Your Saturday Briefing

The EU’s Hydrogen Bank has begun operating, offering a total of 3 billion euros over 10 years to incentivize hydrogen producers to kickstart operations to meet a target of 10 million tonnes of renewable hydrogen annually by 2030. 3 billion euros will facilitate less than 3% of that goal. Germany has its own domestic hydrogen scheme, H2Global, which has a total of 5 billion euros assigned to it - or less than 5% of that annual 2030 goal.

Afghanistan has announced the closure of its permanent embassy in India, as India has failed to provide visa extensions for Afghanistan’s diplomats due to their non-recognition of the Taliban government.

China has published a document: “Vision and Actions for High-Quality Belt and Road Cooperation: Brighter Prospectors for the Next Decade” which outlines the direction the BRI will take over, uh, the next decade. It wants to do more cooperation in green development, digital cooperation, health cooperation, technology innovation, organic integration of trade, as well as making industrial and supply chains more resilient. Meanwhile, according to medical experts, the outbreak of disease in youth in China is unpleasant, but not especially concerning - these are all known diseases so no COVID-19 sequel, and it seems to be happening because these children didn’t experience these kinds of diseases over the lockdowns, so are now catching up all at once.

In New Zealand, after over a month of negotiations in the aftermath of the October 14th elections, the conservative National Party leader, Christopher Luxon, signed a coalition deal to form a government with two fascist parties, ACT and New Zealand first, thus forming the most far-right government in decades.

The dengue fever epidemic in Burkina Faso, which has infected over 120,000 people this year, appears to be accelerating, as while 570 have died from it this year, about 360 of those have been in the last month or so. The government has launched an anti-mosquito spraying campaign in the two largest cities, Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso, with over 1500 homes and 700 public spaces sprayed.

Nigeria, the largest economy in Africa, has expressed its intention to become a member of BRICS within the next two years, stating their desire to be “multiple aligned” - they also want to join the G20.

The Madagascar opposition collective consisting of 11 candidates - including two former presidents - has said that it would not recognize the results of the first round of the presidential election due to irregularities. It appears that the incumbent president, Andry Rajoelina, has won a solid lead of 59%. 60% of registered voters did not vote.

South Africa, Colombia, and other countries are ramping up production of tuberculosis and HIV drugs, taking on international pharmaceutical companies like J&J to obtain patents. In September, under pressure from South Africa, J&J announced that it would drop a patent in 130 countries for bedaquiline, used for treating tuberculosis. There is some precedent here, from when Nelson Mandela successfully took on pharmaceutical companies in 2001 to produce AIDS drugs. Meanwhile, in Colombia, the government has declared that it would issue a compulsory license for HIV drug dolutegravir without permission from the patent-holder.

An article on the optimism of offshore wind power projects in the Great Lakes - an ideal place to put them - in the 2010s, which were then cut down before construction began due to a mixture of fossil fuel company opposition and public opposition.

In Honduras, the current left-wing government under Xiomara Castro is fighting a $11 billion case against Honduras Prospera, a US company started by a group of libertarians including literal vampire Peter Thiel, which sought to establish a private government and create a free market paradise on a Special Economic Zone on the island of Roatan under the previous America comprador government in 2013, but which Castro’s government banned. This is but one case of the nearly 400 ongoing ISDS cases, which are frequently written into bilateral trade agreements that allow corporations to sue governments for decreasing their profits, like trying to decrease tobacco smoking.

The Amazon rainforest is facing an unprecedented drought that will likely continue into mid-2024, with the lowest river levels seen in over a hundred years, due to a combination of the eastern El Nino (warm water in the eastern equitorial Pacific); the central El Nino; and the Atlantic dipole, in which there is warmer water in tropical North Atlantic Ocean and colder water in the South Atlantic.

Russia fired a large wave of drones at Kiev last night. Ukraine, of course, shot down all of them - the hundreds of houses without power just happened to lose it because of, uh, falling drone debris. Of course.