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The Wednesday Politics Thread Releases Theatrically

Behold! Wednesday!! ::breaks leg::

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi lands in Taiwan amid threats of Chinese retaliation

Pelosi’s stop in Taipei is the first time that a US House speaker has visited Taiwan in 25 years. Her trip comes at a low point in US-China relations and despite warnings from the Biden administration against a stop in Taiwan.

A group of more than two dozen Senate Republicans, including Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell, issued a statement supporting Pelosi’s congressional delegation, which was all Democrats, landing in Taiwan.

Pelosi is traveling with House Foreign Affairs Chairman Gregory Meeks of New York, Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Mark Takano of California and Reps. Suzan DelBene of Washington state, Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois and Andy Kim of New Jersey.

CNN [archive]

How the C.I.A. Tracked the Leader of Al Qaeda

Intelligence officers made a crucial discovery this spring after tracking Ayman al-Zawahri, the leader of Al Qaeda, to Kabul, Afghanistan: He liked to read alone on the balcony of his safe house early in the morning.

The safe house was owned by an aide to senior officials in the Haqqani network, a battle-hardened and violent wing of the Taliban government, and it was in an area controlled by the group. Senior Taliban leaders occasionally met at the house, but American officials do not know how many knew that the Haqqanis were hiding al-Zawahri.

If some senior Taliban officials did not know that the Haqqanis had allowed al-Zawahri to return, his killing could drive a wedge between the groups, independent analysts and others briefed on the events said.

The New York Times [archive]

European Power Hits Record as Extreme Heat, Drought Parch Europe

“There have been a lot of risks for Europe securing adequate fuel supplies ahead of winter,” said Natalie Biggs, global head of thermal-coal markets at energy consulting firm Wood Mackenzie. Gas is potentially an unreliable source of energy if Russia makes further supply cuts, while low water levels along the Rhine represent a risk for coal, she said.

Temperatures are expected to peak at about 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in the south of the France on Wednesday. The heat also pushes up river temperatures, threatening France’s ability to cool its already strained nuclear power plants. France is usually a power exporter, but its atomic output — which accounted for 69% of the country’s electricity production in 2021 — is set to fall to the lowest in more than three decades this year and won’t fully recover in 2023.

Bloomberg [archive]

World’s Food Supply Faces New Threat From Lack of Rain in India

The threat to India’s rice production comes at a time when countries are grappling with soaring food costs and rampant inflation. Total rice planted area has declined 13% so far this season due to a lack of rainfall in some areas, including West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh, which account for a quarter of India’s output.

India supplies rice to more than 100 countries, with Bangladesh, China, Nepal and some Middle Eastern nations among its largest customers. For the world at large, there are some bright spots when it comes to food security. The US is poised to deliver a bumper wheat crop in the coming weeks, while Ukraine made its first grain shipment since Russia’s invasion.

Bloomberg [archive]

‘Mi Patrimonio No Se Vende’: How Mexico is trying to recover its stolen cultural patrimony

Under the slogan #MiPatrimonioNoSeVende “My Heritage is Not For Sale,” the Mexican government has managed to recover nearly 9,000 pieces that were illegally abroad since 2018, turning the campaign into an international success for countries that have suffered cultural exploitation, such as Cambodia and Iraq.

We are talking about “the restitution of the dignity of those who have always been deprived and discriminated against, of cultures that have resisted 500 years and that are alive, and that deserve to be recognized in the greatness of their past,” assured Secretary of Culture Alejandra Frausto Guerrero in a press release issued by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH).

Al Día [archive]

Happy Wednesday, fellow Politicados! Hope the latest ‘Comments Button’ UI addition from the powers that be (they’re really very nice) in the bottom corner helps you to navigate to the top of the comments section quickly and painlessly from anywhere on the page. If you’re reading this more than once I apologize. Please to not Hogpoggle upon me, nor use your sprained scrolling finger as cause to break The McSquirrel Rule. See y’all round The Clampost Pile 💋