Cramm for 7/27/22


Tensions are rising over Taiwan. 



Over the centuries, Taiwan - an island that lies roughly 100 miles off the coast of China - has been under Dutch, Chinese, and Japanese control. After World War II, Japan gave up the island to China, but as time went on, it broke from the Chinese gov to become increasingly democratic. So in 1980, China intro’d a “one country, two systems” formula that would have given Taiwan some autonomy if it accepted reunification (hint: this formula was established in Hong Kong). But Taiwan said no, and has indicated it wants total independence. The US supports this plan. China...does not. 



Lately, the US has been signaling increased support for Taiwan. See: back in April, 6 US lawmakers made a surprise visit to the island. And in May, Prez Joe Biden made headlines when he said that the US military will defend Taiwan if China invades - a shift from a decades-long policy of “strategic ambiguity.” 



Fast forward to this week. There are growing rumors that Speaker Nancy Pelosi may be traveling to Taiwan - making her the highest ranking US official to visit the island since 1997. China is not happy. As in the gov warned of “serious consequences” if Pelosi goes through with the visit. Even Biden has admitted that the US military “thinks it’s not a good idea.” 



Pelosi’s rumored visit to Taiwan has exposed just how fraught the situation is. TBD. 


WORLD: More than 200 people have been killed in gang violence in Haiti in just 10 days - and about half of the victims were residents who had no ties to the gangs. This comes as Haiti experiences a deadly surge in violence, with rival gangs fighting to capture new territory. Meanwhile, at least 10 people - including 7 civilians - have died during protests against a United Nations peacekeeping force in the Democratic Republic of Congo Local media said the protesters were shot by peacekeepers. The peacekeeper force said the protesters were actually “criminals” who opened fire as they approached the UN base. In other news, the northern Philippines just got hit with a 7.0 magnitude earthquake. The quake reportedly caused some buildings to partially collapse, though there were no immediate reports of casualties.  


USA: Recently, Teva Pharmaceuticals (as in one of the country’s biggest manufacturers of generic opioids) nodded its head to a tentative settlement with about 2,500 local govs, states, and tribes over the biz’s role in the opioid epidemic. The deal is worth up to $4.25 billion. Also making headlines in the US: a new congressional investigation into the federal Bureau of Prisons just revealed widespread drug abuse, inadequate medical and mental healthcare, violence, and dangerous sanitary conditions at a prison in Atlanta. Not to mention a systematic effort to downplay and cover up the crisis. Speaking of which, an ex-California corrections officer just admitted to assaulting inmates, lying about it, and then boasting about it in text messages. He could face up to 60 years in prison. 


RUSSIA: Reminder: Russia supplies 40 percent of the gas used in the European Union. Problem, since the EU doesn’t want to put more money in Russia’s pocket, but heavily relies on Russian fossil fuels. So yesterday, just one day after Russia announced it would slash gas deliveries to Germany, EU members agreed to voluntarily cut 15 percent of gas use. The goal? Store gas ahead of winter in case Russia continues to try to weaponize fuel. Meanwhile, it looks like Russia is planning to pull out of the International Space Station after 2024. The move would end a two-decade-old orbital partnership with the US. In response, NASA said the US remains committed to keeping the ISS in operation through 2030. 


$2.8 million:” how much Buzz Aldrin’s moon jacket sold for. Out of this world. 


“Not even Keke Palmer can make the metaverse make sense” - a recent headline.

ICYMI, Cramm This Book is OUT NOW! Cramm This Book is a dive into the history that’s shaped the world as it is today, looking at the wars, the movements, the disasters, and more. Get your copy today!
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