We are talking about a G7 agreement to limit the price of Russian oil and the political struggle of the New Zealand Prime Minister.
G7 leaders meet in Germany
At a summit in the mountains of Germany, leaders of the Group of 7 countries embraced an aggressive but untried plan to manipulate the price of oil, the world’s largest commodity market.
The plan — which would put a price cap on Russian oil, but sell it to the world — is an acknowledgment that Western embargoes have not yet affected Russia’s oil revenues, while driving up gasoline and other fuel prices.
Details have yet to be finalized, but US officials said they were confident the plan could weigh on Russian oil revenues as well as the price per barrel in global markets.
Over the weekend, G7 leaders announced plans to invest in infrastructure in less wealthy countries, in part to counter China’s influence. On Monday, the Chinese government rejected criticism that its own efforts were “debt traps.”
News from the war in Ukraine:
Russia has defaulted on its foreign debt
Russia missed a deadline for making bond payments on Sunday, indicating it is defaulting on international debt for the first time in more than a century.
About $100 million in interest payments failed to reach investors within a 30-day grace period after a missed deadline last month. The default was prompted by widespread Western sanctions that attempted to cut off Moscow from global capital markets after Ukraine’s invasion.
Russia’s finance ministry is contesting the default, saying it made the payments in May and that they were blocked by a Brussels-based financial clearinghouse. Kremlin spokesman Dmitri S. Peskov told reporters the default statements were “absolutely illegal”.
Details: A formal declaration of default should come from bondholders, as rating agencies, which normally report when borrowers have defaulted, are banned from reporting on Russia by sanctions.
What it means: The default will linger in the minds of investors and likely drive up Russian borrowing costs in the future. However, this default setting is unusual because it results from sanctions that block transactions; Moscow’s finances remain resilient after months of war, and Russia continues to receive a steady inflow of cash from oil and gas sales.
New Zealand’s leader is losing her shine
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is seen abroad as a star – a young progressive feminist who has deftly guided her country through the pandemic and a tragic mass shooting. But at home her star is fading.
With rising prices for food, fuel and rent, and an explosion of gang violence in New Zealand, Ardern’s center-left Labor Party is at its lowest level of support in five years. Many residents express deep doubts about her ability to deliver on the “transformative” change she promised as elections loom next year.
“New Zealanders who experience this day-to-day are frustrated by a lack of change,” said Morgan Godfery, a liberal writer and academic. “But if you look from abroad, you don’t see the lack of policy, but the personality. And that’s where the mismatch comes in.”
Ms Ardern’s pandemic success helped lift her party to an outright majority in parliament in the last election, in October 2020. But with most of the virus restrictions lifted, her government has lost its unifying fight against the pandemic and with it much of it. the are dual support. What remains is rising inflation and little progress on issues that have plagued New Zealand for decades.
Details: Ms Ardern’s government announced a payment of 350 New Zealand dollars ($220) to middle- and low-income New Zealanders to help alleviate the rise in the cost of living. However, many consider the government’s response to be inadequate and dissatisfied with foreign comparisons.
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