Hungary - MEPs likely to push back on plans to allow spying on journalists

More mini-Putins are waiting in the wings across Europe

SCMP Opinion

23-09-19 13:00

The European Union's (EU) fight against Russia has created a breeding ground for far-right, nationalist politicians, according to Jake van der Kamp, writing in the South China Morning Post. As ordinary people suffer from economic hardships, their leaders are fighting a proxy war against Russia, which has become a bottomless pit, with austerity and cuts to social welfare programmes being imposed, and real hourly wages dropping in 22 EU countries. Van der Kamp argues that voters are increasingly blaming their own politicians and big corporations, many of which profit from the war in Ukraine, rather than Putin and the Russians, as they are told to do. He argues that the EU's fight against Russia is leading to a drift towards ultra-right-wing, xenophobic nationalism across Europe. This nationalism is more pronounced in countries such as Poland and Hungary, which are anti-Russian, but will not necessarily remain pro-Ukrainian. Van der Kamp calls for the EU to end its fight against Russia before the 2030s become the 1930s.
Kyiv acts on 'compromise' plan after filing WTO trade complaint over food ban


23-09-19 12:43

Ukraine has appealed to neighbouring countries in the European Union (EU) to resolve a dispute over agricultural trade. Ukraine’s Prime Minister, Denys Shmyhal, has called for “constructive dialogue” to resolve the situation, and has approved a “compromise scenario” to this effect. The call comes after Poland, Hungary and Slovakia placed restrictions on imports from Ukraine, in order to protect their farmers and economies. Ukraine has initiated a trade dispute by filing a complaint with the World Trade Organization. Ukraine has also proposed an export control plan to the EU and neighbouring countries to prevent market distortions.
Ukraine: The Latest - Live from the UN General Assembly as Zelensky makes his case to world leaders


23-09-19 18:16

Ukraine is seeking support at the UN General Assembly in New York. President Zelensky will hold bilateral talks with other leaders, including the US President. There is criticism of the UN for its conduct in recent years and a sense that it has failed to be robust on certain issues. The war in Ukraine has also changed the dynamics of the EU, with Poland becoming a significant power broker and the EU developing its own foreign policy. The EU is now the single biggest donor to Ukraine.
Amid imports dispute, Poland tells Ukraine to remember its help


23-09-19 17:47

The Polish president, Andrzej Duda, has warned Ukraine to remember that it receives help from Poland, amid a dispute between the two countries over agricultural imports. Poland recently extended a ban on imports of Ukrainian grains, which it claims is necessary to protect its own farmers. However, Ukraine has appealed for a “constructive dialogue” and has filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO). Duda said that Poland would explain the situation before the WTO tribunal and highlighted that the ban only applies to imports, not transit of Ukrainian grain.
Why is Ukraine suing eastern European countries over grain?


23-09-19 15:41

Eastern European countries such as Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia have extended a ban on certain Ukrainian agricultural imports, despite the European Union (EU) ending this ban on 15 September. The EU had lifted tariffs on Ukrainian exports to help its economy and avoid a food crisis, but the subsequent oversupply of produce in eastern European markets led to plummeting prices for local farmers. The extension of the ban has led Ukraine to file a complaint with the World Trade Organisation. The EU has refused to extend the ban, claiming that market distortions have now disappeared.
Live Updates: World leaders convene for Day 1 of the UN General Assembly high-level meeting

The Independent

23-09-19 15:24

Leaders from around the world are meeting at the United Nations (UN) to address global crises including climate change, geopolitical instability, inequality and public health. The 78th session of the UN General Assembly, scheduled to last from 19 to 26 September, has the theme of "Rebuilding trust and reigniting global solidarity: Accelerating action on the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals towards peace, prosperity, progress and sustainability for all." U.S. President Joe Biden used his speech to warn that "no nation can be secure if we allow Ukraine to be carved up" and suggested that countries are "seeking to responsibly manage competition" with China. Addressing the General Assembly, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for "compromise" between nations to create "a common future of peace and prosperity." The General Assembly has been preceded by a two-day summit to encourage world leaders to reach the Sustainable Development Goals adopted in 2015 and was marked by an announcement from the World Health Organization and COP28 climate negotiations that a day would be devoted to public health for the first time.
Ukraine asks International Court of Justice to examine Russia's 'terrible lie'


