CLAIRE BERLINSKI, PARIS
🗞 Russia shuts off the gas, dukes it out with France in Africa. Notes on Latin America’s nostalgia trap. Orbán goes Goebbels. The death of the Iran deal. Talking about Monkeypox. And more …
Correction: I used the wrong map of the Balkans in our July 26 newsletter. I’ve changed it. I’m grateful to the reader who called the mistake to my attention before the Kosovars noticed: They’re understandably touchy about being wiped off the map.
- 🇺🇦 Ukraine’s navy confirms work has started at three Ukrainian Black Sea ports aimed at preparing for the resumption of grain exports.
- 🇺🇦 Ukrainian forces continued to strike Russian ammunition depots and manpower concentrations in Kherson Oblast.
- 🇺🇦 Zelenskyy on Russian strikes: We will strike back
- 🇺🇦 Ukrainian Armed Forces confirm that Kherson bridge destroyed.
- 🇺🇦 Video from Antonivka Road Bridge in Kherson.
- 🇺🇦 Territorial concessions are unacceptable to 84 percent of Ukrainians.
- 🇺🇦 Antonivka bridge: Office of the President advised the occupiers to swim across the Dnipro.
- 🇺🇦 Ecologists: It will take dozens of years to restore Ukraine’s natural environment after hostilities.
🇺🇦🇪🇺 Zelensky urges EU to respond to Russia’s “terror” and blackmail, saying the EU should respond to the Russian-manufactured crises by strengthening sanctions and ending trade ties. “Crises created by Russia hurt the whole world, and nobody will be able to stand aside when Russia is provoking chaos in the food and energy markets and in international relations.” (In Ukrainian.)
🇷🇺🇺🇦 Russia has its sights on Odessa:
Western officials believe that Russia will likely begin another major offensive in Ukraine early next year, including a possible effort to advance on the blockaded strategic port city of Odessa, in an effort to seize the country’s southwestern coast and cut off Ukraine from the sea. … A Russian capture of Odesa would cut off Ukraine from the rest of the Black Sea and leave it completely landlocked—unless Ukraine is able to take back ground seized by Russia since the start of the full-scale invasion of the country on Feb. 24.
🇺🇦 Ukrainian prosecutor: Crimeans forcibly conscripted into Russian army are not criminals but victims:
Consequently, they cannot and will not be prosecuted if they have not committed any other crime while serving in the occupation army. The head of the prosecutor’s office said that during the eight years of occupation of the Crimean peninsula, more than 34,000 Crimeans have been forced into military service in the Russian army. He believes that the creation of a mobilization centre in occupied Crimea may indicate a hidden mobilization on the peninsula to involve Crimeans in the war, as the Russian army is suffering numerous losses and needs to replenish its human resources.
Hanging out in Odessa with my very chic family friend of 15 years -Lika Bezchastnova in her restaurant “Dzingoff” – she reopened on Saturday after 4 months – and the Russian rockets hit the port an hour after reopening. Her friends joked that she has a big budget for fireworks. pic.twitter.com/Si848Bhotr
— Vladislav Davidzon (@VladDavidzon) July 27, 2022
🇷🇺 The state of the Russo-Ukrainian war: The TELLMEs that tell us Russia is losing.
… Wars are predictably unpredictable. They take place over time and on terrain, on bodies and in minds, in realms not easily captured in maps or in textbooks—and some unexpected development can intrude from some odd angle and change everything. I believe, though, that it is most likely that Ukraine will win this war, on the basis of seven underlying factors that tend to decide the form of armed conflicts: time, economics, logistics, landscape, mode of combat, ethos, and strategy (the TELLMES). In the case of this war, we also have to consider the wild card of international public opinion.
🇷🇺🇺🇦 Ukraine has ground down Russia’s arms business. The Kremlin’s planned weapons exports are getting chewed up on the battlefield:
The Defense Department and US intelligence officials believe that Russia’s severe losses of high-end equipment in Ukraine, including hundreds of tanks and helicopters disabled by American- and European-provided shoulder-fired rockets, will begin to cause significant slowdowns in the Kremlin’s arms deliveries into Africa, which could give inroads to Russia’s competitors, such as China and the United States. Russia accounts for nearly half of major arms exports to Africa, according to a count by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, primarily supplying weapons to Algeria, Egypt, Sudan, and Angola.
