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US Debt Ceiling Talks Continue, China Protests G7’s ‘Anti-China Workshop’, Israel Raises Interest Rates

Shemesh Shahar
May 22 2023 06:46AM

China Protests G7’s ‘Anti-China Workshop’

China’s vice foreign minister summoned the Japanese ambassador to protest against what he described as collusion between Japan and the G7 to “smear and attack China.” The state-backed tabloid, Global Times, criticized the G7 summit hosted by Japan as an “anti-China workshop.” During the summit, the G7 condemned China’s activities of “economic coercion” and “militarization” in the South China Sea.

Greece’s Central-Right Party Wins the Election

Greece’s governing centre-right New Democracy party emerged as the largest vote-winner in the general election but fell short of securing a parliamentary majority. The left-wing Syriza party performed below expectations. The leader of New Democracy, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, is expected to secure a majority in a second round of voting in June with the help of bonus seats provided under a new electoral system.

US Debt Ceiling Talks Continue

Kevin McCarthy, the speaker of the US House of Representatives, announced that talks on raising the country’s debt ceiling would continue after discussions with President Joe Biden. The negotiations became heated after Biden referred to Republican demands, including significant spending cuts, as “unacceptable” during a press conference at the G7 summit.

US and India Counter China

The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, signed a defense agreement with Papua New Guinea, aiming to facilitate joint training between the countries’ forces and assist PNG in disaster response. India also pledged support for PNG and other Pacific islands at a regional summit. Both the US and India seek to counter China’s influence in the Pacific region.

Safety Concerns at Ukraine Nuclear Plant

Ukraine’s Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe, experienced a power supply cutoff and had to rely on diesel generators, leading to concerns about its safety. Russia launched multiple strikes on the Ukrainian city of Dnipro, with Ukraine’s air force claiming to have downed drones and missiles. Russia has intensified its aerial attacks in anticipation of a potential Ukrainian counter-offensive.

Study Urges €300 Investment for Hydrogen Planes in EU

According to a recent study conducted by the clean energy group Transport & Environment, the successful implementation of hydrogen planes in Europe will require a substantial investment of €300 billion. In addition to the financial commitment, policymakers will also need to introduce a tax on traditional jet fuels, underscoring the challenges faced in promoting sustainable aviation. Airbus (BME:AIR), the world’s largest plane manufacturer, has set a target to develop a zero-emissions hydrogen-powered aircraft by 2035

Foreign-born Workers in US Reach Record

Foreign-born workers’ share of the US labor force reached its highest level in 27 years, accounting for 18.1% of the overall workforce in 2022. The Labor Department reported an increase of 1.8 million immigrants in the labor force, representing a 6.3% rise to a total of 29.8 million.

Israel Raises Interest Rates

Israel’s central bank implemented a 10th consecutive interest rate hike, raising borrowing costs to their highest level since 2006 in an effort to curb inflation. The decision aligns with economists’ expectations and follows a series of rate increases starting in April 2022.

Russian Refineries Reduce Crude Processing

Russian refineries reduced their crude processing in May due to seasonal maintenance, but the decrease in supplies did not provide definitive evidence of the country’s full implementation of pledged production cuts. Russia had committed to reducing crude production by 500,000 barrels per day to support oil prices.