves of birch trees what they love about Russia, what they respect about Russia, and how they will be useful to their country. Students will learn about the Russian military’s “heroes” and “patriots.”

Teachers will test students on “correct” proverbs and ideas for demonstrating their love for Russia, which include sayings like “to love the motherland is to serve the motherland,” “happiness of [Russia] is more precious than life,” and “it’s not scary to die for your motherland,” according to Russian publication Important Stories.

It’s really funny to watch Americans gasp and recoil in the face of language like this and when they’re asked about only subtly different but much more familiar language come out of their schools and governments, they’re like “Oh, but that’s different. We weren’t brainwashed like THOSE people are, to support their country no matter what. I believe that America is fundamentally always good and deserves to be the sole global superpower, even we do some bad things, for perfectly logical reasons, not because my entire socioeconomic and political environment from the moment I was born to the current day has reinforced that by constant repetition."

  • EU, U.S. step up Russian aluminium, nickel imports since Ukraine war Reuters

The European Union and United States have ramped up buying key industrial metals from Russia, data showed, despite logistical problems spurred by the war in Ukraine and tough talk about starving Moscow of foreign exchange revenue.

The metal shipments highlight the West’s difficulty in pressuring Russia’s economy, which has performed better than expected and seen its rouble currency surge as buoyant oil revenue has helped offset the impact of sanctions.

EU and U.S. imports of Russia’s main base metal products aluminium and nickel during March-June increased by as much as 70%, official trade data compiled by Reuters from the United Nations Comtrade database show.

The total value of EU and U.S. imports of the two metals from March to June were $1.98 billion, the data showed.


  • Deutsche Bank CEO Sewing Says Germany Heading for Recession Bloomberg

Europe’s largest economy is set for contraction on the back of soaring inflation, energy bottlenecks and the disruption to global supply chains, Deutsche Bank AG Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing warned.

“We will no longer be able to avert a recession in Germany,” Sewing said during a speech in Frankfurt on Wednesday. “We believe that our economy is resilient enough to cope well with this recession – provided the central banks act quickly and decisively now.”


  • France preparing disused pipeline to supply more winter gas to Germany Reuters

France is reactivating a disused pipeline in its northeastern Moselle administrative department, originally built for east-to-west flows, to send Germany gas under an energy deal unveiled by President Emmanuel Macron, according to French officials.

France will be able to deliver 130 gigawatt hours (GWh) per day, a tiny fraction of German needs, French energy ministry officials have previously said, while Germany will be ready to provide France power in the event of tight supplies mid-winter.


  • Inflation in Netherlands Hits Record High TeleSUR

Inflation in the Netherlands rose to another record high of 12 percent in August from 10.3 percent in July, the Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) reported on Tuesday.

Energy prices remained the main driving force behind this growth, but the rising costs of groceries and housing costs also emerged as key contributors. Energy was 151 percent more expensive in August than in the same month one year earlier. In July, this figure was 108 percent.

United Kingdom

  • UK PM Liz Truss accepts invite to visit Ukraine in first call with foreign leader Inquirer

Britain’s new Prime Minister Liz Truss spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in her first call with a foreign leader as she accepted an invitation for her to visit Ukraine and reiterated her support for the country in its war with Russia.

Britain has been one of Ukraine’s most vocal international backers sending almost 7,000 anti-tank weapons, hundreds of missiles and armored fighting vehicles. It is also training Ukrainian soldiers.

“The prime minister spoke to the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, this evening to reiterate the United Kingdom’s steadfast support for Ukraine’s freedom and democracy,” according to a readout sent by Truss’s office.

“The prime minister said she looked forward to working with the President in the coming weeks and months and was delighted to accept an invitation to visit President Zelensky in Ukraine soon.”

We have a bunch of articles on Truss. I’ve chosen a few, though they have a fair amount of overlap and I won’t quote much from any one in particular.

  • Liz Truss’s Inheritance: A U.K. Economy on Its Knees WSJ

Britain’s new Prime Minister, Liz Truss, will face the most daunting economic outlook for an incoming British leader since her political hero, Margaret Thatcher, became the U.K.’s first female prime minister in 1979.

Britain’s slowing economy is poised to enter recession, inflation is at its highest rate in decades and households are facing crippling energy bills from the war in Ukraine.

Productivity growth has dropped to half the rate it was in the early 2000s, real wages are falling, the pound is nearing record lows and an aging population is placing a growing strain on public services, even as the government tries to rein in the public spending that soared during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Britain’s exit from the European Union has hampered trade with the country’s largest trading partner, and immigration restrictions have choked off access to inexpensive European labor. That has worsened a labor shortage of a scale not seen in the rest of Europe, driven by an unexpectedly high number of people leaving the workforce after the pandemic.

The energy crisis combined with a labor crunch is an inflationary double whammy.

“They have the worst of both worlds,” said Mark Flanagan, who until recently led the U.K. team at the International Monetary Fund.

The country is on track to record the lowest economic growth and the highest inflation in the Group of Seven rich countries next year, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The economic-policy forum predicts the U.K. economy will record zero growth in 2023 and that inflation will run at 7.4%. The U.S., meanwhile, is forecast to grow 1.2% and have far lower inflation at 3.5%.

  • No vision, no charisma, no real plan: Labour has nothing to fear from Liz Truss Guardian

I would dispute this, as she appears to be gunning for Labour’s niche by having those three attributes. Also the author is a Starmerite.

  • Why Liz Truss’s cabinet of loyalists may not bode well for the future Guardian

  • Liz Truss’s faith in the power of markets will be tested to destruction by a winter of strife Guardian

In a short victory speech on Monday, she explained how the result of the last election was down to natural alignment of British and traditional Conservative values: “freedom, low taxes, personal responsibility”.