23-09-19 15:11

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague has begun hearings to determine whether it has jurisdiction over Ukraine's case against Russia. Ukraine has accused Russia of violating the 1948 Genocide Convention during its invasion last year. Russia has asked the court to throw out the case, arguing that Ukraine is using it to get a ruling on the overall legality of Russia's military action. The court's decision on jurisdiction may take weeks or months, and if the case proceeds, a final ruling could take months or years.
Business Highlights: The UAW prepares to expand its strike, Sam Bankman-Fried’s parents are sued

Associated Press

23-09-19 21:18

The United Auto Workers (UAW) union has threatened to expand its strike against Detroit's Big Three automakers if there is no progress in contract negotiations. UAW President Shawn Fain stated that workers at more factories will join the strike on Friday unless there is "serious progress" towards agreements. The UAW strike, which is currently limited to three plants, has been ongoing for five days. In other news, lawyers for collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX Trading have accused the parents of the company's founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, of unjustly enriching themselves with company funds. The lawsuit alleges that Allan Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried siphoned millions of dollars from the company for personal use. Instacart's shares rose 12.3% in their stock market debut on the Nasdaq. The grocery delivery company, which provides services for more than 80,000 stores, has 7.7 million active customers. The stock market slipped as investors awaited the Federal Reserve's decision on interest rates. Treasury yields climbed, pushing mortgage rates higher, and weaker-than-expected homebuilding activity was reported. Foreign companies operating in China have expressed concerns over tensions with Washington and uncertainty over Chinese policies, according to surveys by the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China. Ukraine has filed a complaint against Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia at the World Trade Organization after they banned grain and other food products from the country.
Ukraine latest: Zelenskyy tells U.N. that 'occupier must return to his own land'

Nikkei Asia

23-09-19 19:55

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has urged world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly to stand united against Russia's invasion of Ukraine, calling for Moscow to be pushed back and for the world to turn its attention to global challenges. U.S. President Joe Biden also appealed to world leaders to stand with Ukraine against Russia, saying that Russia alone bears responsibility for the war and has the power to end it immediately. Meanwhile, Ukraine has appealed to three neighboring EU countries, Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary, to engage in "constructive dialogue" to resolve a dispute over agricultural trade. Ukraine has also taken the first step in a trade dispute with the World Trade Organization by filing a complaint against the restrictions imposed by the three countries. In addition, Ukraine has told the International Court of Justice in The Hague that Russia justified its war against Ukraine by invoking a "terrible lie" about an alleged genocide, calling on the court to decide that it has jurisdiction to hear the case fully and eventually rule that Russia must pay reparations.
Putin ‘weaponising’ food as troops target cargo ship in Black Sea

The Independent

23-09-20 07:30

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned that Russian society has "raised a second Hitler" in a powerful speech delivered at the UN General Assembly. Zelensky urged the world to unite against Russian aggression and claimed that Russia was using tactics more catastrophic than nuclear destruction. He argued that while nuclear weapons remain in place, the "mass destruction is gaining its momentum" through the weaponization of food, energy, and children. Zelensky's speech comes ahead of a face-to-face meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the UN Security Council, where Zelensky is due to speak about Ukraine.

Zelensky’s speech at the UN General Assembly emphasized the need for collaboration and peace in the face of Russian aggression. He accused Russia of using tactics that are more destructive than nuclear weapons, claiming that food, energy, and children are being weaponized. Zelensky’s warning about the dangers of Russian aggression comes ahead of a meeting with Lavrov, where tensions are expected to be high. In their last encounter at the UN Security Council, Lavrov called Zelensky a derogatory name and stormed out of the room.

