Will global powers give up their nuclear weapons? | Nuclear Weapons News

From: Inside Story

UN chief warns of the best menace of nuclear disaster for the reason that finish of the Chilly Battle.

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons has been credited with holding the world secure.

Practically each nation has signed the settlement, which goals to forestall the unfold of nuclear weapons and promote the peaceable use of atomic know-how.

However the United Nations secretary-general warns the world is only one harmful miscalculation away from nuclear battle.

Antonio Guterres says the menace is at its highest stage for the reason that finish of the Chilly Battle.

Nuclear-armed powers together with the USA have referred to as for disarmament.

However have they got the desire to eradicate nuclear weapons?

Presenter: Kim Vinnell


Robert Kelley – Distinguished fellow, Stockholm Worldwide Peace Analysis Institute (SIPRI)

Rabia Akhtar – Director, Centre for Safety, Technique and Coverage Analysis, College of Lahore

Richard Cupitt – Director at Partnerships in Proliferation Prevention, Stimson Middle

Why death of al-Qaeda’s Ayman al-Zawahiri will have little impact | Al-Qaeda

At first look, the July 31 killing of al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri by a US drone assault in Kabul, Afghanistan, seems to be probably the most vital setback the group has skilled for the reason that demise of its founder, Osama bin Laden, in 2011.

Nevertheless, all through the last decade he administered al-Qaeda, al-Zawahiri labored to make sure the organisation has all the required instruments in place to outlive his demise. As such, whereas the operation that eradicated one of many organisers of the 9/11 assaults is undoubtedly a serious win for the present US administration, it’s unlikely to debilitate the group.

Certainly, the fallout from this focused assassination shall be minimal for al-Qaeda. Al-Zawahiri, seen by many as nothing apart from a “gray bureaucrat”, can simply get replaced by somebody with an identical managerial mindset. He might even get replaced by somebody extra charismatic, boosting the group’s attract amongst present and would-be members alike.

On the worldwide degree, the drone assault in Kabul will undoubtedly affect the US’s relationship with the Taliban, in addition to the way forward for Washington’s drone operations. Nevertheless, it’s unlikely that it’s going to result in any vital change or mark a turning level within the regional not to mention international establishment.

Impression on al-Qaeda

A terror group tends to outlive the demise of its chief if it possesses a functioning organisational forms, an everlasting ideology, and communal assist. Al-Qaeda advantages from all three.

First, it has a strong operational forms. Al-Zawahiri didn’t possess the charisma of his predecessor. However after bin Laden’s demise, he created an intensive, self-sufficient bureaucratic system, with clear chains of command, that ensured the group’s destiny just isn’t tied to any single chief, together with himself. Throughout al-Zawahiri’s tenure, al-Qaeda adopted an growth mannequin which might finest be described as “franchising”. Below his command, the group expanded its attain from Mali to Kashmir with the addition of quite a few largely autonomous and financially self-sufficient branches or “franchises”. As these branches are in a position to proceed operations with out a lot intervention from the central command, the demise of any chief is unlikely to trigger the community to disintegrate.

Second, al-Qaeda adheres to a violent ideology that doesn’t rely on a frontrunner for its articulation or propagation. The set of concepts that information the group existed lengthy earlier than al-Qaeda, and can undoubtedly proceed to be supported by some in zones of failing governance or alienation after its elimination. Al-Zawahiri was no ideologue. And he knew that he didn’t must be one to make sure the group’s growth and longevity. Al-Qaeda’s ideology will proceed to draw assist it doesn’t matter what occurs to its leaders.

