The last edition of the Monday Briefing before partials starts from IPCC’s latest, worrying to say the least, climate report to then take us once again to Ukraine as we present a general overview of all latest developments. In other news, the Eurozone inflation, the New Zealand child abuse investigation, Joe Biden’s State of the Union address, and much much more.
As the Ukraine crisis is intensifying but seemingly not going towards any conclusive outcome (you can find this week’s most important developments on the crisis below), we decided to dedicate this week’s Spotlight section to a piece of news that may have been overshadowed by the latest happenings surrounding Russian invasion of Ukraine, but that should have the world worry.
Last Monday, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is the body of the world’s leading climate experts and was formed in 1988 with the task to prepare comprehensive reports on the state of our knowledge of the climate, issued what experts have described as its ‘bleakest warning yet’ and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has referred to as ‘atlas of human suffering’. Formally, such ‘atlas of human suffering’ is the second part of IPCC’s assessment report, which has been seven years in the making and was finalized drawing from peer-reviewed work of thousands of scientists.
Part 1, which was made public last August and focused more on the origin of climate change, found that the climate crisis was “unequivocally” caused by human actions. Part 2 deals with the short-term and long-term impact of the crisis, and it lists things like increasingly frequent extreme weather events, half of the world population living in “highly vulnerable” areas, millions of people facing food and water shortages, coastal areas facing inundation, key ecosystems losing their ability to absorb carbon dioxide and mass die-offs of species.
None of these predictions are particularly new, since experts in the field have been warning the world for years of the potential consequences of climate change, but there seems to be a general lack of understanding of what it means to have oxygen-producing plants become carbon sources, or of what it means for there to be hundreds of coastal cities underwater, and its inhabitants displaced.
We are justifiably concerned for the war in Ukraine, and some of us may be rightly concerned for the tens of other conflicts that are currently ongoing around the world, but we seem to be forgetting that we are all on the same side when it comes to climate, and it would be a shame if at October’s COP27 in Egypt, we looked back and realized that we wasted precious time fighting each other.
Around the World
NATO countries provide weapons to Ukraine. Various NATO countries have announced they are sending weapons to Ukraine and even formerly neutral countries like Sweden and Finland have joined. About 20 countries are contributing. The commitment to support Ukraine has been seen by President Putin of Russia as a hostile action from the West. The tension is bound to increase as the US confirmed it plans to supply Ukraine with Soviet-era fighter jets from Poland.
Switzerland adopts EU sanctions against Russia. In view of Russia’s continuing military intervention in Ukraine, the Swiss Federal Council took the decision on 28 February to adopt the packages of sanctions imposed by the EU. These sanctions, which represent a breach of the country’s traditional stance of neutrality in conflict that was not even broken during the World Wars, include the freezing of assets of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Hundreds Held After New Zealand-Led Investigation Into Images of Child Abuse. A two-year investigation led by the authorities in New Zealand has resulted in the arrests of hundreds of people around the globe on charges of possessing and sharing child sexual abuse material, officials said on Wednesday. Dozens of children were moved out of harm’s way as a result, the authorities said. The investigation, the largest of its kind led out of New Zealand, found a secret global network that shared child sexual abuse images on a wide scale. In some cases, the pandemic provided cover for the illegal activity, as lockdowns kept children isolated at home and predators took to the web in search of victims, a British official said.
Eurozone inflation hits record 5.8% as Ukraine war adds to price pressures. Energy and unprocessed food prices have been the biggest contributors to the February inflation, which increased by a record 31.7% and 6.1% respectively. It is expected that Eurozone inflation will rise above 6% in March due to the disruption in the energy and commodity markets caused by the conflict in Ukraine. Paolo Gentiloni, the incumbent European Commissioner for Economy, has stated that Brussels will reassess in two months a possible reimposition of its budget rules in 2023, given the uncertainty arising from the conflict. Meanwhile, several ECB governing council members stated in the past week that any tightening of the monetary policy should be delayed because of the risk that the war in Ukraine hits growth and confidence.
