From the first day of the G7 Summit to Hong Kong’s Jumbo Kingdom mystery – Here’s your June 27 news briefing
To start off, we’re looking into:
The US Supreme Court’s abortion ruling
On Friday, the US Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade court decision recognizing women’s constitutional right to an abortion, essentially giving states the power to make abortion laws as strict as they would like. The move drew wide criticism domestically and globally, with over 20 states expected to introduce laws restricting or banning the procedure. Pew Research Center found in June of this year that 61% of Americans think abortion should be legal in all or most cases. Internationally, the move sparked an outcry. For example, Canada generally doesn’t stick its nose into its largest trading partner’s business, but Trudeau was swift to respond, saying, “Quite frankly, it’s an attack on everyone’s freedoms and rights.”
Supporters of abortion say that with only some states allowing it, it would just force women to travel for the procedure, with companies like J.P. Morgan and Google saying that they will help fund the transportation costs associated for employees. With this, some states are trying to make it more difficult for women to travel for these procedures, and the ruling also puts more burden on women who don’t have the financial means to travel. For those groups, women may be forced to give birth or seek other potentially illegal and dangerous options.
The G7 summit so far
Last year, the G7 committed to ending direct international financing of fossil fuel projects by the end of this year to try and fight climate change. But, since then, the Russia-Ukraine war erupted and pushed into its fourth month with no sign of ending any time soon, throwing the global oil market into disarray and pushing inflation around the world to record highs.
With this, some sources familiar with the matter have said that Germany will propose that leaders walk back this commitment at the G7 summit during the Bavarian Alps over the next three days. But, the proposal did say that this had to be done in a way that would allow the group to meet its climate goals without creating any lock-in effects. While it’s only the first day of the summit and, up to now, nothing about this has been publicly mentioned, some sources have said that the UK has already opposed the move.
Some of the other things that have happened since the summit began:
- The UK, US, Japan and Canada have agreed to ban Russian gold imports, aimed at wealthy Russians who have been buying gold to reduce the impact of sanctions.
- “Really constructive” conversations are apparently taking place to put a price cap on Russian oil and pipeline gas to slash Russia’s energy revenue and ease inflationary pressures.
- Leaders pledged to raise US$600 billion in private and public funds over the next five years to develop infrastructure in developing nations to counter China’s influence and help with inflation.
Metal prices fall
The price of precious metals, most notably copper, is on the downhill slide right now, and experts are saying it’s just going to get worse.
If you’re wondering why you care about the price of copper, consider all the different things you use that have copper in them – your phone, car, TV, laptop, etc. And that’s not to mention all the industrial applications, including everything from car manufacturing to pasta making.
Back before Russia invaded Ukraine, copper hovered between US$4.40 and US$4.60 per pound. But once the invasion started, that price shot up to around US$4.90, mainly because Russia is one of the world’s biggest suppliers of the metal, and the supply shrank when no one would buy from the country. As inflation has skyrocketed, though, and demand for the metal has fallen, the price today is around US$3.74 and falling fast.
What’s going on with Hong Kong’s Jumbo Kingdom?
Jumbo Kingdom, a historic Hong Kong boat restaurant that had been host to everyone from Queen Elizabeth and Jimmy Carter to Tom Cruise and Bruce Lee, sank in the sea after being tugged out of port. “The water depth at the scene is over 1,000 meters [3,300 feet], making it extremely difficult to carry out salvage works,” read the initial statement by the company that owns it. The restaurant was gone for good.
Or so we thought.
See, that’s pretty much what the report from Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises Limited said when the incident happened last Monday. But when pressed by maritime authorities on Thursday to give a complete detailed report of the incident’s circumstances, the company appeared to walk back those previous statements and said that the restaurant and an accompanying tugboat were still in the waters near the Paracel, or Xisha, Islands.
So now, Hong Kong lawmakers are calling for a government investigation to figure out what happened, saying that it was important to know if there had been any sort of malpractice when the boat was towed away.
In all fairness, the boat was 50 years old and needed repairs. But no one had stepped in to pay for the repairs, and Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam had said previously that the government wasn’t going to either. So, it was likely uninsured, too, with Andrew Brooker, managing director of Hong Kong-based marine insurance firm Latitude Brokers, saying it was “incredibly unlikely” the boat was insured for damage or loss.
“The marine insurance market does not like [to carry the risk of] 50-year-old barges being towed across 1,000 kilometers of open ocean in typhoon season,” he said.
In other news …
🇷🇺Russia and Belarus: Putin has said that Russia will be sending short-range missile systems to ally Belarus in the next few months. Meanwhile, while the G7 leaders were meeting in Germany on the first day of their Summit, Russia targeted Kyiv with missile attacks, but Biden declined to answer questions as to whether this was a deliberate response to the G7 meeting.
🇳🇴Oslo shooting: A memorial service is being held at the Oslo Cathedral service after a shooting in Norway on Saturday, killing two people and injuring over 20. A man has been charged with murder, attempted murder and terrorist acts.
🦠WHO and Monkeypox: The WHO has said that while monkeypox is “clearly an evolving threat," it’s not being considered as an international public health emergency “at this moment."
🇭🇰Xi going to Hong Kong: After a few weeks of umming and ahhing, it’s confirmed – China’s President Xi is going to Hong Kong to attend the city’s 25th handover ceremony as well as the inauguration of the city’s sixth-term government. This is Xi’s first trip outside of the mainland since COVID started in 2020
🇨🇳Shanghai’s COVID rules: Shanghai will gradually resume dining-in at restaurants from June 29 in low-risk areas and areas without any community-level spread of COVID-19 during the previous week.
🇷🇺Russia’s debt default: Russia is heading into a historic debt default as a US$100 million payment comes due with Moscow, which is also cut off from the global financial system. But it’s important to note that if this default does happen, it was because of sanctions, not because Russia was unwilling or unable to pay, especially with oil revenue for the country at a historic high. Russia has said the country isn’t in default because it technically has the money.
🇨🇴Tragedy in Colombia: At a traditional Colombian bullfighting festival, otherwise known as “corraleja," at least four people have died after a stand collapsed during a bullfight. The death toll is expected to rise.
🍎Apple’s new swag: From four iPhone 14 devices to new iPads to three new Apple watches to new Airpod Pro pods and a new home pod – Apple is set to release a bunch of new products between now and the start of next year, according to a Bloomberg report.
🎬Box office battle: “Elvis and “Top Gun: Maverick" are in a bit of a box office battle, with both bringing in US$30.5 million over the weekend in North America.
Written and put together by Jake Shropshire, Christine Dulion and Krystal Lai