Zelensky’s speech and upcoming meeting with Lavrov highlight the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia. The Ukrainian president is calling for international unity against Russia and warning of the catastrophic consequences of Russian aggression. As tensions continue to escalate, it remains to be seen how the international community will respond and what actions will be taken to address the situation.

Zelensky says UN incapable of stopping Putin’s ‘criminal aggression’

The Independent

23-09-21 04:15

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused the United Nations (UN) of being incapable of preventing aggressors from invading other countries, specifically referring to Russia's "criminal and unprovoked aggression" against Ukraine. Zelensky made his comments during a special meeting of the UN Security Council, where he called for reform of the General Assembly and Security Council to address Russia's aggression. He proposed removing Russia's veto power on the Security Council and expanding the membership to include Germany and the African Union, among others. Zelensky argued that the UN has failed to defend the sovereign borders of nations and that humankind no longer pins its hopes on the organization for defense. He called for efforts to protect territorial integrity, sovereignty, human rights, and prevent aggression and genocide to be centered in the General Assembly and Security Council.

Zelensky’s criticism of the UN comes as tensions between Ukraine and Russia continue to escalate. The meeting at the UN Security Council was significant as it marked the first face-to-face encounter between Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ambassador to the UN since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Zelensky accused Russia of violating the norms of war and the UN Charter itself with its aggression. He called for international support to end Russia’s war on Ukraine and emphasized the need for reform within the UN to address the ongoing conflict.

The conflict between Ukraine and Russia has been ongoing since 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea. Since then, fighting has continued in Eastern Ukraine, leading to thousands of deaths and displacements. The UN Security Council has met numerous times to discuss the situation, but its ability to take action has been hindered by Russia’s veto power. Zelensky’s call for reform aims to address this issue and ensure that the UN can effectively respond to acts of aggression and protect the sovereignty of nations.

Why was a lion cub found by a roadside in northern Serbia? Police are trying to find out

Associated Press

23-09-21 14:17

A lion cub was found wandering on a road in Subotica, Serbia, and has been taken to a zoo for care. The female cub was malnourished and weak, but was friendly and not afraid of people. The cub is receiving treatment to improve its condition. The smuggling of wild animals is believed to be common in the Balkan region.
Ukraine pushes for diplomatic solution with Poland, Slovakia on grain


23-09-21 14:16

Ukraine has agreed to license its grain exports to Slovakia and is pushing for a deal to end restrictions on grain imposed by Poland and Hungary. Slovakia, Poland, and Hungary imposed restrictions on Ukrainian grain imports last week, arguing that cheap Ukrainian agricultural goods were being sold locally rather than transiting to ports. The European Union (EU) allowed its ban on Ukrainian grain imports to expire on Friday after Ukraine vowed to tighten controls. Last year, 60% of Ukraine's grain transited through the five EU countries.
Poland says it will stop arming Ukraine. How did we get here – and what does it mean for the war?


23-09-21 13:00

Poland has announced that it will no longer send arms to Ukraine, a major blow to Ukraine's efforts to counter Russia. The decision comes after tensions between Poland and Ukraine over a temporary ban on Ukrainian grain imports to several European Union countries. Poland has been a key ally of Ukraine, sending fighter jets and tanks to support its efforts. However, Poland's government has become increasingly confrontational towards Ukraine in recent months, leading to this decision. The move could have implications for Ukraine's ongoing assault against Russian forces, as most Western military equipment and supplies reach Ukraine through Poland. Poland will now only carry out agreed supplies of ammunition and weapons to Ukraine that were agreed before the decision to stop shipments. The decision by Poland comes at a critical time for Ukraine, as it is attempting to push Russian forces out of its southern regions. The move is seen as a major reversal and threatens to upend Europe's strategic relationship with Ukraine.
Why Poland is halting its supply of weapons to Ukraine


