South Asia and Beyond

SNG Daily: Houthis Will Not Target Russian, Chinese Ships; Russia Strikes Energy Infra In Ukraine

AUKUS Nuclear-Powered Submarine Deal To Counter China

Australia and the UK have signed a $3 billion deal to support the construction of nuclear-powered submarines. Canberra and London signed a defence and security pact to address challenges posed by China’s increased activity in the South China Sea and South Pacific. According to UK Defence Minister Grant Shapps, the submarine program is costly but necessary. The 10-year deal will enhance capacity at the Rolls-Royce factory in Derby, UK, to build nuclear reactors for the submarines by BAE Systems in Australia. Canberra is acquiring at least three U.S. nuclear submarines from the early 2030s under the AUKUS agreement.

Houthis Assure Russia, China Their Ships Won’t Be Targeted In Red Sea

The Houthis, who have been attacking merchant vessels in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden for months, will not target Chinese and Russian ships. According to Bloomberg, the decision came after diplomats from China and Russia met Houthis’ political representatives in Oman. In January, China and Russia abstained from a resolution sponsored by the US and Japan that condemned Houthi attacks on ships. Then in February, Beijing and Moscow questioned the legitimacy of the strikes on the Houthis by American and British forces.

100 Days In Office: Has Argentina President Javier Milei’s ‘Shock Therapy’ Worked?

Nitin A Gokhale WhatsApp Channel

He took the chainsaw to his campaign and when he came to power in December 2023, he symbolically took it to governance too. He promised to put an end to the ‘orgy of public spending’, as he called it, and started by devaluing the peso by 54%. He cut down the size of his cabinet, slashed 50,000 public jobs, knocked off transport, fuel subsidies, imposed severe austerity measures and froze aid to soup kitchens. During his first 100 days in office, Argentina has seen its first budget surplus in a decade. Monthly inflation has eased to 13% from 25% in December even though annual inflation is at 276% in February. In a recent poll, the majority of Argentines said they are economically worse off than a year earlier but that hasn’t dented Milei’s popularity with more than 50% still supporting him. Milei, a far-right libertarian economist, has said things will get worse before they get better in Argentina.

Russia Strikes Energy Infrastructure In Ukraine

In its biggest attack till date on energy infrastructure in Ukraine, Russian missiles and drones have struck the DniproHES dam. Russia used 88 missiles and 63 drones, causing blackouts in several regions. At least 2 people are dead and 14 injured. Russia has said these are legitimate strikes aimed at ‘weakening the enemy’s military’. Condemning the attack, President Zelenskyy said, “Russia is at war with people’s everyday lives.” He also urged the West not to delay the supply of crucial air defence weapons to Ukraine.

Are Donald Trump’s Legal Fees Draining Campaign Funds?

Donald Trump is lagging behind Joe Biden when it comes to funding. Biden’s campaign raised $53 million last month and ended February with $155 million on hand. In comparison, Trump’s campaign and his political action committee have raised a combined $15.9 million in February, ending the month with more than $37 million on hand. This data is according to filings with the Federal Election Commission. Estimates suggest that Trump spent $8.5 million in legal fees so far this year, which accounts for 85% of total operating expenses in January and February 2024.