In other words, the nation has been crying out for the very things that Truss herself believes to be the foundations of sound government. Armed with that convenient belief, the new prime minister is going to test a proposition that is common among her own MPs but eccentric elsewhere – that the only thing wrong with Conservative governments over the past 12 years is that they haven’t been Conservative enough.

It is a habit of mind that radical Tories share with revolutionary communists, who can always excuse the slide of Marxist regimes into bankrupt tyranny with the claim that the theory wasn’t properly applied or its correct operation is thwarted by unbelievers and malign foreign states.

Truss is supported by Brexit Bolsheviks who are convinced that their revolution is at constant risk of sabotage by unrepentant remainers in Whitehall. The prime minister’s own analysis of Britain’s economic malaise relies on the idiosyncratic view that policy has been focused too narrowly through a “lens of redistribution” and is not interested enough in growth. Apparently, the obstacle to an enterprise boom has been a picket-line of socialist chancellors who were only pretending to be Tories.

Man, this sucks.

Asia and Oceania


  • Taiwan central bank calls for fiscal stimulus as external demand slows Inquirer

The head of Taiwan’s central bank said on Wednesday that external demand momentum will slow next year and an expansionary fiscal policy should be adopted to stimulate domestic demand.

The central bank will also adopt an appropriate monetary policy in a timely manner, but Taiwan should not be guided by the U.S. Federal Reserve’s monetary policy structure and decision-making, governor Yang Chin-long told a forum.

Taiwan’s export-reliant economy has been supported by a global shortage of semiconductors that has filled the order books of the island’s chip-makers. But exports have begun loosing steam on flagging consumer demand in major markets China, the United States and Europe.

While the economy last year grew 6.45 percent, the fastest since it expanded 10.25 percent in 2010, it is expected to grow more slowly this year, hit by COVID-19 lockdowns in China and the impact of the war in Ukraine.


  • Xi and Putin to meet face-to-face next week, Russian envoy says CNN

  • China’s Xi Vows to Strengthen System That Develops New Tech Bloomberg

China’s President Xi Jinping called for a stronger effort to pool nationwide resources to advance key technologies, as rising tensions with the US add urgency to the need to develop industries such as semiconductors.

The so-called “whole nation system” should improve its strategy and focus on areas critical to China’s industrial, economic and national security, state broadcaster Central China Television reported, citing a meeting on Tuesday of a high-level Communist Party committee chaired by Xi.

“Competitive advantages should be achieved in certain sectors to win strategic initiative opportunities,” Xi was quoted as saying, urging the country to make use of its ability to “pool resources to get major undertakings done.”

Research of technologies that have first-mover advantage or can guide future development should be prioritized, CCTV reported.

  • China’s trade falters as demand wanes at home and abroad Reuters

China’s exports and imports lost momentum in August with growth significantly missing forecasts as surging inflation crippled overseas demand and fresh COVID curbs and heatwaves disrupted output, reviving downside risks for the shaky economy.

Exports rose 7.1% in August from a year earlier, slowing from an 18.0% gain in July and marking the first slowdown since April, official data showed on Wednesday, well below analysts' expectations for a 12.8% increase.

Outbound shipments have outperformed other economic drivers this year but now face growing challenges as rising interest rates, inflation and geopolitical tensions pummel external demand.

The disappointing August trade figures rattled global financial markets, which have already been buckling under a surging dollar and the prospect of much higher U.S. interest rates.

  • Scientists urged the Biden administration to launch an ‘Operation Warp Speed’ to develop inhaled COVID vaccines. China beat the U.S. to the punch. Fortune

The U.S. developed the world’s most widely used COVID-19 vaccines with a brand new technology in record time, but China just shot ahead in the huffing and sniffing phase of COVID-19 vaccine development.

On Sunday, China’s government approved CanSino Biologics’ inhaled COVID-19 vaccine for use as a booster dose. CanSino is a private, Tianjin-based vaccine maker that has partnered with the Chinese military-run Academy for Military Medical Sciences to produce COVID-19 vaccines. The inhaled vaccine uses the same technology as the firm’s World Health Organization-approved viral vector COVID-19 vaccine. The new version is breathed in through the mouth, and clinical trial data showed that it was more effective as a booster at preventing infections from Omicron and other variants than the injectable, inactivated vaccine from Chinese firm Sinovac. CanSino’s new vaccine is not just the first inhaled vaccine for COVID, it is the first inhaled vaccine for any disease.

The vaccine is “a game changer,” Pierre Morgon, an executive vice president at CanSino Biologics, told Fortune. “This is the first-ever inhaled vaccine to be commercialized. I’m so proud to be part of it.”

For now, the vaccine will only be available in China. But Morgon said he hopes that CanSino’s inhaled vaccine will be approved in more countries by the end of the year.


  • Australia economy grows 3.6% annually on spending, exports Al Jazeera

Australia’s economy picked up speed in the June quarter as consumers kept spending and energy exports boomed, offering hope activity can weather sharply higher interest rates and cost-of-living pressures.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday showed gross domestic product (GDP) rose 0.9 percent in the second quarter, in line with forecasts and up on the first quarter’s 0.7 percent rise.

Annual growth accelerated to 3.6 percent as the lowest unemployment rate in almost five decades underpinned household incomes and spending.

Indeed, so resilient was the economy that the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has had to embark on an uber-aggressive tightening campaign to try to cool activity and restrain runaway inflation.

A high proportion of recent cocaine samples in Australia contained no trace of the drug.

In the samples that did contain cocaine, purity levels were at an average of just 27%.

The totals suggest the supply from Latin America is a far from meeting demand in Australia.

