Your Thursday Briefing: Tanks for Ukraine
Tanks for Ukraine
Yesterday, Germany and America pledge to send tanks to Ukraine after weeks of diplomatic lobbying. The pledges could usher in a wave of additional aid before the expected escalation in the spring.
It may take a year or more for 31 Americans M1 Abrams tank to the battlefield. But the promise of the United States cleared the way for Germany to commit send its 14 Leopard 2 tanksmay arrive in a few months.
Germany’s decision to allow other countries to ship their own Leopards has prompted officials in Finland, the Netherlands and Spain to say they will find a way to send the tanks to Ukraine or that they are willing to do so. .
Fight: The announcements come at a crucial time. Ukraine said yesterday that its forces retreated from Soledara key town near the east of the city of Bakhmut.
Natural gas runs out in China
China is the latest country to be affected by global energy disruptions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But after spending on costly “zero Covid” measures, local governments have few resources to buy expensive natural gas.
China’s national government asked local governments to provide heat, but they didn’t give them the money to pay for it. Mass testing campaigns in the last days of “zero Covid” have drained their coffers. As a result, provincial and municipal governments have reduced their customary subsidies for natural gas, which are used to limit heating bills.
Now, gas is being distributed efficiently, with households getting the bare minimum needed to cook food but very little for heating. Tens of millions of people are angry and their frustration has gone viral on social media. “Nothing seems to be working, partly because nobody seems to have much cash,” said one expert.
Weather: China, like Europe, has long depended on Russia for gas supplies. But Europe had a unusually warm winterhas pushed gasoline prices lower and helped countries overcome the tightening ring. In China, by contrast, unusually extreme temperatures have pushed gas prices higher.
Big picture: Climate change can lead to trade war era.
Opinion: It is in the best interest of the United States to help China develop new treatments for the spread of Covid, Michael V. Callahan discuss.
Modi stops a documentary
A new BBC documentary criticizes the Indian leader Although the Indian government has not banned it outright, it tried its best to stop the movieonline and on campus.
“India: Question Modi” focuses on the Hindu-Muslim riots in Gujarat in 2002, which left around 1,000 people dead, most of them Muslims. Critics accuse Narendra Modi, then the minister of Gujarat, about clearing the way for the carnage, or turning a blind eye to it. A key revelation in the film: A previously unreported British investigation found that Modi was “directly responsible” for the mass killings.
Modi’s government is getting help from international social media companies. Alphabet, YouTube’s parent company, has partnered with India to block segments from appearing on the site. Even Twitter, which has a history of opposing India-directed content blocking, has blocked posts linking to the footage.
Reaction: The students are suffering from police custody and attacks from masked men to set up screenings. “In this way,” said one student activist, “they are making this documentary more popular, and now everyone wants to see it.”
Details: Mr. Modi’s government is implementing “IT rules”, adopted in 2021, that will allow it to block virtually any information online. Government has a history use the law in it is happening suppress above press freedom.
Members of Gen Z love distorted photos: They chose 0.5 super wide angle lensone AI portrait maker to simulate a picture and lo-fi digital camera for bittersweet memories.
Now, they are entering traffic mirror. (Some TikTok commenters hailed them as “core bus drivers”, although the fisheye style is reminiscent of the 1990s, Gen Z often imitates.) “It looks funny,” said a 24-year-old. “But it seems funny on purpose.”
Life lived: Balkrishna Doshi, the first Indian architect to receive the Pritzker Prize, helped develop Indian modernism. “We wanted to find our own identity,” he said. He died at the age of 95.
FOCUS ON AFRICA
A diplomatic contest
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrived in Africa this week for his second diplomatic trip in less than a year. While Russia relies on its longstanding diplomatic network on the continent, Ukraine has fewer embassies there.
However, as the war in Ukraine drew to a close for its first year, many African countries remained neutral. Lavrov’s visit began in South Africa, with stops in Botswana and Eswatini before he headed to Angola, an important oil producer. Along the way, he extended his invitation to the Russia-Africa summit in July. The trip coincided with the visits of two top US officials: Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield and Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen.
Yellen, who visited Senegal, Zambia and South Africa, warning that Russia’s “barbaric aggression” is hurting African economies, especially because of soaring food prices.
“Africa is key to pressuring Russia because we need to send a strong, unified message to Russia that what they are doing in Ukraine is unacceptable,” Thomas-Greenfield said.
Lavrov is expected to return in the next few weeks for a planned visit to North Africa. —Lynsey Chutel, a Briefings writer in Johannesburg