Friday, July 7

Friday, July 7

G20 TUMULT Protesters expected amidst Trump-Putin meeting The two-day G20 Summit will begin in Hamburg today. Major issues up for

G20 TUMULT

Protesters expected amidst Trump-Putin meeting

Photo: Matthias Schrader/The Associated Press

Photo: Matthias Schrader/The Associated Press

The two-day G20 Summit will begin in Hamburg today. Major issues up for discussion are climate change and free trade, both topics on which US President Donald Trump and many foreign leaders in attendance diverge.

Even Russia and North Korea, countries that are dependent on exports of natural gas and coal, respectively, have signed the Paris Climate Agreement.

Putin and Trump will hold a much-anticipated first meeting later today. The US president is under significant domestic pressure to discuss Moscow’s interference in the 2016 election with Putin, but senior White House officials have stated that the conversation will be focused on the Syrian civil war and the crisis in the Ukraine.

Law enforcement officials are concerned about protesters, over 100,000 of which are expected to congregate in Hamburg over the weekend. According to German authorities, about 8,000 protesters are prepared to use violence.

As such, over 20,000 police officers have been deployed to the country’s second largest city. Given the magnitude and outcome of some pre-summit protests, expect numerous protester-police clashes this weekend.

TESLA TAKES THE WHEEL 

Model 3 release to shift electric vehicle market 

Photo: Bloomberg

Photo: Bloomberg

Tesla’s first Model 3 is rolling out of the company’s California factory at $35,000 and almost 350 kilometres per charge. The Model 3 markets itself as an accessible, affordable and practical electric car, starting a market revolution that CEO Elon Musk predicts will be “world-changing.”

In the long-term, large-scale adoption will require scaling up the accessibility by scaling down the cost of these traditionally expensive vehicles. Musk is aiming his sights at emerging car markets in India and China, particularly as these countries turn towards greener measures to combat existing effects of climate change.

Although electric and hybrid cars have been on the market for some time, it’s difficult to predict the effect these will have on the petrol market without controlling for local variations in scale. The looming impact of electric vehicles, along with greener appliances and a cultural shift towards environmentalism, foreshadows already-dropping petrol prices cresting anytime between 2020 and 2050, depending on the scalability of electric vehicles.

DEAD END

Nuclear prohibition conference concludes

Photo: AFP

Photo: AFP

A UN conference to negotiate a treaty to completely ban nuclear weapons concludes today.

Included in the 40 states boycotting the conference are all nine of the world’s nuclear-armed states, which, among themselves, possess about 15,000 nuclear weapons.  A possible treaty produced as a result of this conference would, therefore, carry negligible weight.

There is almost no chance that such a treaty would ever come into force in the foreseeable future; nuclear powers have no interest in getting rid of their most potent deterrent.

With an increasingly erratic North Korea, against which the Trump administration has taken a hard stance, it is less likely now than ever that the US would even consider capitulating to calls for a reduction of its nuclear arsenal, much less a full nuclear ban.

With Washington unwilling to consider denuclearisation, the question is similarly off the table for the other eight aforementioned states; they will not seek to sacrifice the power and prestige of being nuclear-armed countries.