Third, below al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda loved vital communal assist in areas the place it has been lively. The late al-Qaeda chief was a pragmatist who castigated as counterproductive the ideological rigidity and excesses of the likes of ISIL founders Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. In contrast to them, al-Zawahiri inspired the group he managed to cooperate with, fairly than absolutely dominate, locals and native armed teams. This technique allowed al-Qaeda to develop its attain. In Syria, its affiliate, Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham, nonetheless endures to today thanks at the very least partly to Zawahiri’s insurance policies. Likewise in sub-Saharan Africa, throughout al-Zawahiri’s tenure, al-Qaeda associates entrenched their presence by forming native political alliances and garnering assist from clan leaders, nomads and farmers. This communal assist is unlikely to die solely because of al-Zawahiri’s killing.

Al-Qaeda confronted probably the most vital problem in its historical past throughout al-Zawahiri’s tenure – it was not a US drone raid or the assassination of a frontrunner however the emergence of a breakaway faction within the type of ISIL, which not solely recruited members from al-Qaeda, however created a rival, state-centric narrative that undermined al-Zawahiri’s bureaucratic, decentralised imaginative and prescient of a terrorist community.

Provided that al-Qaeda managed to outlive the existential problem posed by ISIL, there isn’t any motive to doubt it is going to additionally handle to endure the lack of its most up-to-date chief.

Implications for Doha settlement

The US didn’t discover al-Zawahiri in some hidden cave complicated in a hard-to-access rural space of Afghanistan. He was discovered, and killed, in a suburban district of Kabul. This brought on many to query whether or not the Taliban or at the very least some parts inside the group, knew of or facilitated his presence there.

The 2020 Doha Settlement made the American and NATO withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan contingent on the Taliban’s assurances that the nation wouldn’t function a haven for al-Qaeda or ISIL to launch assaults towards the US.

On this regard, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused the Taliban of violating the Settlement, by “internet hosting and sheltering” al-Zawahiri in Kabul, whereas the Taliban condemned the drone raid, additionally calling it a violation of the Settlement. These statements are paying homage to these exchanged in 2011 between the US and Pakistan after bin Ladin was discovered and killed in a residential district of Abbottabad.

Again then, the US and Pakistan managed to discover a technique to proceed with the modus vivendi they established after airing their grievances. We’re prone to witness the identical between the US and the Taliban after al-Zawahiri’s killing. As soon as they’re completed expressing their grievances about what occurred, they may proceed with their cautious relationship as a result of they share a standard foe: The Islamic State in Khorasan Province, ISKP (ISIS-Okay), the Afghanistan affiliate of ISIL. Because the Biden administration is presently occupied with deterring China and Russia, it nonetheless wants the Taliban to discourage ISIL, or to at the very least maintain the peace in Afghanistan.

Drone assassinations to proceed

In contrast with the Trump administration, the variety of US drone assaults dramatically dropped throughout Biden’s tenure – an obvious acknowledgement by the present administration that such raids contribute to grievances that gasoline violence, battle and anti-US sentiments in the long run.

The 2020 assassination of Iran’s Qassim Soleimani in Iraq, for instance, disadvantaged it of a charismatic chief and allowed then President Trump to attain some simple factors together with his base at residence, however did not in any approach break Iran’s sway over Iraq. In actual fact, it achieved little greater than strengthening anti-US resolve in each nations.

The present US president and people in his administration are undoubtedly conscious of this. Nonetheless, the killing of al-Zawahiri in Afghanistan exhibits that even Biden is unable to withstand the temptation of the short-term political beneficial properties offered by such high-profile, low-risk drone assassinations.

All this means that after the information cycle strikes on from al-Zawahiri’s demise, the actors concerned will doubtless proceed with enterprise as normal. Al-Qaeda will appoint a brand new chief and proceed operations, the US and the Taliban will maintain on to the modus vivendi they established below the 2020 Doha Settlement regardless of elevated tensions, and the US will proceed to make use of drones throughout the Muslim world, whatever the unfavorable long-term affect of such operations.

The views expressed on this article are the writer’s personal and don’t essentially mirror Al Jazeera’s editorial stance. 

Nancy Pelosi lands in Taiwan amid heightened US-China tensions | News

Taipei, Taiwan – Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the USA Home of Representatives, has arrived in Taiwan, on a go to that has enraged China which claims the self-governing island as its personal territory.

