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April 16, 2024

The World is Smoldering:

Israel, Ukraine Aid to Receive Separate US House Votes This Week
Speaker Mike Johnson plans separate US House votes this week on new aid to Israel and Ukraine, in an attempt to assemble fragile coalitions to speed weaponry to both besieged allies.
The move could end a months-long Republican blockade on help for Kyiv while also responding quickly to Iran’s missile and drone attack in Israel over the weekend.
“The world is watching us to see how we’ll react,” Johnson said Monday, as he announced the plan.

China Tells Iran Cooperation Will Last After Attack on Israel
China’s top diplomat told Iran that the nations can work together across a range of areas in the future, signaling their ties remain solid following Tehran’s unprecedented attack on Israel.
“China is ready to steadily advance practical cooperation in various fields with Iran and promote greater development of China-Iran relations,” Foreign Minister Wang Yi told Iranian counterpart Hossein Amirabdollahian in a phone call on Monday.

China’s Overcapacity Is Already Backfiring
In the “China Shock 2.0” narrative, not only is China a security threat and a low-end factory competitor, but it is also angling to swamp the West with cut-rate high-tech goods. There has been less focus on the downsides of such a strategy for China itself.
China’s first-quarter growth beat most estimates, rising 5.3% on the year—thanks mostly to strong industrial output and exports. But the economic data released Tuesday also showed that excess capacity is very real, and could be damaging to China itself. 

A $10 Billion Copper Mine Is Now Sitting Idle in the Jungle
When the group of mining executives arrived at Panama’s regal Palacio de las Garzas, they were ushered past the ornate, wood-paneled ceremonial rooms and straight to the private office of the president.
This was December 2016, before the upswell of anti-mining protests that would throw the country into chaos, and the team from First Quantum Minerals Ltd. were greeted as old friends. After all, they were building the country’s most important project since the Panama Canal had been opened a century earlier.

Oil prices fall for second day as U.S. expects limited Israel response to Iran attack
Crude oil futures fell for a second day Tuesday as the U.S. expects a limited response from Israel to an unprecedented air assault by Iran, reducing fears that the Middle East is on the verge of a broader regional war.

Russia steps up offensive in east Ukraine as forces look to seize key town by May 9, Ukraine says
Russian forces continue to pummel eastern Ukraine in a bid to advance farther into the Donetsk region while Ukraine continues to suffer shortages of manpower and materiel.
The commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, Oleksandr Syrskyi, said Monday that Russian forces were aiming to capture the town of Chasiv Yar in Donetsk by May 9, the date on which Russia commemorates Soviet victory in World War II.
Chasiv Yar lies west of Bakhmut, which was captured by Russian forces last May. Capturing Chasiv Yar would give Russia another strategic gain in Donetsk and could allow it to advance on industrial hub Kramatorsk. Syrskyi did not present evidence for his claim.
Ukraine’s military said Tuesday that Russian forces had launched 16 missile attacks, 31 airstrikes and 79 MLRS (multiple-launch rocket systems) attacks on the positions of Ukrainian forces in the past 24 hours. In the Lyman, Avdiivka and Bakhmut area of Donetsk, Ukrainian forces repelled 56 attacks in the past day, the military said.
Analysts at the Institute for the Study of War said Monday that Ukrainian forces’ ability to repel intensified Russian offensive operations in eastern Ukraine has “degraded due to materiel shortages and will likely continue to degrade in the near future should delays in U.S. security assistance continue.”

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