Sunday, September 18, 2022

Notations On Our World (Special Edition): On the Passing Of Queen Elizabeth II

It has been quite a week in our World.   Our team decided to feature the Economist of London as we also remember Queen Elizabeth II who passed away as we looked back on the week that was:  

Of royals and sentiments

How the death of Elizabeth II has affected Britain

The crowds of mourners aren’t a good guide


The Economist explains

Do Russia’s military setbacks increase the risk of nuclear conflict?

Tactical nuclear weapons are smaller, but using them would carry huge risks

The homecoming king

The world’s biggest bet on India

What Tata’s $90bn pivot to its home market says about the planet’s fifth-biggest economy

The perils of wishful thinking

To fix America’s inflation problem, the Federal Reserve must go big

The odds that a painful recession can be averted look woefully long

The Economist explains

What is the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation?

Conflicting visions among its growing membership mean it poses little threat to the West


The monarchy’s secret weapon: insincerity

What would Walter Bagehot think?

From ayatollahs to Albania

Iran’s cyberwar goes global

Its targets include not only Israel but at least one NATO member


The complex arms race between predator and prey

A new study attempts to quantify how well disguise works in nature

Truth in 24 frames per second

Jean-Luc Godard expanded the possibilities of cinema

The auteur disregarded the conventions of film-making—with brilliantly radical results

Money Talks

Is this India’s moment?

Our podcast on markets, the economy and business. This week, how the country’s conglomerates are turning inwards and re-shaping India’s futu

The State Funeral is slated for Monday as 500 Dignitaries from almost 200 nations will be attending.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

On Our "Virtual Route 66" This Week: On the Week That Was


As a new week dawns, we look back at the week that was as we look forward to the continued privilege to serve:

China’s financial system

The digital yuan offers China a way to dodge the dollar

In Beijing, officials are preparing for conflict

A counter-offensive gains momentum

Is Russia on the run?

Ukraine’s Kharkiv counter-offensive has the Kremlin on the back foot

The Economist explains

What are HARM, the air-to-surface missiles destroying Russian air-defence radar?

America’s supply of the powerful weapons to Ukraine has given its air force a telling advantage

Morgenthau’s revenge

Germany faces a looming threat of deindustrialisation

Crunch time for a business model built on Russian gas and Chinese demand

Missing an open goal

How oil-rich Nigeria failed to profit from an oil boom

Price controls, spluttering production and oil theft are to blame

The Economist explains

What King Charles could mean for the royal finances

The new monarch wants a smaller firm but, without more transparency, costs won’t fall

The in-tray from hell

Can Liz Truss fix Britain?

The new prime minister must eschew pantomime radicalism if she is to succeed

Travelin’ man

Xi Jinping will at last venture abroad again

Why is Central Asia his destination?

Post-crash cryptocurrencies

The future of crypto is at stake in Ethereum’s switch

Can decentralised networks reform themselves?

September 9, 2022

Heather Cox RichardsonCommentShare

Today, President Joe Biden’s administration released an  “economic blueprint” to show how the new laws and policies it has put in place “are rebuilding an economy that works for working families.”

The Biden-Harris Economic Blueprint notes that Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris took office in the midst of unprecedented crises, including “an economy that for many decades had been failing to deliver for working families—with workers and middle-class families left behind, stagnating wages and accelerating costs, crumbling infrastructure, U.S. manufacturing in decline, and persistent racial disparities.” In the past year and a half, it says, the Democrats have set the nation “on a new course,” investing in a historic economic recovery based on a long-term strategy to make lasting changes to the economy that will carry the nation into the future, making sure that no one is left behind.

The blueprint calls for empowering workers through unionization and new jobs; restoring the country’s manufacturing base by investing in infrastructure and clean energy; helping families by lowering costs and expanding access to affordable and high-quality health care, child care, education, housing, and so on; promoting industrial competition to open the way for entrepreneurs and bring down costs; and “rewarding work, not wealth,” by reforming taxation so that taxes do not go up on anyone who makes less than $400,000 a year, and that the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share.