Pelosi’s arrival in Taipei late on Tuesday dangers triggering a serious disaster between China and the US, which doesn’t formally recognise Taiwan as an unbiased state however continues to be required by US legislation to supply its authorities with the means to defend itself.

China had threatened “severe penalties” if Pelosi – the best rating US official to journey to Taiwan in 25 years – went forward together with her go to.

“The US aspect will bear the accountability and pay the worth for undermining China’s sovereign safety pursuits,” overseas ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying informed a daily press briefing in Beijing.

On Tuesday morning, Chinese language warships and plane repeatedly edged into the median line of the Taiwan Strait, in response to experiences. 4 US naval ships, together with one plane provider, have been deployed within the waters east of Taiwan earlier than Pelosi’s arrival.

Analysts in Taiwan mentioned Beijing’s response to the go to are more likely to be each quick and long-term.

“We will anticipate China to escalate its present army exercise, similar to live-fire workout routines, however calibrated in a manner in order to not enter direct battle with both Taiwan or the USA,” James Lee, a researcher of US-Taiwan relations at Taiwan’s Academia Sinica, informed Al Jazeera.

“Chinese language warships and fighters could cross over the median line in response to the go to, however they’re unlikely to enter Taiwan’s nationwide airspace or its territorial waters, as there’s too excessive threat of partaking Taiwanese air power fighters,” Lee mentioned.

Wen-ti Sung, an knowledgeable on the Australian Centre on China within the World at Australian Nationwide College, informed Al Jazeera that China’s Folks’s Liberation Military will probably use live-fire workout routines and missile exams to display energy to its home viewers in response to the Pelosi go to.

“The message China intends to ship is that it has the ‘means’ to reply, however whether or not it at the moment has the ‘intention’ to reply or not, is a unique matter. China will argue that it’s going to take motion at a timing of its personal selecting, somewhat than reacting or dancing to the tune of exterior ‘provocations’,” Sung mentioned.

China may proceed to up the ante after Pelosi leaves.

“An escalation now could possibly be a one-off occasion, however it could additionally turn out to be a part of a sustained sample of aggression,” Ross Feingold, a Taipei-based political analyst and lawyer, informed Al Jazeera.

Chinese language incursions into Taiwan’s Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ), which have elevated in each frequency and regularity lately, have been an instance of such an escalation, he mentioned.

“This could possibly be an actual pressure on Taiwan’s defence sources and the women and men who serve within the army going ahead,” Feingold mentioned.

‘Strategic signalling’

Whereas particular particulars of Pelosi’s itinerary in Taiwan haven’t been confirmed publicly, she is predicted to go to the nation’s Legislative Yuan on Wednesday morning and meet Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen earlier than she leaves.

It additionally stays unclear if any substantial coverage outcomes are to be introduced throughout the go to, however consultants concur the optics alone of Pelosi’s arrival are strategically important.

“There are not any clear indications of a considerable coverage announcement to return from this go to,” Lee mentioned.

“As a substitute it’s a case of strategic signalling,” he mentioned.

Pelosi’s place as speaker of the Home is vital for Taiwan, Lee mentioned, explaining that Part 3 of the Taiwan Relations Act provides the US Congress a lot affect over any resolution by Washington to defend Taiwan.

“Even when the president says ‘we’ll defend Taiwan’, it’s really not that straightforward. However this go to is signalling that congressional help for Taiwan stays stable,” Lee mentioned.

Pelosi’s go to additionally comes at a crucial time for each Pelosi’s Democratic Social gathering and Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Social gathering (DPP).

The US is headed towards midterm elections in November, the outcomes of which can resolve whether or not the Democrats preserve their present majority in each the Home and the Senate.

Taiwan, in the meantime, is because of maintain native authorities elections that very same month.

Whether or not Pelosi’s go to boosts or damages the DPP within the eyes of Taiwanese voters is dependent upon China’s response.

