World this week
The global economy must steer through a precarious recovery this year and next as inflation keeps dragging on household spending and higher interest rates weigh on growth, banks and markets. That was the takeaway from the latest economic outlook by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The group, made up of 38 member countries, raised its growth forecast this year to 2.7% from an estimated 2.2% in November and foresaw only a tiny acceleration to 2.9% next year.
The rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic and energy price spike tied to Russia's invasion of Ukraine is likely to be weak by past standards, with average growth of 3.4% recorded in the pre-pandemic years 2013-2019. The path ahead is fraught with risks, from escalation of Russia's war in Ukraine - with a dam collapse this week that the sides blamed on each other - to debt troubles in developing countries and rapid interest rate hikes having unforeseen effects on banks and investors.
Senior diplomats from China and the United States held "candid and productive" talks in Beijing and agreed to keep open lines of communication to avoid tensions from spiralling into conflict, officials said Tuesday (Jun. 6). On Monday, Daniel Kritenbrink, assistant U.S. secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, was the most senior U.S. official confirmed to have visited China since tensions between Washington and Beijing soared with the shooting down of a Chinese spy balloon over the U.S. in early February.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the time postponed a planned trip to China, and Beijing has since largely rebuffed attempts at official exchanges, though two top U.S. and Chinese defence officials briefly interacted at a forum in Singapore over the weekend. China's Foreign Ministry said Kritenbrink and Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu "had candid, constructive and fruitful communication on promoting the improvement of China-U.S. relations and properly managing differences."
Russia's UN envoy was accused of floundering in a "mud of lies" after he claimed at an emergency session of the security council that Ukraine destroyed Kakhovka dam in a "war crime". Sergiy Kyslytsya, the Ukraine envoy to the UN, said it was typical of Russia to blame the victim for its own crimes, pointing out Russia has been in control of the dam for more than a year and it was physically impossible to blow it up by shelling. He said the dam was mined by the Russian occupiers and they blew it up. He accused Russia of "floundering again in the mud of lies".
Neither the French, US or British representatives at the UN directly said there was evidence of Russian responsibility, but called for an investigation and insisted their support for Ukraine was unwavering. Outside the UN security council chamber, the deputy US ambassador to the UN, Robert Wood, said: "We're not certain at all, we hope to have more information in the coming days.
Nations resumed talks on tackling global warming with the aim of shaping a deal that might put the world on track to prevent a dangerous increase in temperatures, as the U.N.'s top climate official called for deep cuts in fossil fuel use. Diplomats began two-week negotiations in Bonn, Germany, despite failing to agree on a formal agenda because of differences on the topic of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The issue lies at the heart of the climate problem, since burning oil, coal and gas is responsible for most warming that's occurred since preindustrial times. Simon Stiell, who heads the U.N. climate office, told The Associated Press that limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) will require a phaseout of fossil fuels, something many oil-producing countries have pushed back on. campaigners have lamented that this year's climate summit will be held in the United Arab Emirates, a major fossil fuel exporter.
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