The Week in Review: A Dodgy Week for Diplomacy and Dancing
Everyone’s making plans for peace in Europe – except, it seems, Ukraine and Russia.
This week, China reasserted its neutrality and called for an end to the conflict in a 12-part peace proposal. All said, it’s a tad more sophisticated than Elon Musk’s now-infamous 41-word peace plan:
Belarus has thrown its hat in the peace-ring as well. While on a state visit to China, President Lukashenko said, “Belarus has been actively proposing peace” and declared his support for China’s international security initiatives.
However, Ukraine seems unimpressed by anything other than Russia’s total expulsion (including from Crimea). If only Lukashenko, Xi, and Musk could get together, maybe we’d have some progress.
Oh no. It looks as though federal employees will have to hone their dancing by means other than watching TikTok videos. According to a memorandum released by the White House on Monday, government agencies have 30 days to remove the app (and all others created by ByteDance Limited) from federal devices.
Meanwhile, the Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party met on Tuesday for a meeting titled “The Chinese Communist Party’s Threat to America.” The details of this meeting haven’t been released, but I’d bet it ties back to Tik Tok. Later in the week, H.R. Bill 1153 passed, authorizing the Biden administration to ban the app.
The Supreme Court heard arguments on Biden’s student debt relief program this week. Supporters argue the program relieves an unfair burden on students, while critics argue it’s a bailout for the children of the wealthy. More than 40 million are eligible for debt relief under the plan. 26 million have applied for debt relief thus far, with 16 million of these already approved.
The Ohio train derailment cleanup is progressing, albeit very slowly. Last Sunday, the EPA stated that much of the liquid waste is to be shipped away from the scene and that air screening tests conducted in 578 local homes revealed “no exceedances for residential air quality standards.” Biden has yet to deliver on demands that he visit East Palestine. Understandably, many Ohioans remain miffed.
Finally, a report released by Access Now states that governments are increasingly resorting to switching off the internet as a way to quell dissent. The report notes this occurred 167 times in 2022, up from 112 in 2021. India is responsible for an impressive 84 of this year’s internet blackouts and has held the title of main offender for the last five years.
And that’s about it for this week. There’s been a lot in the news about the economy, cost of living, inflation, personal finance, and other monetary calamities, so I’ll leave you with this:
On this day in 1855, Congress approved $30,000 in funding to test camels for military use. I hope your weekend goes a little more – prudently.
Ben Byrne, News Editor