‘Mushy on China’

“If China doesn’t do an excessive amount of, then it will likely be a win for the ruling get together as they’ll present they’re getting extra American officers to go to, which the citizens responds nicely to,” Lee mentioned.

“But if China takes aggressive actions that basically threaten the peace, it might flip public opinion in the event that they attribute the instability to the DPP’s insurance policies,” he added.

“However, the usage of power might backfire towards China and additional entrench Taiwanese voters’ views that China is the aggressor, as occurred in throughout in 1996 throughout the Third Cross-Strait Disaster.”

Political analyst Feingold mentioned that the DPP is more likely to profit from the go to, even when China reacts aggressively.

“It is going to enable the federal government to indicate it’s being bullied by China and that it wants help from pleasant nations just like the US, Japan, and Australia,” Feingold mentioned.

“Taiwanese voters have endorsed the present authorities and its insurance policies towards China and are nicely conscious of China’s aggression,” he mentioned.

Pelosi’s personal get together might additionally stand to realize from the go to amongst American voters.

“The Democrats are sometimes criticised by the Republicans for being too mushy on China, however this go to will give them one thing to refute that declare,” Feingold mentioned.

“That might assist Democrat candidates in tight seats come November.”

Why didn’t you care about Africa’s hunger crisis? | Hunger

Why does the world solely care about meals insecurity when it impacts international locations outdoors Africa, asks researcher Nkululeko Majozi.

The meals crises internationally triggered by the Ukraine battle have out of the blue put the problem of meals safety on the high of the worldwide agenda. However in Africa, starvation shouldn’t be an rising challenge – it has at all times been part of our lives. So why is the world solely taking discover now?

Due to the worldwide distribution of energy, we stay in a world the place sure humanitarian points are solely seen as urgent issues after they begin affecting the World North. And because the starting of the Ukraine battle, meals insecurity began being a difficulty not just for Africa but additionally for elements of the World North.

Researcher Nkululeko Majozi says it’s excessive time that the world realises meals insecurity has at all times been and nonetheless is a world risk.

The views expressed on this article are the creator’s personal and don’t essentially replicate Al Jazeera’s editorial stance. 

Four dead in South Africa protests over high power costs | Protests News

Protests over poor companies happen recurrently in South Africa, which is battling among the highest unemployment and crime charges on the planet.

A minimum of 4 individuals have died throughout protests over the price of electrical energy in a South African township, police officers have mentioned.

On Monday, residents indignant on the excessive price of primary companies barricaded roads with burning tyres and set ablaze a municipal constructing in Thembisa township, northeast of the monetary hub, Johannesburg.

Authorities mentioned two individuals have been killed in alleged police shootings after the protests broke out within the morning.

“It’s alleged they’ve been shot,” native municipal police spokeswoman Kelebogile Thepa advised AFP.

Later within the night, Thepa mentioned two extra our bodies had been discovered close to the doorway of the burned constructing – bringing the whole demise toll to 4.

Police have been but to substantiate what prompted the deaths, she added. Investigations have been below manner.

Protests over poor companies happen recurrently in South Africa, which is battling among the highest unemployment and crime charges on the planet. Energy cuts have additionally grow to be frequent in latest months, as nationwide utility firm Eskom battles excessive money owed and a labour strike.

The most recent bout of protests got here lower than two weeks after former President Thabo Mbeki warned the nation may see an rebellion much like the Arab Spring, triggered by mounting discontent.

Protesters build a barricade in Tembisa township
Protesters construct a barricade to dam a street after an evening of riots attributable to indignant group members demanding higher service supply in Tembisa on August 1, 2022 [Guillem Sartorio/AFP] (AFP)

Final month, Mbeki accused President Cyril Ramaphosa of failing to ship on his guarantees to deal with widespread poverty, inequality and unemployment, which stands at greater than 34.5 p.c, with youth joblessness at practically 64 p.c.

The scenario has been worsened by the rise of meals costs occasioned by disruptions in wheat provide because the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues.

