IRAQI UNREST SPARKS CURFEW, SUSPENSION OF GOVERNMENT CABINET: Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi instituted a curfew and suspended cabinet meetings following the storming of government buildings and the outbreak of widespread civil unrest led by the supporters of Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. Sadr, possibly under pressure from Iran-backed political factions, unexpectedly announced his retirement from politics, triggering the response from his supporters. Sadr is opposed to a coalition of Iran-linked Shiite parties and called for the dissolution of the Iraqi Parliament and early elections following a political stalemate over the formation of a new government. In response to the widespread violence, the U.S. State Department evacuated personnel from its embassy in Baghdad.
LUKASHENKO: BELARUS IS NUCLEAR CAPABLE: Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko announced that the Belarusian fighter-bombers had been modified and modernized by Russia to be able to carry nuclear weapons. The leader stated that Minsk would react immediately to threats from The West. This announcement follows earlier remarks from Lukashenko that Belarus would host Russian nuclear weapons in response to any potential deployment of NATO nuclear weapons to eastern Europe and reports from Ukrainian defense intelligence officials outlining the deployment of advanced Russian air defense systems and Iskander missile batteries to Belarus.
FRANCE CALLS FOR ENERGY SOBRIETY PLANS: French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne has called on companies to draw up energy sobriety plans as Europe’s looming energy crisis raises concerns of power shortages and blackouts. Borne announced that French government ministries would also be instituting energy sobriety plans, reducing power consumption by 10% as an example to the nation. Companies are expected to submit their plans to the government for review in October.
CHINA BEGINS NEW ROUND OF COVID LOCKDOWNS IN HEBEI AND SHENZHEN: Despite only small numbers of mild COVID cases Chinese government officials began a new round of zero-COVID restrictions in the province surrounding Beijing and in the major commercial hub of Shenzhen. Officials are scrambling to bring the minor flare-up of the virus under control and also began additional rounds of testing in China’s major port cities of Dalian of Tianjin.
CHINA INDUSTRIAL HUB HIT BY FLOODING AND POWER SHORTAGES: China’s industrial hub in southwest Chongqing and Sichuan are on alert for flooding after experiencing weeks without rain and scorching temperatures that dried up rivers and shutdown hydroelectric plants. The resulting power outages and shortages decreased manufacturing output for a number of global companies. The extreme heat along the Yangtze River basin also threatens agricultural output at a time when global food security is a growing concern.
In today’s Early Warning, Mike takes a look at Biden’s Thursday prime time address which will likely target the 2024 Trump campaign, and the team provides a roundup of domestic and geostrategic reporting. Find out here before it hits the news: https://forwardobserver.com/subscribe