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TOPIC: united states


AUKUS: Bold Deterrent Or Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Of A Future War With China?

AUKUS, the security pact between the US, the UK, and Australia, is beginning to take shape. Its aim is to deter China, but it risks drawing the Indo-Pacific region into a military conflict.


You might remember AUKUS, the security pact between the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. Under the pact, the US and UK will assist Australia in acquiring nuclear-powered submarines.

For France, its foundation 18 months ago meant the termination of the French submarine mega-contract with Australia. The process of reconciliation with these countries was gradual: first with the United States, then with Australia thanks to a change of government, and finally with the British, who were closer and therefore more difficult to forgive.

But AUKUS (the acronym for Australia-United Kingdom, United States) hadn't been mentioned much until Monday, when U.S President Joe Biden welcomed on a San Diego submarine base his British and Australian counterparts, Prime Ministers Rishi Sunak and Anthony Albanese. The aim? To give weight to this alliance between the three English-speaking powers in the face of an opponent that’s never been addressed: China, of course.

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The World Watches Silicon Valley Bank's Collapse And Braces For 2008 Déjà Vu

The effects of the fall of Silicon Valley Bank show the limits of the tech world, but also the current fragility of the international financial system a generation after the 2008 global financial crisis that was sparked by U.S. bank failures.


PARIS — Five months after the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, which continues to shake the crypto world, it's the turn of Silicon Valley Bank, which was at the heart of U.S. start-up financing until it failed on March 10.

It is still too early to know if this new fire will spread or be contained quickly, but lessons can be drawn from the bank's failure, which looks like the consequence of the abrupt transition from the era of free money to the era of rapidly rising interest rates.

The first lesson concerns the world of start-ups.

It is surprising and distressing that this ecosystem, so quick to disrupt the models of the past, should find itself trapped by the simple fact that a traditional bank has become a must-have in Silicon Valley.

This has left the entire venture capital world on edge.

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China's Military Intentions Are Clear — And Arming Taiwan Is The Only Deterrence

China is spending more money on weapons and defense than ever. The reason is evident: Xi Jinping wants to take Taiwan. Europe should follow the U.S. and support Taipei militarily as the only way to deter Beijing from war.


BERLIN — Fear is never the best advisor.

It is, however, an understandable emotion when China announces the biggest increase in its defense budget in memory. And when Beijing does so after siding with Russia in the Ukraine war with its supposed "peace plan" and justifying the increase with an alleged "escalating oppression" of China in the world.

The budget plan unveiled by outgoing Premier Li Keqiang calls for a 7.2% increase in defense spending. That's more than in previous years — and just the official figure.

Experts estimate the true spending is much higher, as Beijing finances its military through numerous shadow budgets.

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South Korea And Japan: Burying An Ugly Past To Counter China's Rise

South Korean President, Yoon Suk-yeol, made a gesture of reconciliation towards Japan, the country's former colonizer. It gives Washington hope that its two key Asian allies can overcome differences as they face an emboldened China and North Korea.


South Korea's leader President Yoon took advantage of the commemoration of a key date in the Japanese occupation of South Korea, March 1, 1919, to make an unequivocal statement: "Today, more than a century after the March 1 movement, Japan has transformed from a militaristic aggressor of the past into a partner with whom we share the same universal values."

It was an outstretched hand with no conditions attached.

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Pierre Haski

Why All Sides Are Calling For Peace Talks In Ukraine, And Nobody Means It

Russia says it's willing to negotiate for peace in Ukraine, but won't make any territorial concessions; meanwhile, China presents a half-baked peace plan. It's a masterclass in talking out of both sides of your mouth.


Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said this week that Russia was in favor of negotiation to end the war in Ukraine. But in the same breath, he added that there would be "no compromise" on what he described as "new territorial realities" — that is, the Russian annexation of parts of Ukraine.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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A perfect example of how to say you are ready to negotiate, while also saying you are not.

This trickery neatly sums up the situation. At this stage, no one is truly prepared to negotiate, but at the same time, they must act as if they are, to avoid looking like the one standing in the way of peace. This applies to Russia, which is still trying to use force to take over the entire Donbas region — only some of which remains under its control.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War
Pierre Haski

Biden v. Putin? Don't Underestimate The Weight Of "Sleepy Joe's" Kyiv Surprise

In the inevitable race for symbolic victories on the eve of the Ukraine invasion's first anniversary, Joe Biden scored a major victory with his surprise visit to Kyiv. Meanwhile, one year on, Vladimir Putin has yet to visit his own country's troops on the front line.


