Your Quick Snort
Washington’s attempts to get Travis King, an American soldier who’d defected to North Korea, were not exactly frantic. Pvt. King had spent two months in a South Korean jail on assault charges, and was being sent home to face disciplinary actions when he bolted. King said that he was defecting because of “racism.” Whereas his mother opined that he’d “lost his mind.” At any rate, unable to get a rise out of the US State Department, either Kim un Jong or his sister, have decided that they’d just deport the guy.
If there was any question that the world is piling into an ill-advised 20th Century reboot: some 65,000 ethnic Armenians – better than half of Nagorno-Karabakh population have fled the enclave since Azerbaijan took control of the region. The Armenian separatist government has announced it is dissolving itself after 30 years, or since the Soviet Union melted and both sides were free to start killing each other again. This is a really old grudge, and one that threatens to be a headache for Moscow if it isn’t contained.
Brent crude oil surged to $97.56 p/b during Asia trading on Thursday – the highest in a year. Supply cuts have by Saudi Arabia and Russia have sent prices up 30% since June. US data is also showing lower-than-expected reserve stockpiles, which isn’t helping.
Still, British PM, Rishi Sunak is trying… Britain has approved the development of its largest untapped North Sea oil field, granting about 100 licenses. This won’t do anything for soaring oil prices any time soon, but is will chap the Climate Change Committee – a watchdog – which warned that Britain is missing its targets on reaching net-zero carbon by 2050. After a by-election this summer where voters asked “Exactly how much is this going to run me?” and getting not one to bid to develop proposed off-shore wind projects due to spiraling costs, there is no reason to believe Rishi Sunak cares about the targets one way or the other.
Direct foreign investment in China for the second quarter was down 94% for from Q2 2021 – during that Shawshank lock-down they were having at the time. While the lock-downs have been lifted, the authorities raiding foreign businesses and classing due diligence as espionage aren't helping. Not entirely unrelated…shares of China’s Evergrande have been suspended on tales of founder’s disappearance.