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Hot spots have mushroomed across the world in 2021, adding multiple international crises to President Biden’s formidable domestic to-do list.

“…Cracks in the global order, which had been presided over by unrivaled American influence since the end of the Cold War, are growing. The proliferation of great-power flashpoints, and failing or failed states, creates new threats to American leadership — and to the global economy…”

https://www.axios.com/biden-faces-rising-global-disorder-f0464870-8112-456a-b36c-e4122417b6dc.html


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‘We’re so crippled by Covid poverty [UK] we have to use washing up liquid for soap’

“Struggles with personal hygiene is a less talked about issue related to Covid pandemic poverty, but today a charity warns hard-up families are being forced to choose between food, heating and hygiene.”

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/were-crippled-covid-poverty-use-24556607


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Germany-Belgium floods: Merkel says German language doesn’t have words for ‘surreal’ destruction

Germany’s finance minister Olaf Scholz has said that officials must begin setting up a rebuilding programme which is likely to cost billions. He said he would propose a package of immediate aid, totalling at least 300 million euros (£257 million), at a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/news/germany-floods-belgium-map-news-today-b1886075.html


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Protesters attack Cyprus TV over Covid measures, vaccines

“Protesters against coronavirus measures and vaccines attacked a Cypriot television station and torched cars outside the building in Nicosia on Sunday evening, the station said. Police confirmed the incident at Sigma TV…”

https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20210718-protesters-attack-cyprus-tv-over-covid-measures-vaccines


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Condo Building Collapse raises new fears in Florida’s shaky insurance market

“The Surfside collapse, which killed at least 97 people, is causing new turmoil in Florida’s troubled insurance market, further jeopardizing a coastal housing economy that was already under pressure from climate change.”

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/collapse-raises-new-fears-in-floridas-shaky-insurance-market/


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As California wineries lose insurance, some fear this fire season will be their last.

“Across California, as peak wildfire season approaches, many vintners in the state’s $40 billion wine industry are unable to protect themselves from fires in several crucial ways. Winemakers here were already vexed by smoke taint…”

https://www.sfchronicle.com/food/wine/article/winery-fire-insurance-california-16304533.php


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The number of migrants arriving at the [US/Mexico] border was the largest in years.

United States officials said Friday that the number of migrants arriving at the southwestern border last month was the largest in years, a sign that the surge this year may extend into the hotter summer months when numbers typically start dropping.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/16/us/politics/us-mexico-border-record.html


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The historic mass protests erupting on the streets of Cuba are sparking concern of another potential crisis

“…the economic and political conditions could lead to a flood of Cubans taking on the high seas to escape.”

https://edition.cnn.com/videos/world/2021/07/16/cuba-crisis-protests-spark-concerns-leaving-boat-oppmann-dnt-lead-vpx.cnn


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Venezuelan migrants in Colombia face hunger and distress

In Maicao, a Colombian town on the border with Venezuela, slums have grown in size due to an increased number of Venezuelan migrants… Battling a lack of resources, most of the migrants who live there do not have enough to feed their families.”

https://www.france24.com/en/tv-shows/focus/20210717-venezuelan-migrants-in-colombia-face-hunger-and-distress


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Australians are facing the highest growth in rent prices since GFC.

“The median rent of houses and units jumped to $476 a week in June, a 6.6% increase compared with the same time last year. Regional rents reported the largest annual increase on record, with the median figure up 11.3% to $441, due largely to sea changers moving during the pandemic.”

https://www.theguardian.com/global/2021/jul/19/australians-are-facing-the-highest-growth-in-rent-prices-since-gfc


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The ghost games [Tokyo Olympics]! Soaring infections, eerie curfews, a terrified public, and no fans

“… if ever there was a portent for disaster, it must be the arrival of the Olympic flame in the Japanese capital last week at a ceremony conducted in an empty stadium – except for socially distanced dignitaries and officials – in the rain.”

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9796599/Soaring-infections-curfews-terrified-public-no-fans-Welcome-Tokyos-2020-Olympic-Games.html


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South Korea poised to kick-start Asia’s monetary tightening [seems very ill-advised to me, as SK’s debt situation looks particularly precarious]…

“South Korea is set to be the first Asian economy to raise interest rates from pandemic-era lows as its hawkish, outgoing central bank governor steps up efforts to stamp out any incipient property bubbles or household debt stress.”

https://www.reuters.com/business/south-korea-poised-kick-start-asias-monetary-tightening-2021-07-19/


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China-North Korea first-half trade at record low amid pandemic and food shortages.

