World roundup: March 9 2022
Stories from Cameroon, Ukraine, Venezuela, and more
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In today’s global news:
Worldometer is tracking COVID-19 cases and fatalities.
The New York Times is tracking global vaccine distribution.
Orly Noy from Local Call reports on the Jerusalem city government’s use of urban infrastructure to displace and further dehumanize the city’s Palestinian population:
On Feb. 28, dozens of Palestinians from across Jerusalem came to Jerusalem City Hall to protest the municipality’s decision to demolish dozens of houses in Jabel Mukaber, a village that Israel annexed to the city in 1967. Under the pretext of expanding a major thoroughfare that runs through the village into a highway, the demolitions provide a case study in how the supposedly unified city treats half of its population.
The protests, which have been taking place outside City Hall every week for the past month, represent a new development in the way Palestinian Jerusalemites protest for their rights in the city. “Palestinian residents used to organize their protests strictly within their own neighborhoods,” says Pepe Alalu, a former deputy mayor who represented Meretz on the city council for 17 years. “Aside from maybe one protest concerning education, this is the first time I remember Palestinians protesting in the city center, in front of City Hall.”
Although the protests are focusing on the expansion of the city’s so-called “American Road,” the problem goes far beyond a single proposed highway. According to Muhammad Aliyan, an attorney representing some of the residents, there are 5,000 demolition orders pending for Jabel Mukaber alone. “We’re talking about a village of 32,000 residents,” he says. “You could count the areas designated for housing on one hand. And meanwhile, the Nof Zion [Jewish] settlement was greenlighted for construction in the very heart of the village. And houses are being demolished as we speak.”
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
I didn’t have space in last night’s newsletter to follow up on the report that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed aren’t even taking Joe Biden’s phone calls on the subject of increasing oil production. My one sentence comment would be that if Gulf Arab leaders have decided to stop upholding their end of the “oil for security” bargain, there’s no reason for the United States to keep upholding its end either.
But as it happens, the UAE’s influential ambassador to the US, Yousef Al Otaiba, issued a statement on Wednesday indicating that the Emiratis are open to the idea of pumping more oil. The mere suggestion was enough to send Brent crude prices tumbling from around $130 per barrel to around $111 per barrel before they ticked back up a bit. They will presumably climb again unless OPEC+ nations take some substantive action to back up Otaiba’s words.
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