A yr in the past, South Africa noticed an outbreak of the worst violence the nation has skilled for the reason that finish of the apartheid period three many years in the past. The massive-scale rioting and looting then left greater than 350 useless.

The ten days of rioting adopted the imprisonment of former president Jacob Zuma for snubbing corruption investigators. They occurred primarily in KwaZulu-Natal province but additionally in Gauteng the place Johannesburg is positioned.


Bangladesh’s garment sector faces energy, demand crises | Business and Economy News

The world’s second-largest garment exporter is experiencing a slowdown that can threaten the nation’s financial restoration.

Bangladesh’s garment business, the world’s No. 2 exporter after China, is going through a double whammy from slowing international demand and an vitality disaster at dwelling that’s threatening to thwart the nation’s pandemic restoration.

Plummy Fashions Ltd., a provider to PVH Corp., the mother or father firm of vogue model Tommy Hilfiger, and Inditex SA’s Zara, noticed new orders in July drop 20% from a yr earlier, its Managing Director Fazlul Hoque stated.

“Retailers in each European and US markets are both deferring the shipments of completed merchandise or delaying orders, he stated in an interview. “As inflation is hovering in our export locations, it has a severe influence on us.”

Waning orders are a threat to the economic system, the place the garment business makes up greater than 10% of gross home product and employs 4.4 million folks. It couldn’t be occurring at a worse time for Bangladesh as authorities are resorting to productivity-killing energy cuts to protect gas reserves amid a region-wide vitality disaster, brought on partially by the struggle in Ukraine.

“Uninterrupted vitality provide is the important thing to delivering merchandise in time,” Hoque stated. “We’re going through a mix of a number of issues at dwelling and overseas.

3-Hour Outages

Because the vitality disaster struck, the price of doing enterprise has surged. Commonplace Group Ltd., one of many main exporters that provides to Hole Inc. and H&M Hennes & Mauritz AB relies on mills for no less than three hours a day to energy up its dyeing and washing items within the manufacturing hub of Gazipur on the outskirts of Dhaka.

“The price of electrical energy from mills is 3 times what we get from the nationwide grid as a result of diesel is expensive,” Atiqur Rahman, chairman of Commonplace, stated in a separate interview. “We are able to’t preserve our dyeing and washing items shut as a result of energy outage. If we do, all of the materials will go to waste.”

Add to that’s the euro’s weak point towards the greenback that’s eroding the attraction of Bangladesh’s exports, that are priced in {dollars}.

“Clothes is a discretionary merchandise,” stated Charlie Robertson, international chief economist at Renaissance Capital. “In case your vitality invoice in Europe is taking pictures up, then folks have to chop again on discretionary spending and garments will probably be a kind of areas,” he stated.

Regional Contagion

Concern within the South Asian nation’s garment business is harking back to canceled orders within the early days of the pandemic. Clothes exports fell to a five-year low of $27.95 billion within the fiscal yr to June 2020, earlier than staging a restoration. The nation noticed garment exports climb to a report $42.6 billion within the yr ended June, accounting for 82% of complete exports.

Exporters additionally see ominous indicators from Walmart Inc.’s full-year revenue forecast reduce and its pledge to cut back clothes costs.

And there’s a regional contagion impact from Sri Lanka, stated Robertson, pointing to Pakistan’s exports getting “a lot cheaper” due to its foreign money’s weak point. “That provides to stress on Bangladesh and key export markets like Europe will probably be shopping for much less textiles” as gross sales development takes successful.

Bangladesh has sought a mortgage from the Worldwide Financial Fund, the most recent South Asian nation to ask for help as costlier oil eats into the area’s greenback stockpiles.

International alternate reserves in Bangladesh slipped to $39.79 billion as of July 13 from $45.33 billion a yr earlier. That’s sufficient to cowl roughly 4 months of imports, barely increased than the IMF’s beneficial three-month cowl. The nation’s commerce deficit widened to a report $33.3 billion within the fiscal yr ended June.