🇷🇺 Business retreats and sanctions are crippling the Russian economy:
As the Russian invasion of Ukraine enters into its fifth month, a common narrative has emerged that the unity of the world in standing up to Russia has somehow devolved into a “war of economic attrition which is taking its toll on the west,” given the supposed “resilience” and even “prosperity” of the Russian economy. This is simply untrue—and a reflection of widely held but factually incorrect misunderstandings over how the Russian economy is actually holding up amidst the exodus of over 1,000 global companies and international sanctions.
… Looking ahead, there is no path out of economic oblivion for Russia as long as the allied countries remain unified in maintaining and increasing sanctions pressure against Russia … Defeatist headlines arguing that Russia’s economy has bounced back are simply not factual – the facts are that, by any metric and on any level, the Russian economy is reeling, and now is not the time to step on the brakes.
🇷🇺 Families of Russian troops show up at the Kremlin, appeal to Putin, excoriate military brass:
“We demand to find our loved ones, to add them to the lists of prisoners of war who have gone missing,” reads the appeal, signed by 106 people. The message went on to demand a meeting with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and accuse the Russian Defense Ministry of “blocking” efforts to change the status of the soldiers’ who’ve gone missing, which affects whether efforts are made to return them home. Families accused the Defense Ministry of feeding them lies about their loved ones’ whereabouts, with military officials offering reassurances that the men are alive, only for other officials to claim just hours later that they actually died.
- Related: 🇷🇺 Families of Russian occupiers who disappeared in Ukraine demand that Putin find their relatives, but not that he stop the war.
🇷🇺🇪🇺 Putin’s propaganda machine hammers EU while Brussels sleeps:
In the fast-evolving disinformation battle between Russia and the 27-country bloc, Europe remains outmatched, outgunned and under-resourced to combat the Kremlin’s sophisticated playbook, which has combined the country’s state-backed media, scores of diplomats spread around the world and, on occasion, covert tools to peddle mistruths and outright lies to promote Moscow’s political ambitions to the four corners of the globe.
Those tactics have come into their own ever since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February—and especially since Moscow started misleadingly blaming Western sanctions for keeping the world’s grain supply locked up in Ukraine. For Lavrov, the blame lay at Europe’s door, and in his op-ed aimed at an African audience, he reminded everyone of “the bloody crimes of colonialism.”
🇷🇺🧑🏻🚀 Russia’s withdrawal from the ISS could mean the early demise of the orbital lab:
While it remains unclear whether the Russians will follow through with this announcement, it does add significant stress to the operation of the most successful international cooperation in space ever. … Given that the Russian modules are necessary to station operations, it’s uncertain whether the station would be able to operate without them. It’s also unclear whether it would be possible to separate the Russian modules from the rest of the ISS, as the entire station was designed to be interconnected.
🇷🇺🇪🇺⛽️ Russia cuts flows through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany in half:
The Biden administration is working furiously behind the scenes to keep European allies united against Russia as Moscow further cuts its energy supplies to the European Union, prompting panic on both sides of the Atlantic over potentially severe gas shortages heading into winter, US officials say. … A US official said the move was retaliation for western sanctions, and that it put the West in “unchartered territory” when it comes to whether Europe will have enough gas to get through the winter. …
“This was our biggest fear,” said the US official. The impact on Europe could boomerang back onto the US, spiking natural gas and electricity prices, the official said. It will also be a major test of European resilience and unity against Russia, as the Kremlin shows no signs of retreating from Ukraine.
- 🇪🇺⛽️ European gas prices soar after Russia deepens supply cuts.
- 🇪🇺⛽️ EU members strike deal to cut Russian gas use.
- 🇪🇺⛽️ Can Europe survive the winter?
- 🇪🇺⛽️ Eurozone crisis in reverse as south scolds Germany over gas.
