World events 3 in a concentrated form, understandable

World events 3.

Donald Trump. The prospect of a reprise of Donald Trump’s unpredictable US presidency triggers a range of emotions, from fear in Europe to glee in Saudi Arabia. No one, though, wants to be surprised.

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How the rest of the world looks at it largely depends on whether, during his first stint in the White House, Trump lavished you with attention, as was the case for Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, or whether he humiliated you in public.

Germany’s Angela Merkel was called a “loser.” Canada’s Justin Trudeau saw his hard-won Group of Seven communique ripped up.

This time US allies are taking a pragmatic approach, in sharp contrast to 2016, when many responded with shock and dismay.

Annalena Baerbock, Germany’s top diplomat, headed to Texas to take the political temperature. “It’s a state of extremes in a country of extremes,” is how she described the Lone Star State, with its restrictive abortion laws and barbed wire to keep migrants from crossing the border.

A Green, Baerbock is a dyed-in-the-wool liberal. But her mission was to understand, rather than judge, as she got behind the bar and served beers during a visit to Back Porch BBQ. Texas is “a bellwether for America and for the future,” she said.

For Vladimir Putin, a Trump comeback would be rather more complicated than the first time round when Russia launched an aggressive campaign of misinformation and fake news to damage the chances of Hillary Clinton coming to power.

Back then Putin reveled in the chaos unleashed. But a lot has changed since Trump praised the Russian leader as a “genius” for the invasion of Ukraine. This week Putin said that the US would likely stay anti-Russia, even if Trump came back.

For Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a Trump presidency may be a disaster, opening up a scenario where the arms and money he relies on to keep fighting could dry up.

Much remains opaque, not least whether Trump will secure the Republican Party’s nomination let alone retake the White House.

World events 3, Global read.

Joe Biden.

US President Joe Biden faced a number of political headaches this week. His son, Hunter, was indicted on federal charges that he purchased a firearm without disclosing that he was unlawfully using drugs.

House leader Kevin McCarthy launched an impeachment inquiry into the US president. And today the United Auto Workers started strikes at plants of three American carmakers that risk triggering a recession in swing states key to the election next year.

Where is China’s defense minister?

Li Shangfu hasn’t been seen in public for more than two weeks, with some reports suggesting that Beijing’s fourth-most senior military figure is the latest top Communist Party official to be abruptly ousted from the upper echelons of President Xi Jinping’s ranks.​

World events 3, European Union.

The European Union’s next contest for a top job leading the European Investment Bank risks turning into a showdown between Spain and Italy, two Mediterranean powers staking rival claims to status and influence within the bloc.

Top contenders in the five-way race include former Italian Finance Minister Daniele Franco, and Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Nadia Calvino.


Kim toured a Russian factory that makes high-tech fighter jets. Pyongyang’s air force consists mostly of antiquated aircraft and isn’t considered much of a threat to the more sophisticated military equipment in the region operated by the US, Japan and South Korea.

World events 3, American components.

Republican lawmakers are pressing the Biden administration to cut off all access to American components for sanctioned Chinese tech giants Huawei and chipmaker SMIC, as the surprise release of an advanced smartphone raises questions over the effectiveness of US restrictions on China.


Zelenskiy will meet with Biden at the White House next week as the next tranche of US aid to Ukraine faces political headwinds from some Republicans.

Elon Musk.

The US Senate Armed Services Committee is probing national-security issues raised by Elon Musk’s decision not to extend the private Starlink satellite network to aid a Ukrainian attack on Russian warships near the Crimean coast.

Chart of the Day.

World events 3

The world’s top oil and gas emitters — the US, Russia, Venezuela and Turkmenistan — account for most of the overall discrepancy, the scientific journal Nature Communications reported.

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