This blueprint pulls together much of what Biden has been saying all along, and it is quite clear about what this means. What the blueprint calls “new architecture” must, it says, “replace the old regime.” The old system sent economic gains to the top while outsourcing industries, and the end of public investment hollowed out the middle class. The new system will drive “the economy from the bottom up and middle out” because that system “ensures that growth benefits everyone.” 

While Biden and Harris are focused on the economy and the future, the Department of Justice is still handling crises created by the former president.

Yesterday the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a motion to request a partial stay of Judge Aileen Cannon’s order last week, the one that said the DOJ couldn’t use the items the FBI seized when they searched the Trump property at Mar-a-Lago on August 8. 

In her Civil Discourse newsletter, law professor, host of the Sisters In Law podcast, and former U.S. attorney Joyce White Vance explained that the DOJ has asked for that order to be stayed as far as it concerns the classified records. That request is separate from an appeal of the order itself to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which the DOJ has indicated it will undertake. With the motion it filed yesterday, the DOJ wants the court to hold off on enforcing the judge’s order that the government can’t review and use the materials seized “for criminal investigative purposes,” and the part that says the government must turn the records over to a special master. 

The DOJ pointed out that the intelligence community’s assessment of the damage done to our national security is tied together with the ongoing criminal investigation. Because the FBI is central to both, the judge’s order has shut down the national security review, which is vitally important to the country.

“In plain English,” Vance writes, “DOJ is asking how the guy who took the classified nuclear secrets he wasn’t entitled to have is harmed if law enforcement gets to look at those materials to protect our national security.”

The judge has given Trump’s lawyers until Monday to respond. 

Meanwhile, at Just Security, Michael Stern points out that in Nixon v. GSA,  everyone—including President Richard M. Nixon—agreed that “the very specific privilege protecting against disclosure of state secrets and sensitive information concerning military or diplomatic matters…may be asserted only by an incumbent President,” suggesting that Trump has no grounds to assert executive privilege over the classified information seized. 

Also today, Judge Donald Middlebrooks of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida dismissed a lawsuit Trump launched in March 2022 against Hillary Clinton and a number of his favorite villains alleging that “the Defendants, blinded by political ambition, orchestrated a malicious conspiracy to disseminate patently false and injurious information about Donald J. Trump and his campaign, all in the hopes of destroying his life, his political career and rigging the 2016 Presidential Election in favor of Hillary Clinton.” The people he was suing dismissed his lawsuit, saying, “[w]hatever the utilities of [the Amended Complaint] as a fundraising tool, a press release, or a list of political grievances, it has no merit as a lawsuit.” The judge agreed and demolished the 193-page lawsuit as lacking evidence, legal justification, and good faith.  

The lawsuit rehashed the Russia investigation, which Trump used to great effect during his term to deflect investigations into his wrongdoing. Two investigations, one by an independent investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and another by the Republican-dominated Senate Intelligence Committee, revealed that Russia had attacked the U.S. presidential election in 2020 and that the Trump campaign had, at the very least, played along.

But by using the machinery of government, including by putting loyalists into key positions, Trump reversed reality to argue that he was an innocent victim and that the investigators were actually the ones who had broken the law. He and his allies saturated the media with accusations that government officials, including FBI agents—many of whom he named in this lawsuit—were members of the “Deep State,” out to get him. 

Trump is resurrecting this old trope at a time when he is in the midst of yet another investigation for which the evidence against him is monumental. Now out of power, though, he has had to turn to the courts and, interestingly, contrived to get this case in front of Judge Cannon, who was rushed onto the court with very little experience after Trump had already lost the 2020 election. 


Civil Discourse with Joyce Vance
DOJ's Motion For A Stay Explained
DOJ filed a motion today that is a real doozie. It’s a class act offering of an off-ramp to a judge who is badly in need of one. First off, we need to understand what this motion is and what it isn’t. The motion is a request for a partial stay of the Judge’s order last week that prohibited DOJ from using seized items until a special master could review t…
Read more
a day ago · 445 likes · 56 comments · Joyce Vance

Biden attacks 'MAGA Republicans' at the nation's peril


The president's new strategy should win Dems more seats but could also empower Trump and his allies.

Ian Bremmer
Sep 7
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Joe Biden ran for president in 2020 as the unifier of a broken nation.

