IT’S not easy following world news these
Days, and trying to make sense of it all.
‘COVID’ and the Ukraine war have created conditions no government would have wished for, as a result of which, politicians in office are doing extraordinary things to stay in power.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is dogged by the worst UK inflation since 1992, with the Bank of England predicting that 2022 will be “a disaster year”, and Barclays Bank warning that the shortage of Russian gas will drive the Euro’s value below that of the US dollar.
But Johnson is busier being Ukraine’s bright knight in shining armour, while social action groups at home are calling on the Chancellor of the Exchequer to “do more to stop citizens becoming accustomed to cold showers…”
In Northern Ireland, the ‘nationalist’ Sinn Fein has won a majority in the parliamentary elections for the first time, but the opposition ‘unionists’ are sucking sour grapes, and stoutly refusing to share power with the winners, unless the UK changes Brexit laws the way they (the unionists) want.
Sri Lanka is under curfew, and on a possible fast-track to army rule, after opposition protesters burnt the Prime Minister’s home, and forced him to demit office and seek refuge at a faraway army base, while his brother, the President, known to have a much heavier hand, is insisting that his elected government won’t give up; and the main opposition is refusing to join a national unity government led by the new prime minister (who’s held the position five times before), until and unless the reluctant president resigns.
Same in Iraq, where there are also daily protests against food price rises.
After a heatwave hit wheat production, India, the world’s second largest producer, Delhi was forced to backtrack on an earlier pledge to make up for Ukraine’s inability to export, the government deciding to cut all exports to control domestic price rises, and ensure enough local stocks, particularly for the 80 million Indians living below the poverty line.
In the USA, President Joe Biden has been all week riding the wave of Republican unpopularity, from the leak of the Supreme Court’s draft ‘Roe v Wade’ overturn decision, with 66 per cent of Americans against the plan to reverse it, and over 200 protests planned across all 50 mainland US states this weekend. But while President Biden is getting more than $40 Billion for the Ukraine, and the Democrats lack the numbers to make abortions legal through Congress, Americans are also facing the highest inflation levels in decades, plus one million ‘COVID’ deaths now registered.
And, as Presidents Biden and Trump gear up to run again in 2024 as rival octogenarians, veteran political analyst David Gergen (who advised Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton) feels both should step down and aside, citing their ages, and the demands of the presidency as “a full-ime job”.
Norway and Sweden have abandoned their traditional neutrality to join NATO, but the US and Turkey are saying, ‘Not so fast!’ And Russia is warning of “a military technical response”, should the two Nordic states sharing a 1,300-mile border with Europe’s largest country do what Moscow went to war with Ukraine for trying.
The European Union (EU) has also had to walk back on its call on member-states to ban Russian oil imports, with Hungary promising to veto what it calls an unfair call, Russia closing the tap on politically-hostile neighbours not paying up fast enough, forcing most countries that refused to pay in rubles (Russian currency) to now do so, and Moscow warning it will also cut electricity to Finland.
A prominent Palestinian journalist was shot dead while covering an Israeli operation and wearing a ‘Press’ ID Jacket and bullet-proof vest, but the Israelis say she might have been hit by Palestinian bullets, and her funeral was also attacked by Israeli troops, claiming they were stoned by the mourners.
Cambodia is trying to recover artifacts stolen from one of its holiest shrines now on display in British and American museums, but while admitting they have the stolen property, the museums are inviting Cambodia to ‘negotiate’ for a return of its stolen items.
While trying to maintain cohesion in their bid to boycott the June 6 Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles if Washington excludes Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, CARICOM leaders are also preparing to do battle at the upcoming mid-June Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Rwanda, where two Caribbean candidates will fight for the position of Secretary-General.
Unconfirmed press reports on Friday claimed that Jamaica and Rwanda may be talking a possible deal that can see Jamaica agreeing to take some of the unwanted refugees to be sent by Britain to Rwanda, in exchange for Kigali’s support for Jamaica’s candidate.
But even though CARICOM is fighting to preserve unity in Los Angeles if the host doesn’t invite all nations, and Jamaica may be counting on host Rwanda to gather more African support against the preferred CARICOM candidate, my kicker story was out of India, where a mother and dad sued their son last week for causing them “emotional stress’ by failing to give them a grandchild.
Mum and Dad claim they spent more than a fortune sending son to the USA to train to become a pilot, chose his wife, and arranged an expensive wedding at a five-star hotel, gave the newly-weds a US $80,000 car as a gift, and sent them on an overseas honeymoon, but after six years of marriage, son hasn’t brought them a grandchild.
But the kicker for me was not the story, but the comments of Christian Caribbean islanders in columns below the published report: Many blaming the married couple for “not trying hard enough”, some suggesting one of the two “may be barren”, and one actually recommending they “seek outside help…”
IT’S not easy following world news these