Ukraine grain export deal extended for four months:
The Black Sea grain deal has seen more than 11 million tons of agricultural products shipped from three Ukrainian ports since July [File: Khalil Hamra/AP]
A deal allowing vital grain exports to continue from Ukraine’s southern Black Sea ports has been extended by four months, calming worries over the world’s food supply. Oleksandr Kubrakov, Ukraine’s infrastructure minister, hailed the extension as an “important step in the global fight against the food crisis” and Maria Zakharova, Russia’s foreign ministry spokeswoman, said Moscow agreed to stick with the deal “without changes in terms or scope.” The deal between the two warring sides, brokered in July by Turkey and the UN, has seen more than 11 million tons of agricultural products shipped from three of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, including 4.5 million tonnes of corn and 3.2 million tonnes of wheat. Though less than the one-year extension sought by the UN, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan welcomed Russia and Ukraine’s consensus on continuing the deal. Russia previously said its approval to extend the deal depended on support for its grain and fertilizer exports. Russia is a major agricultural producer and the world’s largest wheat exporter. Russia reportedly wants the West to ease restrictions on state agriculture lender Rosselkhozbank, a move that should help facilitate more of its exports.
Iran’s regime worried protests entering an ‘armed phase’ -analysis:
Demonstrators march against the electoral reform proposed by Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and in support of the National Electoral Institute (INE) in Mexico City, Mexico, November 13, 2022. REUTERS/Luis Cortes
Iran is worried that several recent incidents in the country point to a growing chance that the two-month-old protests are becoming dangerously violent. An article in Iranian pro-Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps media on Thursday indicated that the media narrative will hyper-focus on armed attacks. Iran calls the protestors and extremists “separatists,” a term it generally uses for Kurds, Baloch, Arabs and other minority groups in Iran. As Iran is a diverse country where minority groups may outnumber Persians, the regime has to balance the interests of Persian theocratic elites with the support it needs from minorities. The largest minority groups are generally concentrated in various periphery regions of Iran; such as Kurds in the northwest, Azeris in the northwest, Balochis in the southeast as well as Arabs in the southwest. The regime believes dozens, or even hundreds of Kurdish activists have crossed from Iraq into Iran and that these “separatists” are involved in mobilizing opposition to the regime. There are a plethora of Kurdish groups that operate in Iraq and among Kurdish Iranian exile groups. These include the PDKI, the PAK, Komala and PJAK. Iran’s regime has lashed out at PDKI, PAK and Komala over the last two months.
Vulnerable nations warn COP27 success rests on climate damage fund:
[1/5] Vasco restaurant is seen surrounded by rocks to protect it from the sea at Marquesa beach, Spain, October 13, 2021. Picture taken with a drone. REUTERS/Nacho Doc/File Photo
On Thursday, ministers representing developing nations said that the COP27 climate summit in Egypt must establish a fund to help them cope with irreparable damages caused by climate disasters. They warned that anything less would thwart the UN summit's chances of success. Talks about creating a "loss and damage" fund were put on the agenda for the first time in nearly three decades of COP climate summits as poorer nations urged richer countries to act. Climate Change Minister Ralph Regenvanu of Vanuatu, an island country threatened by rising sea levels, said the G77 group of 134 developing countries had discussed the option of walking out of COP27 if there was no decision on loss and damage. The first draft of a possible deal document for COP27 published earlier on Thursday mentions loss and damage, but it does not include details for actually launching a fund.