Researchers from the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra found that 40% of the cocaine samples submitted to the city’s CanTEST Health and Drug Checking Service since mid-July contained “no cocaine at all,” according to an August 25 press release.

The supposed cocaine was cut or replaced with sugar, talc, or dimethyl sulfone, the latter often being used to cut methamphetamine, reported the Guardian.


  • Japan probes possible involvement of pro-Russian group in cyberattack Jakarta Post

Japan is investigating the possible involvement of a pro-Russian group following the failure of multiple government websites, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said on Wednesday.

More than 20 websites across four government ministries could not be accessed on Tuesday evening but were restored on the same day, Matsuno said.

The government has not identified any information leaks and was looking into whether the failure was caused by a denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, he added.

The pro-Russian group “Killnet” said on social media it was responsible for the attack, public broadcaster NHK reported.

Middle East

Saudi Arabia

  • Aramco Cuts Crude Prices To Asia And Europe For First Time In Four Months Oil Price

For the first time in four months, Saudi Aramco has slashed prices of October crude oil exports for European and Asian buyers just a day after OPEC+ symbolically cut output for that same month by 100,000 bpd on global demand concerns.

Aramco cut prices of its Arab Light crude benchmark to Asia by $3.95 per barrel, and to European buyers by $2 a barrel, while prices for U.S. buyers saw no change, with the exception of heavier and lighter variants that will see a $0.50 per barrel increase, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The price cuts come after record high prices in September for Arab Light, which reached $9.80 over the Oman/Dubai average per barrel, while Arab Extra Light sold for $10.95 over per barrel that same month. With the price cuts, Asian buyers for October will pay $5.85 per barrel above the Oman/Dubai benchmark.


  • Rallies Show Pakistan’s ex-Prime Minister Khan Remains Political Force Diplomat

Since he was toppled by parliament five months ago, former Prime Minister Imran Khan has demonstrated his continued popularity with mass rallies across Pakistan, signaling to his rivals that he remains a considerable political force.

On Tuesday, he addressed some 25,000 supporters in the northwestern city of Peshawar, the capital of deeply conservative Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province bordering Afghanistan.

Khan said he would soon organize a mass march to the capital, as a culmination of his campaign to force the government of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to hold a snap election, which some analysts say Khan might win due a groundswell of support.

“I will soon give you a call for a march on Islamabad,” Khan told the cheering crowd, then asked: “Are you ready for it?”


  • Turkey’s President Erdogan begins three-day Balkan tour in Sarajevo Euro News

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has arrived in Bosnia-Herzegovina to strengthen ties in the region, at the start of a three-day tour of the Balkans.

Erdogan arrived first in Sarajevo, where he had a meeting with the three-member Bosnia-Herzegovina Presidential Council.

The visit comes amid a series of political crises in the region, including in the Serb-inhabited Republic of Srpska and tensions with Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Muslims.

Turkey says Erdogan wants to promote policies which support and develop the Balkan countries.

During the first day of his visit, President Erdogan took the chance to criticise Turkey’s long-time foe Greece.

He accused the country of harassing Turkish jets and warned Athens that Ankara “can do whatever is necessary when the time comes.”

Before traveling to the region, Erdogan spoke about the energy crisis in Europe and mentioned that Turkey has no gas supply problem - blaming EU sanctions against Russia for the situation in the bloc.


  • ‘The green land is a barren desert’: water scarcity hits Iraq’s Fertile Crescent Guardian

Water levels in the country’s great rivers Euphrates and Tigris, on whose ancient banks Mesopotamia’s civilisations emerged 8,000 years ago, have dropped by half.

Government officials say the culprit is the upstream proliferation of hydrology projects by neighbouring Turkey and Iran, a longstanding problem compounded by poor water management and steady decline in rainfall.

  • Climate migrants flee Iraq’s parched rural south, but cities offer no refuge WaPo

What happens when the land dries up?

The world is facing this question; Iraq is already learning the answers.

First the farmers and the fishermen try to stay. Then, one by one, they reach their breaking point. Migration starts slowly, but the exodus to towns and cities soon swells, and as temperatures rise, so do tensions.

The United Nations describes Iraq as the fifth-most-vulnerable country to climate change. Temperatures have increased by 1.8 degrees Celsius (3.2 degrees Fahrenheit) in three decades, according to Berkeley Earth, well above the global average, and in the summers, the mercury now regularly hits 50 Celsius (122 Fahrenheit). The heat is burning crops and desiccating marshes. As upstream dams in Turkey and Iran weaken the flows of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, a salty tide is creeping north from the Persian Gulf, poisoning the land — and the jobs it once created.

In Iraq, especially the south, the changing climate is forcing families to sell off their livestock and pack up for urban centers such as the region’s largest city, Basra, in search of jobs and better services. But they find little welcome here.

When asked recently about the new arrivals, one Basra shopkeeper frowned in disapproval. “We don’t get involved with those people,” he said.

Embedded in Basra’s troubles is a warning: As hotter, more-crowded cities become the future of a warming world, a lack of preparedness will only exacerbate the discontent already fraying the social fabric.

Basra was once one of Iraq’s jewels, a thriving trade hub where the 14th-century traveler Ibn Battuta observed: “No place on earth excels it in quantity of palm groves.” More recently, its freshwater canals and elegant walkways drew comparisons to Venice.

But decades of U.S.-backed sanctions and war, combined with the weight of corruption and neglect, have left Basra’s infrastructure unable to adequately support the 2 million people the city already houses — let alone the rising tide of newcomers.

Oil powers Iraq’s economy, and Basra is at the heart of where most of it is produced, but little of that money seems to trickle down to its inhabitants. Swaths of the city lack streetlights or paved roads. In 2018, the water supply was so polluted that it became toxic.

