World news digest

Newsletter of March 8, 2022

Today’s newsletter covers E.U.’s reliance of Russian gas, attack on a Korean politician, lèse-majesté in Thailand, Sony and Honda’s joint venture, and more.

IEA’s plan to decrease E.U. reliance on Russian natural gas

The European Union may be able to decrease its dependency on Russian gas by 30% within a year with various sets of measures. Reducing household heating alone would only have a limited impact.

Russia brings Ukraine war sanctions into the deal on Iran nuclear program

As talks with Iran on its nuclear program were close to an agreement with world powers, Russia wants guarantees that sanctions against its invasion of Ukraine will not affect its relations with Iran, adding another layer of complications. Iran’s Foreign Minister said his country would not allow “any foreign elements to undermine its national interests”.

Korean politician attacked only days before presidential elections

A man in his 70s sneaked up behind South Korea’s ruling party leader during a rally and hit him several times with what appeared to be a hammer wrapped in a plastic bag. The assault took place only days before Korea’s presidential election. The campaign has been marked by bitter and toxic rhetoric.

Myanmar’s military junta terminates citizenship of 11 opposition leaders

They are accused of having fled the country and harmed national interests. Eight of them are part of the National Unity Government which views itself as the legitimate ruling authority. Most N.U.G. leaders are thought to be hiding in border areas or operating from abroad.

U.A.E. on ‘gray list’ by anti money-laundering body

While the United Arab Emirates, home to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, carefully promotes a business-friendly image, the Financial Action Task Force shared concerns about authority’s efforts to stop criminals from using the country to hide wealth, especially in its real estate market.

Prison for lèse-majesté for a sticker on the portrait of Thailand’s King

A court in Thailand sentenced a political activist to two years of prison for lèse-majesté. He was accused of putting a sticker of a yogurt brand on a portrait of the King in front of the Supreme Court. More than a hundred others have recently been charged with defaming monarchy during protests calling for political change.

Sony to help Honda produce new electric cars

Sony and Honda will join forces to produce innovative electric vehicles. It’s an uncommon move in Japanese business. “We’re so used to thinking within the category of autos, it’s hard to think outside that box,” Honda C.E.O. said. But on the day of the announcement, Sony shares lost 3.2% and Honda’s were down 4.5%.

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