China & U.S. Thaw Out & How Life In Space Affects The Body
November 13, 2023
Turning The Ship Around In The City By The Bay
Together, China and the U.S. produce over 40% of the world’s goods and services. Unfortunately, the two powerhouses often find themselves locked in some form of conflict or another, dragging their allies (and even third parties) into the fray as well.
Meanwhile, the world has also suffered a few other crises on top of the U.S.-China trade war. Covid-19, the war in Ukraine, and the conflict in Gaza have all damaged the global economy in different ways. Now, the world economy has slowed its growth to a crawl, with just 3% growth this year and 2.9% expected for next year. “Having the world’s two largest economies at loggerheads at such a fraught moment,” says one senior professor of trade policy at Cornell University, because it “exacerbates the negative impact of various geopolitical shocks that have hit the world economy.”
Luckily, there’s always a chance to reverse course. U.S. President Joe Biden and China’s President Xi Jinping are expected to meet on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit on Wednesday, raising hopes that Beijing and Washington might be able to stop their ever-escalating conflict.
Experts say that the talks are likely to yield few solid diplomatic developments, but might still offer an early step towards reconciliation. “This is a meeting that’s probably much more about symbolism and showing a commitment among both leaders to maintain high-level communications and keep communications flowing over the course of the next year,” said one foreign policy expert. The Biden administration seemed to echo this sentiment, with one Biden diplomat saying, “We’re not talking about a long list of outcomes or deliverables. The goals here really are about managing the competition, preventing the downside risk of conflict and ensuring channels of communication are open.”
Some Good News
- Walmart to start daily sensory-friendly hours in its stores (USA Today)
- Jack Russell in Suffolk has become foster mum to abandoned kittens (BBC)
Hardship At The Hospitals
- The conflict in Israel has also put some of the world’s most vulnerable people in harm’s way. Hospitals in Gaza have found themselves under increased stress due to the conflict, in part from Israel’s siege of the area but also from the IDF’s ground invasion of northern Gaza.
- As Israeli airstrikes and now ground forces have slammed Gaza over the past few weeks, tens of thousands of people have been injured. While staff from local hospitals try to treat those injuries, their facilities are running dangerously low on clean water, medicine, supplies, and fuel. “We are trained to deal with mass casualties, but not like this,” said one doctor in Gaza. “We have no anesthesia to treat patients with severe pain, patients with shrapnel in their head or abdomen, people whose arms or legs have been amputated.”
- On Sunday, the Al-Quds Hospital in Gaza said it could no longer continue operations. “The cessation of services is due to the depletion of available fuel and power outage,” said the Palestinian Red Crescent. The hospital was sheltering some 14,000 people escaping Israel’s bombing campaign.
- Meanwhile, fighting near the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza has left the facility in a “catastrophic situation,” according to international aid groups. “The intensive care unit, pediatric department, and oxygen devices have stopped working,” added a spokesperson for Gaza’s Health Ministry.
Want To Know More?
- Israel says Palestinian Authority in current form should not run Gaza (Reuters)
- US in ‘ongoing negotiations’ for release of hostages held by Hamas, Sullivan says (Guardian)
- Benjamin Netanyahu says there ‘could be’ a potential deal to release hostages (NBC)
- Iran and Saudi Arabia Demand Gaza Cease-Fire (NYT, $)
- U.S. doesn’t want to see firefights in Gaza’s hospitals, Jake Sullivan says (Politico)
- International outcry grows over ‘unbearably desperate’ situation in Gaza hospitals (NPR)
Additional World News
- Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard found guilty of sexual assault (Guardian)
- Polish nationalists hold Independence Day march in Warsaw after voters reject their worldview (AP)
- French politicians join 100,000 at Paris march against antisemitism (Guardian)
- Iceland declares state of emergency, evacuates over threat of volcanic eruption (CNN)
- Portugal’s Costa apologizes for cash seized at his official residence (Politico)
- Fresh protests held across Spain over amnesty deal for Catalan separatists (Guardian)
- U.K. Home Secretary Stirs Political Storm After Writing Article Attacking the Police (NYT, $)
“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” – Albert Schweitzer
Former Cop, Current Rulebreaker
- The FBI is investigating whether Mayor Eric Adams, in the months leading up to his election two years ago, called the fire department in New York and had them approve the Turkish government’s new consulate building despite safety concerns. The investigation is part of a larger corruption probe into Adams.
