The surprise cuts by OPEC+ are ill-advised, as the decision comes just as markets and inflation are recovering. Tensions between the US and Saudi Arabia have been strained since last year when the kingdom refused to pump more. US-Saudi relations will only deteriorate further so long as OPEC+ continues this trend.
Saudi Arabia was looking to offer the US a 500K barrel-per-day deal, but Washington said no. The problem here is simple, and it all lies at the feet of the US government. If America doesn't want to drill its oil in the name of transitioning to green energy, then it shouldn't be mad when OPEC+ does the same thing.
The murder of the Russian military blogger took place inside a café owned by Wagner PMC head Yevgeny Prigozhin. This was likely intended as a warning to Prigozhin, who has questioned the Kremlin's talking points on Ukraine, and was part of an effort by Russian authorities to consolidate control of the information space.
This was a despicable act of terrorism that resulted in the death of one person and injured 30 more. Russia's National Antiterrorism Committee is still investigating the crime and it remains too early to identify the motive. However, there are signs that Ukraine's Security Service may have had a hand to play.
There's a 25% chance that there will be a large-scale armed conflict in Russia before 2030, according to the Metaculus prediction community.
Considering the riots that swept Israel during the 2021 war with terrorists in Gaza, it makes sense that the government should create a new force to deal with similar situations in the future. However, Ben-Gvir might not be the right person to command such a force, as he is particularly controversial within the Israeli public and security apparatus. Though he is an integral part of Netanyahu's government, putting too much power in his hands may cause issues for Israel's security.
As Netanyahu continues to pander to Israel's far-right Jewish supremacists, Palestinians will ultimately suffer at the hands of Ben-Gvir's sectarian militia. Besides the fact that such a militia will only worsen the brutality of the occupation, it will also, quite ironically, negatively affect Israel's security. Ben-Gvir cannot be allowed to build his own state within a state.
There's a 7% chance that civil war will break out in Israel before 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.
Musk should never have overhauled the legacy system, and his latest decision is a direct assault on the New York Times — a publication for which he's openly aired his dislike. After deciding to remove their verification, he hurled abuse at them, accusing them of spreading propaganda and stating that "their feed is the Twitter equivalent of diarrhea."
Twitter gave plenty of warning that those who failed to subscribe to the new service would lose their blue tick. The New York Times may be the first, but it won't be the last. The new subscription service — which also offers additional features such as the ability to edit tweets — is fairer than the classist old system and will rightly increase revenue.
While the issue surrounding legacy verification check marks sorts itself out, an immediate consequence is that it's no longer possible to distinguish between profiles that deserved the verification and those who paid for it. Celebrities and public figures often relied on check marks to avoid being confused with imposters. That reassurance is no longer available.
Capital punishment causes irreversible harm and violates people's right to life. Despite being mandatory for decades, the death penalty and other capital punishments have not deterred crime effectively. It is about time Malaysia achieved this breakthrough to inspire other countries in Southeast Asia to rethink their use of the death penalty.
The death penalty is still necessary and should remain enforced in Malaysia, especially when it comes to serious crimes like murder and terrorism. Capital punishment does not just deter crimes; it also offers a sense of justice for victims. Serious crimes deserve serious punishments, and the law should reflect this.
Sanna Marin's defeat is the latest setback for the left amid a larger shift to conservative and nationalist parties across Europe. It also signals a power shift in Finland's political scene, as the nation is likely to get a new center-right government with an anti-immigration, anti-EU, and anti-climate action coalition partner. Europe must keep a close eye on Finland's far-right and try to understand why populists and the far-right are sweeping the elections.
Though she was applauded for her response to Russia's war against Ukraine and Finland's bid to join NATO, Marin was primarily responsible for eroding the country's economic resilience. The global progressive icon's attempt to keep her coalition together at the cost of economic growth led to a sharp rise in the country's public debt. Meanwhile, her determination to exercise her right to party with Finnish celebrities at the peak of the energy crisis eventually dashed her hopes of a second term as prime minister.
Hutchinson is another RINO (Republican in Name Only) with a minuscule chance of claiming the GOP nomination. He was on the wrong side of Biden’s vaccine and mask mandates and vetoed a bill that would have protected children from gender-affirming care. He truly sealed his fate, however, with his criticisms of Trump who is still the standard-bearer for the party.
Attacking Hutchinson on his Republican bona fides is ridiculous considering his track record on abortion, his strong relationship with the National Rifle Association, and his hardline position against the Affordable Care Act. Republicans would be wise to consider someone like Hutchinson in the primary mix, along with Trump, to provide multiple options to defeat Biden.
There’s a 52% chance that on Jan. 1, 2024 prediction markets will say Trump will most likely be the Republican nominee for president in 2024.
Trump had his chance as president for four years, and now it’s DeSantis’ turn to make America great again — but this time in a more stable, adept manner. DeSantis is by far the best chief executive the US has seen at any level of government in decades. He’s proven he can defeat the radical Left on everything from coronavirus restrictions to corporate activism. When he gets into the race, there will be a groundswell of support already waiting for him. This will be an exciting GOP primary.
DeSantis and the other would-be challengers to Trump should just forget about it. Now that the Democratic witch hunt has led to a Trump indictment in New York, the former president is more popular than ever and his lead in the polls is growing. Trump is a sure bet to be the nominee, and the DeSantis hype is fading.
As dangerous as Trump is, DeSantis has shown himself to have extremely concerning authoritarian impulses. His Orbanist-style of Florida policies doesn't make him a Republican centrist — he is a competent and dangerous extremist. If elected, he could do great damage to American democracy.
When NASA first put humans on the Moon over 50 years ago, the US was severely lacking in diversity and inclusivity. Thankfully, the country and NASA have come a long way not only in providing opportunities for women and people of color but in acknowledging the professional and scientific benefits of a more diverse team of astronauts. The diverse future of space exploration will expand our knowledge and experiences both on the Moon and back on Earth.
While equal opportunity should be celebrated, whether in the academic or professional world, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion programs can have a negative impact. If the best person for the job happens to be Black or a woman — which may certainly be the case here — that's fine; but to pursue diverse candidates for the sole purpose of fulfilling a racial or gender quota may not even lead to true diversity, let alone picking the best candidate. Skin color, or any other immutable characteristic, won't tell you if someone is the cream of the crop — only their proven skills can do that.
Finland’s accession to NATO is a huge affront to Putin as Moscow’s geopolitical calculations worsen. The Atlantic Alliance has now doubled its border with Russia, despite the Kremlin's previous threats against Nordic countries for attempting to join NATO. Putin's war on Ukraine has brought the exact opposite of what he hoped for.
While Russia is certainly not thrilled about Finland joining NATO, the Kremlin is not overly concerned. Moscow will do what it must to reinforce its military capabilities on its western and northwestern borders, but Russia does not pose a threat to Finland or Sweden. This is more of a non-event than Western governments would like to convey.
There's a 70% chance that Sweden will join NATO before 2024, according to the Metaculus Prediction Community.