After four years of partisan rancor and chaos under Donald Trump, Americans elected him to lower the temperature and heal rifts inside what has become the most politically divided and dysfunctional of all major economies. In his inaugural speech, President Biden vowed to “put an end to “the uncivil war that pits red versus blue.”

Things have changed. Two weeks ago, Biden called out Trump and his supporters as “semi-fascists.” Then, last Thursday, the president spent the bulk of his prime-time address about democracy at Independence Hall in Philadelphia vigorously denouncing those he labeled ‘MAGA Republicans’ as a threat to the republic.

“The Republican Party today is dominated, driven, and intimidated by Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans, and that is a threat to this country,” he said. “MAGA Republicans do not respect the Constitution. They do not believe in the rule of law. They do not recognize the will of the people.”

Biden delivers speech on "battle for the soul of the nation" in Philadelphia | full speech

True, many Republicans including Donald Trump do overtly support overturning free and fair elections through violent means if necessary. The existence of such an extreme (and powerful) faction is deeply problematic for the persistence and strength of our democracy. It’s also true, however, that not all Republicans—and not even all Trump supporters—feel that way. Biden himself acknowledged that. Surely, tarring one-third of the U.S. population as being beyond redemption does little to bridge the country’s political divide.

Why did Biden suddenly change his tune? After all, Trump is still the same man he was two years ago. The MAGA movement hasn’t changed, either. The threat is no different today than it was when Biden was inaugurated.

The clearest explanation is that he sees a short-term political opportunity.

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President Biden recently referred to MAGA Republicans as semi-fascists, a dramatically different position from Biden th...

Trump had been sinking a bit in the polls for the last few months. Most Republicans still liked him but weren’t as excited about him as before, and they were starting to consider other potential leaders like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. The January 6 hearings got a lot of play with Democrats, but Fox News barely covered it and Trump supporters didn’t pay much attention to them. This was all bad news for Democrats, who need Trump to fire up their base and draw moderate voters away from the Republican Party.

Enter the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago. Trump was thrust back into the news cycle. His supporters rallied against the FBI and the Justice Department for what they saw as yet another witch hunt. Suddenly, Republican officials and candidates were forced to make a choice: either distance themselves from Trump or embrace him.

Biden’s strategy is to make hedging on this choice harder for them as the midterms near. Given that most Americans prefer moderate and centrist candidates, going full MAGA makes Republicans easier to beat in November. But if they take the Liz Cheney route instead, they risk losing their GOP primary bids to Trumpier candidates—who in turn would face longer odds of winning general elections. Either way, Democrats stand to benefit from sharpening the stakes.

Indeed, this gambit may well be the Democrats’ best chance of holding the Senate and minimizing their loss in the House.

Yes, the Biden administration has notched meaningful policy wins like the misnamed Inflation Reduction Act, the CHIPS Act, and student debt forgiveness that they can run on. Gas prices have come down from their highs, and the job market remains strong. The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has energized Democratic voters and turned more than a few independents and suburban women off the GOP. But inflation is still very high, the average American is deeply worried about where the economy is headed, and Biden’s approval ratings are quite low. These fundamentals would normally spell trouble for the incumbent’s party.

By beating the drums against MAGA Republicans from the bully pulpit and making the midterms a referendum not on Biden’s tenure but on Trump, Democrats are keeping themselves in the race.

The downside of this strategy is that it will probably lead to more election deniers in office and strengthen Trump’s hold over the Republican Party, setting up a Biden vs. Trump contest in 2024. While Trump is more likely to lose to Biden than any other conceivable Republican nominee, he could win fair and square. Given how unfit for office he proved to be the last time around, the prospect of a second Trump presidency is extremely dangerous for the country.

Ian Bremmer
Sep 07, 2022 · 
> 1 in 2 americans will have election deniers on their ballot this fall

And that’s not the worst of it. Should Trump lose, his efforts to overturn the election would be much more likely to succeed if there were more election-denying governors, state senators, secretaries of state, and attorneys general to aid him. This is a graver threat to U.S. institutions than a Trump victory.

Biden’s gamble may be a winner for the Democrats but a loser for America.