- Adams urged the FDNY to let the Turkish government occupy the building at least temporarily. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was able to then attend the opening of the $300 million, 35-story tower during his September 2021 visit to New York for the U.N. General Assembly, despite significant problems with its fire safety system.
Wildfire Season Is Over, But Freewayfire Season’s Just Begun
- A mile-long section of the 10 Freeway in downtown Los Angeles was damaged by a fire over the weekend, closing down the road indefinitely and causing major traffic issues in a city that’s already known for its traffic issues. Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a joint news conference with Mayor Karen Bass that an investigation into the cause of the fire was set to be completed early this morning, but as of writing, no cause had been identified.
- About 300,000 vehicles pass through the freeway corridor daily, and until a more in-depth assessment of the damage to the freeway’s columns and bridge deck can be completed, it’s anyone’s guess as to how long it will take to complete repairs and reopen the freeway. Newsom declared a state of emergency on Saturday in response to the shutdown, and residents have been urged to stay home or take public transportation – which isn’t always an easy solution for people.
Additional USA Reads
- Texas: two hostages dead and police officer killed during rescue attempt (Guardian)
- Ohio Republicans move to exclude judges from interpreting enshrined abortion rights (Guardian)
- In Veterans Day Speech, Trump Promises to ‘Root Out’ the Left (NYT, $)
- 3 people killed and more than a dozen injured in Brooklyn brownstone fire (CNN)
- GOP election losses in Virginia are likely to quiet the presidential speculation about Gov. Youngkin (AP)
- Two students accuse Hillsdale College of retaliating against them after reporting sexual assaults (NBC)
- Joe Manchin running 3rd party in 2024 would be ‘so foolish,’ fellow Democrat Wes Moore argues (ABC)
Just Another Couple Of Reasons We’re Never Going To Space
- As billionaires like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk dream of sending humanity into space, we’ve got a few questions to ask before dropping a couple hundred thousand dollars to book a seat on a private space shuttle flight. Mainly, what are the long-term effects of living in space?
- Issues like oxygen supplies and thermal regulation have been solved by well-insulated, airtight crew compartments like those aboard the ISS and space shuttles. However, longer flights into space, and the possibility of living on different planets, have a few other issues to tackle for human health. The big two are radiation and a lack of gravity.
- You might think that most spaceships and satellites can protect their passengers from radiation, but they can’t yet. Take, for example, the ISS – its crewmembers are actually shielded from high levels of cosmic radiation thanks to Earth’s magnetosphere, a magnetic field that stretches out up to 40,000 meters and protects all of Earth from high-energy, heavy particles that can penetrate spaceships while damaging living cells. They also haven’t solved the problem of variable gravity, which can cause muscle atrophy and bone density in people who spend too much time in space. Currently, neither of these problems has widely available solutions – hopefully somebody at Blue Origin is reading this so Jeff Bezos can get outta here.
- Choosing a college is hard. The Israel-Hamas war is making it harder (USA Today)
- Northern Taurids: Meteor shower could produce fireball display (CNN)
- Travis Kelce reacts to Taylor Swift changing ‘Karma’ lyrics to reference Chiefs (NBC)
- Circus lion captured after hours on the loose near Rome (CNN)
- In very rare move, Pope dismisses conservative U.S. bishop (NBC)
- How gender disparities are affecting men (CBS)
- SAG-AFTRA reveals terms of landmark contract (CNN)