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The EU starts to talk tough on China, Republican lawmakers warn that Russian propaganda has ‘infecte͏‌  ͏‌  ͏‌  ͏‌  ͏‌  ͏‌ 
snowstorm Brussels
cloudy Port-au-Prince
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April 9, 2024


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The World Today

  1. EU’s tough China talk
  2. Russia’s House propaganda
  3. Climate human rights
  4. Mali heatwave kills 100
  5. Conflict boosts oil prices
  6. Gaza talks stall
  7. Haiti government formed
  8. Golden visas scrapped
  9. Aruba’s Internet Archive
  10. Ancient sacred site found

Describing India’s role in the world with a term from Hindu mythology, and a female-led Bollywood movie wins with the critics and at the box office.


Europe warns of China risk

Johanna Geron/Reuters

Europe’s antitrust enforcer is expected to pitch a tougher approach to dealing with China. According to Politico, Margrethe Vestager will tell a U.S. audience that the European Union made a mistake by not imposing curbs on imports of Chinese-made solar panels, a lesson it is now seeking to learn by combatting Chinese overcapacity. Her comments come with European officials complaining of imported cars — particularly Chinese electric vehicles — turning the continent’s ports into “car parks,” the Financial Times reported. The remarks mirror concerns raised by the U.S. treasury secretary on a recent trip to Beijing.


Congress ‘infected’ by propaganda

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul. Graeme Sloan/Sipa USA via Reuters Connect

Two U.S. Republican lawmakers warned that members of their party are repeating Moscow’s propaganda “on the House floor.” Michael Turner, chair of the House of Representatives intelligence committee, echoed statements last week by his fellow committee chair Michael McCaul, who said Russian misinformation had “infected a good chunk of my party’s base,” mainly via conservative media. Meanwhile, leaked Kremlin documents showed that troll farms in Russia were instructed to undermine U.S. public support for Ukraine, painting the Ukrainian regime as corrupt and pushing for border security to take priority over aid for Kyiv, which the Donald Trump-aligned wing of the Republican party has repeatedly blocked.


Europe readies climate rulings

Supporters of the Senior Women for Climate Protection outside the European Court of Human Rights. Emma Farge/File Photo/Reuters

A top European court will today deliver rulings on separate cases that could shape the future of climate litigation. The European Court of Human Rights is considering petitions from Portuguese youth, elderly Swiss women, and a former French mayor which all variously argue their governments’ failure to combat climate change threatens their right to life. The cases it is hearing are part of a raft of climate litigation worldwide: India’s Supreme Court recently expanded its definition of the right to life in the country’s constitution to include the impacts of rising temperatures, while a Montana judge last year ruled in favor of a group of youths who argued the U.S. state had violated their right to a healthy environment.


Mali highlights heat risk

At least 100 people died in Mali because of an extreme heatwave that sent temperatures soaring as high as 48.5 degrees Celsius (119.3 Fahrenheit), the highest recorded in April in African history. Rising global temperatures — March was the 10th month in a row to be the hottest on record — are making swaths of North Africa and the Middle East uninhabitable: According to a 2022 report by the United Nations and the Red Cross, extreme heat alone could displace as many as 600 million people in Africa and Asia by 2100. According to the report’s authors, deaths from heatwaves could be “staggeringly high,” comparable to those of all cancers or all infectious diseases.


Oil prices surge

Oil prices topped $90 and analysts said they could soon reach $100, driven in part by fears of a prolonged Middle East conflict as well as improving global economic projects driving a broader commodities boom. Oil prices have risen nearly 20% this year, whereas copper and gold have gained around 10%, with further increases expected as demand for goods in both the U.S. and China propels the cost of raw materials. One investor who bought small quantities of oil and gold to hedge against inflation told The Wall Street Journal the gains had helped his portfolio but he had no plans to sell: “We want to catch the wave. You don’t want to get off too early.”


Israel, Hamas reject ceasefire plans

Dawoud Abu Alkas/Reuters

Israel and Hamas rejected a U.S. proposal for a temporary ceasefire under which Palestinian prisoners would be released from Israeli jails in exchange for 40 hostages held in Gaza. Pressure is growing on Israel over its war in Gaza — the leaders of France, Egypt, and Jordan jointly called for the “catastrophic humanitarian suffering” to end — but the Israeli prime minister said that a date had been set for Israeli troops to begin their offensive into the besieged town of Rafah in southern Gaza, where 1.5 million Palestinians are sheltering. Nonetheless, a Qatari negotiator said “I am more optimistic today than I was a couple of days ago” that a deal would be made.


