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EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 23/09/2021

EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 23/09/2021

Politico – Rym Momtaz and Quint Forgey / Biden tries to calm waters with Macron in submarine scrap

  • U.S. President Joe Biden tried to cool a diplomatic blow-up with French President Emmanuel Macron Wednesday, conceding Washington should have consulted Paris over an Indo-Pacific security pact that enraged France.
  • In a joint statement after a phone call between the two leaders, the United States also offered further language intended to placate Paris. It said Biden would meet Macron in Europe next month, backed French and European engagement in the Indo-Pacific and supported greater European defense capabilities.
  • As part of Wednesday’s efforts to calm the waters, Macron agreed the French ambassador to the U.S., Philippe Étienne, would return to Washington next week, the joint statement said.
  • Macron got explicit reassurance from Biden on continued U.S. support to France’s counter-terrorism operations in the Sahel region of Africa. American military intelligence support has been crucial for France’s operations, but there have been doubts about whether the U.S. would continue to provide it.
  • The Washington Post – Rachel Pannett / France to bill Australia over submarine deal as Britain’s Johnson tells Macron: ‘Donnez-moi un break’

The New York Times – Ivan Nechepurenko and Michael Schwirtz / Top adviser to Ukrainian president is targeted in an assassination attempt

  • A top adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine was shot at on Wednesday while being driven in his car outside Kyiv, in what the authorities said was an assassination attempt.
  • The adviser, Serhiy Shefir, was not injured in the attack, but the driver of the car was wounded and hospitalized, Irina Venediktova, Ukraine’s prosecutor general, said in a statement that included a picture of the driver’s side of Mr. Shefir’s black Audi riddled with bullets.
  • The attack occurred while Mr. Zelensky was in New York for the United Nations General Assembly meeting, where he had said he planned to speak out against Russia’s military intervention in eastern Ukraine and to rally diplomatic backing for Kyiv.
  • The shots appeared to have been fired about 10 a.m. by a person or people who were hidden in the woods by the road, according to investigators. Mr. Shefir’s car was not armored and he did not use any security detail, Mr. Gerashchenko said.
  • BBC / Ukraine leader’s aide survives assassination attempt

South China Morning Post – Lawrence Chung / Taiwan says its bid to join Trans-Pacific trade bloc is under threat if Beijing is accepted first

  • Mainland China’s application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) could undermine Taiwan’s chances of gaining access to the regional bloc if Beijing becomes a member ahead of the self-ruled island.
  • But Taiwanese officials said such a development remained to be seen given the opaque and restrictive structure of the mainland’s market system.
  • The submission of the application to New Zealand, the depository nation of the agreement, came after Beijing made the same request on September 16, prompting concerns in Taiwan that the island might be barred from joining if the mainland was accepted before Taipei was.
  • New Zealand confirmed that it had received a formal request from “Chinese Taipei” – the short form WTO uses to refer to the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu.
  • Bloomberg / Evergrande debt crisis is financial stress test no one wanted

The Guardian – Jillian Ambrose, Rowena Mason and Aubrey Allegretti / Gas firms may face windfall tax as energy crisis hits households

  • Another 800,000 households fell victim to the energy crisis on Wednesday with the collapse of two more suppliers, as ministers admitted they were considering a windfall tax on companies profiting from record gas prices.
  • The failure of Avro Energy and Green means that seven energy companies have gone bust in a little over six weeks, with a total of more than 1.5m households now being shunted on to a new supplier and forced to pay hundreds of pounds more for their gas and electricity a year.
  • With soaring gas prices threatening the viability of all but the biggest firms, the business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, warned the government had to prepare for “long-term high prices”, and would consider “all options” to tackle the crisis.
  • Pressure is mounting on ministers to find ways of providing some financial support for households, which are due to be hit with a £139 increase in bills next month – some of the most expensive energy bills on record. Combined with the £20 universal credit cut and rising inflation, Labour and some Tory MPs have warned of a potentially catastrophic cost of living crisis.
  • The Economist / An anti-green backlash could reshape British politics

Today’s story:

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and EsadeGeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces.


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