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EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 15/10/2021

EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 15/10/2021

The Washington Post – Sammy Westfall / What is happening in Beirut?

  • Gunmen opened fire in Lebanon’s capital Thursday, killing at least six people at a Hezbollah-led demonstration calling for the removal of a top judge investigating last year’s deadly explosion in Beirut.
  •  For hours, more clashes — involving gunfire and small explosions — spread fear across the city.
  • The clash, to which the Red Cross and army responded, marked the worst violence in Beirut since 2008.
  • Schools were evacuated, and the local media reported that residents on high floors of buildings fled to avoid gunshots targeting target snipers believed to be stationed on rooftops.
  • Al-Jazeera / Democracy for sale

South China Morning Post – Minnie Chan / Upgrades for Chinese military airbases facing Taiwan hint at war plans

  • Satellite images show work began last year to expand and reinforce three PLA air force bases in Fujian province.
  • The upgraded infrastructure at three airbases in Fujian province will give long-term logistical air combat support to the PLA air force, which mounted a record 149 sorties into Taiwan’s air defence identification zone over four consecutive days from October 1.
  • The images, captured by Planet Labs and first published by American tech and military site The Drive, showed work on aircraft shelters and reinforced munitions storage started early last year and continued uninterrupted during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • At Longtian airbase, work has included expansions and upgrades for air defence sites, the runway, apron and bunkers, according to an image taken on October 2 which showed four hardened hangars under construction, all connected directly to the runway for quick dispersal.
  • The Guardian – Elena Morresi / Why are there fears China and Taiwan could go to war?

Financial Times – Andy Bounds et al. / Brussels urged to prepare contingency plan for UK trade war

  • Leading EU member states are pressing Brussels to draw up tough retaliatory measures should the UK carry out its threat to suspend trading arrangements for Northern Ireland enshrined in the Brexit deal.
  • Representatives of five member states on Monday met European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic, the EU Brexit negotiator, to demand he come up with contingency plans for a possible trade war, diplomats have told the Financial Times.
  • France, Germany and the Netherlands, a traditional UK ally, were the most vocal, supported by Italy and Spain, the diplomats added.
  • Among the options being discussed in EU capitals are curbing UK access to the bloc’s energy supplies, imposing tariffs on British exports, or in extreme circumstances terminating the trade agreement between the two sides.
  • The Irish Times – Denis Staunton and Freya McClements / Further talks on protocol scheduled for Brussels on Friday

Financial Times – Gill Plimmer and Harry Dempsey / The waiting game: where are the world´s worst port delays

  • The nearly 100 ships waiting on the horizon to berth at the Hong Kong and Shenzhen container ports are just the latest sign of the problems to have snarled global supply chains, pushed up consumer prices in Europe and the US, and led to shortages of goods ranging from Christmas toys to furniture.
  • Increased demand for consumer products, Covid-induced disruption to container ship schedules, and a shortage of port workers and truck drivers have all combined to extended waiting times at ports.
  • The backlog off southern China is currently the world’s worst. A typhoon closed the ports for two days this week — but although weather often disrupts shipping, this just added to the problems from previous jams since the pandemic began.
  • Globally, there are now 584 container ships stuck outside ports, nearly double the number at the start of the year, according to real-time data from Kuehne+Nagel, one of the world’s largest freight forwarders.
  • The Washington Post – Amber Phillips / How the global supply chain crisis is posing a political problem for President Biden

Further reading for the weekend:

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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