Global Review – 23rd May

LP leader Albanese sworn in as Australia’s PM

Australia’s Labour Party leader, Anthony Albanese, has been sworn in as the country’s new Prime Minister, promising a “journey of change” as he vowed to tackle climate change, rising living costs and inequality. While 2.7 million postal votes are still being counted and the makeup of government has yet to be finalised, Albanese was sworn in so he could attend a key meeting of the “Quad” security grouping in Tokyo on Tuesday. The group includes the US, Japan and India. Labour still remains four seats short of a majority of 76 in the 151 seat lower house with about a dozen races too close to call.

COVID, Ukraine, climate change to dominate WEF

While the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s war in Ukraine will be focuses of the World Economic Forum’s gathering of business and government leaders between today and Thursday, so too will climate change. The acceleration of rising temperatures, the ferocity and costliness of major weather events, and the impact, particularly on people in developing countries, have pushed the issue from one of science to something that touches every aspect of life, including (or, perhaps especially) business and economics. Of the 270 panels, a third are about climate change or its direct effects. US climate envoy John Kerry, Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate and Alok Sharma, president of last year’s international climate conference COP26, are among the climate leaders expected in the Swiss resort town of Davos.

From climate to war, world entering a critical era’ – SIPRI

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has warned of a global emergency,painting a vast and worrying picture. In its latest report, entitled “Environment of Peace: Security in a New Era of Risk”, the independent research institute says, “A compound environmental crisis and a darkening security horizon are feeding each other in dangerous ways.” Felled forests, melting glaciers and polluted oceans are occurring simultaneously with a rise in the number of conflict-related deaths, arms expenditures and increasing numbers of people at risk of starvation. Climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic have threatened global supply chains. Conflicts and crop disasters have made farming unreliable, sending farmers into the global migration flows. The number of armed conflicts between countries doubled from 2010 to 2020, to 56. The number of refugees and displaced people around the world also doubled, rising to 82.4 million. In 2020, there was also an increase in the number of nuclear warheads in the world. In 2021, the world’s military spending exceeded €1.9 trillion for the first time. Lacking a global plan, the world is “stumbling” into these intertwined dangers, according to SIPRI. “Nature and peace are so closely linked that damaging one damages the other. By the same reasoning, enhancing one enhances the other,” SIPRI’s director, Dan Smith, told Deutsche Welle, “Action is possible – and the time to act is now.” The report’s release coincides with the start of the ninth annual Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development and is SIPRI’s wake-up call for politicians and decision-makers.

Taiwan not be part of Indo-Pacific economic agreement

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told a media briefing aboard Air Force One that Taiwan would not be part of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, the US initiative that will be presented in Tokyo by President Biden. “But we still intend to deepen our economic cooperation with Taiwan, especially in the high technology, semiconductor and supply chain sectors,” he said.

Russia continues Dombass assault

Russia stepped up its attack in the eastern and southern parts of the Ukraine, pounding the Donbas and Mykolaiv regions with air strikes and artillery fire. Russia is waging a major offensive in Luhansk, one of two provinces in Donbas, after ending weeks of resistance by the last Ukrainian fighters in the strategic southeastern port of Mariupol. The heaviest fighting focused around the twin cities of Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk. Russia’s defence ministry said on Sunday its forces pummelled Ukrainian command centres, troops and ammunition depots in Donbas and the Mykolaiv region in the south with air strikes and artillery. Polish President Andrzej Duda offered Warsaw’s backing, telling lawmakers in Kyiv that the international community had to demand Russia’s complete withdrawal and that sacrificing any territory would be a “huge blow” to the entire West. President Zelensky is due to hold a videoconference with WEF delegates this evening

‘For Ukraine in the EU, it will take 15-20 years

The entry of Ukraine into the EU will take “15 or 20 years, it will be very long”, the new French Minister for European Affairs, has predicted. Clement Beaune said that in the meantime Kiev could join the European political community proposed by President Emmanuel Macron.

8 dead as bad weather hits Canada

The death toll from heavy storms that hit the provinces of Ontario and the Ottawa region, with winds of up to 140 kilometers per hour, is getting worse: the number of people killed has risen to eight, while there are still 300,000 homes without electricity. Authorities have said it will take several days to clear all roads blocked by trees and to return to normal.

Iran blames US for colonel’s assassination

Iran’s revolutionary guards have blamed the US and its allies for the murder of one of its colonels in Teheran. Colonel Sayad Khodai was a senior member of the elite Quds Force, a shadowy external arm of the Revolutionary Guards that carries out operations abroad.

Baby powdered milk arrives in the US

Thirty-five tons of powdered baby milk have arrived in the United States from Europe to help relieve a critical shortage of infant formula. Scarcity of medical-grade baby formula caused by production problems and supply-chain issues has created grave problems for thousands of parents whose infants, allergic to cow’s milk protein, rely on it, sending them in frantic searches for the product. The initial shipment will cover about 15 per cent of the immediate need, presidential economics advisor Brian Deese said on CNN. He added there are “more flights coming in early this week” as part of what the administration has dubbed “Operation Fly Formula”.

‘Monkeypox suffers should isolate for 3 weeks’

The British health security agency has said high-risk contacts of people with Monkeypox should self-isolate for three weeks. They will also be offered a smallpox vaccine and be asked to give details for contact tracing. The ourbreak has since affected more than 20 countries outside Africa. Monkeypox can be transmitted through contact with skin lesions and droplets of a contaminated person.

Football: Manchester City’s remarkable comeback to retain title

Manchester City staged a sensational comeback from 2-0 down to retain the Premier League title with a dramatic 3-2 win over Aston Villa. Needing to win to be assured of holding off Liverpool, City were in danger of blowing it as Villa struck twice at the Etihad Stadium. Yet Pep Guardiola’s side showed all their champion quality to rally and score three goals in a five-minute spell. Guardiola won his ninth major trophy with Manchester City after his side secured their fourth Premier League title in five seasons.

Milan clinch Italian championship

AC Milan are Italian Serie A champions, beating Sassuolo 3-0. Inter also won 3-0 against Sampdoria but it was not enough. “We did it! We are Champions!”: that’s the tweet with which Milan celebrated the victory of the 19th scudetto, 11 years after the last title. Then the pun in the cover image with the words “We are the Champ19ns”. “Congratulations Milan. This year has been a great challenge. See you next year!” was how Inter on Twitter congratulated their neighbours. Thousands of supporters celebrated throughout the evening and into the early hours of this morning in Piazza Duomo and the main city arteries.

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