Leaked EU plan reveals response to US and Chinese green subsidies

The EU executive will loosen state aid rules and propose a new “European sovereignty fund” later this year, in response to the controversial US Inflation Reduction Act and China’s “unfair” green subsidies. A leaked European Commission plan underscores the global green subsidy race is under way, although EU member states remain divided on how to respond. EU leaders are due to meet next week in Brussels to discuss the bloc’s response to Joe Biden’s $369bn (£300bn) Inflation Reduction Act, which aims to subsidise a vast expansion of green technology, from…

UN Economists Project Lowest Global Growth Rates in Decades

un economists project lowest global growth rates in decades

geneva —  The 2023 World Economic Situation and Prospects report has just been issued, and U.N. economists present a gloomy and uncertain outlook for the coming year, with the global economy projected to grow at a particularly sluggish rate. Multiple crises have converged to batter the world economy. The U.N. report cites a series of multiple and severe shocks for unleashing one of the lowest global economic outputs in recent decades. It says the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, surging inflation and the climate emergency, among other crises, are…

Ageing planet: the new demographic timebomb

In Japan even criminals are getting old. In the country’s notorious yakuza crime syndicates, more than half of members are now over 50, according to the national police agency. Veterans who have passed 70 outnumber those under 20 by two to one, even though teenagers are the groups’ traditional source of “muscle”. Japan is a pioneer in adjusting to the skewed demographics of an ageing society, with the impact of its low birthrates exacerbated by a fierce resistance to immigration. But its dilemmas are increasingly shared around the world. India…

Uyghur Rights Group Fails in Legal Challenge Against UK Government

uyghur rights group fails in legal challenge against uk government

LONDON —  A Uyghur rights group’s legal challenge against the British government for not investigating the import of cotton produced in the Chinese region of Xinjiang was dismissed by a London court Friday. The World Uyghur Congress, an international organization of exiled Uyghur groups, had taken legal action at London’s High Court against Britain’s Home Office, tax authority HMRC and the National Crime Agency. Judge Ian Dove said in a written ruling that he had dismissed the WUC’s case. Rights groups accuse Beijing of widespread abuses of Uyghurs, a mainly…

UK energy bills to fall to about £2,200 from July as wholesale gas costs drop

Energy bills are expected to fall to about £2,200 from July in a fillip for the government and households struggling with ballooning costs. Leading energy consultancy Cornwall Insight has predicted that, excluding government subsidies, typical annual household energy bills will have fallen from £4,279 now to £3,208 from April, and then will ease to roughly £2,200 for the remainder of the year. The forecasts are about £300 a year lower than its previous expectations because of the recent fall in wholesale gas costs. Nevertheless, bills are set to remain far…

US Arrests Russian Founder of China-Based Crypto Exchange 

us arrests russian founder of china based crypto

washington —  United States law enforcement officials said on Wednesday that they’ve arrested the Russian founder of a China-based cryptocurrency exchange, disrupting an online platform used by criminals on the darknet. Anatoly Legkodymov, 40, the majority owner of Hong Kong-registered Bitzlato, was taken into custody in Miami, Florida, on Tuesday evening and charged with conducting an unlicensed money transmitting business, officials said at a press conference at the Justice Department. Meanwhile, French authorities working with Europol and other European law enforcement agencies took down Bitzlato’s digital infrastructure and seized its…

No Progress on Netherlands Joining US Chip-Export Ban to China

no progress on netherlands joining us chip export ban to china

In his meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Tuesday at the White House, President Joe Biden appeared to have made no progress to get the Netherlands to support U.S. restrictions on exporting chip-making technology to China, a key part of Washington’s strategy in its rivalry against Beijing. White House Bureau Chief Patsy Widakuswara has this report. VOA

Biden Urges Netherlands to Back Restrictions on Exporting Chip Tech to China

biden urges netherlands to back restrictions on exporting chip tech to china

WASHINGTON —  President Joe Biden hosted Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Tuesday at the White House, where he urged the Netherlands to support new U.S. restrictions on exporting chip-making technology to China, a key part of Washington’s strategy in its rivalry against Beijing. During a brief appearance in front of reporters before their meeting, Biden said that he and Rutte have been working on “how to keep a free and open Indo-Pacific” to “meet the challenges of China.” “Simply put, our companies, our countries have been so far just…

The War in Ukraine Upended Energy Markets. What Does That Mean for the Climate?

the war in ukraine upended energy markets what does that mean for the climate

This article is part of our special report on the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. As world leaders, chief executives and nonprofit leaders descend on Davos, Switzerland, for the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum next week, war will be raging about 1,000 miles away. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine almost one year ago has reordered the geopolitical landscape, sent ripples through the global economy and brought trench warfare back to Europe. Yet beyond the enormous human suffering and catastrophic damage inflicted on Ukraine, its people and…

Ukraine Conflict Among Litany of Global Abuses, Human Rights Watch Says

ukraine conflict among litany of global abuses human rights watch says

LONDON —  The past year has seen human rights crises worsening around the world, from Ukraine to China to Afghanistan, Human Rights Watch said in its latest annual report, released Thursday. But new voices of leadership for championing human rights have emerged, according to the report. World Report 2023 looks at the state of human rights in nearly 100 countries where the New York-based organization works. “The obvious conclusion to draw from the litany of human rights crises in 2022 —from Russian President Vladimir Putin’s deliberate attacks on civilians in…