The United States imposes strict sanctions on Russia
The Biden administration announced yesterday New sanctions on Russia On piracy and interference in elections by its government. The measures aim to halt Russian government lending as part of a broad effort to give more power to financial sanctions – although sanctions in the past have failed to deter Russian activity.
American banks are now banned from buying Newly Issued Russian Government DebtWhich threatens Russia’s access to international financing. These moves are an attempt to exploit the weak Russian economy to pressure Moscow to back down in its campaign to disrupt American political life and threaten Ukraine.
Separately, the CIA concluded that Russia Secretly offered payments For the militants to encourage the killing of US and coalition forces in Afghanistan. The Biden administration has stopped short of sanctioning any Russian officials over the suspected bonuses.
Russian response: A foreign ministry spokeswoman said the response would be “inevitable,” but she did not immediately reveal what would ensue.
Effect: In early dealings in Moscow ahead of the announcement, the ruble exchange rate against the dollar fell by about 1 percent, reflecting tension over how the measures will be implemented. Analysts say the epidemic and lower global oil prices have made the Russian economy more vulnerable to sanctions.
Covax is seeking funds for a global vaccination campaign
Covax, the WHO-led effort to boost vaccination against Covid-19 in the world’s lowest-income countries, is trying Raise an additional $ 2 billion To help secure access to doses before they are snapped up by rich countries. The United States has already pledged $ 2 billion for the initiative in 2021, with another $ 2 billion next year.
The money will be earmarked to maintain future production capacity to supply countries that have had inadequate dosages or, in some cases, none at all. A fundraising event brought in more than $ 380 million in pledges, mostly from Sweden, with small sums coming from other countries and private foundations, including one sponsored by Google.
Leaders of this effort also pleaded with wealthier countries to donate part of their vaccine supplies, to help correct the wide and growing disparity in global distribution between the richest and poorest parts of the world. New Zealand announced that it would do so Donate enough doses For 800,000 people in low-income countries.
By the numbers: More than 841 million vaccine doses It is managed all over the worldApproximately 11 doses per 100 people. But many poor countries have yet to report a single dose.
Although he later retracted his comments, a senior member of Japan’s ruling party said the country would look into the matter. Tokyo Olympics canceled If the increased coronavirus cases are not controlled.
The race to replace Angela Merkel
In less than six months, the Germans will vote for a new chancellor. But who will intervene in the political vacuum left by the departure of Angela Merkel is still unclear, just like Germany Conservatives are competing to replace her.
Mrs. Merkel’s heir, Armin Laschet, who was Elected in January To lead the CDU, he found himself in an unexpected position against it Marcus Söder The most popular head of only the smallest party of Bavaria, the Christian Social Union, is in a kind of conservative family hostility.
Experts and party members alike are demanding that the dispute be resolved in the coming days, as it risks damaging the reputation of the two brother conservative parties, referred to together as Al-Ittihad. The two parties function as one on the national stage and must choose one candidate for the position of chancellor.
analyzing: “At the end of the day, they both have to decide in between.” Thorsten Fass, professor of political science at the Free University of Berlin, said, “There is no specific procedure that clearly defines how this will end.” But he added that the fighting will cause damage that needs repair: A good way to start an election year. “
Other great stories
After being neglected by the history of art for decades, Joe Van Gogh Bonger, Vincent Van Gogh’s sister-in-law above, was finally recognized as the force that He opened the eyes of the world to his genius.
Young in stature and full of self-doubt, she had no background in art or business, and faced an artistic world that was a male preserve. But without her efforts, the painter’s work would almost indisputably exist forever in a world of lower mystery.
Arts and ideas
Celebrity endorsement, good make it
Shilling stars are accusing them of “selling”. Now they are being hailed as smart and job-oriented investors. My colleague Amanda Hess writesFreelance critic of The Times. This is an excerpt.
Not long ago, stars aligned their photos with Vitamins or Prepaid debit cards Perhaps viewed with skepticism, their efforts have been coded as a satirical money grab (George Clooney for Nespresso) or a pathetic last resort (Joan Rivers Classics’ group for QVC). When celebrities took advantage of the money, they also risked undermining their credibility as serious artists.
Now the opposite is true. Stars are respected for the amount of profit they can make, even if the things they sell are inexpensive. This does not hurt in any way the ambiguity. In this way, over the past decade and a half, the mainstream cultural interpretation of the Kardashians has shifted from dismissing them as foolish to being considered underground geniuses.
Instagram is, for all intents and purposes, Millennial QVC. Click on the Instagram picture and a bunch of brand names will bloom on top of it, the social media version of the onscreen QVC info boxes.
The difference is that now, you don’t need to pick up the phone to buy something, because you’re already on your phone. The background of the new home shopping network is the same celebrity home. And there’s a little bit of shame attached to any of them.
Play, watch, eat, wear
what are you cooking
That’s it for today’s briefing. Have a quiet weekend. – Natasha
The Chinese Daily Briefing today introduced a new writer, Rong Xiaoqing, who will analyze the major debates in Chinese communities in the US every week. Register here.
Last episode of “newspaperAbout discontinuing the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine.
You can reach Natasha and the team at [email protected].