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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Chinese kindergarten attack kills six, sparks security concerns; analysis – Yellen’s China trip lasts long, ‘kind’ tone, but no consensus, etc.


Below is a summary of the current world news briefing.

Six dead in China kindergarten attack sparks security concerns

A 25-year-old man allegedly attacked a kindergarten in China’s Guangdong province on Monday, killing six people and injuring one, drawing widespread attention to violence against children in schools. Media reports said the attack in the southern province of Lianjiang was a stabbing incident. The police said that the suspect, Wu, from Lianjiang, has been detained and is under investigation.

Spain may find missing boat with 200 migrants and offer aid

A Spanish surveillance plane has spotted a fishing boat possibly from Senegal carrying about 200 migrants that has been missing for nearly two weeks, Maritime Services said on Monday. “Airplanes spotted a large boat with about 200 people on board 71 miles south of Gran Canaria,” a department spokesman told Reuters, adding that it was “probably” the missing boat.

New spending showdown looms as Congress returns to Washington

The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives and the Democratic-led Senate will begin seeking upper hand this week in a spending showdown that could spark a government shutdown months after Congress narrowly avoided default. Hardline Republicans are urging House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to cut the budget below the level he and Democratic President Joe Biden agreed to more than a month ago. But with Congress returning from a two-week Fourth of July recess and Senate appropriators aiming for a bipartisan deal, all point to difficult negotiations ahead.

Ukraine says its army is advancing east and south, gaining ground near Bakhmut

Ukraine said on Monday its troops were advancing in the east and south of the country and said they were tightening the stranglehold on Russian troops occupying the eastern city of Bahmut. In a counteroffensive against Russian forces over the past week, Kiev forces have recaptured 10.2 square kilometers (3.9 square miles) of territory in the south and 4 square kilometers in the east, Deputy Defense Minister Hannah Malial said.

Analysis – Yellen met with China for a long time, and the tone was “friendly”, but no consensus was reached

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen traveled to Beijing without expecting a meeting with China’s new top economic official to immediately ease tensions between the world’s two largest economies. No breakthrough. It was unclear whether the 10-hour meeting, which covered issues ranging from U.S. technology export controls to China’s new “anti-espionage” law and other punitive actions against U.S. companies, would alter the trajectory of relations between the two countries.

Biden meets King Charles and PM Sunak ahead of NATO summit

U.S. President Joe Biden met Britain’s King Charles on Monday to discuss tackling climate change, after visiting British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and praising a “rock-solid” friendship with his close ally. Biden is starting his three-nation tour in Britain that includes a NATO summit in Lithuania, where the allies aim to express solidarity with Ukraine and against Russian aggression but have yet to accept Kiev as a member of the alliance.

Western allies adjust security pledges to Ukraine amid NATO meeting

European diplomats said Ukraine’s largest Western ally was still finalizing a joint framework that would pave the way for long-term security guarantees in Kiev and would likely wait until after this week’s NATO summit to announce it. The 31-member NATO alliance met in Lithuania on Tuesday with the overarching goal of providing Ukraine with some sort of pathway to membership, but remained divided on how far to go.

Analysis: U.S. military deal not enough to wean India off Russian weapons reliance

Security officials and analysts say India is spending billions of dollars on U.S. weapons not to change its reliance on Russian defense equipment and turn to the West, but to develop its own domestic arms industry. India is the world’s largest arms importer, but almost all major arms purchases now include provisions for joint manufacturing or technology transfer, no matter which country it is dealing with.

Knesset to vote on new Supreme Court bill

Israel’s parliament is set to vote for the first time on Monday on a bill that would limit some powers of the Supreme Court, part of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s revived judicial overhaul that has plunged the country into a deep political crisis. Netanyahu’s ruling coalition of nationalist and religious parties has pushed for changes to the judicial system, sparking unprecedented protests, stoking concerns among Western allies about the health of Israel’s democracy and battering the economy.

Military Blind Spots in the World War on Greenhouse Gas Emissions

When assessing global emissions, there is an elephant in the room: the world’s armed forces. As temperatures hit record highs, scientists and environmental groups are ramping up pressure on the United Nations to compel the military to disclose all emissions and end a longstanding exemption that keeps some climate pollution off the record.

(Based on input from various agencies.)


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