The world has much to learn from China’s COVID response, which allowed the mainland to halt its spread while the infection caused over 15M deaths worldwide. The PRC is doing its best to balance economic realities, public health, and societal pressures. Beijing's current strategic easing will safeguard both health and the economy.
Beijing's zero-COVID U-turn could prove lethal. The PRC's hermit strategy has left the population with little exposure or natural immunity, and the virus will undoubtedly run rampant as almost all restrictions are now lifted. Given China's low vaccination rate for the elderly, the government has inadvertently initiated a pandemic tsunami by downgrading the threat and allowing the virus to rip through the population.
There's a 4% chance that cumulative reported deaths from COVID in China will exceed 50K before 2023, according to the Metaculus prediction community.
The fact that Peru has already had six presidents since 2016 speaks volumes about the country's political situation and underscores what a difficult legacy Boluarte is taking on. It's a positive sign that the coup attempt by the ultra-leftist and corrupt Castillo failed thanks to the resilience of Peruvians. If Boluarte now succeeds in forming a strong government and implementing structural reforms, there's good reason for optimism for Peruvian democracy.
The ongoing protests highlight that the justified ouster of the unpopular Castillo is by no means the end of the ongoing political crisis in Peru. Poor Peruvians have legitimate doubts that the dysfunctional democratic system will change anything about their desperate situation. That's why snap elections would likely benefit populist candidates. It's uncertain whether Boluarte will manage to keep Peru from becoming ungovernable.
There's a 50% chance that Peru's GDP per capita (PPP) will be at least $20.4K in 2030, according to the Metaculus prediction community.
As the White House and others have noted, any peace settlement should come on Ukraine's terms. This includes restoration of territorial integrity, compensation and war-crimes prosecutions. It should also come with meaningul security guarantees to prevent future Russian aggression.
A sober analysis shows Ukraine is unlikely to drive Russian troops from all its territory. The longer the war goes on, the worse it gets for Ukraine, while increasing the chances of a hot war between Russia, the US, and NATO. The Biden administration has a duty to try and find a negotiated end to the war.
There is a 1% chance that Putin and Zelenskyy will meet to discuss the peaceful resolution of the Russian-Ukraine conflict before 2023, according to the Metaculus prediction community.
Although several US states have passed laws to legalize CBD, products containing the non-psychoactive cannabis compound are technically illegal at the federal level. Federal regulations should complement, rather than contradict, state rules. Rather than outright denying safe CBD-infused products from coming to market, the FDA must take action and establish a clear and uniform set of standards for companies to adhere to.
The FDA’s current hardline position against foods and beverages containing CBD is understandable given that available scientific data shows that high doses of CBD can damage the liver, reduce sperm quality, and adversely interact with other medications. Until the agency understands the implications of long-term consumption of CBD in foods, it must refrain from concluding that CBD-infused food and dietary supplements can be considered safe.
There's a 60% chance that cannabis will be removed from Schedule I of the Controlled Substance Act before 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.
Extending mandatory military service won’t reduce the gap between forces in the Taiwan Straits, and it’s unlikely to improve the island's combat capacity. Taipei, however, has decided to follow this path under the irresistible pressure of the US, a disgraceful move that will turn the Taiwanese people into frontline pawns to advance US strategic interests against China.
Conscription reform, along with other structural reforms to Taiwan's military, is crucial to enhance deterrence in the Taiwan Straits, as Beijing seeks to undermine the international order, as well as regional peace and stability. This move increases Taiwan’s national security by demonstrating its commitment to self-defense, and also wins it international support.
There's a 25% chance that Taiwan (Republic of China) will declare independence by 2035, according to the Metaculus prediction community.
This conflict has been turned into another proxy war waged by the West over energy. With memories of NATO's bombing of Belgrade in the 1990s still fresh and the US and EU's current backing of Ukraine, it's no wonder Serbia has been looking eastward for both financial and political support. Europe, however, knows it has an economic stranglehold on Serbia, which is why it's pressing the Balkan state so hard to ditch Russia and China and succumb to the progressive green energy plans of Brussels and Berlin.
Russia's war in Ukraine has prompted valid concerns that Moscow's ally Serbia could play the same card against Kosovo, especially given that neither country recognizes Kosovo as a sovereign state and both share aggressive political rhetoric. The main difference between the fate of Kyiv and Pristina lies in the presence of NATO forces in Kosovo, which has so far deterred Belgrade from waging armed conflict and restrained it from disinformation tactics and propaganda.
There's a 50% chance that Serbia will recognize Kosovo by June 2044, according to the Metaculus prediction community.
Although lying on the campaign trail is inarguably an inexcusable move, the opposition and its cronies in the media are using this as a political tool to launch an assault on the GOP while conveniently turning a blind eye when one of their own does the same. Pres. Biden himself is no stranger to deceit, having plagiarized speeches, lied about attending an HBCU, and made false claims about his grades in law school.
Santos lied and deceived the people he promised to represent. Now, even after admitting to his lies, he's trying to pin the blame on media outlets that simply reported the Congressman-elect's fabrications. Santos won't accept responsibility for his actions, and he's unfit to serve the people of New York.
Southwest’s cancellation total is 10 times more than the airline with the second-most cancellations, so obviously it’s doing something drastically wrong. The skies have cleared since the storm, yet Southwest continues to cancel flights at a high rate. This is a total meltdown and, if Southwest can’t get its act together, maybe regulators can get the carrier in line.
Southwest has done plenty wrong in terms of overzealous scheduling and under-investing in operations, but these cancellations are equally attributable to bad luck. Two of its biggest hubs – Chicago Midway and Denver International Airport – were hardest hit by the storm, and staffing has been challenged by the so-called “tripledemic” (COVID, flu, and RSV). Combine that with the holiday rush, and Southwest has faced an unprecedented challenge to its service.
The West's price cap was foolish from the onset, and bound to backfire. The cap is easy to circumvent, and Russia will continue to be one of the world’s leaders in oil exports, given its ability to tap into eastern markets. There are many areas able and willing to buy Russian oil and Western countries will now simply be forced to pay more for oil elsewhere.
Putin’s energy blackmail may make him feel powerful now, but his decision to cut off oil sales to Western countries will hurt Russia in the long run. Russia is very dependent on oil exports to keep its economy afloat and stunting the global oil market is another blunder in Putin’s long line of mistakes.
Both the conviction and sentence of Adam Fox and his so-called co-conspirators have been blown way out of proportion. Given that two other suspects in the case have already been acquitted, coupled with the fact that undercover FBI agents encouraged, coordinated, assisted, and funded various parts of the scheme, it's clear that if it weren't for the Feds, this "kidnapping plot" would never have occurred.
After a jury of Adam Fox's peers heard arguments and evidence from both sides, it rightfully decided to convict him of plotting a violent kidnapping attempt against the governor of Michigan. While on the surface, entrapment may seem to be a sound argument, the reality is that the FBI didn't plant the seed, and the prosecution proved that the defendant was predisposed to commit the crime.