From India’s heat wave to Finland and Sweden’s moves toward joining NATO – Here is your May 16 news briefing

From India’s heat wave to Finland and Sweden’s moves toward joining NATO – Here is your May 16 news briefing
Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (not pictured) hold a news conference, after signing a declaration between the UK and Finland to deepen their defence and security co-operation, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, at the Presidential Palace, in Helsinki, Finland, May 11, 2022. Frank Augstein/Pool via REUTERS

To start off, we’re looking into:

Finland and Sweden want to join NATO

Both Finland and Sweden are making moves to join NATO. The move is coming largely because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has the two Nordic nations nervous about being the only countries in the Baltic region outside of the NATO alliance. Russia has said that the two countries joining NATO would be a mistake.

Both countries are expected to file a joint application for NATO as soon as the decisions are approved by their respective parliaments.

Usually, joining NATO can be a lengthy process, but AP News reported that NATO officials said the process could be completed “in a couple of weeks” under current circumstances.

CCP journal releases new remarks from Xi

wealth in China
A screen shows Chinese President Xi Jinping delivering a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia via video link, at a media centre in Boao, Hainan province, China April 21, 2022. REUTERS/Kevin Yao

A Communist Party journal released remarks that Chinese President Xi Jinping made in December where he warned against the inappropriate accumulation of wealth and the risks it poses to a healthy economy.

According to Bloomberg, Xi said, “financial risks are a result of a lack of oversight in the governance of financial institutions; relaxed management of local debts; blind expansion by large enterprises and their excessive reliance on financial leverage; financial fraud; corruption; and a slowdown in economic growth.”

He also underscored the need for attention to risks associated with real-estate developers and that while China shouldn’t allow “capital predators” to run rampant, the country needs to ensure the “orderly” growth of capital.

Hong Kong launches its new cross-harbor section

Hong Kong MTR
Source: MTR Corporation

After years of delays and budget overruns, Hong Kong’s MTR Corporation launched its new (and priciest) cross-harbor extension of the East Rail line on Sunday.

Hundreds of railway enthusiasts waited overnight in light rain to be the first ones to board the train at dawn.

The new section will extend the East Rail line to about 46 kilometers, with a total of 16 stations. Now that Admiralty station is a major interchange point for four railway lines, it won’t be as much of a hassle to change trains.

Plus, travel time for people coming from the New Territories to Hong Kong’s financial hubs will be shorter.

India’s heat wave tests “the limits of human survivability”

India heatwave
Shiekh Shahidul, 18, walks past the burning garbage at the Bhalswa landfill site in New Delhi, India, April 27, 2022. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

India’s unexpected April heat wave has increasingly taken a toll on people’s livelihood, especially for outside laborers who have to work at the forefront of this climate crisis.

Average maximum temperatures in some parts of the country were the highest since records started 122 years ago.

The heat is bad enough that landfills have caught fire, schools have been shut down, crops and energy supplies have been severely affected and many people may face long-term health complications from enduring the sweltering temperatures.

To end, we’ll look into:

Another twist in the Musk-Twitter tale

Musk Twitter
FILE PHOTO: Elon Musk looks at his mobile phone in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S. January 19, 2020. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

Last week, Elon Musk added to the skepticism of his Twitter buyout by saying that the US$44 billion deal would be paused to see how many fake users Twitter has.

He tweeted that, even though he is still committed to the acquisition, he wanted to wait for “supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users." Analysts are saying he is using this as an opportunity to renegotiate the price.

He wrote that he and his team would check whether 100 random users on the platform were, in fact, real. Why 100? Because apparently, that’s the sample size Twitter uses.

Twitter’s legal team then contacted him to say that he wasn’t meant to tell the world about its sample size and that he violated his NDA.

In other news

🇨🇳Shanghai is gradually reopening malls and other businesses that were shut because of lockdowns.

🇮🇳India has restricted wheat exports amid a current wheat shortage and record-high global inflation.

💵Biden tweeted last Friday that inflation could be brought down by making big companies pay their fair share in taxes. Jeff Bezos, who is often the poster boy for tax evasion, responded by saying that “the newly created Disinformation Board” needed to review the statement, saying, “Raising corp taxes is fine to discuss. Taming inflation is critical to discuss. Mushing them together is just misdirection.”

🇩🇪Germany has accused Putin of provoking a world food crisis, saying that the Russian military is destroying transport routes and storage facilities for Ukrainian grain, pushing up food prices and triggering “brutal hunger,” especially in poorer countries.

Homer Simpson birthday

🎂Homer Simpson turned 66 over the weekend!

🎥Netflix is looking into live streaming.

🥞This isn’t just some of your typical #foodporn pic for the gram, this is literally out of this world.

Let’s backtrack. You’ve heard about the crowd (Musk included) that is trying to make us mere mortals a multi-planetary species. Well, scientists are a step closer – food has been grown from moon-collected soil for the first time ever.

Lunar soil plant

We know it doesn’t look like much, but that’s also a matter of perspective. Boomers would say avocado and eggs on toast isn’t that exciting either.

Written and put together by Jake Shropshire, Christine Dulion, Julianna Barcela and Krystal Lai