Labor Day has long served as the unofficial kickoff of election season: More voters start to pay attention, political TV ads become inescapable, volunteers knock on doors and pollsters adjust their samples from “registered voters” to “likely voters.”

Now, with Labor Day behind us, here’s the lay of the land just nine short weeks away from Election Day, per POLITICO’s just-updated forecast :

— The Senate: Toss-up (Previously: Lean Republican)

— The House: Likely Republican (Previously: Likely Republican)

What’s behind that change in Senate ratings? Steve Shepard sees four key factors : (1) the political environment has improved for President JOE BIDEN and Democrats, (2) the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe has energized supporters of abortion rights, (3) GOP candidates have struggled in major swing states, and (4) Dems have (slightly) expanded the map.

MORE ON THE GOP’S SENATE WOES — “Republicans this election cycle thought they had finally achieved a breakthrough with suburban women after years of losing support,” Natalie Allison reports this morning. “Now, as the primary season has all but ended, the GOP is back where it once was: Appealing directly to skeptical female voters, the women whose support will make or break the party’s drive to retake the Senate majority.”

Said one anonymous GOP strategist working on Senate races: “Our problem is particularly white middle-aged women. … We need to soften our guys.”

One way they’re doing that: “One after the other, Republican … male candidates have begun putting their wives in front of the camera to speak directly to voters in new television ads.”

— Ohio: “J.D. VANCE’s wife, USHA, sat at a kitchen table talking about Vance’s hardships as a child and being raised by his grandmother.”

— Arizona: CATHERINE MASTERS sat in the couple’s home and discussed her husband’s [BLAKE MASTERS’] motivation to run for Senate, a video interspersed with footage of their three young boys.” Worth noting: Per Natalie, since winning the GOP nomination, Masters has “adjusted his stance from favoring a far-reaching national abortion ban to one that only applies to third-trimester pregnancies.”

— Colorado: CELESTE O’DEA, the wife of Colorado GOP Senate nominee JOE O’DEA , was the latest spouse to be featured in the series of Republican ads. The spot launched just days after O’Dea’s campaign released a digital video featuring his adult daughter discussing her father’s support for ‘abortion rights,’ access to contraception and same-sex marriage.”

— Nevada: ADAM LAXALT’s wife, JAIME , sat next to him on a sofa as they talked about his difficult childhood. The ad shows photos of a young Laxalt and his single mother.”

FIRST IN PLAYBOOK — Today, the DSCC is launching its first general-election TV ad campaign against Laxalt, hammering the nominee over his stance on abortion rights as part of a previously announced $33 million independent expenditure effort. Watch the 30-second spot

THE HOUSE IS A DIFFERENT STORY — It’s true that things don’t look quite as bad for Dems as they did, say, three months ago. But when it comes to the House, there’s still this reality: “Republicans may not need to flip any districts that Biden carried in 2020 to reclaim the majority,” Ally Mutnick, Sarah Ferris and Elena Schneider write in a curtain-raiser this morning. “In all, Republicans need to net only five seats to win the gavel. And while Democrats may be poised to mitigate some losses, Republicans say there’s still little chance the party’s summertime surge can overcome the stacked map.”

Among the reasons the GOP will likely eke it out: a historic number of Democratic retirements, redistricting advantages and Democratic incumbents in Trump territory.

“Despite the undeniable shift in momentum toward Democrats, some Democrats say privately that a good night for their party would be limiting the GOP to single-digit gains,” the trio write, adding that “[e]ven that scenario reflects a massive shift in the political environment — and in Democrats’ expectations — since just a few weeks ago.”


Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's longest-reigning monarch, dead at 96


The queen was a beacon of stability in an era of domestic and international upheaval.

Ian Bremmer
Sep 8
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Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-serving monarch in the history of the United Kingdom and virtually in world history, has died at the age of 96 in Balmoral, Scotland. She is succeeded by her son Charles, 73, now King Charles III.

Queen Elizabeth’s reign spanned roughly one-third of America’s entire existence (and nearly half of Canada’s, if you’re keeping count). Fifteen different UK prime ministers served under her, starting with Winston Churchill and ending with Liz Truss. During this time, the United Kingdom went from global power and industrial powerhouse to a post-European middle power. She lived through and reigned over the colonial era, the end of the British Empire, and the UK’s exit from Europe.

