G-20 Convenes Amid Economic Gloom

G-20 Convenes Amid Economic Gloom

Updated: 18 days, 1 hour, 10 minutes, 20 seconds ago

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Welcome to today’s Morning Brief, where we’re looking at the G-20 summit , detained British-Egyptian activist Alaa Abd el-Fattah ending his water strike , and Iran’s attacks on Kurdish groups.

Welcome to today’s Morning Brief, where we’re looking at the G-20 summit, detained British-Egyptian activist Alaa Abd el-Fattah ending his water strike, and Iran’s attacks on Kurdish groups.

If you would like to receive Morning Brief in your inbox every weekday, please sign up here.

G-20 Leaders Meet for Annual Summit 

Leaders representing the G-20 nations will meet in Bali, Indonesia, today for an annual summit as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sends shockwaves around the world and forces countries to confront a troubling economic outlook.

It’s a problem that isn’t going away anytime soon, with the International Monetary Fund warning of more economic “storm clouds.” “This year’s shocks will re-open economic wounds that were only partially healed post-pandemic,” it said. “In short, the worst is yet to come and, for many people, 2023 will feel like a recession.”

But it’s unlikely that this summit will result in any sort of collective response to these challenges, especially as the group of nations remains deeply fractured over Moscow’s war effort. Ahead of the meeting, European leaders have suggested that it may not even culminate in a joint statement, the Washington Post reported.

The G-20 includes 19 nations and the European Union. Most leaders will be in Bali, but outgoing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Russian President Vladimir Putin are not attending. Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov will be standing in for Putin, although reports circulated on Monday that Lavrov had been hospitalized before the summit began; he has refuted those reports.

A spate of diplomatic meetings are set to take place on the sidelines of the summit, although the most closely watched one already occurred on Monday: U.S. President Joe Biden’s three-hour in-person talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping. 

After the meeting, China named Taiwan as a “red line,” while Biden said he did not think Beijing had imminent plans to invade the island. 

“I absolutely believe there need not be a new Cold War,” he said. “I have met many times with Xi Jinping and we were candid and clear with one another across the board. I do not think there is any imminent attempt on the part of China to invade Taiwan.”

On Monday, White House officials also announced that U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to China next year to continue discussions. 

What We’re Following Today

Egypt’s imprisoned activist. Alaa Abd el-Fattah, the detained British-Egyptian activist who began a water strike on Nov. 6, is alive and has started drinking water, his family said on Monday. Before refusing water, Abd el-Fattah had also been on a hunger strike since April. 

Abd el-Fattah’s hunger strike—and his family’s efforts to draw attention to his health—have spotlighted Egypt’s troubling human rights record as it hosts COP27, the latest United Nations climate summit.

Iran attacks Kurdish opposition. At least two people were killed and eight more were injured after Iranian authorities launched a series of strikes targeting Kurdish Iranian groups on Monday. Tehran has accused the parties of orchestrating the anti-government protests that were ignited by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in police custody in September. 

Keep an Eye On

Haiti’s political turmoil. Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry has fired the country’s government commissioner, interior minister, and justice minister, The Associated Press reported, as he grapples with rampant gang violence and economic instability. 

It’s not clear why they were dismissed, although last month Washington unveiled visa sanctions against 11 unnamed Haitian officials with gang ties, from both the current administration and earlier ones. 

British-French migrant policy. Britain and France have agreed to a deal designed to limit the number of migrants who can reach Britain by traveling in small boats. In exchange for $74.5 million in British payments, France will significantly ramp up its coastal security, the New York Times reported. 

Monday’s Most Read

• Crypto’s Boy King Got Dethroned Overnight by David Gerard

• The Obvious Climate Strategy Nobody Will Talk About by Ted Nordhaus, Vijaya Ramachandran, and Patrick Brown

• The Barbadian Proposal Turning Heads at COP27 by Catherine Osborn

Odds and Ends 

After pigs brawl, bystander pigs will try to ease tensions by lightly touching one of the fighting pigs with their snouts or ears, according to a new study. That physical contact can help reduce a victim pig’s anxiety, and that physical contact can also lower the chances that the instigator will attack others, the Washington Post reported.

“Pigs are highly social, and they have a very complex and high cognitive capacity to recognize familiar individuals,” Giada Cordoni, one of the report’s authors, told the Post.

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