Global Review – 26th August

Typical UK household energy bill to rise to £3,549

The typical household energy bill will hit £3,549 a year from October, regulator Ofgem announces. The announcement comes amid a cost of living crisis, with prices soaring and taxes and interest rates going up. The cap is currently £1,971 for the average household and limits how much providers can charge customers in England, Scotland and Wales. The new price cap will take effect on October 1, with many households expected to struggle to pay. Households in Northern Ireland are not included in the cap, because of the limited number of suppliers. Rubbing salt in the wound, Ofgem says the market for gas in winter means that prices could get significantly worse through 2023.

Labour’s Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves says the “astronomical” price rise “will strike fear in the heart of many families right across the country, and force many to make unthinkable choices this winter”. She says the government needs to freeze gas and electric energy prices through winter. This could be funded by bringing in a windfall tax on oil and gas companies’ profits, she adds.

Charities and suppliers have urged ministers to improve support measures, saying the “devastating effect” of bill rises, which come alongside the increasing cost of food and other essentials, will lead some to choose between heating and eating this winter.

On Thursday, UK wholesale gas prices jumped by 82p to 580p per therm – their highest level in five months – amid uncertainty about European and Russian supplies. Writing in the ‘Daily Mail’, Liz Truss has pledged “immediate support” to help people with the “energy bill crisis” if she is chosen as the new prime minister. She tells the paper she would bring in an emergency budget next month “to ensure support is on its way”.

New record for the price of gas, closing at € 321.4

The price of gas closes for the first time above €300 in Amsterdam, the reference market for methane in Europe. Ttf futures maturing in September ended trading up 10% to a new all-time high of €321.4 per megawatt hour as the three days of Nord Stream’s scheduled closure are approaching.

Euro weak against the dollar fuelling inflation – ECB

For the European CCentral Bank, the depreciation of the euro is “an important change in the external context” and entails “greater inflationary pressures for the euro area, in particular through the higher costs of energy imports”. At the July 21 meeting, board members stressed that competitiveness and growth support, normally associated with depreciation, have been “hindered” by global logistical restrictions. According to the ECB, the depreciation against the dollar is mainly due to “divergent monetary policies”, which reflect “the differences in the prospects of the two economies”.

Europe on the brink of nuclear disasterZelensky

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his usual evening message quoted by the Kiev media that Russia “has brought Ukraine and the rest of Europe to the brink of a nuclear disaster”. He stressed Ukraine “is doing everything possible to avoid a catastrophe in the Zaporizhzhia power plant.”

Forest fire near the Zaporizhzhia power plant

A forest fire has broken out in the area of ​​the nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia, according to local authorities, cited by the Russian agency Tass. “Forests are burning in the area of ​​the nuclear power plant,” a council member of the regional military-civilian administration, Vladimir Rogov, wrote on Telegram, attaching satellite images showing smoke in the area near the plant. Ukraine and Russia accuse each other of the continuous bombings recorded in the area of ​​the nuclear power plant. US President Joe Biden and President Zelensky ask that Russia return full control of the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant in Kiev and that the IAEA have access to the plant.

Power line to Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant restored

The last regular power line supplying electricity to the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine was restored on Thursday after a temporary cut, the UN nuclear watchdog said, citing Ukrainian authorities. “Ukraine told the IAEA that the ZNPP, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, at least twice lost connection to the power line during the day but that it was currently up again,” the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a statement, adding that information on the direct cause of the outage was not immediately available. Zelensky said Ukraine would have been facing the prospect of a radiation accident if the diesel generators had failed to turn on. The Zaporizhzhia power plant is supplied with electricity with four 750-kilovolt lines. Three of those lines were damaged earlier in the conflict. What happened yesterday was that the fourth, the last line remaining line, was cut off. That triggered the security mechanisms of the actual power plant. The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest, supplies 20% of Ukraine’s electricity. If the Russians were to divert that to their own territories, which is a real option, that would be a huge problem for Ukraine.

Painful’ past prevents France. Algeria from looking to the future

On his second visit to Algeria as head of state, French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday reiterated a commitment to building a better bilateral future, announcing a joint committee to study the colonial period and saying a “painful common past… has at times prevented us from looking to the future”. Speaking in Algiers shortly after arriving for a three-day visit, Macron expressed the hope that France and Algeria would be able to “look back at the past with humility” in order to establish trust and cooperation in the future. He said a joint committee with historians from both Algeria and France will be set up to study the archives on both sides on the colonial period, promising to push for “unfettered access” to documents. For his part, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune said Macron’s visit was an opportunity to re-energise cooperation and partnership between the two countries.

‘Behind Trump there is a semi-fascist philosophyBiden

“What we are seeing now is either the beginning or the death knell of the extremist philosophy Maga (acronym of the slogan Make America great again). It is not just Trump, it is the whole philosophy which supports this sort of semi-fascism.”: so said Joe Biden at an event in Maryland to launch the Midterm campaign. The US president warned that “this is no longer the Republican party of your fathers, it’s a different thing” saying hr underestimated how much damage the previous four years haddone to America’s reputation in the world.

Mexico: 3-year-old girl wakes up at her funeral

A three-year-old Mexican girl woke up at her funeral, she was transported to hospital but died shortly after. Initially the girl was declared dead by mistake. During the funeral her parents noticed that she was still breathing, as the glass in the coffin misted up. Now the family is asking to ascertain doctors’negligence. An autopsy will now be performed on Camila Roxana Martinez Mendoza’s body. Aninvestigation into the case was opened by the public prosecutor of the Mexican state of San Luis Potosí.

Plum fixtures in Champions League group stage

Juve face PSG, Inter with Bayern Munich and Barcellona, Liverpool with Napoli and Ajax, Milan against Chelsea are some of the plum fixtures drawn in the Champions League group stage. The full draw: Group A: Ajax, Liverpool, Napoli, Rangers; Group B: Porto, Atletico Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen, Club Bruges; Group C: Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Viktoria Plzen; Group D: Eintracht Frankfurt, Tottenham, Sporting Lisbon, Marseille; Group E: AC Milan, Chelsea, RB Salzburg, Dinamo Zagreb; Group F: Real Madrid, RB Leipzig, Shakhtar Donetsk, Celtic; Group G: Manchester City, Sevilla, Borussia Dortmund, FC Copenhagen; and Group H: Paris St-Germain, Juventus, Benfica, Maccabi Haifa. Matches will take place between September 6 and November 2.The draw for the Europa League group stage, featuring the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Roma, takes place this evening, with the Europa Conference League draw just after.

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