- 🇪🇺⛽️ EU deal to reduce consumption highlights divisions within the bloc.
- 🇪🇺⛽️ Europe is faking solidarity, and Putin knows it.
🇭🇺 “Nazi” talk: Orbán adviser quits:
Barbed warnings of “Nazi” rhetoric went flying Tuesday as the controversy over Viktor Orbán’s “mixed race” remarks breached rare territory—the Hungarian prime minister’s own circle. Just four days after Orbán startled European leaders by declaring countries were “no longer nations” after different races blend, one of the prime minister’s own longtime advisers, sociologist Zsuzsa Hegedüs, quit on Tuesday. And she didn’t do so quietly.
Hegedüs’s resignation letter—filled with ire—was instantly leaked, turning it into a public excoriation of Orbán’s speech. “Worthy of Goebbels” … A “pure Nazi text,” she added. “That you are able to deliver an openly racist speech would not occur to me even in a nightmare,” marveled Hegedüs, who has been working for Orbán for over a decade. And it didn’t stop there. …
- 🇭🇺 Speech by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán at the 31st Bálványos Summer Free University and Student Camp.
- 🇭🇺 Hungary’s Viktor Orbán faces growing backlash over race-mixing comments.
- 🇭🇺 Viktor Orban will still speak at CPAC Despite “Nazi” speech.
🇭🇺 Hungary picked the dark side once again—as in 1939:
The Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Péter Szijjártó, paid an official visit to Russia on Thursday, breaking the Western diplomatic blockade of the Putin regime. Since February 24, not a single EU top diplomat has visited Moscow.
… “Trauma of Trianon” and the desire to revise this treaty became decisive in Hungarian politics. Budapest was ready to be part of the alliance with absolute evil to achieve it. And it did so in 1939 when Hungary joined the Hitler coalition. They did it consciously and independently, already knowing about the persecution of the Jews. Hungary itself did the same.
🇮🇹🇪🇺 Will Italy’s turmoil push Europe back to the brink?
It would be wrong to assume that Italy’s current political instability will necessarily trigger a major crisis in Europe. But the risks remain acute, and a few key developments could yet cause such a crisis to materialize, jeopardizing the eurozone’s survival.
🇵🇱🇩🇪☢️ Polish lawmakers eye lease of German nuclear power plants:
A meeting of the EU Affairs Committee in the Polish parliament on Thursday addressed a project to lease from Germany its nuclear power plants, which are due to close soon. Germany is pursuing a plan dating back to 2000 to extinguish its nuclear sector completely. The originators of the project were MPs from the left-wing Lewica Razem party, who in recent days have made headlines in media reports that the German government had deceived its citizens by telling them that the continued operation of nuclear reactors was impossible due, for example, to difficulties in fuel supply. “In 2022, shutting down power plants in low-carbon sources is a climate crime. We should fight to ensure that nuclear power stations are not shut down.”
- 🇬🇧🗳 Five things we learned when Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak went head-to-head on primetime. The UK foreign secretary remains in pole position in the race for 10 Downing Street.
🇺🇸🇮🇷 Biden’s Middle East adviser says return to Iran deal “highly unlikely.”
White House Middle East coordinator Brett McGurk told a group of think tank experts last week it’s “highly unlikely” that the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran will be revived in the near future, according to three US sources who were on the call. The shrinking likelihood that the deadlock in the nuclear talks will be broken increases the pressure on the Biden administration to formulate a Plan B. McGurk said on the briefing call that the reason there is no nuclear deal is that the Iranians are unable to make a decision, according to the three sources.
- Related: 🇪🇺 Joseph Borell: Now is the time to save the Iran nuclear deal.
