Daily News Brief August 29, 2022

ImageDaily News BriefAugust 29, 2022
Top of the Agenda

Over One Thousand People Killed in Catastrophic Pakistan FloodsPakistani officials are appealing for international aid (CNN) as uncharacteristically strong monsoon rains cause nationwide flooding. The floods, which climate change minister Sherry Rehman called a “climate catastrophe,” have so far displaced more than three million people, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. While Pakistan usually sees four rainy periods per year, it is currently experiencing its eighth, Rehman said.
The flooding comes as Pakistan experiences an economic crisis (FT). Some preliminary estimates put the cost of the damages (Reuters) around $4 billion, though Pakistan’s foreign minister said it is likely higher.

“Climate change is altering the characteristics of the Asian monsoon in ways that make more extreme rainfall amounts more likely to occur, as warmer air holds more moisture, adding energy to storms,” Axios’s Ivana Saric writes. 
“The worst is yet to come: consider the damage to agriculture and what that portends. In Sindh [Province] alone, as per Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, the entire cotton crop has been lost as has most of the sugarcane crop, and orchards have sustained heavy damage as well. This doesn’t only spell doom for farmers, but also the textile industry, a major source of exports,” Dawn’s Zarrar Khuhro writes. CFR President Richard Haass writes that the world is losing the battle against climate change
Pacific Rim

Singapore Announces New Visa for High EarnersStarting in January, people earning over $21,000 per month will be eligible (Nikkei) for a five-year visa that also lets them have multiple employers.  Taiwan: American warships sailed through (SCMP) the Taiwan Strait for the first time since U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan earlier this month.
South and Central Asia

Taliban Accuse Pakistan of Giving Airspace Access to U.S. DronesThe Taliban’s acting defense minister said that Islamabad allowed the drones to use Pakistan’s airspace (Reuters) to enter Afghanistan. Pakistan’s foreign minister denied the claim.
Middle East and North Africa

At Least Thirty-Two People Killed in Libya ClashesLibya saw some of its worst fighting in two years as militias loyal to the country’s rival leaders traded gunfire (NYT) in the capital, Tripoli. More than 150 people were also wounded. 

Iran: Tehran will take until “at least” September 2 (Bloomberg) to respond to U.S. comments on a proposed revival of the 2015 nuclear deal, a state news outlet tweeted. For Foreign Affairs, Trita Parsi writes that a new nuclear deal won’t survive without broader rapprochement.
Sub-Saharan Africa

UN’s Africa Climate Week Kicks Off in GabonAt the event, African countries are expected to press (Al Jazeera) wealthy nations for funding for climate adaptation and mitigation. Rich countries pledged to provide lower-income countries with $100 billion per year for that purpose, but they have not yet fulfilled that commitment. 

Sudan: Sudanese journalists formed an independent union (Reuters) in what they called a step toward restoring democracy in the country. 

Germany’s Scholz Defends EU Enlargement, Voting ChangesDuring a speech in Prague, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called for (AP) the enlargement of the European Union (EU) and said the bloc should make more decisions by majority vote instead of requiring unanimity. 

Denmark/Germany: The countries are planning (Bloomberg) a $9 billion offshore wind power hub that is expected to provide energy for more than four million homes beginning in 2030.  CFR’s Global Energy Tracker looks at how countries worldwide use high-carbon and low-carbon energy.

Colombia, Venezuela Resume Diplomatic Relations After Three-Year FreezeThe move is expected to restart trade flows (AFP) between the countries, which have also expressed willingness to restore military relations.

Peru: A judge ordered (MercoPress) thirty months of pretrial detention for the sister-in-law of President Pedro Castillo Terrones while she is investigated for money laundering and corruption.
United States

NASA Postpones Launch of Moon Rocket Over Fuel LeaksThe crewless test launch, originally slated for this morning, was postponed (AP) until at least Friday. The launch is part of a mission to land humans on the moon as early as 2025. This Backgrounder looks at space exploration and U.S. competitiveness.
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