“We’ve simply recovered from the Covid pandemic after which got here the struggle,” stated Commonplace Group’s Rahman. “We’re simply unwitting victims.”

Hong Kong slips into second recession since 2019 mass protests | Business and Economy

Worldwide monetary hub’s economic system shrinks 1.4 % within the second quarter, after earlier 3.9 % decline.

Hong Kong has tipped again right into a technical recession, new authorities figures confirmed Monday, weighed down by mounting rates of interest, weakened international commerce and the town’s continued adherence to strict coronavirus controls.

Following a year-on-year lower of three.9 % within the first quarter of 2022, the town’s gross home product (GDP) once more reported a decline within the second quarter on Monday — however with a narrower margin of 1.4 % — in line with advance estimates launched by the Census and Statistics Division.

The downturn is reversing final yr’s restoration when the economic system loved a 6.3 % annual progress after the slowdown in 2019 and 2020 when the town was first upended by months of giant, typically violent pro-democracy protests, after which the pandemic.

The Hong Kong authorities mentioned the financial enchancment was smaller than anticipated resulting from weak efficiency in exterior commerce.

Official statistics launched final month confirmed the worth of whole exports of products within the second quarter decreased by 4.2 % in contrast with the previous quarter.

For the primary half of 2022, a visual commerce deficit of $206.1bn, equal to eight.2 % of the worth of imports of products, was recorded.

“Weakened international demand and continued disruptions to cross-boundary land cargo flows between the mainland and Hong Kong weighed closely on Hong Kong’s exports,” the federal government mentioned Monday.

Financial coverage tightening by main central banks world wide is predicted to dampen international financial progress considerably, whereas quarantine-free journey between Hong Kong and mainland China is but to have a transparent timetable underneath Beijing’s strict adherence to its zero COVID-19 coverage.

The monetary hub’s new chief John Lee mentioned his authorities would quickly announce additional shortening of obligatory lodge quarantine for abroad arrivals, in line with an interview with the Hong Kong Financial Journal revealed on Monday.

“Connecting with the world and with the mainland, we will do each and they aren’t contradictory,” Lee instructed the newspaper.

“I perceive that one in every of Hong Kong’s competitiveness lies in its worldwide connections.”

In following China’s zero COVID-19 coverage, Hong Kong has been largely reduce off from the remainder of the world for greater than two years.

It nonetheless has a number of the world’s strictest restrictions, together with a week-long quarantine for arrivals and a ban on group gatherings with greater than 4 individuals.

Native media just lately reported that the federal government was mulling resuming quarantine-free journey for abroad arrivals in November, when the town is hoping to resuscitate its worldwide picture with a finance summit and the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens.

Al-Qaeda’s Ayman al-Zawahiri killed in US drone strike: Biden | Al-Qaeda News


US President Joe Biden says ‘justice has been delivered’ after Al Qaeda chief situated in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri has been killed in a CIA drone strike in Afghanistan, United States President Joe Biden has mentioned.

Al-Zawahiri was killed over the weekend within the greatest blow to the group since its founder Osama bin Laden was killed in 2011.

“Justice has been delivered and this terrorist chief isn’t any extra,” Biden mentioned in a particular handle from the White Home.

Intelligence had situated Al-Zawahiri’s household in Kabul, earlier this 12 months, Biden mentioned, and confused that no civilians or members of Al-Zawahiri’s household had been killed.

An Egyptian surgeon with a $25m reward on his head, al-Zawahiri helped coordinate the September 11, 2001 assaults on the US that killed practically 3,000 individuals.

Earlier US officers, talking on the situation of anonymity, mentioned the CIA carried out a drone assault within the Afghan capital Kabul on Sunday, utilizing two missiles.

Al Zawahiri was on his balcony on the time, they mentioned.

The Taliban confirmed there was an assault in Kabul, and condemned it as a “violation of worldwide rules”.