🇮🇷💣 The Iran nuclear deal’s convulsive death. Biden will face a test like no other as Putin and Xi see America’s global power faltering. (Possibly paywalled.)I’m sorry I can’t be more precise about this: Some publications allow readers to read a few articles before putting up a paywall. You may be able to read the occasional paywalled article by using … Continue reading
Even the most optimistic Washington insiders are losing hope. In lead negotiator Robert Malley’s words, “You can’t revive a dead corpse.” … The Iran negotiations have moved toward failure as America’s international position grew less secure, and today the deal’s impending collapse is part of a global crisis of American power. With Russian missiles raining down on Odessa and China threatening massive consequences if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi goes to Taiwan, the administration is already grappling with an international situation far graver than anything it expected or prepared for. …
Our opponents hope that simultaneous geopolitical crises in Europe, the Middle East and East Asia will overwhelm a dazed and weary America. As the economic consequences of those crises ripple through the US and global economies, the revisionists hope that America’s cohesion at home and alliances abroad will weaken as the threats grow.
🇪🇬 US Special Envoy says US is committed to maintaining Egypt’s water security:
US Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Mike Hammer, stressed that the US is committed to maintaining Egypt’s water security and supporting Egypt’s endeavors to settle the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam crisis.
Over the past four decades, the US has provided more than US$3.5 billion to enhance Egypt’s water security by providing clean water to a quarter of Egypt’s population, developing water treatment services in Cairo and Alexandria, modernizing the power plant at the Aswan Dam, and building water infrastructure for North Sinai residents.
🇹🇳 Tunisians vote to expand president’s powers. Critics warn the referendum could usher in a dictatorship:
A referendum on a new constitution that grants Tunisia’s president far-reaching powers passed overwhelmingly, according to results released by Tunisia’s election commission Tuesday night, delivering a stinging rebuke of the country’s post-revolutionary order and driving fears of a return to autocracy.
The new constitution awards Tunisia’s head of state near-total control of the government and judiciary and eliminates most checks on his power, establishing a system critics say is tantamount to the dictatorship of longtime ruler Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Many voters told Al-Monitor that they favored the new constitution because 11 years after a revolution that heralded new freedoms and sparked the wider Arab Spring movement, they had lost faith in a system that seemed to reward corrupt politicians, cause chronic gridlock and bring economic ruin.
🇮🇱 The Israeli journalist who visited Mecca should be worried:
Those who offend Islam are vulnerable to revenge attacks that could occur at any time. Tamari now has a target on his back. Whenever a Muslim seeking to avenge the honor of Islam believes he has the opportunity to do so, violence could ensue.
🇷🇺 Why Russia is on a charm offensive in Africa:
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is making a high-profile trip to Africa in the throes of Russia’s war on Ukraine, revealing how much Russia needs Africa. A priority for Lavrov’s trip to Egypt, the Republic of the Congo, Uganda, and Ethiopia is to show that Russia is not isolated inationally, despite expansive Western sanctions. The objective is to portray Russia as an unencumbered Great Power that maintains allies around the globe with whom it can conduct business as usual. Russia is also vying to normalize an international order where might makes right. And democracy and respect for human rights are optional.
- 🇺🇬🇷🇺 Uganda’s Museveni extols Africa-Russia ties during Lavrov visit.
- 🇪🇬🇷🇺 Russia foreign minister visits Egypt.
🇫🇷 Macron pledges food, security, during West Africa trip:
Concerned by Russian influence in Africa, France will increase cooperation and support in the field of food and security to West-African countries, said President Emmanuel Macron starting his four-day trip to the region on July 26. Macron is part way through a four-day visit to Cameroon, Benin and Guinea-Bissau, a response to the Russian diplomatic offensive in Africa, where Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov received a particularly warm welcome in the Congo Republic and Uganda.
🇨🇩🇺🇳 Three UN peacekeepers killed as anti-UN protests spread in DR Congo:
Anger has been fueled by perceptions that MONUSCO, the UN mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), is failing to do enough to stop attacks by armed groups. Crowds on Monday stormed a MONUSCO headquarters and supply base in Goma, the chief city in North Kivu province, and the protests spread on Tuesday to Beni and Butembo to the north. Butembo police chief Colonel Paul Ngoma said three peacekeepers there—two Indians and a Moroccan —had been killed and another injured, while seven demonstrators had died and several others were wounded.
- 🇨🇩🇺🇳 Protesters ransack UN peacekeepers’ offices in eastern DR Congo.
- 🇨🇩🇺🇳 At least 15 killed in second day of anti-UN violence in DRC.
