blue and yellow globe

The Wednesday Politics Thread Sets Sail

Yesterday was primary day in several of the United States states, but I was too busy hiding my yachts to provide a summary. Instead, here is some news of the world to read while waiting for other politicados to comment on the election results. Hide your yachts!

$325 million yacht seized from Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov sails to U.S. after Fiji court ruling

The seizure effort was part of the DOJ’s “KleptoCapture” campaign to punish Russian billionaires in response to their country’s invasion of Ukraine, and the latest in a series of similar actions by other Western countries targeting Russian luxury yachts.

Last month, when the U.S. first tried to seize the Amadea, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco wrote that she had previously “warned that the department had its eyes on every yacht purchased with dirty money.”

“This yacht seizure should tell every corrupt Russian oligarch that they cannot hide, not even in the remotest part of the world,” Monaco wrote.

CNBC [archive]

What We Know About Where Russia’s ‘Stolen’ Grain Is Going

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at a Monday press conference that there is evidence of Russia “pilfering” Ukrainian grain for “its own profit,” while Victoria Prentis, the U.K.’s food minister, called for an investigation into the alleged grain theft Tuesday.

The grain is being sent worldwide: the U.S. sent an alert to 14 mostly African countries last month warning against buying stolen grain from Russia, according to a New York Times report published Sunday.

Forbes [archive]

More than 200,000 face starvation in Somalia as rains fail: UN

Nearly a quarter of a million people are facing starvation in Somalia as drought worsens and global food prices hover near record highs, United Nations agencies have said.

The agencies said on Monday that a fourth consecutive rainy season had failed in the Horn of Africa country, and meteorologists are warning of another below-average rainy season later this year as the world’s climate becomes more erratic.

Al Jazeera [archive]

Fuel shortages across Africa hit motorists, airlines and radio stations

South African motorists are complaining about record pump prices, Nigerian radio stations have warned that they will go off air because of the cost of diesel generators and airlines across the region are clubbing together to buy jet fuel.

Africa produces about 8 per cent of the world’s crude oil, but a lack of refining capacity means it imports almost all of its fuel. As a result, it has been the continent hardest hit by the turmoil in international markets triggered by the war in Ukraine and the partial European embargo on Russian crude.

Financial Times [archive]

Climate crisis costs up over 800% as UN donor nations fail to keep pace, report says

The report, released Tuesday by Oxfam, found not only is the need for extreme weather-related UN humanitarian funding now sharply higher than 20 years ago, but donor nations are also failing to keep up with the staggering costs of the climate crisis.

“Climate change is harming, and will continue to harm, Black, Indigenous, and people of color and other vulnerable communities first and worst — disrupting their livelihoods, culture, health, and way of life,” Russell Armstrong, Oxfam America’s senior climate policy adviser, told CNN. “Even though the economic toll of climate change, estimated between $300 billion and $500 billion globally, is on par with government subsidies for fossil fuels, calls for solutions have gone unheard,” he added.

CNN [archive]

Hopes dim, anger grows in British journalist’s disappearance in Brazil

As another day went by without any sign of a British journalist who went missing in the Amazon, diplomats, rights groups and news organizations pressured the Brazilian government to marshal an expansive search and rescue mission to scour one of the most remote regions of the rainforest.

The delay typified a search effort that family and Indigenous rights groups have criticized as too slow and too meager to resolve a disappearance that has absorbed the country. So little was being done, an Indigenous rights group said, that it filed a joint judicial action with the federal public defenders office to request more help — assistance that might have been quickly dispatched from a military base in nearby Tabatinga.

The Washington Post [archive]

India faces backlash over BJP’s ‘Islamophobic’ remarks

Last week, BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma commented on Prophet Muhammad’s youngest wife during a televised debate, specifically about how old she was believed to be when they married.

Her remarks were blamed for clashes in an Indian state and prompted demands for her arrest.

Sharma took to Twitter to retract her statement, saying that the comments were made in response to “insults” made against the Hindu god Shiva.

With calls for the boycott of Indian-made goods spreading across several Muslim countries, the BJP-helmed government has been propelled into action over 10 days after the comments were first made.

Religious tensions have escalated in India in recent months, with critics saying they are prompted by Indian television anchors during raucous debates.

Deutsche Welle [archive]

Ryanair under fire for asking South Africans to prove nationality with Afrikaans test

The low-cost airline is being accused of racial discrimination after presenting passengers with a test in the West Germanic language, which was forced upon black South Africans under apartheid and is only used by an estimated 12% of the population.

The move sparked fury among South Africans, with many taking to social media to criticize the airline, pointing out that South Africa has 11 official languages, and many nationals do not speak Afrikaans.

CNN [archive]

Alas, while you were reading this header your yacht was seized. But don’t go getting any ideas about breaking the McSquirrel Rule, regurgitating clams or, heaven forfend, hogpoggling on account of losing your luxury seafaring vessel. Rules are rules and your obscene wealth has no power here. Try and bribe me, I dare you!