6 November 2017   Leave a comment

Saudi Arabia intercepted a missile launched from Yemen toward the Saudi city of Riyadh and claims that the remains of the missile indicate that the missile was manufactured in Iran.  Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir indicated that the coalition fighting the rebels in Yemen would “close all air, land and seaports to Yemen” in an effort to stop the flow of weapons from Iran to Yemen.  The blockade could bring Saudi and Iranian forces face-to-face even as both sides continue to fight proxy wars in Syria and Yemen.  There is increased concern that Saudi Arabia and Iran are edging closer to war, even as the situation in Saudi Arabia remains uncertain after the purge by the Crown Prince.


The massacre of the Rohingya continues: the Myanmar military continues to push them out of Rakhine Province and Bangladesh has indicated that it cannot take in any more refugees.  Patrick Lawrence has written an excellent essay for Salon which places the crisis in the context of the failings of the nation-state.  Lawrence compares the situation in Myanmar with other cases such as Sri Lanka and Catalonia and the analysis is both rich and sophisticated.   The UN Security Council has issued a statement condemning the violence, but a proposed resolution, which would have been legally binding, was not supported by China, which has a close relationship to Myanmar.  Many are beginning to use the terms “ethnic cleansing” and “genocide” to describe the situation, but the world refuses to take effective action.  The Economist compares the flow of Rohingya refugees to other similar crises in the world.


Perhaps the country we should all keep our eyes on in the effort to avert climate change is India.  The US has leveled off its carbon emissions even though the Trump Administration has decided to leave the Paris Agreement–states and localities are taking care of emissions as the Federal Government defaults on its responsibilities.  China has made incredible strides in renewable energy and seems firmly committed to reducing its emissions although its task remains formidable.  India is also committed to renewable energy, but its poverty rate remains significantly higher than in China and it has far fewer options in terms of making a transition to non-carbon based fuels.  Given its rapidly growing population, India is likely the country that will determine whether climate change can be avoided. 

Posted November 6, 2017 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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