Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 34 n° 316

What would push the West and Russia to nuclear war?

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 14 agosto 2022

As I mentioned in last Sunday’s newsletter, we produced no print edition this week, having published our first summer double issue the week before. We have, of course, continued to analyse the news on our digital platforms—and we can lay to rest the curious notion that August is a quiet month.For almost six months, since the Russian invasion in February, the war in Ukraine has unsurprisingly demanded a huge share of our attention. But this week we were forced to shift our focus farther east: to Kabul, where American drones killed the leader of al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri; to Gaza, where Israeli air strikes have killed several Palestinian militants, but also several children; and to Taiwan. The visit by Nancy Pelosi, speaker of America’s House of Representatives, to the island prompted China to conduct four days of military exercises, which ended today, during which it fired missiles over the island. The Taiwanese were well within their rights to welcome Ms Pelosi, and America is right to support them against Chinese bullying. But, as we argued in a leader, the visit also betrayed the incoherence of America’s policy on Taiwan.Meanwhile the misery in Ukraine shows little sign of ending. Granted, there was some good news this week, in that for the first time since war broke out a ship carrying desperately needed grain sailed from Odessa for Lebanon. But the war grinds on, taking a grim toll not only on people’s lives and limbs but also on their mental health. And nobody can be sure what might induce Russia to escalate the conflict—lashing out at NATO or resorting to chemical or nuclear weapons. That seems to be the main reason why America has not gone further in equipping the Ukrainian forces. As the relief at the grain shipment shows, the war has further disrupted a world economy still recovering from the covid-19 pandemic. While many poor countries are hurt by tighter food supplies, in rich countries rising energy prices are of most direct concern—as anyone filling up their car or gasping at their latest utility bills can attest. It’s not bad news for everyone: Gulf oil producers are enjoying a boom. And America’s labour market is still running hot. But with inflation rising to levels not seen for more than 40 years and growth sputtering, it has been a miserable year for financial markets—whether you own shares or bonds.Doubtless there will be plenty to keep us busy in the week ahead too. Among the things on my radar—besides Taiwan and Ukraine—are political developments in America, Britain and Kenya. Joe Biden’s enormous climate, health-care and tax bill is under debate in the Senate at the time of writing, and could pass the House of Representatives on Friday. In Britain, members of the Conservative Party will begin to make their choice between Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss in the unedifying contest to succeed Boris Johnson as prime minister, although the result won’t be known until next month. Kenya’s presidential election on Tuesday looks too close to call.Have a very good week, and thank you for reading this newsletter. I’ve enjoyed standing in for Adam Roberts for these past two weekends. Adam, having brushed the seaside sand from his laptop, will be writing to you as usual again next Sunday. And you can write to him at. By Patrick Lane Deputy Digital Editor The Economist

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