Posted by BW Actual on Jun 23rd 2022



  • The EU will accept Ukraine's application for membership today, kicking off the multi-year process of joining the bloc - assuming Turkey doesn't veto Ukraine's membership.
  • A new Microsoft report found that Russia's online disinformation campaign has been successful at propagating the message that Putin's "special military operation" in Ukraine is going better than it actually is, leading misinformed Russians to think all is well.
  • However, the same Microsoft report said over two-thirds of Russia's cyberattacks at the beginning of the war - on the U.S., Ukraine, Poland, and Baltic countries - failed to breach their target networks because of better defenses than Russia had anticipated.
  • Pres. Xi spoke at a BRICS summit today and pledged to meet his economic targets - including GDP growth of 5.5% this year - despite the costs of his zero-COVID policy. Many analysts think his economic targets are out of reach.
  • Xi also used his BRICS speech to criticize Western sanctions, calling them a "boomerang and a double-edged sword."
  • The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act goes into effect today, and will place the burden on Chinese importers to show that a wide range of products - especially those made from raw materials from Xinjiang - weren't made with forced labor. Critics say the new law will add unnecessary bureaucracy and slow the clearance process for billions of dollars in trade.
  • The death toll from yesterday's 6.1-magnitude earthquake in eastern Afghanistan has already reached 1,000 and is expected to grow higher as rubble is sifted and communication is restored.
  • A senior Taliban official said the government is "financially unable to assist the people to the extent that is needed," and the government made an international plea for earthquake relief.
  • Bloomberg reports that the price tag for Pres. AMLO's giant Pemex refinery project has more than doubled to $18 billion - in part due to rising inflation. The project is due to open next week, but there are still doubts over whether it can ever produce enough fuel to satisfy domestic demand.

Other News

  • Algeria, Niger, and Nigeria held talks to consider reopening a long-dormant project to build a trans-Sahara pipeline from Warri, Nigeria to Hassi R-Mel, Algeria that could send up to 30 billion cubic meters of gas per year to Europe - at a (likely underestimated) construction cost of $13 billion. The first step will be updating the original feasibility studies.
  • Consumer prices in the UK rose 9.1% between May 2021 and May 2022. That's the highest inflation rate in the G7.