Welcome to Monday, where Liz Truss is the new British prime minister, Chileans reject drastic changes to the country’s Constitution, and the new Lord of the Rings series becomes Amazon Prime's biggest premiere. Meanwhile, German daily Die Welt and Ukraine's Livy Bereg show how the Ukraine grain deal may actually play in Putin’s hands.
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• Liz Truss becomes new UK prime minister: Liz Truss was elected Conservative party leader to succeed Boris Johnson as British prime minister, thus becoming the nation's third female leader. The 47-year-old Oxford native faces an array of challenges, both domestic and international, including inflation and the war in Ukraine.
• “Energy blow” ahead of winter: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has warned Europeans that Russia was preparing “a decisive energy blow” during the next few months. This comes after Moscow shut a main pipeline that supplies gas to Europe.
• Manhunt after mass stabbing in Canada: Canadia’s authorities have launched a manhunt for two “armed and dangerous” suspects, identified as Myles Sanderson and Damien Sanderson, in connection with a mass stabbing that killed at least 10 people and injured 15 others in an Indigenous community in Saskatchewan on Sunday.
• Ruto presidential win in Kenya: In a unanimous decision, Kenya’s Supreme Court upheld William Ruto’s election as the country’s fifth president and rejected claims of election fraud. Ruto, 55, will be sworn in next week, taking the helm at a time when East African nations are facing several energy and supply challenges.
• Strong quake kills 21 in China: China’s Sichuan and the provincial capital of Chengdu were struck by a magnitude 6.8 earthquake that killed at least 21. It is the strongest earthquake since 2017.
• Germany unveils package to curb rising energy costs: The German government unveiled a 65-billion euro relief package to financially help households cope with soaring energy costs. This comes as Europe is seeking to wean itself off Russian supplies.
• The Rings of Power draws record 25 million viewers: U.S. giant Amazon announced that its first episode of Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power series, based on J.R.R Tolkien’s works, was watched by more than 25 million global viewers in 24 hours, marking Prime Video’s biggest premiere.
The Toronto Star is devoting its front page to the ongoing manhunt in Saskatchewan as authorities are still searching for two suspects in a stabbing rampage. Ten people were killed and fifteen injured in an Indigenous community, making it one of the deadliest mass killings in the country's recent history. The police have provided pictures of the two suspects, while Indigenous leaders said the attacks may be drug related.
A record 47 million amphetamine pills were confiscated by Saudi Arabian authorities in an operation which was described as the biggest drug smuggling attempt in the kingdom. The pills were hidden in a flour shipment, which was tracked by Saudi’s General Directorate of Narcotics Control and seized at a warehouse after arriving in the capital city Riyadh. Eight individuals have been arrested on suspicion of smuggling the drugs.
Overselling the Russia-Ukraine grain deal is one more Putin scam
Moscow and Kyiv reached a much hailed accord in July to allow transport of Ukrainian agricultural output from ports along the Black Sea. However, analysis from Germany's Die Welt and Ukraine's Livy Bereg shows that it has done little so far to solve the food crisis, and is instead being used by Putin to advance his own ambitions.
🚢 Brokered by Turkey on July 22, the Grain Deal between Russia and Ukraine ensured the export of Ukrainian agricultural products from the country's largest sea ports. Exports by sea of grains and oilseeds have been increasing. But a closer look shows a different story, with the Black Sea ports not being fully opened. Since the beginning of August, Ukraine's top exports were corn (776,000 tons) and wheat (339,000). This is a third of last year's figures.
🌾 Last year, Ukraine exported six million tons every month and fed 400 million people around the world, so a third of them, that is more than 120 million people, will have problems next year. And only complete and unconditional unblocking of Ukrainian ports can prevent this. The Brave Commander ship carried 23,000 tons of grain, destined for Ethiopia. It's just enough to feed 1.5 million people for a month. Ethiopia alone has 120 million inhabitants, more than 20 million of whom are dependent on food aid. Ukraine understandably does not focus all its efforts on Africa, as about a quarter of the shipments went to Turkey, while others went to the European Union.
🌍 Thus, we can conclude that the grain deal has done little to alleviate the hunger crisis in Africa. For Putin, this is at least partly a perfidious calculation, argues Robert Kappel, professor emeritus at the Institute for African Studies at the University of Leipzig. He explains that the conspicuously Kremlin-friendly reaction of many African states to Russia's war of annihilation against Ukraine is also a result of Putin's blackmail. He hopes that the developments of the past few months will be a wake-up call for Africa. Instead of trusting Russia, the continent must finally focus on strengthening its own agriculture.
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The people of Chile have spoken, and they have done so loudly and clearly.
— On Sunday, Chilean President Gabriel Boric reacted to voters rejecting the proposed new constitution that he’d supported by 62% through a national referendum, leaving the country under the constitution written during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. "This decision by Chilean men and women requires our institutions and political actors to work harder, with more dialogue, with more respect and care, until we arrive at a proposal that interprets us all, that is trustworthy, that unites us as a country," Boric added.
✍️ Newsletter by Lisa Berdet, Chloé Touchard, Lila Paulou and Bertrand Hauger
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