Under the British Constitution, the monarch is head of state of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. Although they are kept informed of all government activities through the Privy Council, their role is largely ceremonial and apolitical, with no part in government other than formally appointing prime ministers, accepting their resignation, and assenting to legislation.

Queen Elizabeth had long been the single most popular figure in the UK, seen as a beacon of stability in a fast-changing nation and a volatile world. The enduring popularity of the monarchy as an institution in Britain owes much to her.

Queen Elizabeth II after her coronation in June 1953.

Queen Elizabeth remained utterly impartial through her 70-year reign. This contrasts with her son, now-King Charles III, who has been far less cautious over the years about allowing his political and policy opinions to reach the public’s ear. If the monarchy is to continue to succeed in the UK, the king will need to exercise greater restraint.

The queen’s death and succession will dominate headlines across the UK and the Commonwealth for some time, overshadowing Liz Truss’s first weeks as prime minister. The news will undoubtedly be received with enormous sadness by a public that’s been battered by two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, a shambolic Brexit process, a string of domestic political scandals, resurgent independent movements in Scotland and Ireland, and now the worst cost-of-living crisis of any major developed economy in the world.

Affection for the Queen has been a critical factor in keeping the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth together amid growing calls for independence. Republican movements in countries with constitutional parliamentary monarchies across the Commonwealth will likely grow stronger in the aftermath of her passing.

Until today, the queen was the only monarch the vast majority of Brits had ever lived under—not just the mother of modern Britain but also the matriarch of the British people, and a fixture of daily life. For the rest of us, she was the embodiment of Britain’s national identity and global power.

Queen Elizabeth was loved across the world in an extraordinary and singular way. King Charles has big shoes to fill. She will be missed.

The remains of a house in the Kyiv region of Ukraine.

The remains of a house in the Kyiv region of Ukraine. (Sergei Chuzavkov / AFP / Getty)

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I spent years teaching military officers who served in conflicts all around the globe. I am not naive about the viciousness of war, and I am grateful that I have never been touched by it. But I am startled by the sheer sadism of the Russian war on Ukraine. Russia’s armed forces are engaging in actions such as leveling cities, intentionally attacking civilian targets, and other apparent war crimes that we would associate with a war of extermination.

I turned to a friend and fellow Russia expert for a more thorough consideration of this. Nick Gvosdev holds a Ph.D. in Russian history from the University of Oxford; he and I taught together at the U.S. Naval War College for many years. (He still teaches there, and his comments here are his personal views and not those of the U.S. government.) We are both Eastern Orthodox Christians ourselves, which adds an especially painful aspect for us to this immense tragedy. We have had many conversations about the war, the latest of which I now offer to readers trying to understand this terrible conflict.

Tom Nichols: Nick, international-relations experts will hash out the “great power” dimensions of this war, but at the ground level of the actual fighting, why is the conflict so brutal? Is it really enough to say that the Russians are reacting to the humiliation of losing almost from the start?

Nick Gvosdev: To some extent. At all levels of Russian society, from the cab driver in the street to the Kremlin insider, there was a strongly held belief that Russian forces would be greeted as liberators, especially in the Russian-speaking areas of Ukraine. Indeed, the initial Russian military plan was based on the assumption that Ukrainian soldiers would refuse to fight and Ukrainian politicians would defect. This turned out not to be the case. Even more striking, it was the two largest Russian-speaking cities in Ukraine—Kharkiv and Odesa–which proved to be focal points of the successful blunting of the Russian invasion.

Nichols: That last point seems to be important.

Gvosdev: Yes. Western Ukraine—at least those areas that were never under Russian imperial rule and were part of the Habsburg realm—stressed their separateness from the Russians and were always the heartland of Ukrainian nationalism. But almost all the atrocities we’ve seen have targeted people precisely in those parts of Ukraine that are part of the Russian-speaking world. There does appear to be a strong undercurrent of giving these “traitors” their due recompense.

Nichols: I don’t think this is fully understood in the West. The Bucha massacre, for example, was aimed at Russian speakers—almost as if they infuriated the Russians more than Ukrainian nationalists did.

