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Biden Makes Huge Gaff’s at 2022 Asean Summit Calls Cambodia Colombia



Biden Gaff's Calling Cambodia Colombia at Asean Summit

On Saturday, US President Joe Biden referred to Cambodia as Colombia, which is hosting an international summit led by Asean Southeast Asian leaders.

“Now that we’re back together here in Cambodia, I’m looking forward to making even stronger progress than we’ve already made, and I’d like to thank the Prime Minister of Colombia for his leadership as ASEAN chair and for hosting all of us,” Biden said during a meeting with his ASEAN counterparts in Phnom Penh.

He was referring to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, who currently chairs the 10-member regional bloc.

On a whirlwind trip that includes stops at the COP27 climate summit in Egypt, ASEAN in Phnom Penh, and the G20 summit in Indonesia, the president made a similar gaffe recently while speaking to reporters at the White House.

The US president, who turns 80 on November 20, announced this week that he will run for re-election in 2024, with a final decision expected early next year.

Republican critics have pointed to Biden’s occasional verbal stumbles and tendency to veer off script during live appearances as evidence that he is too old for the job. Supporters argue that the president overcame a childhood stutter and improvised in public speeches for decades.

biden, XI

Biden and Xi centre stage at G20

On Monday, Biden and leaders from the world’s 20 largest economies will convene on the Indonesian island of Bali for a post-pandemic reunion tempered by Sino-US rivalry and overshadowed by a superpower meeting between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping.

With people around the world feeling the pinch of skyrocketing food and fuel prices, Ukraine embroiled in conflict, and the threat of nuclear war looming, G20 presidents and prime ministers will see what, if anything, they can agree on.

It is the largest gathering of leaders since the pandemic began. But this isn’t a happy reunion.

The rivalry between China and the United States has heightened sharply in the last three years, as Beijing has grown more powerful and assertive about replacing the US-led order that has prevailed since World War II.

The meeting between Biden and Xi on the fringes of the G20 on Monday has the air of the icy Cold War conclaves between American and Soviet leaders at Potsdam, Vienna, or Yalta that decided the fate of millions.

Biden has spoken of the meeting as establishing each country’s “red lines,” hoping that competition does not lead to confrontation and conflict.

According to US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Biden will be “completely straightforward and direct” with Xi and expect the same in return.

putin, bidenBiden won’t meet Putin.

Officials say he will also pressure China to rein in ally North Korea after a record-breaking series of missile tests raised fears that Pyongyang will soon conduct its seventh nuclear test.

Xi may be unwilling to assist. He comes into the meeting on the heels of securing a historic third term in office, cementing him as China’s most powerful leader in generations.

Meanwhile, Biden has been buoyed by the news that his Democratic Party retained control of the US Senate after outperforming expectations in the midterm elections, even though his domestic politics remain volatile.

One notable absence from the table will be Russian President Vladimir Putin.

His botched nine-month invasion of Ukraine has made the trip to Bali both logistically and politically difficult.

With members of his inner circle publicly feuding and his once-ironclad domestic authority tarnished, Putin chose to send veteran foreign minister Sergei Lavrov instead.

Officially, neither the Ukrainian conflict nor Putin’s dark threats to use nuclear weapons are on the summit’s agenda.

While the ex-KGB man will not be present at the summit, his war will undoubtedly be on the menu.

Soaring energy and food prices have impacted both rich and poor G20 members, and the conflict directly influences both.

When the current agreement expires on November 19, there will certainly be pressure on Russia to extend a deal allowing Ukrainian grain and fertilizer shipments through the Black Sea.

At the very least, Biden and his allies want the G20 to make it clear to Putin that nuclear war is not an option.

Even that previously uncontroversial position is likely to be stymied by a combination of the Russian opposition and Chinese reluctance to break ranks with its ally in Moscow or hand Washington a victory.

Xi recently told German Chancellor Olaf Scholz that a nuclear war cannot be won and should never be fought.

Ryan Hass, a former China director at the US National Security Council, said Xi “will likely not be as magnanimous in his meeting with Biden.”

“He will not want to be seen as fulfilling a Biden request, whether on Ukraine, nuclear use, North Korea, or any other issue,” Hass told AFP.

g20Series of G20 ministerial meetings fail

The G20, a disparate and unwieldy grouping formed in 1999 after the Asian financial crisis, has always preferred to talk about finance and economics rather than security.

Moscow wants it to stay that way.

“We categorically reject the politicization of the G20,” the Russian foreign ministry said on Sunday, hinting at what leaders might hear from Lavrov, who is known for his tough stance.

“We are convinced that the G20 is intended to address specifically socioeconomic issues.”

Host Indonesia, wary of favouring China or the United States, is skeptical that the leaders will be able to break the impasse.

In the run-up to the summit, a series of G20 ministerial meetings failed to agree on a final joint communique – a procedural-sounding tradition that can be important in driving cooperation.

