On Friday, July 8, the former Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe was killed; the G20 summit opened in Bali, where Russia received a new portion of boycott, and in Somalia, a serious hunger is unfolding due to Russia's war against Ukraine.
Meanwhile, a new Covid-19 variant is spreading across the US, and the British intelligence warns about the threat posed by China.
Japan’s ex-Prime Minister killed by a former officer
The tragedy happened on June 8 during Abe’s campaign speech in support of the Liberal Democratic Party. The shooter was arrested immediately: he was identified on social media as 41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami, a former officer of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force. The politician was taken to hospital, where he died of wounds.
The sudden death shocked the global community: the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and many other world leaders condemned the assault and expressed their grievances over Abe’s death.
Shinzo Abe is known for being the head of the Japanese government from 2006 to 2007 and from 2012 to 2020.
He is remembered for his economic policy known as "Abenomics," although its main feature was the forced devaluation of the yen through doubling the money supply in the country, which was heavily criticized by economic experts.
Abe is also known for his hawkish foreign policy: it was in 2015 when the Japan Self-Defense Forces were allowed to operate overseas for the first time since World War II.
Moreover, he bragged in an interview that he had met with Putin 27 times and that they "had eaten a peck of salt together." However, Abe condemned the annexation of Crimea and the 2022 full-scale war against Ukraine.
Boycott against Lavrov at the G20 summit
In Baly, a G20 Summit started on July 7: it was marked by tensions due to Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine. For instance, G7 leaders refused to attend the general meeting of G20 leaders because the Russian foreign minister Lavrov was there.
The President of Indonesia Joko Widodo, who visited Kyiv and Moscow recently and proposed to be an intermediary between Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the Kremlin dictator, tried his best to avoid the "disastrous meeting".
However, as the German foreign ministry spokesperson Christian Wagner stated, this was not going to be a "normal summit".
The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also refused to have a personal meeting with Lavrov; the State Department said that Russia was not serious about diplomacy, The Guardian wrote.
"We would like to have the Russians give us a reason to meet on a bilateral basis with them, but the only thing we have seen emanate from Moscow is more brutality and aggression against the people and country of Ukraine," said the State Department spokesperson.
Due to the boycott, the main diplomat of Putin’s bloody regime had to leave the summit, and in the afternoon, Russia didn’t participate in it.
For his part, Blinken held talks with Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi to warn Beijing about what the US would expect China to do and not to do in the context of Ukraine. Earlier, we wrote about China spreading Russian fakes about the war in Ukraine by repeating Russian narratives.
Food crisis and hunger in Somalia
The UN called on the G20 leaders holding the summit in Indonesia to discuss the looming hunger threatening 50 million people in 45 countries, The Guardian further writes. The reason for the food crisis, as earlier reported, is Russia blocking Ukrainian ports and thus hampering the export of grain to global markets.
Although the Turkish foreign minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, met Lavrov before he left the summit trying to negotiate lifting the blockade of ports, he achieved no success.
As before, Russia demands for western sanctions to be lifted and manipulates African countries by saying that the hunger was caused by economic restrictions imposed on the Kremlin.
Meanwhile, in Somalia, it was reported of a 265% increase in severe malnutrition in children under the age of 5. This data was provided by a clinic run by the International Rescue Committee in Mogadishu, the country’s capital, according to CNN.
The country has faced an unprecedented disastrous situation due to a combination of factors:
- four consecutive years of drought;
- the economic fallout due to the Covid-19 pandemic;
- Russia's blockade of Ukraine's wheat exports.
As 92% of the wheat consumed in Somalia was exported from Russia and Ukraine the price of it has doubled in some regions of the country, says Mohamud Mohamed Hassan, country director for Save the Children. In addition, the country has received less than a third of the $1.46 billion in aid it needs.
Today, some 7 million people in Somalia do not have enough to eat. According to official data by the UN, 1.5 million children under the age of 5 are acutely malnourished and some 448 have died in 2022.
A new Omicron variant attacks the US
The food crisis isn’t the only global threat: in the past weeks, a new strain of Covid-19 virus has been actively spreading in the US. This time it’s a more contagious virus variant, the BA.5 sub-variant of the Omicron strain, The Guardian writes.
As the article says, the average rate of infection has been exceeding 100 thousand new cases a day, and the hospitalization rate is also increasing.
Medics say that BA.5 has mutated to evade immunity and infect people who have been vaccinated or recovered from illness from another variant of the virus.
At the same time, this doesn’t mean vaccination becomes unnecessary or ineffective: immunity from the first and second booster doses prevents severe illness.
The statistics don’t look optimistic in this case: only 34% of eligible Americans have received booster doses. In Ukraine, the percentage of those vaccinated with at least two doses, to say nothing of the booster, is just under 37%.
FBI and MI5 warned about the threat from China
American and British intelligence services have warned that, despite the world being focused on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it is China that poses the biggest long-term threat to the West.
As reported by The Independent, the heads of FBI and MI5 Christopher Wray and Ken McCallum accused Beijing of a vast, secret economic and political offensive.
They suspect China of looting billions of dollars’ worth of advanced technology, trying to influence elections, and infiltrating academia.
The Chinese Communist Party is using the "thousand grains of sand" strategy to gather privileged information on multiple channels, McCallum said.
According to him, British intelligence has had to double operations investigating China’s illicit activities.
Wray added that China has for far too long counted on being everybody’s second-highest priority, and now it has drawn lessons from Russia’s attack on Ukraine. China strives to insulate itself from the impact of any future sanctions in the case of its attempt to invade Taiwan.
- Earlier, we wrote that Japan and the EU have agreed to cooperate to counter Russia and China.
- also reported that sanctions have had a serious effect already, and that the terrorist country is gradually turning into Iran, while "the TV beats the fridge."