US to hold trade talks with Taiwan, island drills military:
Taiwanese soldiers operate a Oerlikon 35mm twin cannon anti-aircraft gun at a base in Taiwan’s southeastern Hualien county on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Johnson Lai)
The US will hold trade talks with Taiwan as a sign of support for the small nation which China claims to be its own territory. This announcement comes after China blocked imports of Taiwanese food products and fired missiles into the sea as an act of intimidation against Taiwan when US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi visited the island earlier this month. Chinese President Xi Jinping’s government has criticized the negotiations due to its stance being that Taiwan has no right to interact with foreign nations and that these negotiations are a threat to China’s sovereignty. China warned the US that encouraging the island to make its de facto independence permanent will lead to war. A second group of US Senators led by Ed Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, arrived in Taiwan on Sunday and met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. While the US’s policy regarding Taiwan is not changing, the trade talks can be expected to deepen diplomatic relations and informal ties. If the talks succeed in increasing exports to the US then they will allow Taiwan to blunt China’s efforts to use its status as Taiwan’s largest trading partner as political leverage.
UK port workers join rail staff in strikes as prices soar:
London buses are parked at Ealing Broadway as some bus routes are on strike in London, Friday, Aug. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Nearly 2,000 workers at the UK's largest container port have agreed to launch an eight-day strike starting Sunday over a pay dispute. the latest industrial action to hit the U.K. economy. This comes as the UK is facing travel disruptions caused by an ongoing summer strike by rail workers seeking better pay and job security to compensate for rising food and energy prices. The Unite union alleges that the port prioritizes profit over paying decent wages to its workers. Port authorities have said that they are disappointed that Unite did not “come to the table for constructive discussions to find a resolution.” As Felixstowe handles almost half of the container freight entering the country, the strike could have freight be directed elsewhere in Europe. In addition to what the UK is already facing, a growing number of workers are planning strikes as the country faces its greatest cost-of-living crisis in decades.
Emirates to suspend Nigeria flights over blocked funds:
An Emirates Boeing 777 stands at the gate at Dubai International Airport as another prepares to land on the runway in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Gambrell, File)
On Thursday, the Dubai based Emirates airline announced that it will suspend all flights to Nigeria starting on September 1 due to the West African country owing them millions of dollars of funds. The airline, already being owed $85 million, said it made the “difficult decision” to limit further losses, citing circumstances “beyond our control,” in a statement. According to the International Air Transport Association, between the other international airlines operating in Nigeria there is an estimated total of $450 million trapped in the country. Sindy Foster, a Lagos-based aviation expert, says that the issue of trapped revenues has been “a recurring problem” building up since 2016 when several airlines pulled out of Nigeria over a similar issue. Emirates’ planned suspension of flights worries analysts who predict that this could scare away investors during a time that foreign investment is already low for Nigeria. Africa’s largest economy is facing a sharp lack of foreign exchange despite being one of Africa’s largest exporters of crude oil. Emirates says that it will assist passengers affected by the planned suspension in making alternative travel arrangements and promises to reevaluate the suspension “should there be any positive developments” regarding the trapped funds. If Nigeria fails to act then this could prompt other foreign airlines to take similar measures and could pose a major threat to the Nigerian economy.