Gvosdev: Bucha was a special target, for sure, given its position as a bedroom community for Ukrainian government workers and military officers. But this is all a direct outcome of appropriating a World War II narrative in which the Ukrainian government is routinely described as a Nazi regime and those fighting the Russians are fascists. Meanwhile, Russian social media routinely uses the term “Allied forces”—with all the connotations from the Second World War that description carries—to characterize the Russian military and the militias of the Donetsk and Luhansk republics. So, think about it: If the Ukrainian military and government are the modern-day successors of the Nazis, then of course no quarter should be given to those who fight on the side of the fascists—and especially those who’ve betrayed their kin.

Nichols: What about the Russian military? Is there something in their training and background that makes them harder to control? They certainly haven’t improved since the Soviet days in their effectiveness as a fighting force.

Gvosdev: Russia tried to create a professional all-volunteer army, but it’s still living with Soviet-era “traditions,” including brutalizing its own recruits—the so-called dedovshchina—and a strict hierarchical command structure. Add to this the ongoing problem of corruption within the military and you create an ethos where brutalizing others is preferable to being subject to it yourself. One other point: The Kremlin is anxious to avoid calling for a general mobilization, and so, as the U.S. did during Vietnam, a number of soldiers fighting in the Russian military in Ukraine chose military service rather than prison.

Nichols: I almost didn’t believe that when I saw it.

Gvosdev: Worse, Russians have also been relying on mercenaries and militias, another place where people with criminal records can end up. In many of these cases, atrocities were the result of some of these people being allowed to run amok with no particular supervision or discipline from the top other than general directions to punish “traitors” or eliminate “Nazis.”

Nichols: Ukraine, by contrast, figured out that having a solid and reliable noncommissioned-officer corps works wonders in the field.

Gvosdev: Absolutely. Ukraine’s military reforms over the last several years, along NATO standards, also allowed its military to carry out more decentralized operations.  

Nichols: It seems like the most powerful “force multiplier” in the Russian military is resentment: You’ve betrayed us, you live better than we do, you’ve elected your own government, and so … you’re Nazis and we can do to you what we did in World War II.

Gvosdev: That’s the logical outcome, and how you get from “brothers and sisters” to wholesale carnage. Ukraine, in Russian eyes, has turned its back on its brother Russia, and by seeking to integrate with the Western world, has driven a sword into the heart of the “Russian world.” Russian politicians and pundits hammer those themes every day. This “betrayal” narrative is linked to the overall Russian resentment of Europe and the West. Some of it is connected to living standards, to be sure, but it is also driven by the sense that Europeans—and now Ukrainians as well—look down on Russia as not quite European, definitely not Western, and maybe not even civilized. And that resentment leads to a Russian determination to make others share in Russia’s misery, whether by bombarding Ukraine or by sparking an energy and economic crisis in the rest of Europe.

Nichols: I’m feeling an uncomfortable parallel here with events in the U.S. and some other countries.

Gvosdev: The politics of resentment are always the doorway to legitimizing mindless fury and anger—and ultimately violence—against those you deem to be traitors or evildoers as being a justifiable response to “being looked down on.” Russians don’t have a monopoly on this.


Today’s News

  1. King Charles III delivered his inaugural speech on his first full day as monarch, emphasizing his sense of duty following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.
  2. A federal judge dismissed Donald Trump’s lawsuit against Hillary Clinton. Trump had accused the former secretary of state of spreading false information that his campaign had colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential race.
  3. The Justice Department asked Judge Aileen M. Cannon to lift her block on the investigation into Trump’s handling of classified documents. Earlier this week, Cannon granted Trump’s request for a special master, which could prevent federal prosecutors from accessing key evidence.

Charles III officially proclaimed king in ceremony after Queen Elizabeth II's death

Charles III officially proclaimed king in ceremony after Queen Elizabeth II's death

Prince Charles is now officially King Charles III after a ceremony on Saturday morning.

Read the full story here.

The floods devastating Pakistan are more than a natural disaster.
A decade since the last mega-floods that hit Pakistan in 2010, the country is once again reeling from devastation on an unimaginable scale. Monsoon rains and melting glaciers have combined to displace at least 35 million people from their homes while over a thousand people are already reported dead. It is estimated that Pakistan is losing at least $10 billion due to the widespread destruction caused by the floods. Moreover, agriculture and livestock have been destroyed on a massive scale, triggering fears of severe food shortages in the coming months.

