World roundup: September 23 2022
Stories from China, the Marshall Islands, Italy, and elsewhere
PROGRAMMING NOTE: Apologies, but I am still dealing with a cold or allergies or something that’s left me with a sore, scratchy throat, so I will not be able to record a voiceover again tonight.
In today’s global news:
Worldometer is tracking COVID-19 cases and fatalities.
The New York Times is tracking global vaccine distribution.
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s address to the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday caused a bit of a stir, mostly because he decided to dig up the long-departed “two-state solution” to the Israel-Palestine conflict and wave it around for the attendees. It’s been a very long time since any Israeli leader mentioned the two-state solution in such a prominent forum, and I suppose if Lapid actually had any intention of pursuing said solution his speech might have been important. He does not, of course, because it would be politically suicidal ahead of November’s snap election—after which he’s probably a long shot to still be PM anyway.
Al-Monitor’s Mazal Mualem argues that Lapid’s speech was meant to shore up his support on the Israeli left, such as it is, in order to fend off a challenge from Benny Gantz for leadership of their very disparate anti-Benjamin Netanyahu political alliance. That seems as reasonable an explanation as anything else, and if that was the goal it appears to have worked. But it may cost the alliance overall, and therefore benefit Netanyahu and his allies, in November. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, in his own UNGA address, characterized the Israeli government as an impediment to the two-state solution and noted that if Lapid meant what he said he’d actually be trying to open peace talks (he is not, for the record).
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