The world in brief 【2023-01-14】
The world in brief 【2023-01-14】
The world in brief 【2023-01-14】
Russia’s ministry of defence said its forces had captured Soledar after months of hurling regular troops and mercenaries at the eastern Ukrainian town. Ukraine’s spokesperson for its troops in the east, however, said that fighting continued and accused Russia of “dispersing information noise”. A Russian success would mark the country’s first victory in half a year and pave the way to cut off the nearby city of Bakhmut.
America’s treasury secretary warned that the government will be unable to service its debt by June unless Congress raises the statutory borrowing limit. Janet Yellen said that, starting on Thursday, the government will have to start repurposing funds to pay its bills. Raising the debt ceiling from $31.4trn is needed to avoid a sovereign default. With Republican fiscal hawks newly empowered in Congress, brinkmanship awaits.
JPMorgan Chase, America’s largest bank by assets, reported that profit in the fourth quarter of 2022 grew by 6% year on year, to $11bn. That owed much to higher interest rates and an increase of 48% in net interest income (the gap between lending revenues and borrowing costs). But the bank set aside $1.4bn in anticipation of credit losses and predicted a “mild recession” ahead.
The Biden administration will seek congressional approval to sell F-16 fighter jets to Turkey, according to the Wall Street Journal. The $20bn sale, of 40 aircraft, will be conditional on Turkey ratifying Sweden and Finland’s bids to join NATO. Turkey recently put its Russian-made S-400 missile system in storage; in 2019 America had cancelled a separate aircraft sale to Turkey in protest over that purchase.
Brazil’s justice minister said the federal police would request that America extradite his predecessor, Anderson Torres, on Monday if Mr Torres fails to turn himself in. Mr Torres was in charge of public security during the Brasília riots on January 8th, though he was in Florida at the time and remains there. He has been stripped of that job; there is an order out for his arrest.
A New York City judge has fined two companies belonging to Donald Trump a total of $1.6m for committing 17 felonies, including tax fraud. The businesses were convicted last month of paying their top executives with untaxed perks such as apartments and Mercedes-Benz cars. Mr Trump himself was not on trial.
Britain’s economy unexpectedly grew by 0.1% from October to November as pubs and restaurants filled up with people watching the World Cup. The figures suggest that Britain could narrowly avoid recession, defined as two quarters of contracting GDP, at the end of 2022. But strikes continue to weigh down the economy, which is still smaller than it was before the covid-19 pandemic.
Germany weans itself off Russian gas On Saturday Olaf Scholz, Germany’s chancellor, and Robert Habeck, the economy minister, will travel to Lubmin on the Baltic coast to open the country’s second floating terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG). It is another milestone in the country’s effort to reduce its consumption of Russian gas. Until the end of last year Germany had no infrastructure to import LNG. Its other terminal opened on the North Sea coast in December. A third will soon open there too. By the end of this year Germany will have inaugurated half a dozen, providing enough import capacity to cover a third of Germany’s total gas needs. To build LNG terminals at such speed has cost the taxpayer billions of euros, but it will help ensure Germany can get through the next winter without gas shortages.
周六，德国总理奥拉夫·肖尔茨（Olaf Scholz）和经济部长罗伯特·哈贝克（Robert Habeck）将前往波罗的海沿岸的卢布林，开启该国第二个液化天然气（LNG）浮动码头。这是该国努力减少俄罗斯天然气消费的又一里程碑。
“Big Brother” returns to Africa One of the world’s best-known reality television shows returns to Africa’s screens on Sunday with a special edition called “Big Brother Titans”. Contestants from the rival continental powers of Nigeria and South Africa will be pitted against each other for the first time. And there’s $100,000 on the line. Spin-offs of the TV franchise have been a huge success in Africa since it first aired there in 2003. Initially there was “Big Brother Africa”. DStv, a broadcaster, has often hosted channels carrying nothing but 24/7 live-streams of the houses where contestants live together and try to avoid being voted out. (The last one standing takes the cash.) Showmax, which streams DStv’s content, reported in 2020 that Big Brother Naija (Nigeria), a national version, was its most-watched livestream ever. Nigerians made up only half its viewership. As the continent-wide edition returns, there is hope that its mix of scandal, romance and high drama will again have pan-African appeal.
周日，世界上最著名的真人秀节目之一《泰坦大哥》（Big Brother Titans）将重返非洲荧屏。来自尼日利亚和南非这两个大陆强国的参赛者将首次交锋。这里所说的是10万美元的生意。
Boiled peanuts used to treat allergies Between 1 and 3% of people in most countries must scrupulously avoid peanuts or risk anaphylactic shock. And the allergy’s prevalence has tripled in the past two decades in America. To help sufferers, researchers have been experimenting with exposure therapy using boiled peanuts, which washes out some of their immunoreactive proteins. (This may be why peanut allergies are less prevalent in East Asia, where people usually boil their peanuts). The latest results, published in the journal Clinical & Experimental Allergy, are promising. In the trial, 70 children with a peanut allergy underwent a year-long peanut training regimen. They began by eating some peanut boiled for 12 hours and escalating the dose every week. Eventually, they could nibble peanuts boiled for only two hours, and after a year most could scoff 12 roasted peanuts at a time. A slow process, but surely worth it to spare people the EpiPen or a trip to hospital. For these children at least, the label “may contain nuts” is no longer tantamount to a skull and crossbones.
Weekend profile: J.R. Moehringer, prince of ghostwriters As John Joseph (known as J.R.) Moehringer put it himself, “the midwife doesn’t go home with the baby”. Such is the lot of ghostwriters. You might expect Mr Moehringer to observe his own rule with extra rigour after he midwifed Prince Harry’s todger-and-all memoir, “Spare”. Yet the furore surrounding the book has prompted Mr Moehringer to bend it, mainly by defending several inaccuracies on Twitter. Perhaps that’s because “Spare” is just as much Mr Moehringer’s work as Harry’s. From chimps to champs to princes, Mr Moehringer can find a written voice for anyone, especially if they have daddy issues (and a very large advance). Mr Moehringer, born in 1964 in New York City, started work as a journalist at the New York Times. He once inhabited the voice of Cheeta, the chimp star of the 1930s Tarzan films, to write a piece marking his 75th birthday. But Mr Moehringer’s own memoir, “The Tender Bar”, published in 2005, established his real theme: how to survive dysfunctional families. Mr Moehringer writes of his absent, “brutally insensitive” father, a rock’n’roll DJ. For male role models he had to make do with the alcohol-soaked camaraderie of uncle Charlie and his mates in a bar. The narrative of a lost boy striving to find his true self caught the eye of Andre Agassi, a tennis star of the 1990s with an outrageous mullet. He asked Mr Moehringer to help write his own memoir. Confronted, at first, by a “stilted, resistant” Mr Agassi, Mr Moehringer unlocked his subject, much as he must have done with Harry, with some 250 hours of interviews. The process bears a close resemblance to psychoanalysis. Harry calls Mr Moehringer his “confessor” in the acknowledgments to “Spare”. Mr Agassi’s book, “Open”, was revealing. It turned out that the Wimbledon winner hated tennis. Even the mullet was fake (to hide baldness). And, of course, there was the emotionally distant father. So, as the publishers must have realised, the Moehringer template was a perfect fit for Harry. But what suits publishers may not have best served the prince, who might have hoped to emerge with a bit more dignity. In an age of selfies and social-media exposure, however, dignity is not going to sell books. Prince Harry chose the right ghostwriter to do that.