The monsoon rains (which followed an unprecedented heat wave across the country) that caused flooding in Pakistan are the predictable horrors of climate change, the result of a fossil-fueled political economy of capitalism. It is widely understood that colonialism and imperialism thwarted the development of poor countries, allowing the Global North to benefit from exploiting the former. 

This exploitative relation is exacerbated when we examine how greenhouse emissions in the Global North are leading to a climate breakdown, affecting countries that are not only vulnerable to climate change but also do not have the financial capacity for rehabilitation or building climate resilient infrastructure. For example, the Global North had already exceeded its share of safe emissions in 1939, almost eight decades before the current flooding we are witnessing. Pakistan has not even used its fair share of safe emissions (since 1959, the country has contributed 0.4 percent to total greenhouse gasses) whereas countries in the Global North have exceeded their quotas by 90 percent.
Read more

Kherson Referendum On Joining Russia Postponed, Official Says

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IRGC Navy unveils homegrown Shahid Soleimani patrol combat vessel, two other military watercraft

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First German NATO brigade troops arrive in Lithuania

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IS Claims Responsibility For Deadly Suicide Attack Outside Russian Embassy In Kabul

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IDF Releases Shireen Abu Akleh Report

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Window of opportunity to prevent famine in Somalia is closing, Principals of Inter-Agency Standing Committee warn

Somalia has reached a tipping point. The lives of hundreds of thousands of people are at immediate risk, according to the latest food security and nutrition analysis. Famine[1] is unfolding in two areas in the Bay region (Baidoa and Burhakaba districts) in South-Central Somalia, and will likely last until March 2023 if humanitarian aid is not significantly and immediately scaled ...

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Kenya's Top Court Dismisses Challenges to Presidential Election

President-elect William Ruto said he will work to deliver for the Kenyan population, speaking after the country's Supreme Court upheld his recent election win. The court unanimously dismissed claims by petitioners, including runner-up and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, that the vote was rigged. ...

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Boys play with a ball past a closed, fortified bank branch during a banks' strike, in Beirut, Lebanon last month.
In Lebanon, Kids Are Leaving School for a Salary of $7 a Week
Zvi Bar'el | 06.09.2022
An Israeli F-35. With refueling, the air force can reach almost any point in Iran. According to foreign reports, Israeli F-35s have done this.
Israel Has No Realistic Military Option on Iran
Yossi Melman | 01.09.2022
An Iranian woman walks past a mural in the capital Tehran, earlier this year.
Behind the Scenes, Israel Working Tirelessly to Thwart the Iran Nuclear Deal
Jonathan Lis | 04.09.2022
Clashes in Baghdad's Green Zone between security forces and al-Sadr supporters, this week.
Iraq’s Shi’ite Power Struggle Could Drag It Back Into Civil War
Zvi Bar'el | 06.09.2022
This picture taken on August 31, 2022 shows a construction billboard announcing the site of new alternative accommodation residential towers as part of the government development plans of the slums of the Nile island of Warraq, opposite Cairo's northern shore.
Its Economy Hit by Ukraine War, Egypt Risks Defaulting
David Rosenberg | 06.09.2022
A Palestinian holds a picture of slain Palestinian-American Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, during a candlelight event to condemn her killing, in front of the office of Al Jazeera network, in Gaza City, in May.
Without Real Pressure, Israel Will Never Take Accountability
Jack Khoury | 06.09.2022
People holding a European Union flag in central Warsaw.
The EU Is Israel's Friend. But the Occupation Limits Our Potential
Sven Koopmans / Opinion | 06.09.2022
An outpost in the Umm Zuka reserve, West Bank, in 2017.
Israel Moves to Legalize Dozens of West Bank Farm Outposts
Hagar Shezaf | 05.09.2022
Palestinian workers at an Israeli checkpoint in Tulkarm, last month in the West Bank
Israel to Require W. Bank Visitors to Declare Romantic Relationships With Palestinians
Hagar Shezaf | 04.09.2022