According to official figures, Basra province has a population of over 3 million — an increase of at least 20 percent in 10 years. And most of that growth has been in its urban areas.

Iraqi authorities have neither tried to connect a growing constellation of informal settlements in the cities to any service grid, nor taken meaningful steps to address the water mismanagement and scarcity that are causing the migration.

For longtime residents of the swelling cities, new arrivals often represent an extra strain on the already faltering infrastructure. Politicians have seized on blaming “infiltrators” — rather than their own failures — for the mess.


  • Fossil fuel investment in Africa dwarfs clean air funding Iraqi News

Foreign governments are spending more than 30 times more on fossil fuel projects in Africa than on initiatives to lessen the impacts of the continent’s second-biggest killer, air pollution, research showed Wednesday.

The report, released on the International Day of Clean Air, showed how little donor nations spend on improving air quality while ploughing money into dirty energy and infrastructure projects across Africa.

The United Nations estimates that air pollution kills around nine million people globally each year, with fossil fuels accounting for two-thirds of the levels of harmful particulates humans are exposed to.

The financial benefits of improving air quality alone would far exceed the costs of slashing emissions to meet the Paris Agreement temperature goals, according to a landmark United Nations climate science assessment this year.

Yet, as Wednesday’s analysis by the Clean Air Fund shows, US, European and Asian governments are still going ahead with fossil fuel-based development projects that will likely worsen already poor air quality in cities and along highways across Africa.

The fund found that just 0.3 percent of African countries’ development assistance received between 2015-2021 had been specifically earmarked for air quality projects, despite pollution being responsible for some one in five deaths continent-wide.

During the same period, donor nations provided 36 times more funding for prolonging fossil fuel use in Africa.


  • Kenya’s Incoming President Ruto Pledges Economic Revival TeleSUR


  • Somalia is on the verge of famine while the world looks away WaPo

Famine will hit parts of Somalia between October and December. That was the verdict of Martin Griffiths, the U.N. humanitarian chief, who spoke to reporters from Mogadishu, the war-torn, drought-ravaged Horn of Africa nation’s capital. “I have been shocked to my core these past few days by the level of pain and suffering we see so many Somalis enduring,” Griffiths said Monday. “Famine is at the door, and today we are receiving a final warning.”

More than 7.1 million people — roughly half of Somalia’s population — are in need of food assistance. One out of every five children in the country will face deadly forms of malnutrition by October should current conditions remain. Four failed rainy seasons have plunged the region into its worst drought in more than four decades, prompting roughly a million people in Somalia to leave their homes and trudge through the arid countryside in search for food and aid. Their woes were compounded by events far from their reach, with the Russian invasion of Ukraine causing a surge in global grain, fuel and fertilizer prices that have impacted some of the world’s poorest countries.

It was the sanctions.

Eyewitness accounts detail scenes of unending misery, as countless hungry children succumb to otherwise preventable diseases. “We are burying babies and watching with heartbreak as mothers cry because they don’t know what to feed their children, now dying of hunger and thirst, and drought robs families of crops and livestock, their only source of income,” Daud Jiran, Somalia country director for humanitarian organization Mercy Corps, said in an email.


  • Togo: Parliament extends state of emergency in the north for six months Africa News

Togo’s parliament on Tuesday extended for six months the state of emergency in the Savannah region in the far north of the country, which has been plagued by incursions by jihadist groups.

While jihadist groups operating in the Sahel appear to be gradually moving toward the West African coast, northern Togo has suffered at least five attacks since November 2021.

Declared in June by the Togolese president, the state of emergency was unanimously extended until March 2023 by the National Assembly meeting in Kara, about 400 km north of Lome. The country’s constitution requires parliamentary approval to extend the state of emergency beyond three months.

“Faced with attacks on our peaceful people, our objective (…) is to give the defense and security forces the necessary means to stop the threat,” said National Assembly Speaker Yawa Djigbodi Tsegan.

North America

United States

  • Why the Fed won’t be able to avoid a recession or bring inflation down to its 2% target, according to BlackRock Business Insider

The Federal Reserve may not be able to avoid a recession – and may not be able to bring inflation back down to its 2% target either, according to analysts from BlackRock.

Markets are expecting the Fed to stick to aggressive rate hikes after Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech at Jackson Hole last month.

But higher rates won’t solve the biggest problem, namely low production capacity, analysts said, meaning low supply relative to demand. Without addressing supply, the Fed would have to lower demand by 2% via rate hikes to get inflation down quickly.

  • Biden’s $270 billion semiconductor bill to battle China isn’t that big a deal, Goldman says. Unless there’s some kind of huge ‘international conflict’ Fortune

Last month, President Joe Biden signed into law the much-awaited CHIPS Act, a package that will funnel more than $70 billion into the American semiconductor industry and set aside approximately $200 billion for further scientific and technological research.

The bipartisan bill was seen as a huge legislative win for Biden, as he embarks on a mission to bring more manufacturing back stateside and to American companies looking to compete with foreign competitors, namely China.

But despite the plaudits, those expecting the bill to resolve the ongoing global semiconductor chip shortage are likely to be left disappointed, according to a note published last week by Goldman Sachs analysts.

Biden’s big win is likely not big enough to rid the global economy of its semiconductor supply-chain woes of the past few years, Goldman’s research team, led by the investment bank’s chief economist Jan Hatzius, found. But that could change quickly if, say, a major international conflict erupts between chipmaking countries given the “current concentration of production and expertise in Taiwan and Korea.”

Well, we all know what we’ve gotta do, then! Time to park our ships in the Taiwan Strait and hope China gets mad enough at us!