- 🇨🇩🇺🇳 Protesters demand UN troops leave DRC amid rising conflict.
🇳🇬 Bola Tinubu must reckon with history after picking his running mate:
Nigerian history is repeating itself. Almost three decades ago, Moshood Abiola, a Yoruba Muslim from the south-west, won the 1993 presidential elections in what was meant to signal the end of a decade of military rule. But the generals led by Ibrahim Babangida and Sani Abacha annulled Abiola’s victory triggering five years of bitter contestation.
Now Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the favourite to win Nigeria’s presidential elections next year, is remarkably similar to Abiola. The candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress Tinubu is a Yoruba Muslim, a billionaire, and hails from the southwest. And like Abiola, Tinubu is a talented political networker. The similarities do not end with ethno-religious identity. Tinubu will face the same religious controversies that Abiola faced 30 years ago. Like Abiola, Tinubu has picked another Muslim from the north-east as his running mate: Kashim Shettima, a senator for the ruling APC and a former governor from Borno State. Next year’s election will test the inter-twined relations between politics and religion in Nigeria. It may also reveal whether Tinubu has more political street smarts than Abiola—who won an election but never made it to the presidential palace.
🇲🇱🇧🇫🇳🇪 How to strengthen the Sahelian counterinsurgency:
Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger have experienced a near uninterrupted expansion in militant Islamist violence over the past decade, underscoring the need for an alternative security strategy. Central to this is the recognition that these violent extremist groups employ irregular tactics and operate as local insurgencies, requiring a sustained counterinsurgency campaign.
Elevating the effectiveness of Sahelian forces will require a more integrated, mobile, and population-centric force structure bolstered by enhanced logistical and air support capabilities. Building positive relations with local populations is not just a question of morality or legitimacy but also an essential means of weakening support to insurgents.
- 🇪🇹 Ethiopia blocked UN officials trying to facilitate peace, says Tigray official.
- 🇿🇦 South Africa has been warned that it faces an “Arab Spring.” So what are the chances?
- 🇧🇮 Rights group concerned about Burundi’s “secret” mission in DRC.
- 🇳🇬 Nigeria’s fragile security architecture is collapsing. Three separate attacks that rocked Nigeria clearly demonstrated that the country’s security forces are no longer able to protect themselves let alone the public.
🇨🇳 Xi Faces unaccustomed headwinds in third term bid:
Xi is facing a massive mortgage boycott from bilked Chinese homebuyers, protests over bank deposit freeze in Henan province, rising protests against the Covid19 crackdown which has driven down gross domestic product growth to 4.5 percent and caused Beijing to miss its growth target for the first time in three decades, and potential domestic opposition.
🇲🇲 Myanmar executions an ominous signal of more to come:
With more than 100 people sitting on Myanmar’s death row, most of them political activists, it appears likely that the junta that took power in a coup on February 1, 2021, will ignore the world’s revulsion and horror to continue executing its political enemies. The military-run Global New Light of Myanmar on Monday reported that, as expected, four were hanged on July 26. A fifth, a former opposition National Democratic League leader Ko Hla Htoo, died this week during interrogation of a heart attack, according to the military, probably an indication he had been tortured to death.
🇰🇷 The pros and cons of a nuclear South Korea. Polls show South Koreans strongly support having a nuclear deterrent but the risk of irking the US and China still weighs against the move:
Rising fears are also hovering over not American strengths but rather its weaknesses. In war, Washington is acutely casualty-sensitive and in recent conflicts has arguably lacked the political will to win. Moreover, US society and politics are deeply—some say dangerously—polarized. These chinks in America’s armor may be leveraged by a wily foe. “[South] Korea needs a very stable US, but right now the US is trying to find itself or to be reborn,” Chun said. “As they do this, enemies will see an opportunity.”
