Is Biden’s Foreign Policy Team the Best of ‘the Blob’?

Even more worrying is the Biden administration’s approach to China, which sees Beijing primarily as a threat to American global supremacy and thus defines relations with the world’s other superpower in largely zero-sum terms. In a May 26 speech at George Washington University outlining the administration’s China strategy, Mr. Blinken said it could be “summed up in three words”: The United States will “invest” domestically, “align” its policies with those of its allies and “compete” with Beijing. The word “cooperate” was notably absent. Biden officials describe their turn away from…

Biden Administration Begins $3 Billion Plan for Electric Car Batteries

The Biden administration plans to begin a $3.1 billion effort on Monday to spur the domestic production of advanced batteries, which are essential to its plan to speed the adoption of electric vehicles and renewable energy. President Biden has prodded automakers to churn out electric vehicles and utilities to switch to solar, wind and other clean energy, saying the transitions are critical to eliminating the pollution that is dangerously heating the planet. In the wake of surging energy prices caused largely by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, administration officials also have…

Hunting for the next virus

Searching for the next virus The Covid-19 pandemic is not over yet, but some researchers are already worrying about mousepox. Colin Carlson, a biologist at Georgetown University, has spent the last few years training computers to predict which dangerous viruses could jump from animals to humans, following in the footsteps of the coronavirus (which came from bats), H.I.V. (chimpanzees) and hundreds of other pathogens. His team used machine learning to develop a short list of potentially dangerous viruses that could eventually make a leap. Mousepox — a virus that infects…

It’s Not Just High Oil Prices. It’s a Full-Blown Energy Crisis.

Look to the Mediterranean, for an example. Europe’s decoupling from Russia will intensify the geopolitical tensions over gas around the sea. In the eastern Mediterranean, Turkey resents its exclusion from energy projects and has been increasingly confrontational in asserting its interests. When Turkey struck a deal with Libya in November 2019 to claim new maritime economic boundaries for itself in the eastern Mediterranean, European Union leaders denounced the agreement as a violation of Greek and Cypriot sovereignty and incompatible with United Nations law. Now the route for a pipeline to…

China doubles down on coal

3. No one likes power cuts, least of all authoritarian governments. Many Chinese provinces ran critically short of electricity last fall. Factories suddenly went silent. High-rise office buildings had to be evacuated before their elevators stopped. Chemical factories lost power and, with it, their ability to control the heat and pressure in potentially hazardous operations. In March, President Xi Jinping underlined that he would not let his country turn away from coal without making sure that reliable replacements were in place. “You can’t throw away the eating utensils in your…

Solomon Islands’ Leader Calls Concern Over China Security Deal ‘Insulting’

solomon islands leader calls concern over china security deal insulting

MELBOURNE, Australia — In a fiery speech confirming that the Solomon Islands has drafted a security agreement with China, the island nation’s leader said on Tuesday that the deal was “ready for signing” and criticized as “insulting” concerns from Australia and New Zealand that the pact could destabilize the region’s security. Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare’s remarks to Parliament marked the first time he had addressed the leak last week of a draft of the security agreement. The draft — which was shared by opponents of the deal and verified as…

Turning Cities Into Sponges to Save Lives and Property

Imagine a sponge. Swipe it over a wet surface and it will draw up water; squeeze it and the water will trickle out. Now imagine a city made of sponges, or spongelike surfaces, able to soak up rainwater, overflowing rivers or ocean storm surges and release stored water during droughts. Engineers, architects, urban planners and officials around the world are seeking ways to retrofit or reconstruct cities to better deal with water — basically, to act more like sponges. While water management has always been an essential service in cities,…

Ukraine War Ushers In ‘New Era’ for Biden and U.S. Abroad

WASHINGTON — The war in Ukraine has prompted the biggest rethinking of American foreign policy since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, infusing the United States with a new sense of mission and changing its strategic calculus with allies and adversaries alike. The Russian invasion has bonded America to Europe more tightly than at any time since the Cold War and deepened U.S. ties with Asian allies, while forcing a reassessment of rivals like China, Iran and Venezuela. And it has re-energized Washington’s leadership role in the democratic world just months…

Blinken Says U.S. Has a ‘Long-Term Future’ in the Pacific Islands

blinken says u s has a long term future in the pacific islands scaled

NADI, Fiji — As the first U.S. secretary of state to visit Fiji in 36 years, Antony J. Blinken wanted to make clear that jetting here to meet with Pacific island leaders was just the start of an expanding American presence. “We see our long-term future in the Indo-Pacific,” Mr. Blinken said at a news conference on Saturday night, standing next to Fiji’s acting leader. “It’s as simple and basic as that.” Mr. Blinken said the United States would soon open an embassy in another Pacific nation, the Solomon Islands.…

For the Climate, Biden Must Be More Aggressive in Ending New Truck and Bus Emissions

for the climate biden must be more aggressive in ending new truck and bus emissions scaled

At a gathering on the White House lawn last August, President Biden spoke of a future in which electric cars and trucks will be the only vehicles on the road. “The question,” he said, “is whether we’ll lead or fall behind” in the global race to achieve that vision. Mr. Biden has been vigorous in pushing for the end of the internal combustion engine for cars and light trucks. In August he signed an executive order that called on the federal government to do all it can to ensure that…