  • 9 Million Doses of Cuban Abdala Vaccine To Reach Mexico TeleSUR

On Tuesday, the Mexican government announced the purchase of 9 million doses of the Cuban vaccine Abdala for the immunization against COVID-19 of children between 5 and 11 years of age.

The Undersecretary of Prevention and Health Promotion, Hugo López-Gatell, said that “with 9 million doses that, given that it is a three-dose scheme, will be enough for 3 million girls and boys.”

López-Gatell did not specify the date the doses will arrive or the contract amount. According to the official, the Abdala vaccine is part of the scheme contemplated to immunize 15.3 million children aged 5 to 11 years old.

This will also include Pfizer’s nearly 8 million doses, almost 800 000 donated by South Korea and 10 million from WHO’s Covax mechanism.


  • Global coal prices soar to a record high as the world scrambles for energy Business Insider

Global coal prices have jumped to a record high as an international energy crisis sends buyers scrambling for fuel.

Coal for delivery at the Newcastle terminal in Australia next month closed at $457.80 per ton on Monday, according to Bloomberg data, the highest level in the data set going back to 2008.

Bloomberg reported that the spot price for coal loaded at Newcastle also hit a record high three times above the level of a year ago.

Meanwhile, European coal prices are trading at or close to record highs. Rotterdam coal for delivery next month has risen sharply over the last few weeks as Russia has squeezed energy flows to Europe, although it remains below its March highs.

  • Cost of living and climate are higher global priorities than Ukraine, poll finds Guardian

The cost of living is ranked by most voters globally as a more important issue than liberating Ukraine from Russian occupation, but there is still strong support for a Russian military withdrawal, according to a survey showing global preoccupations.

Majorities in 16 of the 22 largest countries believe Russia should leave the territory it has occupied in Ukraine, the survey shows. The polling in 22 countries of more than 21,000 citizens also underlines the extent to which the global south is less engaged with the war in Ukraine than Europeans.

Asked to list their top-three priority issues, voters more often cited the climate crisis and cost of living ahead of Ukraine. Even in the UK, the country with some of the most solid support for Ukraine, more voters cite climate change.

The climate emergency was the top priority, with 36% of respondents ranking it as one of the three most significant issues facing the world, compared with 28% who picked Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In all but three of the countries surveyed, fewer than 40% cited Ukraine as a top-three priority issue.

The polling was conducted by Datapraxis and YouGov by the Open Society Foundations, a group funded by the businessman and philanthropist George Soros, and has been released ahead of the UN general assembly later this month in New York.

A graph of public opinion

Oh, come on.

There are large disparities between how importantly respondents in different countries ranked Ukraine as a global issue. Concern was particularly high in eastern Europe and most G7 countries, including in Poland where 45% ranked it as a top-three issue and in the UK, where 39% did. Few citizens view the war as a top global priority in Nigeria (21%), India (21%) or Colombia, Egypt, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Turkey (fewer than 20%). Strikingly, just 22% of respondents in the US listed Ukraine as a top-three global issue, despite cross-party US financial and military support for Kyiv. More respondents in Kenya (37%) than in Germany (33%) or France (29%) ranked the invasion as a top global challenge.

Almost half of respondents (49%) named inflation and the cost of living as one of the top-three challenges facing their family and community today, with the greatest concern in high-income countries. The cost of living was ranked as a top-three concern in Singapore (76% of respondents), Britain (70%), France and Serbia (58%), Poland (57%), Germany (45%) and Japan (46%). Conversely, in Turkey, where high double-digit inflation has been persistent for several years, only 53% of respondents cited inflation and cost of living as a top-three concern.


The Ukraine War

  • Russia requests ‘explanations’ from IAEA on Zaporizhzhia report Reuters

Russia has requested “additional explanations” from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on parts of its report on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

The IAEA on Tuesday called for shelling near the power station to be halted and for a security zone around the plant to be established immediately in a report published after its long-awaited mission to Zaporizhzhia last week.

The plant has been controlled by Russian forces since March but is still operated by Ukrainian staff and connected to the Ukrainian power grid. Both Kyiv and Moscow have accused each other of firing missiles at the power station, prompting fears of a Chornobyl-style nuclear disaster.

Lavrov told the Interfax news agency that Moscow required more information about the IAEA’s findings and had sent a request to provide extra information.

“There is a need for additional explanations because there are a number of issues in the report. I will not list them now, but we have requested clarifications from the IAEA Director General,” Interfax cited Lavrov as saying.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova accused the West of putting pressure on the IAEA mission to the plant.

The RIA Novosti news agency quoted Zakharova as saying Russia had provided full data on the source of shelling to the IAEA and was questioning why the organisation did not name Ukraine as the source of attacks on the nuclear power plant in its report.

Climate, Space, and Science

  • G7 company emissions falling short of global climate goal, study shows Reuters

Companies in the Group of Seven (G7) economies are failing to meet Paris Climate Agreement objectives, non-profit disclosure platform CDP and global management consultancy Oliver Wyman said on Tuesday, based on current corporate pledges to cut emissions.

Under the global 2015 Paris deal, countries agreed to cut greenhouse gas emissions fast enough to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (°C) and aim to keep the rise below 1.5°C, which scientists say would avert some of its worst effects.

Across the G7, which consists of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, corporate emissions targets are overall on a 2.7°C warming trajectory, CDP and Oliver Wyman analysis showed.

“It is not acceptable for any country, let alone the world’s most advanced economies, to have industries displaying so little collective ambition,” Laurent Babikian, Global Director of Capital Markets at CDP, said in a statement.