🇮🇩 “Don’t abandon us.” Preventing mass atrocities in Papua, Indonesia:
This report assesses the risk of mass atrocities (large-scale, systematic violence against civilian populations) in Papua, Indonesia, over the next 12–18 months. Since its integration into Indonesia in 1969, Papua has seen ongoing political resistance and armed rebellion in favor of independence, and government repression in response. The region is home to Indigenous Papuans and a growing population of migrants from other parts of Indonesia, layering intercommunal tensions on top of the conflict over the region’s governance. An upward trend in the frequency of violent incidents prompted this analysis of the potential for mass atrocities.
🇷🇺🇲🇲 Russia is gaining an Indo-Pacific foothold through Myanmar:
[S]ince the coup last February, Russia has been using its military might to expand its influence in Myanmar by sponsoring the junta’s operations. Moscow has supplied drones, fighter jets, and armored vehicles to the military regime, according to one United Nations expert. Russia has also thwarted statements at the UN Security Council aimed at Myanmar’s humanitarian crisis. The two governments are now united by their fight against Western sanctions and find themselves with expanding common ground.
The 2022 Capacity to Combat Corruption Index:
The fight against corruption presented a mixed picture throughout Latin America over the past year. Some countries showed resilience, while others, including the region’s two largest countries Mexico and Brazil, saw new setbacks for key institutions and the anti-corruption environment as a whole. For many citizens throughout Latin America, the continued struggle with Covid19 and economic issues like inflation, now compounded by Russia’s conflict with Ukraine, have taken precedence over corruption. Many governments in the region have relegated anti-corruption reforms to a lower priority. Accordingly, many of the judicial branches and anti-corruption agencies across the region have struggled in comparison to the mid-2010s, when the anti-corruption movement enjoyed greater popular support and government attention.
🇺🇸 A radical plan for Trump’s second term. The heart of the plan is derived from an executive order known as “Schedule F,” developed and refined in secret over most of the second half of Trump’s term and launched 13 days before the 2020 election:
Former President Trump’s top allies are preparing to radically reshape the federal government if he is reelected, purging potentially thousands of civil servants and filling career posts with loyalists to him and his “America First” ideology … The impact could go well beyond typical conservative targets such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Internal Revenue Service. Trump allies are working on plans that would potentially strip layers at the Justice Department—including the FBI, and reaching into national security, intelligence, the State Department and the Pentagon, sources close to the former president say.
🇧🇷 Can Brazil turn back the clock? Latin America’s nostalgia trap and the return of Lula. (Possibly paywalled.)
Today’s Latin America is struggling to emerge from an especially troubled period that saw some of the world’s highest death rates from Covid19, its worst rates of homicide and inequality, and a lost decade of lackluster economic growth and social unrest. Given the scale of these challenges, it is fair to worry that Lula’s rise may be symbolic of what the Venezuelan intellectual Moisés Naím calls “ideological necrophilia,” a historical preference during times of crisis for nostalgia and shopworn ideas instead of fresh leadership and forward-looking policy. As the 2022 presidential campaign in Brazil has progressed, Lula’s team has been characterized by a glaring shortage of new faces, relying instead on the principal players from his previous term to advise him. He told one interviewer: “You have to understand that, instead of asking what I’m going to do, you just have to look at what I did.” But for Lula to come even close to replicating his past record, he will have to overcome a much more adverse external context—and the outsize expectations that have ultimately sunk most others who attempted similar comebacks.
- 🇧🇷 Why foreign policy matters for Brazil’s election. Lula and Bolsonaro are both seeking to appeal to Brazilians’ desire for international recognition.
- 🇧🇷 There will not be a coup in Brazil. An intervention is not being planned, and wouldn’t have enough support, says the country’s most recent civilian defense minister.
- 🇧🇷 Brazil’s Election: A looming crisis for Washington. A meeting between the two presidents in Los Angeles foreshadowed bigger trouble ahead, as Bolsonaro looks set to challenge the vote.
- 🇧🇷 Why reelection would embolden Bolsonaro even more. Recent history shows that authoritarian leaders become much more aggressive after winning reelection.