On the eve of the summit, Indonesian government minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said, “Honestly, I think the global situation has never been this complex.”

“It’s fine if (G20) leaders don’t produce a communique at some point.”


Vice President Harris’ Trip Aims To Deepen US Ties In Africa




WASHINGTON — The U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris will strive to strengthen and reinterpret U.S. partnerships in Africa during a weeklong trip that marks the Biden administration’s latest and most visible outreach as it moves to offset China’s growing influence.

Harris intends to travel to Ghana, Tanzania, and Zambia, focusing on economic development, climate change, food security, and a growing young population. She is set to arrive in Ghana’s capital, Accra, on Sunday. Doug Emhoff, her husband, is accompanying her.

“For far too long, the United States’ foreign policy establishment has treated Africa as an after-school project rather than part of the core curriculum,” said Michelle Gavin, an Africa expert at the Council on Foreign Relations and a former United States ambassador to Botswana. “I see a concerted effort now to change that mindset.” However, it takes time.”

Harris will be widely followed across Africa as the first person of color and the first woman to serve as America’s vice president. Harris was reared in California even though her mother was born in India and her father was born in Jamaica.

“Everyone is excited about Kamala Harris,” said Idayat Hassan, director of Abuja, Nigeria’s Centre for Democracy and Development. “You can be whatever you want — that’s what she represents to many of us.”

A lecture in Accra and a visit to Cape Coast Castle, where enslaved Africans were once put onto ships bound for America, will highlight Harris’ trip. Harris also intends to meet with authorities in each country she visits and to lay a wreath in memory of the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s capital.


Harris will be widely followed across Africa as the first person of color and the first woman to serve as America’s vice president.

Her schedule also includes a few non-traditional sites designed to emphasize the exciting future of a continent with a median age of only 19.

Harris intends to visit a recording studio in Accra, meet with female entrepreneurs, and visit a tech accelerator in Dar es Salaam. Harris is scheduled to meet with corporate and charity leaders in Lusaka, Zambia’s capital, to discuss boosting access to digital and financial systems.

Emhoff’s events have a similar focus. During his visit to Ghana, he intends to hold a town hall meeting with performers from a local television show, attend a girls’ basketball clinic, and tour a women-run chocolate company.

According to administration sources, the goal is to promote Africa as a site for investment rather than just aid packages, a subject that Harris underlined in December during a U.S.-Africa meeting in Washington.

“Because of your energy, ambition, and ability to turn seemingly intractable problems into opportunities,” she remarked, “I am an optimist about what lies ahead for Africa and, by extension, for the world.” “Simply put, your ability to see what could be, unburdened by what has been.”

Harris will spend three nights in Ghana, two nights in Tanzania, and one in Zambia before returning to Washington on April 2.

“It’s trip to support reformers,” said Vanda Felbab-Brown, co-director of the Brookings Institution’s Africa Security Initiative. “All three countries have faced significant challenges and changed dramatically.”


Tanzania’s first female president has loosened restrictions on opposition parties and rallies.

Ghana is facing a debt crisis and excessive inflation, dragging down an economy that was once among the best in the region. It is particularly concerned about instability caused by Islamist extremists and Russian mercenaries operating in countries north of Ghana.

Tanzania’s first female president has loosened restrictions on opposition parties and rallies. Zambia has implemented its reforms, such as decriminalizing presidential slander. However, democratic development in both areas is thought to be fragile.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and First Lady Jill Biden have traveled to Africa. President Joe Biden is set to leave office later this year.

Harris will visit Zambia for the first time since childhood when her maternal grandpa worked there. He was a civil servant from India who assisted with refugee relocation after Zambia gained independence from Britain.

“Grandpa was one of my favorite people in the world and one of the earliest and most lasting influences in my life,” Harris writes in her book.

The December U.S.-Africa meeting was the first since President Obama hosted one in 2014. Although Washington’s approach to Africa has had some historic successes, such as President George W. Bush’s HIV/AIDS effort, which has saved millions of lives, there have also been times of neglect.

“There’s a lot of skepticism and doubt about American staying power,” said Daniel Russel, a former State Department official who now works at the Asia Society Policy Institute. “They’re used to American promises that fizzle out and don’t amount to much.”

In stark contrast, China has led far-reaching infrastructure projects and increased telecom activities throughout the region.

According to John Kirby, a White House national security spokesman, African leaders are “beginning to realize that China is not their friend.”

“China’s interests in the region are purely selfish, in contrast to the U.S.,” he remarked. “We are truly committed to assisting our African friends in dealing with many challenges.”

Senior administration officials have been careful not to characterize Harris’ visit as another step in a geopolitical contest, which might alienate African leaders weary of choosing sides between global heavyweights.

They are now waiting to see what Harris and the U.S. have to give over the next week.

