July 18, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) - East County Magazine's World Watch helps you be an informed citizen on important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflect all voices and views, we include links to a variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:
- Biden could declare climate emergency as soon as this week, sources say (Washington Post)
- Inflation hits four-decade high of 9.1% (MSN)
- Two Trump White House officials expected to testify at prime-time Jan. 6 hearing Thursday (NBC)
- American Factories Are Making Stuff Again as CEOs Take Production Out of China (Bloomberg)
- Endangered Species Act restored by federal judge after Trump-era weakening (CNN)
- Leaked Audio: Before Election Day, Bannon Said Trump Planned to Falsely Claim Victory (Mother Jones)
- July 4 parade slaughter again shows nowhere is safe from America's mass killing contagion (CNN)
- A pilot shortage is adding to the travel chaos this summer (NPR)
- Ernst & Young fined $100 million after employees cheated in exams (NPR)
- A crop of candidates are insisting they won their elections, despite not being close (NPR)
- Record number of people worldwide are moving toward starvation, U.N. warns (NPR)
- Tokyo court orders ex-Tepco execs to pay $95 ln damages over Fukushima disaster (CNN)
- Shinzo Abe, Japan's former prime minister, assassinated at a campaign stop (Reuters)
- NATO signs off on Sweden and Finland’s membership bids (PBS)
- 'Them's the breaks': Boris Johnson quits as UK prime minister (Reuters)
- NATO’s Deputy Secretary General: NATO support for Ukraine is for the long-term (NATO)
- How Russia's war in Ukraine is changing the world (NPR)
- How Russia's war in Ukraine harms nature, from wildfires to dolphins to birds (NPR)
- Sri Lanka president to step down, parliamentary speaker says, amid storm of protests (Reuters)
- 20 men are convicted in the 2015 Paris terror attacks (NPR)
- Russia is using a secret network to steal Ukraine grain (Wall Street Journal)
For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.
Biden could declare climate emergency as soon as this week, sources say (Washington Post)
President Biden is considering declaring a national climate emergency as soon as this week as he seeks to salvage his environmental agenda in the wake of stalled talks on Capitol Hill…
U.S. consumer inflation accelerated to 9.1% in June, a pace not seen in more than four decades, adding pressure on the Federal Reserve to act more aggressively to slow rapid price increases throughout the economy... A big jump in gasoline prices—up 11.2% from the previous month and nearly 60% from a year earlier—drove much of the increase, while shelter and food prices were also major contributors.
The committee has said the hearing will focus on the three-hour gap between when the riot began and when then-President Donald Trump urged his supporters to leave the Capitol.
The pandemic forced companies to rethink their supply chains
A federal judge in California has overturned a 2019 Trump administration move to gut the landmark Endangered Species Act, vacating that administration's changes and restoring protections for hundreds of species. The move is a win for environmental and conservation groups and climate advocates. The restoration of the protections could also be a boon for climate groups that argue oil and gas drilling in certain areas could harm threatened wildlife.
On the evening of October 31, 2020, Steve Bannon told a group of associates that President Donald Trump had a plan to declare victory on election night—even if he was losing. Trump knew that the slow counting of Democratic-leaning mail-in ballots meant the returns would show early leads for him in key states. His “strategy” was to use this fact to assert that he had won, while claiming that the inevitable shifts in vote totals toward Joe Biden must be the result of fraud, Bannon explained. (Hear audio at link)
America's latest mass shooting turned a cherished July Fourth parade from a scene of patriotic joy into one of fear and death (in Highland Park, Illinois).
During the pandemic, thousands of pilots took early retirement packages, and because of disruptions in pilot training programs, there were also fewer people joining the industry.
Ernst & Young, one of the top accounting firms in the world, is being fined $100 million by federal regulators after admitting its employees cheated on their ethics exams….The fine is the largest penalty ever imposed by the SEC on an audit firm.
During this election cycle, candidates across the country have refused to concede, even in races that are not remotely close.
David Beasley, head of the U.N. World Food Program, said its latest analysis shows that "a record 345 million acutely hungry people are marching to the brink of starvation" — a 25% increase from 276 million at the start of 2022 before Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24. The number stood at 135 million before the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. "There's a real danger it will climb even higher in the months ahead," he said.
The Tokyo district court on Wednesday ordered four former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) to pay 13 trillion yen ($95 billion) in damages to the operator of the wrecked Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, the plaintiff’s lawyers said. The ruling, in a civil case brought by Tepco shareholders, marks the first time a court has found former executives responsible for the nuclear disaster, local media reports said.
Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Japan's longest-serving leader, died on Friday after being shot while campaigning for a parliamentary election, an official from his political party said. / A man opened fire on Abe, 67, from behind with an apparently homemade gun as he spoke at a drab traffic island in the western city of Nara, Japanese media showed earlier.
The 30 NATO allies signed off on the accession protocols for Sweden and Finland on Tuesday, sending the membership bids of the two nations to the alliance capitals for legislative approvals — and possible political trouble in Turkey. The move further increases Russia’s strategic isolation in the wake of its invasion of neighboring Ukraine in February and military struggles there since.
Scandal-ridden Boris Johnson announced on Thursday he would quit as British prime minister after he dramatically lost the support of his ministers and most Conservative lawmakers, but said he would stay on until his successor was chosen.
On Monday (27 June 2022), in a pre-recorded video message at the Kyiv Security Forum, NATO’s Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana reaffirmed NATO’s continued solidarity and support for Ukraine against Russia’s unprovoked war. “Our support to your country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is unwavering”, he said, “and that is why at this critical time, we are committed to step-up our assistance, to help Ukrainians defend their rights, their freedom, and their sovereignty. With our support, Ukraine can prevail. It must prevail.”
Far from Russia's war in Ukraine, stores are running out of cooking oil, people are paying more at the gas pump, farmers are scrambling to buy fertilizer and nations are rethinking alliances. Russia's invasion of Ukraine has triggered seismic repercussions: a fast-moving refugee crisis, unprecedented sanctions against a major economy and a shakeup of global relationships, including a reinvigorated NATO.
The State Environmental Inspectorate of Ukraine, a government agency, has documented more than 300 cases of what it calls "environmental crimes," carried out by Russia since its invasion began in late February. The actual number is believed to be closer to 1,500, it says, but many sites are still occupied by Russia or made inaccessible by the fighting. Fires at fuel depots. Blown-up reservoirs of dangerous chemicals. Damaged gas pipelines. Disruptions and wildfires at the Chernobyl nuclear exclusion zone. Destroyed vessels in the Black Sea area. These are the most immediate concerns identified by the state agency.
Sri Lanka president to step down, parliamentary speaker says, amid storm of protests (Reuters)
Sri Lanka's President Gotabaya Rajapaksa plans to step down, the country's parliamentary speaker said on Saturday, bowing to intense pressure after a violent day of protests in which demonstrators stormed the president's official residence and set fire to the prime minister's home in Colombo.
The lone survivor of a team of Islamic State extremists who terrorized Paris in 2015 was convicted Wednesday of murder and other charges and sentenced to life in prison without parole for the deadliest peacetime attacks in French history. The special terrorism court also convicted 19 other men involved in the assault on the Bataclan concert hall, cafes and the national stadium, which killed 130 people and injured hundreds, some permanently maimed.
Russia is using a secret network to steal Ukraine grain (Wall Street Journal)
Russian officials have rejected accusations that the country is stealing grain from Ukraine. A WSJ investigation reveals a secretive smuggling network.