  • Renewables Are Losing Steam As Bottlenecks Emerge Oil Price

At the end of August, President Biden officially signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law, which set forth $369 billion toward renewable energy efforts. The act strives to have over 900 million solar panels and over 100,000 wind turbines operating by 2030. However, the drive toward renewable energy in the US currently faces a big obstacle: energy not being transferred from its area of generation.

According to a recent Bloomberg article, US renewable energy sources like wind turbines and solar panels don’t have enough high-voltage lines to transfer power to their specific destination. That means more and more power lines need to be constructed to transfer that power from solar fields and wind farms to the general population.

Gotta get those Chinese UHV cables going!

In other areas of the world, like Europe, renewable energy may help balance out events like the ongoing energy crisis. However, Europe faces issues with green energy obstacles just like the US. Ireland, for instance, faces problems with off-shore wind power due to ocean waters being too deep. In Denmark, wind power construction hasn’t hit full force due to long approval procedures set forth by the EU.

  • ‘Complete success’: China tests powerful rocket engine for moon landing SCMP

A Beijing space research institute tested a new rocket engine that is twice as powerful as its American competitor in the race to put the next astronaut on the moon, according to China’s space authorities.

The ground test was carried out on Monday with “complete success”, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) said on Tuesday.

The engine will be used to launch China’s Long March 9 rockets, still under development, and propel astronauts in future missions to the moon, CASC said.

The upper-stage rocket engine can generate a 25 ton-force – more than twice the thrust produced by the RL10, the US-made engine that is expected to take American astronauts back to the moon. Upper-stage rocket engines are used at high altitudes to generate additional boost to propel a spacecraft to its destination.

  • Nasa’s Webb Telescope Captures Image of Tarantula Nebula TeleSUR

An image of the Tarantula Nebula

Dipshittery and Cope

I don’t read any of these unless they’re particularly interesting. I’m happy for them tho. Or sorry that happened.


  • ‘It won’t be quick’: Foreign fighters lend a hand to Ukraine’s battle to retake the south CNN

  • Ukraine official promises ‘great news’ from Kharkiv counteroffensive Reuters

  • The fighting continues, but Ukraine has already won its war of independence WaPo, by Maximum Boot.

An extremely Bootian article. Is it worth reading? Probably not. I’m not gonna.

  • Russia’s neighbors are close to creating a ‘NATO sea’ that could deter Russia and help Ukraine, Estonia’s defense minister says Business Insider

This is the image that the article uses. I’m not making shit up. Click the link to see it.

An image of an annotated map of Europe and central Asia

  • Ukraine believes Russia has less than 50 hypersonic missiles left because it can’t get the chips needed to make more: report Business Insider

Russia is struggling to keep up its weaponry as sanctions have made it increasingly difficult for the country to acquire microchips that power some of its equipment, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal told Politico.

According to Shmyhal, Ukraine estimates Russia has already used up half of its arsenal and is down to four dozen hypersonic missiles. Shmyhal said it doesn’t look like the country will be able to restock that supply without the microchips that make the missiles accurate.

The West

  • Liz Truss’s High-Wire Plan Could Actually Avert a UK Recession Bloomberg

Good luck with that.

  • Trump’s Lawyers Might Think They Just Won. They Still Botched the Case. Politico

I still don’t give a shit about what Trump is doing. I just thought I’d slap this here because they’re literally doing the “Ah, well, nevertheless” thing.

  • Europe ‘losing’ narrative battle to Russia-China anti-Western message SCMP

When EU diplomats in China translate articles written by its foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell into Chinese and then post them online, they often vanish within minutes, the victims of assiduous government censors.

For the record, I literally cannot access Russia media in my country, I need to use workarounds.

But one recent post resulted in a notable exception.

A blog written by Borrell in June said the EU was losing a “battle of narratives” around the food crisis, saying Russian efforts to blame soaring inflation on Western sanctions were proving successful.

“You know, each time I’ve tried to put Borrell in Chinese, I was censored within 20 minutes. And now this time, the Chinese are translating Borrell and publishing it themselves,” said a senior EU diplomat in Beijing.

Borrell’s argument was not new. Since coming to office in 2019, he has been warning about Europe’s inability to sell itself to other parts of the world as effectively as autocratic states like China and Russia.

He believes that on everything from food inflation and Covid-19 vaccines, to infrastructure, human rights, and even basic models of governance, the EU is struggling to convince many parts of the world that it has more to offer than these illiberal regimes.

But the case of the Beijing censors – or more accurately, their absence – on the food crisis blog helped to confirm another hunch that has festered in Brussels and other Western capitals.

Over the six months of Russia’s war in Ukraine, as well as through a summer of crises in the Taiwan Strait, suspicions have grown that Russian and Chinese information sources are combining to echo anti-Western messages across the world, often with great success.

“Over the past two years, there has been alignment between Russian and Chinese outlets in disinformation narratives concerning Covid-19, Afghanistan, and denying human rights violations in Xinjiang, for example,” said an EU source.

EU officials studying these trends have seen “Chinese state-controlled media attributing all the blame to the US, Nato and more broadly the West”, the official said.

They point to Chinese channels being “very critical of Western sanctions against Russia. Furthermore, China had been actively spreading and amplifying pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives” on everything from alleged US biolabs in Ukraine, to the presence of neo-Nazis in Ukraine, they said.

During the Taiwan Strait crisis – sparked by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit in August to the island which prompted an unprecedented military response from Beijing – the EU was largely silent, while Chinese diplomats and Russian media outlets flooded the zone with reams of content espousing similar positions.

The official noted that in response to the crisis, Moscow TV tower was lit with messages supportive of China.

