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World facing other crises amid Covid

Editorial

The sudden move to the red traffic light classification in New Zealand’s response to Omicron may have overshadowed some other potential crises and newsworthy events.

At the head of that queue would be the threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. Russia denies that it plans to invade its neighbour but the fact that it has amassed some 100,000 troops on the border continues to spark concern in European capitals.

The European Union today announced a $1 billion grant for Ukraine and NATO has put forces on standby and sent more ships and fighter jets to boost its presence on its eastern border.

Some analysts believe it is a bluff designed to achieve Russia’s demands that Ukraine not be allowed to join the NATO alliance, but pessimists point to the fact that Russia has previously invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea.

The United States has poured millions of dollars of military aid into Ukraine but the general consensus of military experts is that the best the Ukraine defence forces could do would be to make the invasion costly.

In any case it is a problem the world could do without at the moment.

Stock markets in the US and here in New Zealand have taken a hit among fears of inflation leading to higher interest rates. Long-suffering savers may be excused a wry smile but the effect on many homeowners who will become overstretched financially are real and the outcome could be a disaster.

In a glorious example of the law of unintended consequences, Suzuki and Isuzu say they may have to leave New Zealand if the Government’s clean car standards proceed in their present form.

Suzuki said to comply with the requirements of the bill would mean the parent company having to build new EV vehicles solely for the New Zealand market by 2025, which was literally impossible. Isuzu said the utes emissions profile was likely to lead to their utes also exiting.

Also interesting was the decision to deny bail to Destiny Church’s Brian Tamaki, who faces charges relating to protests against Covid regulations. Tamaki is not everybody’s favourite person but some feel jailing him is Draconian and will add fire to ant-vax/anti-mask protests.

In the United States, President Joe Biden finished his first year in office with slumping approval rates while Donald Trump rallied his supporters for a 2024 presidential challenge.

Never mind. Let’s end on a high note. We have two long weekends ahead of us right in the heart of summer.

  1. Peter Jones says:

    Guy Hatchard PHD has this to say about our government’s handling of the Covid charade.
    Covid sure has eaten up the cash.
    “Grant Robertson has spent $64 billion on the pandemic so far (before it has even arrived here) and there is nothing left.
    Our annual health budget is a paltry $20 billion, the $64 billion has been in addition to that.”

    He also mentions our record Trade Imbalance—the second half of 2021 stands at $8 billion, the housing market—house prices up 30% in 2021, the total loss of tourism formerly worth $38 billion per year, and the increase in Government debt in 2021 of $19 Billion.

    He was discussing the reasons why Grant says a fourth booster is not possible at this time which means boosted people only have three months immunity left at best.