Walking through the streets of the Ukrainian capital on a sunny day, in the company of President Volodymyr Zelensky and robust security, U.S. President Joe Biden undoubtedly wrote a page in the history of this war. The visit was unscheduled and unprecedented. His actions expressed, better than words ever could, his solidarity with Ukraine.

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Moscow was informed a few hours before Biden's departure for Ukraine, as part of what officials call "deconfliction" or risk reduction.

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eyes on the U.S.
Riley Sparks and Bertrand Hauger

Eyes On U.S. — Democrats, Republicans And Canadians In Standoff Over Migrant Buses

Republicans and Democrats have been engaged in political ping-pong over migration, bussing migrants from red to blue states. Now the issue has reached Canada as the migrants are pushed ever further north.

Known for its natural beauty and luxury shopping, the island of Martha’s Vineyard off the coast of Cape Cod has long been associated with the U.S. political elite. The Kennedys holidayed there and former U.S. president Barack Obama chose the island to host his lavish 60th birthday party.

September last year should have been quiet as peak season came to an end, seasonal shops shuttered, and part-time residents left their summer homes to return to their regular lives. But the island found itself at the center of a political storm around immigration. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican who may run for the White House in 2024, bought airline tickets for 50 asylum seekers to fly there from Texas in protest against President Joe Biden’s policies on immigration.

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Since then, thousands of migrants have been bussed to Democrat-run northern cities from the Republican-run states of Texas, Arizona and Florida. Republican governors say blue states (Democrat) should share the responsibility of taking care of the increasing number of migrants crossing the border. Numbers of migrants had dropped, but the end of pandemic-related policies is expected to lead to an uptick in the numbers crossing over the border.

While DeSantis’ move was initially criticized by Democrats, some cities and states run by Democrats in the south have also started bussing migrants north.

But the latest news is that migrants’ journeys don’t stop there — now being moved even further north, bounced around like balls in a game of political ping-pong.

Political buck-passing

Authorities in New York City have begun shuttling them up to the Canadian border. And Quebec premier François Legault is demanding New York stop the buck-passing bus rides, which he says are straining the province’s asylum system.

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In The News
Ginevra Falciani, Bertrand Hauger, Hugo Perrin and Laure Gautherin

Quake Toll Keeps Rising, Russia Claims Gains, Rihanna Shines Bright

👋 Салом!*

Welcome to Monday, where the death toll surpasses 33,000 in Turkey and Syria a week after the earthquake hit, U.S. jets shoot down a fourth UFO in two weeks, and Rihanna (and the two teams) put on a memorable Super Bowl show. Meanwhile, Clemens Wergin for German daily Die Welt writes that the rushed Russian winter offensive thought to be underway in eastern Ukraine could actually play in Ukraine’s hands.

[*Salom - Uzbek]

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In The News
Emma Albright & Ginevra Falciani

Zelensky In UK, Balloon Debris Up Close, LeBron’s Record Night

👋 Hay!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to visit some of the areas affected by the earthquake that has killed more than 11,000 in Turkey and Syria, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky is on a surprise visit to the UK, and LeBron James breaks an NBA record that has stood since 1984. Meanwhile, Portuguese-language digital magazine Questão de Ciência boldly makes the distinction between Star Trek science-fiction and pseudoscience.

[*Aklan, Philippines]

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This Happened

This Happened — February 4: The Yalta Conference Begins

On this day between in 1945, following the events of World War II, Franklin D. Roosevelt of the United States, Winston Churchill of the United Kingdom, and Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union met to discuss the postwar reorganization of a war-torn Europe.

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In The News
Emma Albright, Inès Mermat and Anne-Sophie Goninet

Top EU Officials In Kyiv, U.S. Philippines Pact, King-less Banknotes

👋 Bone die!*

Welcome to Thursday, where top European officials arrive in Ukraine for talks, Israel launches airstrikes on Gaza, and Australia snubs King Charles on its new banknote. Meanwhile, Claudio Andrade in Buenos Aires-based daily Clarin reports on the armada of 500 fishing boats who gather yearly off the coast of southern Argentina for an "industrial harvest."

[*Sardinian, Italy]

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In The News
Ginevra Falciani & Renate Mattar

New $2 billion Ukraine Aid Package, Peshawar Suspects Arrested, The Last 747

👋 Ekamowir omo!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where the U.S. is readying another $2 billion in military support to Ukraine, suspects are arrested in the Peshawar mosque bombing and the long (jumbo) life of Boeing’s 747 reaches a final milestone. Meanwhile, French daily Les Echos reports on the emerging haute cuisine culture rising around gluten-free.

[*Nauruan, Nauru]

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