“In the 48 hours that followed the trip, Taiwan was mentioned more by Russian state media than even Ukraine,” said Etienne Soula, a Brussels-based analyst of Chinese and Russian information patterns for the German Marshall Fund (GMF) of the US.

These arguments have taken deep root in parts of the developing world, much to the dismay of the EU.

Western officials were shocked when Macky Sall, African Union chair and Senegalese president, called on Brussels to ease sanctions on Russia in order to prevent food insecurity.

The EU has not banned Russian agricultural exports where sanctioned entities are not involved, nor has it sanctioned third countries for buying Russian seeds.

Officials felt that Sall, fresh from a meeting in Sochi with Russian President Vladimir Putin, was parroting Kremlin talking points, which they say have been amplified by an army of Chinese diplomats online.

Oh my god. How long can this point continue to fester? From Bloomberg:

Food prices were already lofty before grain-producing Russia invaded wheat-exporting Ukraine, hampering Black Sea trade and triggering unprecedented financial sanctions. The rising cost of fuel and staple goods, at a time when government budgets are already under strain, is now fraying tempers and straining alliances worldwide.

Making matters worse, Russia is also a giant in the concentrated global fertilizer market. Although sanctions have carve-outs for food and crop nutrients, in practice, export logistics have been disrupted, traders and banks fear running afoul of the rules, and high gas prices have inflated production expenses. The ultimate cost to farmers has been steep: Between April 2020 and March this year, fertilizer prices more than tripled — the sharpest 23-month increase since 2008, according to the World Bank.

It’s all being felt halfway across the world. In Brazil — which imports more than 85% of its fertilizer, much of it from Russia — high costs and supply disruptions have led farmers to delay purchases, even as the soybean planting season is nearing fast. Prices are forcing farmers elsewhere to cut back on nutrients or leave fields fallow. In sub-Saharan Africa, researchers warn the use of nutrients may shrink by a third, hitting cereal yields.

It’s not Kremlin propaganda causing people like Macky Sall to say that the sanctions on Russia are causing food insecurity. A large portion of it has been the markets massively overcorrecting (before food prices then went back down in summer as the fears, in western countries at least, that there would be mass hunger abated). But another very large part, especially for developing countries, is exactly what that Bloomberg article describes. Hell, here’s Lavrov talking about it today - though maybe this counts as “Kremlin propaganda”:

Russia questions U.N.-brokered grain, fertilizer export deal Reuters

Russia on Tuesday questioned a U.N.-brokered deal with Ukraine to boost grain and fertilizer exports by both countries, accusing Western states of failing to honor pledges to help facilitate Moscow’s shipments.

Russia and Ukraine are both key suppliers of food and fertilizer, but Moscow’s Feb. 24 invasion of its neighbor stalled Kyiv’s Black Sea exports and stoked a global food crisis. Russia complained that a chilling effect from Western sanctions - imposed over the war - had slowed its shipments.

The United Nations, aided by Turkey, brokered a landmark July 22 deal between Russia and Ukraine that has restarted Kyiv’s Black Sea exports of grain and fertilizer.

But a key part of the deal was to also facilitate Russian food and fertilizer exports. The United States and others worked to reassure banks, shipping and insurance companies that such transactions were allowed and that Russian food and fertilizer has never been subjected to sanctions.

“Our Western colleagues are not doing what we were promised by the U.N. Secretary-General,” Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday. “They are not taking decisions to remove the logistic sanctions that prevent the free access of Russian grain and fertilisers to world markets.”

Lavrov said he was speaking to the United Nations about the issues. The deal is the only significant diplomatic breakthrough in the six-month Ukraine war.


For when people accept reality, though often not fully and not for very long.

  • Wounded Ukrainian soldiers reveal steep toll of Kherson offensive WaPo

In dimly lit hospital rooms in southern Ukraine, soldiers with severed limbs, shrapnel wounds, mangled hands and shattered joints recounted the lopsided disadvantages their units faced in the early days of a new offensive to expel Russian forces from the strategic city of Kherson.

The soldiers said they lacked the artillery needed to dislodge Russia’s entrenched forces and described a yawning technology gap with their better-equipped adversaries. The interviews provided some of the first direct accounts of a push to retake captured territory that is so sensitive, Ukrainian military commanders have barred reporters from visiting the front lines.

“They used everything on us,” said Denys, a 33-year-old Ukrainian soldier whose unit fell back from a Russian-held village after a lengthy barrage of cluster bombs, phosphorous munitions and mortars. “Who can survive an attack for five hours like that?” he said.

Denys and eight other Ukrainian soldiers from seven different units provided rare descriptions of the Kherson counteroffensive in the south, the most ambitious military operation by Kyiv since the expulsion of Russian forces at the perimeter of the capital in the spring. As in the battle for Kyiv, Ukraine’s success is hardly assured and the soldiers’ accounts signaled that a long fight, and many more casualties, lie ahead.

“We lost five people for every one they did,” said Ihor, a 30-year-old platoon commander who injured his back when the tank he was riding in crashed into a ditch.

Ihor had no military experience before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. He made a living selling animal feed to pig and cow farms. His replacement as platoon commander also has no previous military experience, he said.

The soldiers were interviewed on gurneys and wheelchairs as they recovered from injuries sustained in last week’s offensive. Some spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid disciplinary action. Others, like Denys and Ihor, agreed to reveal only their first names. But most spoke plainly about the disadvantages they faced.

Russia’s Orlan drones exposed Ukrainian positions from more than a kilometer above their heads, they said, an altitude that meant they never heard the buzz of the aircraft tracking their movements.

Russian tanks emerged from newly built cement fortifications to blast infantry with large-caliber artillery, the wounded Ukrainian soldiers said. The vehicles would then shrink back beneath the concrete shelters, shielded from mortar and rocket fire.

