Xi's trip is a fantastic opportunity for China to increase trade and cooperation with the Arab world, specifically its main oil-producing states. China and the Middle East are natural cooperative partners, as they have shared experiences in their respective struggles with Western imperialism. The Arab world has become tired of the condescending arrogance of the West and deserves a real international partner, such as China.
Though Xi's trip to Saudi Arabia may seem like a routine summit, in reality, it demonstrates China's desire to export its own brand of high-tech authoritarianism. China's goals are overall economic in nature, but they also seek to empower the region's despots within a system of totalitarian capitalism. For China, ideals like freedom and democracy mean nothing, and economic and geopolitical interests trump all.
There is a 50% chance that there will be a mile-high building by February, 2042, according to the Metaculus prediction community.
The old Twitter regime never thought someone would buy them out, let alone release their inner workings, which is why they repeatedly lied to the American people about politically-motivated shadow banning. They banned prestigious doctors from speaking about COVID, Libs of TikTok from freely exposing disturbing "gender-affirming care" for children, and conservative viewpoints in general. Entire swaths of the American political arena were wrongly silenced.
These "Twitter Drops" are embarrassing nothingburgers. Twitter's use of different methods of sanctions is not a violation of the First Amendment, which applies only to state actors. US Federal courts have ruled time and again, and as recently as 2020, that social media platforms are not state actors. What Weiss described is simply... content moderation.
It's very rare that prominent economists agree on a policy matter as important as interest rates, yet with wage inflation simply being too high there are several signs that a recession is looming. The personal saving rate is too low and savings are being used to finance current consumption alongside slowing factory activity. A hard landing is clearly coming for America.
Until now, the consensus economic view hasn't forecast a single US recession since records began in 1970. Within the market, it's not the inevitable that happens but rather the unexpected, and with the precedent of economists consistently being wrong surrounding recessions, maybe it's a sign that there won't be an economic crisis in 2023 after all.
There's an 8% chance that the first US recession before 2032 will lead to a depression, according to the Metaculus prediction community.
This invasion is an egregious violation of international law. Putin's ultimate aim is to restore the Soviet empire, even if it takes massive bloodshed and false pretexts such as calling the 2014 Ukrainian revolution after an election a "coup". This unprovoked attack is the latest chapter in Putin's Orwellian attempt to rewrite history.
NATO and the US have ignored Russia's security concerns by breaking its promise not to expand eastward in return for German reunification. These concerns are legitimate and taking them seriously would have avoided the Ukraine tragedy.
There's a 52% chance that Russia will control any formerly Ukrainian territories other than LPR, DPR, or Crimea on January 1, 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.
While the US and Europe seek to pressure Turkey into obeying their rules rather than its own, the truth is that this new insurance verification procedure is aimed at preventing Russia from circumventing sanctions. If Western powers want to deprive Putin of oil revenue, they should be applauding the prudent move by Ankara.
Since this is Kazakh oil and not Russian, there should be no issue here. With shipping companies claiming Turkey is asking for above price cap commission — putting them at risk of facing sanctions — the US and its allies have stepped in to resolve the issue and get oil moving westward again.
The federal government refuses to learn anything from the numerous past leaks. Though drastically underreported to the public, oil pipelines leak all the time and cause accidents every year in the US. Keystone was supposed to be the safest pipeline ever built in North America, but inadequate infrastructure and lack of political will continue to put people, wildlife, and the environment at increased risk.
There are reasons countries struggle to tackle these industrial accidents – there’s no such thing as a spill-, accident-, or sabotage-proof way to transport oil in massive quantities. The only way to prevent oil ruptures from becoming ecological disasters is to invest significantly in advanced monitoring and build double-walled pipelines. A safer design with zero clean-up costs is the sole cost-effective and environment-friendly measure in the long run.
There's a 5% chance that the Keystone Pipeline system will be extended by at least 100 km between US Pres. Joe Biden's inauguration and the end of 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.
Beyond the headline-grabbing, non-spending provisions in this bill is a bloated budget that doesn’t even take into account inflation or what it’ll cost to replace weapons the US has given to Ukraine. The increased spending is just going to buy the military more weapons — and not even ones geared toward modern-day challenges and threats. This bill deserves more scrutiny from politicians, the press, and citizens.
For the US to fulfill its obligations to defend its allies across the globe, and defend itself, it needs even more spending. Military spending as part of the Gross Domestic Product is actually less than it has averaged over the past 50 years. All branches are short of personnel, ships are poorly maintained, and it’s doubtful the weapons industry would be able to meet the country’s needs in case of a conflict. There must be a commitment to spending more on US national defense.
Greenland's newly-discovered "lost world" is a close analog to what the region could look like if our current climate change trends continue unabated. This shows that plants and animals can evolve quickly in the face of a changing climate. The more we learn about similar eras of rapid change, the more information we have to anticipate and adjust to changes of the "hothouse Earth" of the near future.
Though a fascinating discovery, we can't extrapolate our climate future based on the lush Greenland of 2M years ago. The "lost world" ecosystem enjoyed longer warm periods between Ice Ages, allowing species to hang out nearby and repopulate Greenland at will. Many of the species that changed the face of Greenland back then are also extinct today, so it's better to appreciate breakthroughs in paleontology for their own sake without incorrectly projecting them on our climate situation today.
Sinema’s career has been a giant metamorphosis, and Democrats could never count on her to be in their corner. This is just another step on her unpredictable path, and Democrats will have to continue to work around her harmful opposition to the filibuster, and her devotion to the Wall Street set, while accepting her support on issues that she agrees with them on.
Democrats should take this as a warning about how far to the left they’ve moved. There’s less room nowadays for moderates, and those who don’t lean far enough left often pay the price by getting harassed while out in public. Sinema probably won’t be the last defector.
Sinema says her policy stances and voting habits won’t change. If she’s still going to caucus with Democrats, what’s the point of changing affiliations? Well, it’s all about her political survival. She’s highly unpopular with Democrats, but now she won’t have to face a Democratic challenger because the party won’t want to risk splitting the left-leaning vote. This isn’t about principles, it’s about reelection.
Not only are Japan, Italy, and the UK combining their technological prowess to create innovative defense fighters, but the countries are also strengthening alliances to preserve global democracy. By building strong national advantages in their defense industries, these countries can build a robust system to support a US-led alliance.
By drastically increasing its defense spending and engaging in large-scale military projects, Japan is creating an unstable security environment in East Asia. Tokyo is playing with fire by revisiting an interest in military activities that it abandoned for decades after World War II and throwing its lot in with an aggressive Western hegemonic order.
There is a 50% chance that Japan will respond with military forces if China invades Taiwan by 2035, according to the Metaculus prediction community.