Wednesday Night #2037

Written by  //  March 31, 2021  //  Wednesday Nights  //  No comments

One Big Ship Crisis Ends — It Might Not Be the Last
Now that the MV Ever Given has reached Great Bitter Lake on the Suez Canal, where its hull will be inspected for damage — and where, in the words of one report — “it can stay the hell out of the way so other shipping traffic can resume”, there are a number of commentators pointing out the need to counteract the dangers to international trade that such behemoths present.
Our friend C Uday Bhaskar writes: The closure shows how an accident can trigger a major fiscal and supply-side crisis. Instituting new protocols is essential  Suez crisis and the fragility of global trade. U.S. Admiral (Ret.) Stavridis shares his concern The Blocked Suez Canal Isn’t the Only Waterway the World Should Be Worried About
See more Global Economy & Trade 2019-

Canada-China relations remain fraught Chinese diplomat accuses Trudeau of making Canada ‘running dog of US’  (Note Jeremy Kinsman‘s dismissive comments.
While not a cure for the Canada-China quagmire, we are delighted to note that Cleo Paskal has what we believe could be a brilliant foreign policy initiative to carve out a special relationship with Oceania. Oceania and Canada: Building Bridges in the Free and Open Indo-Pacific

The pandemic continues to dominate world news and in response, Leaders of 23 countries and the World Health Organization on Tuesday backed an idea to create an international treaty that would help deal with future health emergencies like the coronavirus pandemic by tightening rules on sharing information. Inexplicably, Canada has not signed on although it is a signatory to the joint declaration with 13 other countries voicing concerns with an international report on the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As violence continues in Myanmar, the junta makes ceasefire offer, but not to protesters.

Two weeks after the tenth anniversary of the Syrian revolution, The UN special envoy to Syria called for the creation of a new international forum to resolve the 10-year war in Syria saying the UN “profoundly regretted” having failed in its mediation efforts. The UN has raised $6.4bn for Syrians as humanitarian needs soar. Some 24 million people need basic aid in Syria and the surrounding region, a rise of four million over the past year.

Iran and China sign 25-year cooperation agreement
Deal signed in Tehran is expected to increase bilateral trade and military cooperation as US rivals move to deepen ties.

On Wednesday, President Biden unveiled his $2 Trillion infrastructure plan, calling it ‘a once-in-a-generation investment in America.’ 5 key takeaways from Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan
Biden’s proposal includes a lot more than roads and bridges, and the White House math is fuzzy on how to pay the hefty price tag. Passage will not be easy as POLITICO Playbook explains: Fault lines form on Biden’s massive infrastructure plan
Georgia is again on our minds and not in a good way. Voter Suppression Is Violence S.B. 202, and the laws surely to be modeled after it, are designed to ensure that white men with regressive politics will continue to hold power. How so? It gives them the tools to do it.
Coca Cola and Delta, both headquartered in Atlanta, have (belatedly) put out strong statements condemning the legislation – it would be interesting to know the impact of those two companies on the State’s economy.
Georgia is likely only the tip of the iceberg as US Republicans move to limit voting rights

As the trial of Derek Chauvin is about to begin in Minneapolis, Andrew Caddell‘s weekly column titled Quebec has to come to grips with systemic racism concludes:
Legault would be a true statesman if he were to simply admit systemic racism exists in Quebec and then move to fix the problem. As they say, confession is good for the soul. Otherwise, the Amir Attarans of the world will continue to criticize Quebec, and more acts of bigotry against innocent Indigenous citizens and people of colour will bring it shame.

CDC Data Suggests Vaccinated Don’t Carry, Can’t Spread Virus
a new CDC study that suggests those fully inoculated with the vaccines produced by Moderna and Pfizer don’t transmit the virus. Following a single dose of either vaccine, the participants’ risk of infection was reduced by 80 percent, and that figure jumped to 90 percent after the second dose. Without infection, people are unable to spread the virus. The results are similar to what scientists saw in clinical trials for the vaccines, which found that two doses of either two-dose vaccine had an efficacy rate of around 95 percent.
Meanwhile, in Canada: About 26,000 travellers arriving in Canada were exempt from mandatory quarantine hotel
That’s about 23 per cent of all air travellers since Feb. 21. New data also reveals that about 1 in 100 passengers have tested positive for COVID-19

Happier news:
Launching our third century: McGill University celebrates 200 years
[Wednesday] marks McGill University’s 200th anniversary. As one of Canada’s first universities to reach this significant milestone, McGill will commemorate this historic occasion with a special broadcast Celebrate 200: Launching Our 3rd Century, along with a series of signature 200th anniversary events and activities planned for this bicentennial year.
Celebrate McGill’s 200th anniversary with this interactive virtual event, hosted by two McGillians – famed NFL player and frontline healthcare worker, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, MD’18, and student reporter and head of the Black Students Network at McGill, Heleena De Oliveira, BA’21.

Doug Sweet‘s piece in the Concordia University Magazine: After the rosy glow of an election fades Canada has welcomed a Biden presidency, but the result might not be as good as we think features Désirée McGraw and John Parisella along with other distinguished voices (and one anti-Biden to ensure balance).

Long Reads
Janet Yellen: Climate change poses ‘existential threat’ to financial markets
The FSOC focused on climate for the first time since Congress established the body in 2010.
Why the World’s Container Ships Grew So Big
As global trade has grown, shipping companies have steadily increased ship sizes — but the Suez Canal blockage showed that bigger is not always better.
Slower than Suez: Global travel during Covid
That little paper card the CDC issues when you get your Covid vaccination: It probably isn’t going to help you cross borders in 2021.
That’s my takeaway from a 68-hour journey I took this week from New York to Sydney. As I traveled via Detroit, Seoul and Singapore, authorities cared only about seeing my negative test results. They had no interest in my vaccination card, and they were all unimpressed by any test result that was missing stamps and logos and signatures.

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