Last week, the EU proposed a sixth round of sanctions against Russia. But some EU countries are still not totally on board with the idea, specifically when it comes to an all-out ban on Russian oil. For example, Hungary isn’t so crazy about the idea, as it gets more than half of all its oil imports from Russia.
Initially, the EU offered Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic an extension to comply with the sanctions since they rely so much on Russian oil. But Hungary has rejected the offer, seeking a longer transitional period. Most recently, Bulgaria joined in blocking the proposal unless it also receives a similar exemption.
Bongbong set to win
Votes are being counted from election day in the Philippines, and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., the son of the country’s former dictator, is presumed to make a landslide victory, with more than double the votes of the second-place nominee.
Bongbong would beat out Leni Robredo, the current Vice President of the Philippines and a former human rights lawyer.
Bongbong’s campaign was largely centered on bringing back his father’s legacy, with his slogan being, “Together we shall rise again.” His supporters believe he will bring the country to a place of prosperity, while his opponents argue that the return to a reign like his father’s, which was marred with allegations of corruption and human rights abuses, will be a catastrophe. Many have claimed that misinformation and disinformation played a major role in Marcos’ election.
Wall Street stocks to oil to crypto – everything is down
The worry over whether the US central bank can tackle inflation without throwing the economy into a recession is sending investors into a bit of a fight or flight mode as they take their money and focus to safer and more stable investments like the dollar, which is at a 20-year high. This triggered a huge sell-off, with tech giants – think Google, Microsoft, Meta, Tesla – losing over US$1 trillion in three trading sessions.
Also, Bitcoin has seen its price fall 20% over the past week, and Ethereum also is down almost 20% of its value, according to CoinGecko data. The rise and fall in digital asset trades isn’t necessarily new, but the crypto market has been pretty quiet this year, with Bitcoin losing half of its value since its November high. For example, Coinbase’s highly anticipated NFT trading marketplace launch last week was a bit of a bust, with it seeing less than US$60,000 worth of trades on its debut.
Business ties between the Saudis and Israel through Kushner
Some have alleged that there’s something dirtier underneath, pointing to the US$2 billion given to Kushner’s firm by the Saudi wealth fund just six months after Trump left office.
To end, we’ll look into:
The F1 in Miami
If social media pics didn’t give it away, Formula One possessed Miami this weekend, with the city’s native and baseball star Alex Rodriguez telling Bloomberg, “Nothing has rocked this city like F1. I’ve never seen anything like it.” Attracting everyone from former first ladies to sports stars, international artists to influencers and, oh yeah, race car drivers – between corporate sponsors and sky-high minimums at nightclubs after the race – organizers said the whole thing would rake in a cool US$400 million in economic impact.
In other news…
🚙An engineer is being sued for allegedly stealing some of Tesla’s supercomputer info by downloading it on his personal devices and not giving it back.
🇭🇰G7’s foreign ministers issued a statement on Monday denouncing Hong Kong’s election, saying it is “part of a continued assault on political pluralism and fundamental freedoms.”
🇦🇺Australia’s first crypto ETF is expected to list later on this week during an especially telling time for the crypto market.
🇱🇰Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is also the president’s brother, resigned after violent protests against a worsening economic crisis.
🇮🇳The Indian government has yo-yoed about how it feels about free speech on social media. But now, according to some, it’s putting its foot down by saying that account suspensions for violating the platforms’ community guidelines violate free speech.
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