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Events around the on-going conflict in Ukraine

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EU central bank warns ‘outlook is darkening’
The ECB has slashed growth forecasts, hiking interest rates even as it predicts inflation will climb further

Europe is facing lower-than-expected economic growth as inflation continues to climb, European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde revealed on Monday, explaining that the ECB had raised interest rates by 75 basis points in an attempt to control soaring prices.

Speaking before the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs on Monday, Lagarde admitted that “inflation remains far too high and is likely to stay above our target for an extended period.”

The former IMF boss warned that the “economic consequences for the euro area” of “Russia’s unjustified war of aggression on Ukraine” had spiraled further since June, a reference to Western sanctions on Russian oil and gas, which have sent fuel prices skyrocketing.

“The outlook is darkening,” she said.

While the Eurozone economy grew 0.8% in the second quarter, Lagarde said the ECB expected activity to “slow substantially” over the rest of 2022, to a total of 3.1% over the year and a mere 0.9% for all of 2023. Things will improve marginally in 2024, with growth projected at 1.9%, she said.

Much of this quarter’s economic growth was due to “strong consumer spending” driven by the reopening of Covid-shuttered industries like tourism, Lagarde said, while noting a decline in global demand due to what she called the “worsening terms of trade.”
Macgregor: Ukraine Is On The Ropes And Trying To Create The Illusion That Is Not The Case

RET. COL. DOUG MACGREGOR: Almost from the very first moment that the Russians moved into Eastern Ukraine, a succession of retired generals and political hacks in Washington and London and elsewhere have been declaring victory for Ukraine. Seven months later, the Ukrainian army is bled white, tens of thousands of Ukrainian troops have been killed or wounded. Ukraine is really on the ropes and trying to create the illusion that's not the case.

At the same time, Vladimir Putin has finally concluded that he can't negotiate with Kyiv, that the real problem, of course, is Washington, and that Washington will not negotiate with him. So he's opted for partial mobilization, bringing in additional forces, ostensibly for the purpose of ending this thing. And at the same time he's very aware, as any of us are who are in the defense community in Washington, that there's been a lot of loose talk for several months about the viability of waging a limited nuclear war against Russia, using the so-called tactical nuclear weapon.

This sort of thing is very frightening to the Russians. They've made it very clear that their use of nuclear weapons is limited to retaliatory strikes in the event that we, or someone else, strikes them. So they just wanted to reaffirm clearly that they will respond if we use a nuclear weapon.
Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters has penned a blunt open letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Seeking guarantees that Russia will not expand beyond Donbass and Crimea and will never “invade anyone ever again.” Posted to Facebook on Monday, the missive follows similarly frank open letters to Ukrainian First Lady Elena Zelenskaya. In the letter, Waters asks Putin to affirm he wants an end to the war – something the Russian president has already said on other occasions. He also demands a guarantee that Russia’s “territorial interest” stops at the “security of the Russian speaking populations” of Crimea and the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, citing the need to reassure “some people who think you want to overrun the whole of Europe, starting with Poland and the rest of the Baltic states.” If Russia does have territorial ambitions beyond eastern Ukraine, Waters writes, “f*** you, and we might as well all stop playing the desperately dangerous game of nuclear chicken that the hawks on both sides of the Atlantic feel so comfortable with, and have at it.” Pink Floyd co-founder calls out ‘censorship’ over Ukraine READ MORE: Pink Floyd co-founder calls out ‘censorship’ over Ukraine It wasn’t immediately clear if the referendums in the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions on joining Russia qualified for this response. Moscow would also have to promise “not to invade anyone ever again,” Waters told Putin, complaining the launch of Russia’s special military operation in February was not just a “heinous war of aggression,” but... (More)