🌐 Why Latin America lost at globalization—and how it can win now:
Why hasn’t Latin America been able to thrive in a more connected world? There are lots of reasons, to be sure. Weak governance, inequality, informality and insecurity all play a part. Still, a vital but overlooked factor is the lack of regionalization—the exchange of trade, money and knowledge within Latin America itself. This is where today’s opportunity lies. If Latin American countries can build and expand their links to one another in the new global context that is taking shape in the 2020s, they may yet be able to capture the economic and commercial dynamism that has helped drive growth and prosperity in other parts of the world. But doing so will require significant changes in areas like education, automation and public investments, and in some countries, a change in mentality.
🇨🇦🇷🇺 Canada is facilitating Russia’s energy blackmail:
As world-stage embarrassments go, the Trudeau government’s decision last week to break NATO ranks and suspend Canada’s own sanctions law to release a half-dozen pipeline turbines, allowing Vladimir Putin to further engorge his treasury with the natural-gas money he’s extorting from Germany’s hapless Olaf Scholz, was, well, still pretty embarrassing.
It’s actually of another order of ignominy altogether, to have Canada’s ambassador to Ukraine summoned to the Foreign Ministry in Kyiv for a dressing-down while Ukrainian civilians are being blown to bits in Putin’s missile strikes and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is at the vanguard of liberal democracy’s bloodiest crisis since the Second World War.
- 🇮🇷 Iran is seeking to increase its influence in Latin America.
- 🇨🇳 Is China winning Latin America? While the West has largely ignored Latin America, or tried to force the region to bend to its will, China has been offering regional actors huge perks, with none of the conditions (at least not up front). Unless the US and Europe change tack, they could end up losing a critical region—and the new cold war.
💸💳 The global impact of the Fed’s rate increases:
[W]hile the US central bank is trying to right the ship in the United States, its actions send ripple effects across the world. Whether those ripples become tsunamis depends on the timing of the Fed’s hike. If it’s during a time of economic growth, then the overseas impacts tend to be positive. When it’s during uncertain economic times, the outlook is less rosy.
⚕️🐒🦠💉 WHO: Vaccines alone won’t end the monkeypox outbreak, at-risk individuals have to take action too:
To those currently at highest risk—men who have sex with men and especially those with multiple sexual partners—we say:
- Get the facts—we know how the disease is spreading, and also what one can do to protect oneself.
- Consider limiting your sexual partners and interactions at this time. This may be a tough message, but exercising caution can safeguard you and your wider community.
- While vaccination may be available to some people with higher exposure risks, it is not a silver bullet, and we still ask you to take steps to lower that risk for the time being.
- If you have or think you have monkeypox, you are infectious—so do everything you can to prevent spreading the disease. Isolate if you can, do not have sex while you are recovering, and do not attend parties or large gatherings where close contact will happen.
… Titanji, the clinical researcher, says it’s dangerous for public health messaging to falsely suggest that monkeypox is not an issue of concern to anyone other than men who have sex with men. That’s in part because it breeds stigma, which could prevent infected people from coming forward, seeking care and alerting their close contacts. …
Cianciotto says there are three main pieces of information he would like to share with men who have sex with men.Is there some reason we’re not supposed to say “gay men” anymore? “Men who have sex with men” sounds like yet another phrase that slipped the surly bonds of an Oberlin Struggle Session, but … Continue reading “The first is to be aware, but don’t panic,” he says. “The second is that if they have flu-like symptoms or start to see a rash, to seek medical attention and stay home, right? And the third is just to care for each other, right?”
Three “main pieces of information,” not one of which is, “You’ve got to lay off the orgies?” And why is it “false” to suggest that monkeypox is “not an issue of concern to anyone other than men who have sex with men?” It’s definitely true—in the standard sense of “not false”—that men who have sex with men account for 98 percent of confirmed cases. (And the other two percent are lying.)
The suspected means of monkeypox virus transmission as reported by the clinician was sexual close contact in 95 percent of the persons. It was not possible to confirm sexual transmission. A sexual history was recorded in 406 of 528 persons; among these 406 persons, the median number of sex partners in the previous 3 months was 5 partners, 147 (28 percent) reported travel abroad in the month before diagnosis, and 103 (20 percent) had attended large gatherings (>30 persons), such as Pride events. Overall, 169 (32 percent) were known to have visited sex-on-site venues within the previous month, and 106 (20 percent) reported engaging in “chemsex” (i.e., sex associated with drugs such as mephedrone and crystal methamphetamine) in the same period. …
Reports of clusters associated with sex parties or saunas further underscore the potential role of sexual contact as a promoter of transmission. International travel and attendance at large gatherings linked to sex-on-site activities may explain the global spread of monkeypox infections amplified through sexual networks.