Russia’s Ruble, Financial Markets Are Hammered by Sanctions. One U.S. dollar was worth 108.014 Russian rubles on Friday, a rise from 83 rubles within the same day, which marked a drop of more than 20% in the value of the ruble and its worst one-day decline since Sept. 3, 1998. Likewise, the value of shares of Russian companies dropped dramatically during the past week: the shares of Sberbank, the largest bank in Russia, fell 74%, while the shares of the Russian energy giants Gazprom and Rosneft were down 53% and 42%, respectively. The Russian Central Bank has closed the Russian stock market to avoid selloffs and raised benchmark interest rates from 9.5% to 20% to cushion the ruble’s fall.
‘Horrendous’ rocket attack kills civilians in Kharkiv as Moscow ‘adapts its tactics’. At least nine people have been killed and 37 injured after Russian forces launched multiple rocket strikes on the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv in what appeared to mark a change in tactics by Moscow towards bombing civilian areas. The city’s mayor, Ihor Terekhov, said the toll included the deaths of three children.
Ukraine-Russia talks to resume Monday. A Ukrainian negotiator announced that delegations from Ukraine and Russia will hold a third round of talks on Monday 7th March. The news was confirmed by the Russian state news agency TASS.
Protests across Russia see thousands detained. Nearly 4,000 people have been detained at anti-war protests in Russia on Sunday, the BBC reports. According to the OVD-Info rights group, over the span of 11 days, more than 10,000 people have been arrested. The crackdown will likely be reinforced by new provisions aiming at silencing dissent.
Ryanair will be ‘first airline to return to Ukraine’, says CEO. Ryanair has pledged to be “the first airline to return to Ukraine” when it is safe to do so after the Russian invasion. Its chief executive, Michael O’Leary, said Ryanair had been set to fly 2 million people to four airports in the country this year and had hoped to expand further before the invasion last week.
Jan. 6 Committee Lays Out Potential Criminal Charges Against Trump. The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol said on Wednesday that there was enough evidence to conclude that former President Donald J. Trump and some of his allies might have conspired to commit fraud and obstruction by misleading Americans about the outcome of the 2020 election and attempting to overturn the result.
Biden held the State of the Union address. President Biden of the United States emphasized unity during his State of the Union address on Tuesday 1st March. He said Russian President Putin will “pay a price” for his invasion of Ukraine. The address had been anticipated to tackle Biden’s stalled domestic agenda, which did not play as big a role as expected in the speech.
Donald Trump strikes deal to evade deposition in New York investigation – for now. Donald Trump has reached an agreement with the the New York attorney general’s office that will temporarily spare him from having to answer questions under oath as part of an investigation into his business, as the former president’s appeal process in the case continues.
Britain’s Ukraine visa scheme is complex and unfair, say critics. The Home Office was accused on Sunday of asking newly arrived Ukrainian refugees how long they plan to stay in the UK as the government came under mounting criticism for its response to the victims of the humanitarian crisis.
First female judge presides over hearing at top court in Egypt. Radwa Helmi has made history as the first female judge to sit on the bench of Egypt’s state council, a top court in the Arab country. Helmi, making her appearance in a Cairo courthouse, was among 98 women appointed last year to join the council, one of Egypt’s main judicial bodies, after a decision by the Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
Israeli prime minister visits Moscow for talks with Putin on Ukraine. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett of Israel traveled to Moscow to meet at the Kremlin with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, according to Israeli and Russian officials, a rare moment of diplomacy in a war that has stretched into its second week. “The situation around Ukraine is being discussed,” a Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters, according to RIA Novosti, a state-controlled news site.
Visa, Mastercard and American Express suspend operations in Russia. Visa has announced that it will begin a process upon the completion of which Visa cards issued in Russia will no longer work outside the country, and cards issued in other countries will not work in Russia. Mastercard has stated that after the suspension, cards issued by Russian banks will no longer be part of the Mastercard network, and cards issued elsewhere will not work at ATMs and merchants in Russia. Many Russians have rushed to banks to withdraw cash, raising concerns about the liquidity of Russian banks.
