ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 10/10/2017

Financial Times—S. Fleming / Trump moves to scrap Obama rules on coal-fired power

  • Scott Pruitt, the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said at an event in Kentucky that the “war on coal” was over and that he would be signing an order to scrap Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan.
  • The Clean Power plan was intended to cut carbon dioxide emissions to 32 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.
  • The administration’s announcement will make little difference to the US energy industry, which had already accepted that the plan would be scrapped. The US coal industry was expected to continue in steady decline even without the new curbs on carbon dioxide emissions.
  • However, Rick Perry, the energy secretary, has proposed new regulations for competitive electricity markets to favour coal-fired and nuclear generation, and the US International Trade Commission is considering new tariffs that could be imposed on imported solar panels.

Politico—M. Karnitschnig / Austria’s Haus of Cards

  • Ahead of the Austrian general election on Sunday, it has emerged that outside consultants working for Chancellor Christian Kern’s Social Democrats (SPÖ) were behind a racist Facebook campaign aimed at undermining his opponent, Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz of the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP).
  • The affair got murkier over the weekend after a consultant involved in the smear said that one of Kurz’s closest aides tried to lure him away from Kern’s campaign with a cash payoff totaling €100,000. The ÖVP denies the accusation.
  • The two parties have governed together in a grand coalition for over a decade.
  • Austrians are poised to elect Kurz, a man of just 31, to lead the country. Perhaps even more significantly, for the first time since 2000 the anti-immigrant Freedom Party (FPÖ) has a good chance of joining the government.
  • Even if the Freedom Party finishes third, most political observers expect Kurz to pursue a coalition with the far right.

The New York Times—N. Youssef / 2 paths for Yemen’s war-scarred children: Combat, or marriage

  • In war-torn Yemen, desperate families are increasingly selling their daughters off as child brides or letting their boys be recruited as child soldiers.
  • Yemeni law does not set a legal age for marriage, nor does it criminalize marital rape.
  • Before the war, the United Nations had documented about 900 child soldiers in Yemen. Now, it has found about 1,800, according to Ms. Relano. The actual number is assumed to be higher.

The Guardian—J. McCurry / Meet Kim Yo-jong, the sister who is the brains behind Kim Jong-un’s image

  • Last Saturday, Kim Yo-jong, the sister of Kim Jong-un, was promoted to the politburo of North Korea’s workers’ party. This was interpreted as a sign that Kim Jong-un has absolute trust in his younger sister – rumoured to be the brains behind his carefully constructed public image.
  • There were even rumours that Kim Yo-jong was briefly responsible for state affairs during Kim’s prolonged absence from public life – attributed to an undisclosed health problem – in the autumn of 2014.
  • Kim Yo-jong’s promotion points towards a generational shift, as Kim seeks to make a clean break with the personnel who surrounded his father, according to some experts.

The Guardian / Raqqa: a journey into the destroyed heart of the Islamic State capital

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo.

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