“China’s exports to its neighbour fall more than 85 per cent in the first six months of the year. FAO predicts that Pyongyang could face a ‘harsh, lean period’ as early as next month.”

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3141580/china-north-korea-first-half-trade-record-low-amid-pandemic


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Mongolia edges towards autocracy

This consolidation of power by the MPP is coming against the backdrop of a major economic crisis. Mongolia, where nearly half of the 3.3 million population is either poor or at risk of poverty, gets an unhealthy majority of its foreign exchange through commodity exports to China.”

https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2021/7/18/mongolia-edges-towards-autocracy


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Thai police fire rubber bullets at protesters as Covid failures fuel anti-government anger

“In an effort to avoid the spread of infection, many of the protesters drove cars or rode motorbikes, instead of marching as they had in previous protests. About 1,500 riot police were deployed, along with water cannon trucks.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jul/19/thailand-police-fire-rubber-bullets-at-protesters-as-covid-failures-fuel-anti-government-anger


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Two killed in Iran’s Khuzestan water crisis protests.

Iran is facing its worst drought in 50 years, with protests breaking out in several cities and towns in Khuzestan province over the water crisis, which has affected households, devastated agriculture and livestock farming, and led to power blackouts.”

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/7/17/one-man-shot-dead-in-irans-khuzestan-water-crisis-protests


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Iraq protesters demand accountability after killings of activists

““We’re here to say that we want to end impunity in Iraq,” Hussein Al-Faili, an 18-year old student, told AFP news agency on Sunday from Firdos Square, a key protest site. “We want freedom! This revolution started because of this and we won’t stop until we win.””

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/7/18/iraqis-protest-against-unpunished-killings-of-activists


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Lebanon on the brink of becoming a failed state amid poverty, division and political paralysis.

“As he crosses the Middle East state, Alistair Bunkall finds porous borders, fuel shortages and families unable to afford basic medicines. Lebanon is, he says, “a country falling apart by the day”.”

https://news.sky.com/story/lebanon-on-the-brink-of-becoming-a-failed-state-amid-poverty-division-and-political-paralysis-12357511


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Sudan inflation soars above 400% as discontent grows

“Inflation in Sudan has jumped to more than 400 percent, state media reported on Sunday amid popular discontent over rising prices after a series of IMF-backed economic reforms.”

https://english.alaraby.co.uk/news/sudan-inflation-soars-above-400-discontent-grows


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Fear grips [Nigeria’s] Delta communities over bloody cult wars

““In the last one week, the situation has taken on a dangerous dimension. Over eight people were killed. On Tuesday, a young man was killed and his head was chopped off and displayed at the council area. My worry is that cult clashes are now in secondary schools.’’”

https://punchng.com/fear-grips-delta-communities-over-bloody-cult-wars/


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‘We lost everything’: Despair grows in South Africa after unrest

“The chaos and the destruction were unrelenting and unselective… The unrest came at a time when many businesses were struggling to get back on their feet after stringent coronavirus lockdowns resulted in the closure of restaurants, construction companies and other industries as the pandemic took a toll on the country’s finances.”

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/7/17/we-lost-everything-despair-grows-south-africa-unrest


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The global shipping crisis and labor shortages may get worse because of the slow vaccine rollout for seafarers, say experts

“According to the WHO, more than 80% of global trade by volume is moved by maritime transport. The global economy depends on the world’s two million seafarers who operate the global fleet of merchant ships.”

https://www.businessinsider.com/shipping-crisis-labor-shortage-covid-seafarers-maritime-workers-vaccines-2021-7?r=US&IR=T


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‘Base Effects’ And ‘Bottlenecks’ Won’t Absolve The Inflation Demons Of 30% Money Supply Growth… Both Jay Powell and Janet Yellen publicly promoted the “transitory” case for inflation last week…

“But they never talk about the 30% growth in money supply. There is 30% more money in the economy, chasing a relatively fixed (more like smaller) amount of services and goods. That’s inflationary.”

https://www.forbes.com/sites/bryanrich/2021/07/18/base-effects-and-bottlenecks-wont-absolve-the-inflation-demons-of-30-money-supply-growth/?sh=454175ab7d90


You can read the previous ‘Economic’ thread here. I’ll be back tomorrow with a ‘Climate’ thread.

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