The Fed will raise interest rates. Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell announced on Wednesday that the Fed is going to raise interest rates during this month’s meeting. The move is deemed necessary in light of the strong inflationary pressure, which is bound to increase as a result of trade disruptions linked to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Guerra Russia-Ucraina, governo dichiara stato d’emergenza fino al 31 dicembre. Le misure: compensare riduzione gas con carbone o olio: il nuovo stato di emergenza ha come causa la guerra tra Russia e Ucraina. Il governo ha stanziato 10 milioni di euro per prestare soccorso e assistenza e ha preposto 16mila posti per I rifugiati in arrivo. Se, inoltre, fosse necessario ridurre I consumi di energia elettrica si dovrà massimizzare l’utilizzo di altre fonti come olio e carbone.
Si ricomincia a parlare di legge sulla cittadinanza. In settimana il presidente della commissione Affari costituzionali della Camera Giuseppe Brescia, del Movimento 5 Stelle, ha depositato un testo base che prevede il riconoscimento della cittadinanza italiana ai minori che non ce l’hanno dalla nascita legato a un percorso scolastico: è stato chiamato ius scholae, ed è molto simile a quello che in passato è stato definito ius culturae. La proposta espande i criteri per ottenere la cittadinanza italiana: riguarda soprattutto i bambini nati in Italia da genitori stranieri o arrivati in Italia da piccoli. In Italia si parla ciclicamente e da anni di una modifica della legge sulla cittadinanza, senza che però siano mai stati fatti dei grossi passi avanti.
Guerra Russia – Ucraina, anche l’Italia dà il via ai sequestri dei beni degli oligarchi. Dalla villa sarda di Usmanov allo yacht di Mordashov: il primo provvedimento del Comitato di sicurezza finanziaria ha portato al sequestro di alcuni ben degli oligarchi russi e amici di Putin da parte della guardia di finanza. Si tratta principalmente di ville e yacht del valore di milioni di euro.
Ucraina, l’informativa di Draghi alle Camere: ‘L’Italia non si volta dall’altra parte’. Draghi chiede al Parlamento di approvare una scelta mai fatta prima, cioè di inviare armi in un Paese in guerra. Tale decisione è stata approvata con larghissima maggioranza. Draghi ha inoltre invitato Putin ad ascoltare le manifestazioni dei suoi stessi cittadini contro le atrocità che si stanno compiendo in Ucraina.
Pannelli sui tetti senza permessi: così il governo punta sul fotovoltaico. Con il decreto sulle “Misure urgenti per il contenimento dei costi dell’energia elettrica e del gas naturale, per lo sviluppo delle energie rinnovabili e per il rilancio delle politiche industriali” il Governo vuole incentivare l’utilizzo di pannelli solari riducendo complessità e burocrazia del processo. Si tratta di un tentativo per favorire la transizione energetica verso fonti maggiormente rinnovabili.
Guerra Russia-Ucraina, gli oligarchi licenziano gli addetti delle proprietà in Costa Smeralda e fermano i lavori di ristrutturazione. Sono arrivati I primi effetti del congelamento da parte dell’UE degli asset degli oligarchi russi, i quali hanno licenziato il personale delle loro ville in Costa Smeralda e disdetto le opere di ristrutturazione e riqualificazione che erano state assegnate ad alcune ditte locali. Tali azioni avranno una portata ingente sull’economia di un luogo che si basa moltissimo sulla presenza di capitali e investimenti da parte degli oligarchi.
- Tomorrow, the Bocconi Association Students for Humanity will collect essential goods for the Ukrainian in Parco Ravizza from 11:30 to 18:00. Go on their social media pages for more information.
- From March 21st to May 7th, you will have the opportunity to partake in the Bocconi intramural tournaments of 3×3 basketball, 4×4 volleyball, 5×5 soccer, ping pong and swimming. The deadline to sign up is this Friday.
- The application for the undergraduate exchange program closes tomorrow at 3 pm.
In Case You Missed It
L’associazione studentesca bocconiana Keiron ha pubblicato un articolo sull’utilizzo della macchina della verità nel processo penale, che è vietato nell’ordinamento italiano come l’utilizzo di tutti strumenti idonei a influire sulla propria libertà di autodeterminazione.
On the TiL Rundown column, Sergiu Lazar identifies the factors hindering a more efficient and effective use of the Internet in Italy, such as digital illiteracy and disorganization of State-provided data.