Anxiety, Atrocity, Iran Deal, and Climate.
In this edition: (1) Tensions with China. (2) Atrocities in Tigray. (3) Iran Deal. (4) Paris Agreement.
Personal note: The car, my 2007 VW Jetta, smoked out in California. I had to push it the last few blocks, trying to make it back to where I started. A frustrating day later, and we were back on the road in a rented Toyota. The trip took about 33 hours for me. By Sunday, I was in Nashville, TN, a town which Queen Victoria proclaimed “the music city” after the Jubliee Singers from Fisk University, one of the early black colleges in the U.S. based in Nashville, took their tour to Great Britain in an attempt to secure funding for the institution.
Schilling my own work: A piece for Investopedia about the gap in financial literacy in the U.S.
Much of the conversation in the United States in the last week or so has centered on President Biden’s gun violence plan. Delivered in the aftermath of the latest in a depressingly long list of mass shootings—the most recent in Georgia and Colorado—Biden’s plan calls on the Justice Department to crack down on “ghost guns,” which are (apparently) assembled from kits and harder to trace. As I don’t follow the gun industry and haven’t much investigated the specifics, I won’t comment further.
Also, Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, died last week. America’s obsession with the UK’s royal family means that this generated a lot of chatter. With the death of Phillip, probably the most interesting of the royal line—not to mention the recent Oprah interview alleging racism that has eaten up so much air time—I would think that some of this interest would wane. But I’ve been disappointed before.
A handful of other items you may have missed:
Tensions with China continue to build. In the first significant restriction on China during the Biden administration, the U.S. blacklisted seven Chinese companies from using exported U.S. products after saying they’ve used American tech to help build Chinese supercomputers.
European critics of China have also become emboldened, particularly since China and the west have traded retaliatory sanctions over human rights abuses in Xinjiang province. These tensions have put the E.U.-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment, an ambitious deal that would open up access to the fast-growing Chinese market for the E.U., in peril.
Atrocities in Tigray. The G7 issued statements expressing worry about the human rights abuses in Tigray, in northern Ethiopia, and Eritrean forces have begun to pull out. Concern exists particularly for the flood of refugees the conflict in the region has created. It’s important for stability in the Horn of Africa as well as political and economic development in the region.
Iran Deal. Conversations in Vienna made some progress towards pulling the U.S. back into compliance with the Iran Nuclear Deal and talks will continue.
Paris Agreement. The U.S. has taken some small actions to telegraph some commitment to implementing the Paris Agreement in MENA and Latin America ahead of the UN’s 2021 climate change meeting in Glasgow, UK. The U.S. has said it intends to decarbonize its own economy “in line with our national circumstances and economic development.”
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