Newsletter of November 11, 2021

Today’s newsletter covers decriminalization of food shortage in Russia, Belgian disagreement on climate, diamond smuggling in the Portuguese army, and more.

ship stuck in ice in the Chukotka autonomous district
Ships stuck in ice in the Chukotka autonomous district. The population is facing difficulties in getting supplies of some food items or construction material | © Roman Kopin, Instagram

Low supply of some food items in the Russian Far East

The population in the Russian Far East has difficulties in getting some essential food items. Authorities explain seaports are jammed because of the intense maritime traffic. But several ships on the alternative Northern Sea route have also been surprised and stuck in ice.

Belgium unable to agree on its climate plan

With a fragmented political landscape, Belgium will not be able to announce an agreement implementing its national climate policy before the end of COP26. Regional governments disagree on the “burden sharing“.

Portuguese army involved in diamond smuggling investigation

Portugal arrested several ex-military officers suspected of having smuggled diamonds and gold during their deployment in a United Nations operation in Central African Republic.

Also elsewhere in the world…

Shortage and panic buying of urea in South Korea

Two million diesel vehicles are required by the South Korean government to use this additive and turn nitrogen dioxide emissions into harmless nitrogen and water. But a Chinese regulation on exports last month, where South Korea gets 97% of its urea, was not properly anticipated by Korean authorities, Reuters reports. They rationed sale and sent a military tanker in Australia but the situation will take some time to readjust.

Singapore partially lifts a Covid music ban

Singapore decided to allow some music being played in restaurants again. Since June, music was banned to avoid people speaking loudly and spreading the Covid-19 virus. From Wednesday, food and beverage establishments can play “soft recorded music“. Live music is still forbidden. Similarly, South Korea decided to restrict music with a fast tempo in gyms in July. The goal was to avoid people from feeling to much energized and breathing heavily.

Ethiopia detains 16 of the United Nations local staff

All of them are ethnic Tigrayans. About 70 contractors delivering U.N. humanitarian aid have also been arrested. In September, Ethiopia expelled 7 UN officials for “meddling with internal affairs“. The government is fighting rebels in the northern region of Tigray. The United Nations blames the authorities for voluntarily blocking humanitarian aid.

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