Here’s what’s going on in the world for the week of Jan. 2, 2022.
Five good stories for the environment for 2021.
Economic and political reforms in China will have winners and losers outside the country’s borders. Here is an analysis of who might gain and lose from the Common Prosperity campaign.
The Tequila Splitfin, a Mexican fish species that was extinct in the wild, has been conserved in captivity and is now being reintroduced to its native habitat. The effort was community drawn and supported, and provides a template for other communities to follow to preserve endangered species.
Guatemala’s Valor Party is attempting to pass a bill that would give amnesty to imprisoned military, government and police members convicted of crimes such as genocide, crimes against humanity, torture and other nationally and internationally recognized crimes perpetrated during the Guatemalan civil war. Similar bills have been attempted but defeated, though the current president is the former vice-presidential pick for the 2019 election.
The Mexican state-owned company Petroleos Mexicanos will reduce exported oil to 435,000 barrels a day in 2022 and stop exporting by 2023, as part of the country’s effort to become energy independent. Mexico is one of the most prominent players in international oil markets.
Several Latin American countries have higher rates of vaccination against COVID-19 than Europe and North America. While there are outliers like Brazil, many have been successful in vaccinating their populations. This in large part due to a combination of imported vaccines and the development and production of local vaccines.
The United States has cut Guinea, Mali and Ethiopia from participation in the African Growth and Opportunity Act, a program that provides duty-free access to the US market in return for meeting eligibility requirements like political pluralism and lowering trade barriers.
In Mali, the military junta is proposing to stay in power another five years despite the timeline set by West African mediators. The move risks greater sanctions by neighboring countries.
In a blow to the credibility of the Sudanese military’s transitional government and power-sharing agreement, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok resigned. While the military claims to be on track to a civilian controlled government by 2023, protestors in the country are not swayed and have promised more protests this year.
The Conservative Party lost control of a seat they held for nearly 200 years in a by-election last Friday, dealing a blow to Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The seat, in North Shropshire, was won by 6,000 votes by Helen Morgan of the Liberal Democrats party.
Russia pivots to China for energy exports, as the two nations embrace closer economic and political ties. Gazprom will be finalizing an energy deal to build a pipeline from the Yamal Peninsula in Siberia to China, called Power of Siberia 2, with the capacity of 50 billion cubic meters of gas annually. This is the second such pipeline connecting Russian energy products to China’s markets.
France takes over the EU Presidency for the next six months. Climate, member-wide digitalization, and “strategic autonomy” are the areas France will most heavily focus on during this period.
Iran launched a rocket into space, carrying three research devices. While this was a space launch, the technology to launch the rockets could also be used to launch missiles.
More calls for the Tunisian government to release information on the whereabouts of Noureddine Bhiri, the deputy president of the Ennahdha party, after he was detained by plainclothes police officers last Friday.
Bahrain has sent an ambassador to Syria for the first time in 10 years, following the lead of other Gulf States.
Evergrande shares will be suspended from trading Monday as part of efforts to combat the company’s liquidity troubles. The company is the most heavily indebted developer in the world, with more than 300 billion USD in liabilities.
South Korea’s Lee Jae-myung, the front runner for Democratic Party, promises to work with the USA to develop nuclear submarines for the country. The ruling party’s presidential candidate also promises to work on mediation for the US and North Korea and to end Seoul’s use of strategic ambiguity in US-China relations by pursuing “pragmatic diplomacy based on national interest”.
EU is considering additional sanctions and arms embargo on Myanmar, citing abuses and escalating violence by the military. The country was taken over by the military after a February coup and has faced internal violence by the military against various groups including ethnic minorities and pro-democracy protestors.