Your Wednesday briefing: EU agrees to cut gas consumption

We cover the EU agreement to cut natural gas consumption and global recession warnings.

The EU agreed to the deal Restriction of natural gas consumption from next weekthe latest show of solidarity in his efforts to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

The cuts, which aim to save up to 15 percent by spring, are designed to deprive Russia of the ability to use its energy sources as a political weapon. For now, the cuts will be voluntary, but they could become mandatory if a power crisis causes an emergency.

According to diplomats involved in the process, 26 of the 27 EU countries agreed to the deal, with the only abstention being Hungary, which had previously been slow to agree to sanctions.

The agreement came less than 24 hours after Russia’s state gas monopoly Gazprom said it would further cut natural gas supplies to Germany, Europe’s largest consumer of Russian gas.

The world could soon be on the brink of a global recession as the US, Chinese and European economies slowed more sharply than expected. This is stated in the new IMF report..

It says that the likelihood of a recession in one of the advanced economies of the Group of 7 is now almost 15 percent, which is four times the usual level. And it says that some indicators indicate that the US is already in a “technical” recession, although most economists have not yet thought about it with a formal definition.

The IMF lowered its global growth forecasts from April forecasts, predicting that output will fall to 3.2 percent in 2022 from 6.1 percent last year. Growth is expected to slow further next year as central banks around the world raise interest rates in an attempt to curb inflation.

“The world may soon be on the brink of a global recession, just two years after the last,” wrote IMF chief economist Pierre-Olivier Gurinchas. Simply put, the outlook for the global economy is “increasingly bleak,” he added.

Connected: US Federal Reserve officials are set to issue a second abnormally large interest rate hike this week as they race to cool an overheated economy.

The Biden administration is increasingly concerned that China will take military action in or around Taiwan over the next year and a half, China’s activity around the self-governing island became more aggressive.

US officials are particularly concerned that China will cut off access to all or part of the Taiwan Strait, through which US Navy ships regularly pass. This summer, Chinese officials have repeatedly stated that no part of the Taiwan Strait can be considered international waters, and a foreign ministry spokesman said that “China has sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction over the Taiwan Strait.”

Worries have escalated in recent days as the administration quietly tried to talk Nancy Pelosi out of a proposed visit to Taiwan next month, which would be the first visit by a speaker of the US House of Representatives since 1997. Her plans were repeatedly condemned by the Chinese government, which threatened to retaliate.

The timing of her visit is of particular concern, US officials say, as China’s leader Xi Jinping prepares for a major political meeting in the coming weeks where he is expected to extend his rule.

Analysis: US officials said it would be difficult for China to carry out a naval invasion of Taiwan in the near future. Instead, he could do it piecemeal, perhaps by first citing his recent declaration on the status of the Taiwan Strait and running a limited operation to assess Washington’s response.

Night life return to the capital of Ukraine, Kyiv, full of young people who were locked up for two years, first because of Covid, and then because of the war. They crave contact. War makes this desire even stronger – especially this war, when a Russian cruise missile can destroy you anywhere and at any time.

In February, a group of scientists shocked the paleontological world when they announced that Tyrannosaurus rex was actually made up of three different species – T. rex, T. imperator and T. regina.

Yesterday another group of researchers published the first peer-reviewed rebuttala counterattack that sets the stage for a royal taxonomic debate for years to come.

The controversy highlights a fundamental problem with dinosaur research: it is difficult to distinguish between prehistoric species. Without dinosaur DNA, the boundaries between one fossil species and another are fuzzy. Paleontologists measure various characteristics, such as the size and shape of a particular bone. But fossils can be misleading: bones can become deformed after they’ve spent ages buried underground.

Meanwhile, neither side seems ready to give up. The first group was waiting for a retraction, and one author of the original study is already working on another article.

“I don’t like the flat earth theory because the evidence is against it,” he said. “It’s the same here: the evidence very strongly suggests that there are multiple species.”