Stepping back for a moment from the tension between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia over the role of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi , what are the fundamentals of the relations between our nation and theirs? What should they be, and what could they be? For decades, defining the relationship boiled down to the simple adage of oil for security: “You supply the world with oil. We will provide you with security.” In those days, the threats to the kingdom came from the Arab nationalism of former president Gamal Abdel Nasser’s Egypt, Iraq and Syria, rather than Iran, then still ruled by Mohammad Reza Shah. Things changed with the 1973 Yom Kippur War and the Arab oil embargo , which prompted a dramatic price increase. (The architect, Saudi oil minister Ahmed Zaki Yamani, died this week .) We quickly learned that the oil part of the deal meant “oil at reasonable prices,” and there was little agreement on the definition of … [Read more...] about For better or worse: Which way will US-Saudi relations go under Biden?
Unfazed not troubled worlds biggest crossword
This month, Britain and Japan, the two most powerful offshore island nations on the Eurasian continent, undertook to strengthen a special relationship that they established over a century ago. In January 1902, the two countries agreed to a formal alliance, an arrangement whose scope was twice expanded, first in 1905 and again in 1911. The alliance’s objective was clear: They sought to contain Russian expansion in China. The current agreement again focuses on those countries, though it is China, rather than Russia, that the British and Japanese view as the primary threat to their security. The earlier treaties specifically provided for mutual defense, which led to Japan’s entering World War I on the side of the Allies. The current agreement does not go that far, but it does echo similar sentiments. Britain’s foreign and defense secretaries, Dominic Raab and Ben Wallace, and their Japanese counterparts, Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi and Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, announced … [Read more...] about Britain is back in Asia, sending a message to Beijing
China’s economic recovery is notable, some analysts say, after suffering serious pandemic-driven setbacks for the majority of last year. By most accounts, China’s economic numbers at the start of its lunar new year in early February was more significant than those put out by governments in other developed countries. “China’s policy to control the pandemic was very strict. Also, the capillarity of the Communist Party made the implementation of these strict measures easier than in other parts of the world,” Lourdes Casanova, director of Cornell’s Emerging Markets Institute, told VOA. The situation has been different in many democratic countries that found it difficult to use harsh measures to control the spread of the disease and impose lockdown as a tool to enforce social distancing. China’s gross domestic product expanded by 6.5% in the fourth quarter of 2020. The economy grew 2.3% in 2020, according to Chinese government data. The turnaround has surprised economists because … [Read more...] about China Posts Impressive Economic Recovery, but Can Growth Continue?
The newest pledges by countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions are falling far short of what’s needed to limit global warming to what the Paris climate accord seeks, a new United Nations report finds. So the U.N.’s climate chief is telling nations to go back and try harder. Most countries — especially top carbon polluters China, United States and India — missed the Dec. 31 deadline for submitting official emission-cutting targets for November’s climate negotiations in Scotland. Friday’s report provides an incomplete snapshot of the world’s efforts: The world’s pledges so far are only enough to reduce global carbon dioxide emissions to less than 1% below 2010 levels by 2030. The world has to cut carbon pollution 45% below 2010 levels to achieve the more stringent official Paris goal of limiting future warming to another half a degree (0.3 degrees Celsius) from now, U.N. officials said. “We are very, very far from where we need to be,” U.N. climate chief Patricia Espinosa … [Read more...] about UN: Carbon-cutting pledges by countries nowhere near enough
close Video Trump: Where Biden sees American darkness I see American greatness Democrats are giddy that Joe Biden was able to read a 20-minute speech from a TelePrompter. Imagine setting the bar that low for the guy you hope to elect president of the United States. Biden’s speech concluded a four-day dirge, otherwise known as the Democrat National Convention . From every viewpoint, the undertaking was a bust. Ratings for the evening broadcasts ranged from down 27% to down 9% compared to 2016; the best performance came on the night that Sen. Kamala Harris , D-Calif., spoke. Astonishingly, the last night, when Joe Biden addressed the nation, saw only a 325,000 bump from the preceding evening; in the past three elections, the final night audience surged anywhere from 4.6 to 10.4 million viewers. Uh-oh. KAY COLES JAMES: FIGHT FOR AMERICA – VOTERS MUST DO THIS TO STOP SOCIALISM AND ANARCHY Also, the RealClearPolitics average of … [Read more...] about Liz Peek: Trump vs. Biden – Greatness and optimism vs. depressing view of America