Who exactly requires this kind of delicacy in public health messaging? If a dude breaks out in oozing pustules after his Bear Week Twerk-n’-Jerk Chemsex Rave and then claims he’s too stigmatized to “come forward, seek care, and alert his close contacts,” he’s not a victim of the public health profession’s stigmatizing language. He’s an asshole.
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🦇The Daily Bat
Meanwhile in Russia: decorated propagandists and prominent pundits ponder the best ways to cause unrest and global turmoil. They plot interfering in elections all over the world, including the home turf of their most hated enemy—the United States.
— Julia Davis (@JuliaDavisNews) July 27, 2022
🥢The CCP mourns your inadequacy
ITEM: China’s threat to the Fed: Chinese influence and information theft at US Federal Reserve banks.
CCP RIPOSTE: Claim China tried to infiltrate Fed shows senators’ arrogance:
US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell strongly pushed back against a report released Tuesday by US Senate Republicans that alleged China tried to infiltrate the Fed by recruiting or influencing its employees and economists in an effort to gather inside information on the US economy.
The report reflects ideological bias of certain US lawmakers and exposes their arrogance and fear at the same time. On the one hand, it is arrogant by some US politicians to believe that the US is the world’s most innovative country and China needs to spare no effort to detect or even steal information from the US. On the other hand, US politicians feel uneasy about China’s economic growth and try to curb China’s development. The claim that China is trying to infiltrate the Fed is just a farce created by US politicians’ ambivalence toward China’s rise.
ITEM: Senate passes US$280 billion industrial policy bill to counter China.
CCP RIPOSTE: US pushes chip bill to encircle China, but “unable to lure firms to decouple with mainland.”
The US Senate on Wednesday passed a chip bill that is intended to counter China’s high-tech rise under the guise of shoring up US competitiveness and protecting national security, a “dream” that is very difficult to achieve considering problems like mounting debts and industrial hollowing-out in the world’s largest economy, experts said.
For countries and regions that have been kidnapped by the US bill to secede their chip supply chains from China, some might make symbolic gestures to follow the US orders but postpone real actions, like setting factories in the US, because what the US is pushing runs counter to their tangible benefits, observers noted.
Today’s animal: The parrot
How do they make these sounds without lips?
The “Glass” Compilation #talkingparrot #animals #pets #smartanimals #smartbird #amazinganimals #learning pic.twitter.com/JFYYgx7BQf
— ApolloandFrens (@ApolloandFrens) July 20, 2022
Claire Berlinski is the editor of the Cosmopolitan Globalist.
|↑1||I’m sorry I can’t be more precise about this: Some publications allow readers to read a few articles before putting up a paywall. You may be able to read the occasional paywalled article by using a VPN or incognito window, although you shouldn’t do this: Journalists need to eat. Some are visible depending whether you’ve registered. Others put up paywalls for some articles, but not others, or change the paywall status after the article has been up for a while.|
|↑2||Is there some reason we’re not supposed to say “gay men” anymore? “Men who have sex with men” sounds like yet another phrase that slipped the surly bonds of an Oberlin Struggle Session, but I don’t get it: If you’ve determined to adopt the very most cutting-edge and enlightened formula, presumably you’d be striving for a phrase that’s gender neutral, on the grounds that some men who have sex with men are in fact women, right? (Stick with me here.) Suppose you use the same syntactic principles that cause Berkeley Law professors to replace “women” with “people with a capacity for pregnancy.” That means you’d replace “men” with “people who have a capacity to have sex with men.” Except then you’d go into an infinite regress—“people who have the capacity to have sex with people who have a capacity to have sex with people who have a capacity to have sex with people who have a capacity to have sex” unto infinity.|
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