Haiti agrees government

Ralph Tedy Erol/Reuters

Haitian leaders agreed to a deal for a temporary government that will steer the country until elections can be held. The nine-member council — made up of people in the private sector, civil society, and political parties — will replace Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who has been stranded in Puerto Rico since last month, unable to return because of threats from the country’s powerful gangs. Henry’s government must still accept the proposal, which would give the council a mandate until February 2026, when elections would be held. The head of Haiti’s most powerful gang, which controls swaths of the capital Port-au-Prince, had previously threatened “civil war” and “genocide” if Henry does not step down.

Live Journalism

Stéphane Bancel, CEO, Moderna; David Zapolsky, Senior Vice President, Global Public Policy & General Counsel, Amazon; Arati Prabhakar, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; Accenture Chair & CEO Julie Sweet, Co-Founder & Chairman of Infosys, Nandan Nilekani and Aravind Srinivas, Co-Founder, Perplexity AI will join the Global AI & Policy Session at the 2024 World Economy Summit to discuss the implications of AI in our everyday lives — from the way we learn, to how we work at the office or on the factory floor. Explore the latest in the AI revolution and the ways which companies are racing to take advantage of the technology, and what we can learn from past attempts to regulate tech.

April 18 | 2:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. ET | Washington, D.C.

Register for this session here. →


Spanish real-estate visas scrapped

Nacho Doce/Reuters

Spain will scrap “golden visas” for foreign investors. Under existing rules, foreigners who spend €500,000 ($540,000) on real estate gain Spanish residency rights, an effort to attract overseas investment and reinvigorate property markets following a slump. But soaring housing costs in Spain have made the visas politically toxic; Portugal and Ireland scrapped similar programs last year. Economists do not see the golden visas as a significant driver of property price rises, the Financial Times reported, but the 14,000 residencies granted, many of them to Russian and Chinese citizens in tourism hubs such as Mallorca and Barcelona, had raised pressure from leftwing members of the ruling coalition worried about the cost of living.


National records on Wayback Machine


Aruba backed up its entire National Library to the Internet Archive. The Caribbean island also uploaded documents from its National Archives and other institutions, totalling 40,000 documents and 60,000 images. Since its launch in 2011, the Internet Archive has become a vital piece of internet infrastructure, though this is the first time the nonprofit has been used as a national repository. It stores old versions of websites, keeping a digital history which otherwise is lost in the rapid churn of the web. Aruba lacked the technical expertise or resources to digitize its records, a slow and technically demanding process: Wired reported that Internet Archive hopes the success of this collaboration will inspire other small nations to do the same.


3,000-year-old holy site found

Courtesy Crowland Abbey

Archaeologists in England have found a 3,000-year-old sacred site beneath the ruins of a medieval abbey. Crowland, on the English east coast, was home to a monastery dedicated to an 8th-century saint, Guthlac. Histories of Guthlac’s life said he had lived as a hermit on an ancient burial mound. Now, excavations of the monastery have found evidence of a huge, late Stone Age or early Bronze Age henge — a circular earthwork used for ceremonial purposes. It shows that the area was of “sacred importance … even before Christianity arrived in the region — indeed, long before Christianity began,” Gizmodo reported.

  • Ireland’s Parliament is expected to confirm Simon Harris as the country’s new — and youngest ever — leader.
  • Colombia’s and Venezuela’s presidents meet in Caracas.
  • Some Hindus mark Gudi Padwa, part of the spring festival.

A word increasingly used by India’s foreign policy elite to describe the country’s global role. Derived from the name of a Hindu sage who, in the epic Ramayana, is recounted as having taught an avatar of the god Vishnu, vishwamitra has been defined by both Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his foreign secretary as meaning “friend of the world.” It is part of a vocabulary that has largely replaced India’s prior favored term to describe its diplomatic outlook: strategic autonomy. Though critics argue its use demonstrates the growing dominance of Hinduism in ostensibly secular India, The Economist described the country’s foreign policy as guided by “pretty standard realism, not Hindu mythology.”


A new Bollywood movie with an all-female headline cast won praise from critics from upending India’s often rigid gender stereotypes. Crew follows three flight attendants working for a struggling airline who, faced with mounting financial issues, turn to gold smuggling. It has so far earned around $15 million in ticket sales worldwide, making it the fourth-highest grossing Bollywood film of the year. “Crew‘s leading characters don’t need to come of age or discover self-love. They are independent and ambitious,” a reviewer wrote in The Indian Express. “Indian cinema has been trying to step away from the archaic women-pitted-against-women formula for a while now. This movie furthers that effort.”

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