Finance, markets etc:
- Italian energy bills are getting pricey.
- Google, Meta face penalties in Russia as deadline passes to open local offices.
- Rana Foroohar warns Beijing is quite serious about the new de-dollarised world order that it is pursuing.
- Helen Thomas on Germany’s Zeitenwende (turning point).
- China is buying more Iranian oil now than it did before sanctions, data shows.
- Egypt’s grain exposure to Ukraine. (How things have changed since the days of Cleopatra.)
- Apple deplatforms Russia from Apple pay.
- Why a no-fly zone in Ukraine will backfire.
- Xi tells young officials it is vital to carry on the firm faith in Marxism and strive for the ideals of communism and socialism with Chinese characteristics.
- Number of refugees from Ukraine cleared at the Polish border.
- Chained in China.
From the “Fake News” zone:
- Russell Brand indulges in some whataboutism. (Jingoism bothers me. As does war mongering. But I am a realist. The time for conventional journalistic objectivity may be over. We are on a war-footing now. We probably have been for a while already, just a lot of us didn’t get the memo (which would explain a lot). The Blind Spot seeks to look beyond white propaganda for practical financial allocation purposes. But Russell has 5.12m followers. He’s very good at selling a counter narrative. He makes a lot of reasonable points too — which in normal times need hearing out. Openness to critique and counter perspective are an essential mechanism for protecting the system from corruption. And there’s a lot of corruption out there to push back against. But what Russell’s popularity also shows is that in current circumstances, especially in a fragmented news environment, the West’s greatest weakness may be its susceptibility to accusations of whataboutism – a term coined by Kasparov during the Cold War. The best way for the West to deal with this, I suspect, is to formally acknowledge the inconsistencies that are making people paranoid. People don’t like being lied to. In the current context, however, I think they can handle the truth about what realpolitik involves. Gaslighting critics that hypocrisies don’t matter or do not exist is far more likely to generate distrust.)
- Recently deplatformed from LBC Maajid Nawaz says the people can handle the truth that a lot of Ukrainians are Nazis. (But how does Maajid take the counter point that Putin’s elite off-the-books praetorian guard, the Wagner Group — that’s Wagner, as in Flight of the Valkyries Wagner — have skulls on their insignia?)
- Jill Biden suffers a Freudian slip.
From the “Truth” Zone:
- Covid is over.
- It is deluded to conclude that evil men, who use immigrants as a tool of war, can be stopped by soft power alone.
- Jet2 drops facemask rule on flights.
- Covid is over.
- But not in Hong Kong where residents scramble for supplies amid lockdown reports.
- To donate to the Association of Polish Knights of Malta UK, who are raising urgent funds to help Ukrainian refugees, click here.