Global Review – 7th July

End of the road for Boris Johnson

It’s game over for Boris Johnson as he is expected to resign today following the resignation of more than 55 MPs and senior government officials. Until last night, the Prime Minister steadfastly refused to resign after the leadership bloodbath, vowing to “lead”, and firing Michael Gove, a Conservative heavyweight and former ally, for recommending resignation. Support for his leadership has collapsed at Westminster, and at least 55 ministers and aides have quit since Tuesday when Sajid Javid and Rishi Sunak said they were resigning. MPs are angry at Johnson’s handling of sexual misconduct claims against former deputy chief whip Chris Pincher.

Von der Leyen stresses ‘rethinking economic governance rules’

EU commission president Ursula von der Leyen has stressed the EU needs “to rethink how to organise growth in a distorted political and economic context”. Speaking at the presentation of the Czech presidency of the European semester, she defied members to “take the rules of economic governance”. She said, “We need rules that reconcile our investment needs with the need for sound fiscal policies Indeed, fiscal sustainability and growth necessarily go hand in hand. We will present the results of our assessment of economic governance under the Czech presidency. We must prepare for further disruptions in gas supplies, even a complete disruption of supply from Russia.” She said a total of 12 Member States were directly affected by partial or total reductions in gas supply. “It is clear: Putin continues to use energy as a weapon. That is why the Commission is working on a European emergency plan. We will present this plan and the necessary tools by mid-July”.  

IMF chief ‘cannot rule out’ possible global recession

The head of the International Monetary Fund on Wednesday said the outlook for the global economy had “darkened significantly” since April and she could not rule out a possible global recession next year given the elevated risks. IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told Reuters the fund would downgrade in coming weeks its 2022 forecast for 3.6% global economic growth for the third time this year, adding that IMF economists were still finalising the new numbers. The IMF is expected to release its updated forecast for 2022 and 2023 in late July.

EU votes to class gas and nuclear as green

The European parliament has backed plans to label gas and nuclear energy as “green”, rejecting appeals from prominent Ukrainians and climate activists that the proposals are a gift to Vladimir Putin.One senior MEP said the vote was a “dark day for the climate”, while experts said the EU had set a dangerous precedent for countries to follow. The row began late last year with the leak of long-awaited details on the EU’s green investment guidebook, intended to help investors channel billions to the clean power transition. Under the plans, gas can be classed as a sustainable investment while nuclear power can be called green if a project promises to deal with radioactive waste. The plan could only be stopped by a majority of EU member states or members of the European parliament. The European Commission decided some gas and nuclear projects could be included in the EU taxonomy of environmentally-sustainable economic activities, subject to certain conditions.

World hunger rising

World hunger levels rose again last year after soaring in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with the Ukraine war and climate change threatening starvation and mass migration on an “unprecedented scale” this year, according to UN agencies. Up to 828 million people, or nearly 10% of the world’s population, were affected by hunger last year, 46 million more than in 2020 and 150 million more than in 2019, agencies including the Food and Agriculture Organisation, World Food Programme and World Health Organisation said in the 2022 edition of the UN food security and nutrition report. World hunger levels remained relatively unchanged between 2015 and 2019. “There is a real danger these numbers will climb even higher in the months ahead,” said WFP executive director David Beasley, adding price spikes in food, fuel and fertilisers stemming from the Russia-Ukraine war threaten to push countries into famine.

Police could have stopped Uvalde gunman

An Uvalde police officer awaiting a supervisor’s permission to fire his rifle missed a chance to take out a school shooter who went on to massacre 19 children and two teachers, according to a report published on Wednesday. The previously unreported detail was included in a report by the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Centre at Texas State University that was commissioned by the Texas Department of Public Safety. The Uvalde response has already come under withering criticism from senior law-enforcement officials, elected officials and the public. Outrage has focused on the widely reported detail that as many as 19 officers waited more than an hour in a hallway outside the classrooms where children were slaughtered before a US Border Patrol-led tactical team finally made entry and killed the shooter. Before the shooter entered the school building, an Uvalde police officer at the crash scene observed the suspect carrying a rifle on school property. The officer was well within rifle range but was concerned that, if he missed, his shot could have penetrated a wall and endangered children, the report said.

Police officer dies in Detroit shooting

A police officer from Detroit, Michigan was killed in a shooting on Wednesday night. According to information released by the city police chief, James White, two officers responded to a call around 7:30 pm for gunshots. Arriving at the scene, they found a man armed with an assault rifle who started shooting at them. One of the policemen, injured, died shortly after in the hospital, while the other returned fire, killing the assailant.

MI5 and FBI warn against ‘game-changing’ threat by China

Briatin’s MI5 will double its investigations into China in the face of the “game-changing” threat posed by the ruling Chinese Communist Party, the head of the security service said in an unprecedented speech about the espionage risk presented by Beijing. MI5 head Ken McCallum said the agency is running seven times as many probes into China as it was four years ago, and plans to “grow as much again” to tackle the widespread attempts at inference. FBI director Christopher Wray said China was the “biggest long-term threat to our economic and national security”, adding that the country has interfered in politics, including recent elections.

440 inmates on run as IS raids Nigerian prison

The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a raid on a Nigerian prison in the capital Abuja which freed around 440 inmates, raising fears that insurgents are venturing from their enclaves in the northeast. A security officer was killed during the raid and three others were injured. Four inmates were dead and 16 others injured.

Air Canada bans pets in baggage

Air Canada has announced that it was banning pets from the baggage hold until the end of summer. Crippling delays and passenger logjams have affected air travel throughout Canada, Europe and the US as surging post-pandemic air travel resumes and staffing shortages bite hard into flight operations worldwide. Removing Fido from the baggage process may simplify some of it, but is perhaps optimistic as to the delay-impact of flying with a pet.

Women’s Euro 2022: England beats Austria

The women’s European football Championship got under way with little sparkle from hosts England as they laboured to a 1-0 win over Austria at Old Trafford on Wednesday. The crowd of 68,871 was the largest for a European Championship game. Beth Mead grabbed the decisive goal in the 16th minute for the Lionesses.  This evening, Norway plays N. Ireland in a match from the same Group A.

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