Counter-battery radar systems automatically detected and located Ukrainians who were targeting the Russians with projectiles, unleashing a barrage of artillery fire in response.

Russian hacking tools hijacked the drones of Ukrainian operators, who saw their aircraft drift away helplessly behind enemy lines.

Ukraine has discouraged coverage of the offensive, resulting in an information lag on a potentially pivotal inflection point in the nearly seven-month conflict.

When Ihor fired on Russian soldiers with his Kalashnikov rifle this week, he said, it was his first time shooting at a human being. “You don’t think about anything,” he said. “You understand, if you don’t do it, they will do it.”

Despite the challenges, Ihor said he is eager to return to the front line as soon as he heals. “My people are there. How can I leave them?” he said.

Other soldiers won’t be returning to the battlefield.

Oleksandr, a 28-year-old former construction worker, lost his arm in a mortar blast during the counteroffensive last week. He winced with phantom pain in his hospital bed on Sunday, saying he felt a sting from the fingers and hand that were no longer connected to his body.

Oleksandr said the Russian artillery fire was relentless. “They were just hitting us all the time,” he said. “If we fire three mortars, they fire 20 in return.”

The Ukrainian soldiers said they had to carefully ration their use of munitions but even when they did fire, they had trouble hitting targets. “When you give the coordinates, it’s supposed to be accurate but it’s not,” he said, noting that his equipment dated back to 1989.

Oleksandr had never traveled to Kherson before the war, but he said the goal of expelling Russian invaders was worth sacrificing a limb. “It’s our country,” he said.

President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Ukraine’s forces retook two villages in the Kherson region, and one of his aides posted an image of the Ukrainian flag being hoisted over the village of Vysokopillya over the weekend.

“Ukrainian flags are returning to the places where they should be,” Zelensky said in a video address. But it was impossible to gauge what progress Ukrainian forces have made in their push to expel the Russian invaders from Kherson.

The region, which was captured by Russia earlier in the war forms a crucial part of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s coveted “land bridge” to Crimea, the peninsula that Russia invaded and annexed in violation of international law in 2014.

However bloody the fight, the Ukrainian soldiers said they saw no alternative.

“If we don’t stop them, they’re going to just rape and murder our people like they did everywhere else,” said Oleksandr’s roommate in the hospital, a 49-year-old conscripted soldier who asked to be called by his nickname, “Pinochet.”

Pinochet said his knee was shattered by shrapnel from a mortar that was fired after a drone spotted him in last week’s counteroffensive. He said that while Ukrainian casualties are significant, the side that wages an offensive always loses more soldiers.

“There’s nothing we can do about it,” Pinochet said. “And we can still win.”

Russian electronic warfare also posed a constant threat. Soldiers described ending their shifts and turning on their phones to call or text family members — a decision that immediately drew Russian artillery fire.

“When we turn on mobile phones or radio, they can recognize our presence immediately,” said Denys. “And then the shooting starts.”

There’s about a third of the article left, talking about the delay of the Kherson referendum, journalists not being allowed near the front, anecdotal casualty rates (not very good), and the physical and mental wellbeing of the soldiers in the hospital.

Good Takes that are Dope

For good, or at least decent, analysis of an event or situation - particularly one that hasn’t been covered endlessly before or has a fresh angle.

  • American workers are burned out and tired. There’s a solution: unions Guardian

An easy way to get into this section is saying that unions are good. Not much else to say.

Bloomerism and Hope

For events that show that a better, more equitable, and happier world is possible than the neoliberal hell we inhabit.

  • Scotland is barring landlords from raising rent amid a cost-of-living crisis sweeping Europe and the UK Business Insider

It’s certainly not enough, but it’s still pretty good, and I guess there’s only so much they can do until they achieve independence.

Scotland’s cost-of-living crisis is pushing its first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, to take drastic measures, bringing rent payments to a halt, as well as train fares.

Sturgeon, who announced on Tuesday that the country will be instituting a rent freeze and eviction moratorium in order to combat skyrocketing energy prices in the country, called the hike in costs a “humanitarian crisis.”

Rents will be fixed at £2,500 a month, Sky News reported. That’s roughly $2,900.

The cost-of-living situation is dire in much of the UK, especially in parts of Scotland — some people are paying as much as $7,500 in energy bills per year in the country. The gap between the highest and lowest fuel bills is set to double between now and January 2023, The Herald reported last month. It’s because of wholesale gas prices rising over the past year due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with Russia squeezing the flow of natural gas to the rest of Europe and hurting other countries' economies as a result.

“We will take immediate action to protect tenants in the private and social renting sectors,” Ms Sturgeon said.

Sturgeon, who is a member of her country’s Scottish National Party, which considers itself to be social democratic, also said that Scotland’s train fares will be frozen until March of next year, and that the Scottish child payment will increase to £25 a week per child for low-income families from November, about $28 dollars. That’s after doubling the weekly allowance from £10 to £20 just in April.

  • Dutch city becomes world’s first to ban meat adverts in public Guardian

A Dutch city will become the first in the world to ban meat adverts from public spaces in an effort to reduce consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

Haarlem, which lies to the west of Amsterdam and has a population of about 160,000, will enact the prohibition from 2024 after meat was added to a list of products deemed to contribute to the climate crisis.

Adverts will not be allowed on Haarlem’s buses, shelters and screens in public spaces, prompting complaints from the meat sector that the municipality is “going too far in telling people what’s best for them”.

Recent studies suggest global food production is responsible for one-third of all planet-heating emissions, with the use of animals for meat accounting for twice the pollution of producing plant-based foods.

Link back to the discussion thread.