23-09-21 12:23

Poland has announced that it will no longer supply weapons to Ukraine, stating that it will focus on rearming itself with modern equipment instead. The move has raised questions about Poland's commitment to supporting Ukraine, although it is unclear whether this is a change in policy or just a statement by the prime minister. Poland has already supplied much of its stock of Soviet-era weaponry to Ukraine, and the transit of Western aid and arms through Poland will continue unobstructed. The announcement comes amidst an escalating quarrel between Poland and Ukraine over grain exports, which has strained relations between the two countries.
Poland’s president says PM was misinterpreted on Ukraine arms

South China Morning Post

23-09-21 18:35

Polish President Andrzej Duda has claimed that Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki's comments about no longer arming Ukraine have been interpreted incorrectly. Poland has been a strong supporter of Ukraine since Russia invaded in 2022 and is one of its main weapons suppliers. Morawiecki had said that Poland is no longer transferring weapons to Ukraine because it is now arming itself with more modern weapons. However, Duda stated that Morawiecki meant that Poland will not be transferring new weaponry to Ukraine but will fulfil existing arms supply deals.
Ukraine has won a massive naval victory without having a navy


23-09-21 18:23

Ukraine's coordinated multi-domain operations are having a significant impact on the Russian Navy's operations in the Black Sea. On 13 September, Russia's repair yard for the Black Sea Fleet, Sergo Ordzhonkidze, was hit by ten Storm Shadow cruise missiles, crippling the warship Minsk and the submarine Rostov-on-Don. The missiles were likely able to penetrate the defences due to the destruction of Russian S-400 air defence radars by Ukrainian special forces and Neptune missiles. The strategic significance of this attack lies in the removal of a landing craft/logistics vessel and a Kalibr-armed submarine from the Russian order of battle, as well as the inability to use the dry docks. Repairing the submarine may not be possible due to the extent of the damage, and if the Russians decide not to repair it, they will still need to retrieve it from the dock. The loss of the Minsk is less significant, although it points to mounting losses for the Russian Navy. The viability of Sevastopol as a naval base is also in question, and the ongoing attacks by Ukraine are hampering Russian logistics in the Black Sea. Overall, these attacks are having a significant morale effect on the Russian Navy.
Hungary central bank chief, finance minister spar over inflation-hit economy


23-09-21 17:19

Hungary's central bank has signaled caution on further rate cuts while the government has announced a higher deficit and a new tax on banks to offset a drop in tax revenue caused by high inflation. The central bank is expected to cut rates by 100 basis points to 13% at its next policy meeting, but Governor Gyorgy Matolcsy has indicated a gradual and data-driven approach in the following months. The suggestion of a new tax on banks, half of which are foreign-owned, caused shares in OTP Bank to fall by as much as 7% on the Budapest Stock Exchange.
Ukraine latest: Russia slaps 'temporary' ban on diesel, gasoline exports

Nikkei Asia

23-09-21 16:51

Russia has imposed temporary restrictions on the export of diesel and gasoline as global oil prices rise. The move is expected to increase diesel prices in Europe. Russia is one of the largest exporters of diesel fuel. The export curbs are intended to reduce fuel prices in the Russian market. Meanwhile, the prime minister of Poland has said that his country will no longer transfer weapons to Ukraine and is instead arming itself. Poland has already supplied Ukraine with tanks and fighter jets and has little more to offer.

Japan is planning its first summit meeting with the five countries of Central Asia in 2024. This move is aimed at strengthening ties with the resource-rich region that China has also been courting. The five countries of Central Asia are Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan, all of which are rich in oil, natural gas, and gold. Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa confirmed the plans during a meeting with Kazakh Foreign Minister Murat Nurtleu at the U.N. General Assembly in New York.

The real reason we are infatuated by pugs and bulldogs


23-09-21 16:41

Flat-faced dogs like pugs, bulldogs and French bulldogs have become popular pets in recent years due to their cute, baby-like faces. A study from Hungary has found that these breeds are more likely to ask humans for help rather than trying to solve problems themselves. The display of helplessness is thought to increase bonding with humans, promoting a sense of dependency and love. The study also found that flat-faced breeds were slower to find food in a box and were more willing to seek human help.