The west is beginning the year in a recession accelerated by inflation and rising cost of living. The economic growth of People’s China and India is forecasted to grow to 4.8% and 5.8% based on a new UN report. In comparison, the US is expecting GDP growth of 0.4% and 0.02% in the EU. These countries, and the rest of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), are working to build economic alliances with each other that do not rely on the US dollar. BRICS countries consist of 41% of the global population, 27% of the land, and 32% of the GDP. We could soon see a major shift away from the ‘petrodollar’ and US hegemony especially if Saudi Arabia does join BRICS.
The intensity of the conflict in Ukraine is increasing as western allies have donated 321 tanks to the Kiev government. The situation seems dire for the Kiev government as Zelensky says that waiting until August for the tanks to arrive may be too late. A Russian Parliament member warned of the possibility of serious retaliation if these weapons make their way to the Ukraine. On January 24, Germany’s Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock makes a case for sending tanks to the Ukraine by saying that European countries are “fighting a war against Russia”. These provocations risk escalating a small military conflict into a Nuclear World War, and they must stop!
On January 24, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists released their update to the Doomsday Clock, a measurement of how close the world is to a global catastrophe caused by humans. The clock was updated to only 90 seconds to midnight. In the update, Steve Fetter gave an ominous warning. “Even if nuclear use is avoided in Ukraine, the war has challenged the nuclear order — the system of agreements and understandings that have been constructed over six decades to limit the dangers of nuclear weapons.”
Finally, in some well-needed positive news, the South Korean government has created a plan to ‘normalize’ relations with People’s Korea in the north through civic groups and international organizations.