Baltic Sea

There is no return to unbridled American power


Slowly, persistently, Joe Biden unveils the legacy of Donald Trump’s “America First” foreign policy. It is still a long way from restoring the global leadership of the United States.

Weeks of negotiations appear close to a deal for the United States to revert to the deal on the Iran nuclear program abandoned by Trump in 2018.

Biden brought the United States back to the Paris climate accord that Trump resigned, then sought to shape a green agenda with a summit of central nations.

And leaders marked by Trump’s abrasive approach to the Western alliance are likely to embrace Biden with relief at the Group of Seven and North Atlantic Treaty Organization summits next month. during his first European tour as president.

Yet allies and adversaries show the limits of American authority.

The talks on Iran have been mainly supported by the efforts of the European Union and Russia to keep the deal in force.

As Biden spoke of his administration’s “silent and relentless diplomacy” over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it was Egypt that was instrumental in the mediation efforts to achieve a ceasefire. last night that ended 11 days of fierce fighting.

It is too early to know whether Biden can coax or coerce Russia into a less confrontational relationship or be more successful than Trump in persuading North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.

And above all looms the superpower contest with China which could define its presidency.

Trump’s isolationism has brought down the curtain on the post-Cold War era of US global supremacy.

Biden may succeed in regaining some of the lost authority. But he cannot turn time back to an era of unchallenged American power. – Tony Halpin

A video monitor shows Biden, center, speaking at the virtual leaders’ climate summit in Washington on April 22.

Photographer: Al Drago / The New York Times / Bloomberg

Click here to see this week’s most compelling political footage and let us know how we’re doing or what’s missing at [email protected].

Global Headlines

Big difference | The United States has called for an overall minimum corporate tax rate of at least 15%, lower than the 21% it proposed for the overseas profits of American companies (a level that some countries considered excessive). The contrast between the proposals highlights the difficulty of the international tax negotiations conducted by the OECD.

  • Ireland’s finance minister told Bloomberg TV that global tax reform may be possible this year, even as his country comes under criticism for the way it taxes some of the world’s biggest companies.

Dig | China remains firm on retaliatory sanctions that led Europe to freeze a landmark investment deal, the latest sign that it is prepared to sacrifice economic opportunities to protect its “core†interests. After EU lawmakers approved a resolution this week to suspend ratification of the pact, Beijing said its actions were “a legitimate response to unilateral sanctions and the EU confrontation.”

  • Find out how a White House executive order to use regulation to limit the threat of climate change to American businesses is more about intent than actual regulation.

Look who’s back | Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the former Brazilian president jailed for corruption and then cleared by the Supreme Court, is emerging as President Jair Bolsonaro’s main challenger in next year’s elections. As Simone iglesias reports, Lula is rapidly uniting a large part of the political spectrum around his expected candidacy as Brazil recovers from the death and upheaval caused by Covid-19.

Gas pipeline policy

The 770-mile Nord Stream 2 project disrupts European and transatlantic alliances

The controversial Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline linking Russia and Germany under the Baltic Sea moved closer to completion after the Biden administration eased sanctions, but significant hurdles remain, Vanessa Dezem and Dina Khrennikova report.

Crushed hopes | What should have been a promising year for Africa is turning into a terrible year, with the pandemic plunging tens of millions of people into “extreme poverty” – meaning they live on less than 1, 90 dollars per day. Prinesha Naidoo reports that the lack of vaccines leaves the world’s poorest continent vulnerable to new waves of infections and prolonged lockdowns just as a long-envisioned free trade zone comes into effect.

Difficult choices | For many Hong Kong residents, Beijing’s decision a year ago to impose a national security law on the Asian financial hub was a catalyst for considering relocating, including to the UK, according to a news report. path that the British government has opened up to citizenship. Even so, some are now hesitant about whether to leave. We spoke to eight people eligible for UK residency about their plans and concerns. Read what they said here.

What to watch

  • Thailand will extend a nationwide state of emergency by two months, with the deadliest phase of the coronavirus outbreak to strike the country showing no signs of slowing down.
  • Myanmar’s junta-appointed electoral authorities will dissolve the political party of detained civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, local media reported, while ensuring that the military and its proxies win elections scheduled for next year.
  • The number of UK cases of a variant coronavirus from India has more than doubled for a second week in a row as authorities monitor a new mutation, fueling doubts about the economy being fully unlocked.
  • Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen welcome G-20 leaders by video conference today to discuss the pandemic at the World Health Summit.
  • U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said the Biden administration is studying how to help semiconductor producers and buyers share supply chain information to alleviate the global chip crisis.

Pop quiz, readers (no cheating!). In which country have two bloggers turned to crowdfunding to pay damages for libel lawsuits brought by the country’s leader? Send your responses to [email protected].

and finally … More than 5,200 future astronauts from 136 countries took part in an auction for a seat on the first manned space flight of Blue Origin, the company founded by billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Auctions have reached $ 2.8 million so far and end with a live auction on June 12, Sara Clemence reports. The winner gets an 11-minute trip scheduled for July 20 just beyond Earth’s atmosphere in a six-passenger capsule and “they might have time to do a few somersaults before they retreat,” Ariane said. Cornell, Director of Astronaut and Orbital Sales. .

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Source: blue origin

– With help from Rosalind Mathieson, Alan Crawford, Gordon Bell and Gem Atkinson