“Because of her profile, she has a very good reputation in Africa,” said Rama Yade, senior director of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center. “However, beyond that, public opinion in the three countries will develop expectations very quickly.”



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UN Head Says Survival Depends On How People Manage Water In 2023




WATER The United Nations Humanity’s survival depends on how people manage water, said United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday at the close of a three-day conference on global water resources, during which developing countries made urgent requests for assistance with cleaner drinking water and better sanitation.

In his final remarks, Guterres stated, “All of humanity’s hopes for the future depend, in some way, on charting a new course to sustainably manage and conserve water.”

He stated that water “needs to be at the center of the global political agenda” and that this implies more aggressive action against climate change.

According to the United Nations World Water Development Report, released on the eve of the conference, 26% of the world’s population—2 billion people — lacks access to safe drinking water, while 46% — 3.6 billion people — lack access to basic sanitation. According to UN studies, nearly half the world’s population will face acute water stress by 2030.

Many rhetorical pledges to enhance water supply were made at the conference, but there needed to be more precise commitments to translate aspirations into better daily lives for regular people.


Throughout the meeting, water-stressed states, particularly those in the developing world

“We have such lovely, ambitious initiatives,” said Lina Taing, senior researcher at the global think tank United Nations University.

“We know that we are completely off track,” she stated, regarding providing them with clean water and sanitation. Taing stated that the world’s actions must be increased “fourfold.”

Throughout the meeting, water-stressed states, particularly those in the developing world, told U.N. members of their need for international aid to provide their people with drinking water and sanitation facilities.

“Waging a war on two fronts at the same time to address water issues and climate change is no easy task, especially for a small island nation like Kiribati, which has very limited resources at its disposal,” said Teburoro Tito, the United Nations representative for the Pacific island nation of fewer than 200,000 people. He claimed that Kiribati was particularly unprepared to deal with natural calamities.


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2 Dead In Missouri Flash Flood; Tornado Threat In The South




DECATUR, Texas — Two persons were killed early Friday in Missouri after their automobile was carried away by torrential rains as part of a severe weather storm raging over the Midwest and South.

The crash occurred shortly after midnight in a sparsely inhabited area of southwest Missouri. According to authorities, six young adults were in the vehicle washed away while attempting to cross a bridge over a flooded creek in Grovespring.

Four of the six survived the water. Devon Holt, 20, of Grovespring, was discovered about 3:30 a.m., and Alexander Roman-Ranelli, 19, of Springfield, was discovered about six hours later, according to Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Thomas Young.

According to Young, the motorist told investigators that severe rains made it difficult to detect that water from a creek had submerged the bridge.

Meanwhile, the hunt for a lady who went missing after flash flooding from a tiny river drove her car off the road in another southwestern Missouri county. According to the Logan Rogersville Fire Protection District, the victim’s dog was recovered safely, but there was no sign of the woman. Two additional people in the car were saved.

Southern Missouri received about 3 inches of rain Thursday night and into Friday morning, and severe weather was also affecting neighboring areas. A possible tornado touched down in north Texas early Friday as a dynamic storm system threatened to produce tornadoes in numerous Southern states.


Flash flooding from a tiny river drove her car off the road in another southwestern Missouri county.

According to Matt Elliott, a warning coordination meteorologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, Severe weather is forecast throughout many states.

“We’re talking about several tornadoes, some of which could be strong and intense,” Elliott warned.

The Storm Prediction Center warned that tornadoes would be most likely across Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee on Friday afternoon and evening. Storms with destructive winds and hail were predicted to move from eastern Texas and southeastern Oklahoma into southeastern Missouri and southern Illinois.

Heavy rain Thursday night and Friday morning prompted flash flooding in areas of Missouri, where a vehicle became stranded near the town of Fordham, according to authorities. Rescue teams were called to a low-water crossing on the Finley River late Thursday, according to Logan Rogersville Fire Protection District authorities on Facebook.


Southern Missouri has received 3 inches of rain since Thursday

Two persons were rescued, but a third was still missing as of Friday morning. The crews intended to deploy boats and have searchers stroll along the river’s edge.

According to the meteorological service, some sections of southern Missouri have received 3 inches of rain since Thursday, and rain is likely to continue until Saturday morning. Most of southern Missouri was under a flash flood watch or warning on Friday.

According to Cody Powell, the county’s emergency management coordinator, a probable tornado impacted the southwest portion of Wise County around 5 a.m., damaging homes and downing trees and electrical lines. Powell stated that he had received no reports of injuries.

Although the weather service has not confirmed a tornado, damage to residences has been recorded in neighboring Parker County, according to meteorologist Matt Stalley, and investigators will likely head to the region later Friday to make that conclusion.

The two areas are roughly 10 miles (16 km) apart on the western border of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, and the storm system is predicted to pass east of the region by early Friday afternoon, according to Stalley.


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