Americas

Nippon Steel’s Strategic Move: A Deep Dive into the Acquisition of U.S. Steel
Americas, U.S. Economy

Nippon Steel’s Strategic Move: A Deep Dive into the Acquisition of U.S. Steel

By José Carlos Palma* Introduction In a transformative move, Nippon Steel, one of Japan's leading steel manufacturers, has unveiled plans to acquire U.S. Steel, a historic American steel giant with roots dating back to the early 20th century. The $14.9 billion deal signifies a significant shift in the global steel industry and raises questions about the motivations behind this strategic move. In this deep-dive analysis, we explore the intricacies of the acquisition, its potential implications, and the broader context of the steel market. The Dynamics of the Deal Nippon Steel's offer of $55 per share for U.S. Steel represents a substantial premium of 142%, eclipsing a previous bid of $35 per share. The Japanese company aims to acquire all outstanding shares through its U.S. ba...
A year after Russia invaded Ukraine, a walrus discovery is caught up in geopolitics
Americas

A year after Russia invaded Ukraine, a walrus discovery is caught up in geopolitics

By  Kavitha George, Alaska Public Media - Anchorage Last October, research biologist Tony Fischbach made a startling discovery. Using satellite imagery, Fischbach and his team counted 200,000 Pacific walrus on one Russian beach at Cape Serdtse­-Kamen’, bordering the Chukchi Sea. It suggests that the most recent population estimate, which measured about 260,000 Pacific walrus in the world, may have been an undercount. A year ago, Fischbach would have been able to quickly confirm the finding with his Russian colleagues. But since the U.S. severed many research ties with Russia at the start of the Ukraine invasion, he doesn’t know when that will happen. Fischbach studies walrus populations for the U.S. Geological Survey, a federal agency that studies natural resources and the ha...
Blinken’s China trip postponed after spy balloon detected over nuclear sites in Montana
Americas

Blinken’s China trip postponed after spy balloon detected over nuclear sites in Montana

The Biden administration has decided to postpone Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s upcoming trip to Beijing after detecting a Chinese surveillance balloon that was lingering at high altitude over sensitive nuclear sites in Montana, according two officials. Blinken was set to have meetings in Beijing early next week in the first such visit by a top U.S. diplomat in five years. But the presence of the balloon — which the Pentagon decided not to shoot down — led officials to decide that going now would send the wrong signal, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified discussing internal deliberations. White House and State Department officials didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. China took unusually conciliatory steps to smooth over ...
The Geopolitics of South America’s Lithium Triangle
Americas

The Geopolitics of South America’s Lithium Triangle

By Scott B. MacDonald The United States, China, Japan, and most advanced economies are actively engaged in attempting to secure new sources of lithium—a key element in the transition of the global economy from fossil fuels to renewables. This metal is central to the mass adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), energy storage units that are key to power grids, and batteries for portable personal computers and cellphones. This is elevating the importance of the “Lithium Triangle” countries of Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile, which hold most of Latin America’s estimated 60 percent of global lithium reserves. There is a risk that failure to become involved in the Lithium Triangle in the twenty-first century could be akin to sitting out the development of Middle Eastern oil in the twentieth cen...
Pope finds democracy in the Americas ‘unacceptable’, citing Brazil crises
Americas

Pope finds democracy in the Americas ‘unacceptable’, citing Brazil crises

Pope Francis condemned on Monday a “weakening of democracy” in the Americas, citing the storming of government buildings in Brazil, in his yearly New Year’s address to ambassadors. “In many areas, a sign of the weakening of democracy is heightened political and social polarisation, which does not help to resolve the urgent problems of citizens,” said Francis during his speech at the Vatican. The Argentine pontiff cited “various countries of the Americas where political crises are laden with tensions and forms of violence that exacerbate social conflicts”. “I am thinking of these last few hours in Brazil,” he said, in a line that was not included in the pre-released text. He also cited Peru, where nationwide protests have killed at least 22 people, and a “worrying situation” in Haiti,...
‘Three Amigos’ summit: Experts call for North American vision as leaders meet in Mexico
Americas

‘Three Amigos’ summit: Experts call for North American vision as leaders meet in Mexico

From the frosty throes of a Canadian winter, the land of conquistadors and Frida Kahlo can seem a million miles away. But that’s not the way North American diplomats, trade experts and business leaders see it – and they hope the continent’s leaders have a similar vision as the so-called “Three Amigos” gather this week in Mexico City. “The potential for North America is immense,” said Eric Farnsworth, the former Clinton-era White House official who now leads the D.C. office of the Council of the Americas and the Americas Society. Farnsworth said a continental perspective will be vital to make substantive progress on issues like fortified supply chains, mitigating China’s influence and building a 21st-century workforce in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. “It’s our hope that the ...
Explainer: Why are migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in record numbers?
Human Mobility, Americas

Explainer: Why are migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in record numbers?

By Mica Rosenberg Jan 8 (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden is visiting the U.S.-Mexico border for the first time since he took office in January 2021 on Sunday, ahead of a visit to Mexico and after announcing new measures to reduce border crossings. What is happening at the U.S.-Mexico border now and why are there record numbers of crossings? WHO IS TRYING TO ENTER THE UNITED STATES AT THE BORDER? U.S. Border Patrol made more than 2.2 million arrests at the U.S.-Mexico in the 2022 fiscal year, which ended last September, the most ever recorded. But many of those were individual migrants who tried to cross multiple times after being caught and rapidly expelled back to Mexico under a COVID-era order known as Title 42. The policy was implemented in March 2020 under Republican fo...
Biden improves US-Saudi cooperation to confront Iran, say officials
Middle East, Americas

Biden improves US-Saudi cooperation to confront Iran, say officials

US officials have detected improved cooperation between the US and Saudi Arabia in recent weeks, three months after relations reached a historic low between the two countries. The Wall Street Journal quoted officials in the administration of US President Joe Biden stating: "The Biden administration has dropped threats to retaliate against Saudi Arabia for an oil-production cut last year and is moving to step up security coordination to counter Iran in 2023." The officials said that officers from both countries are: "Pressing ahead with new military and intelligence projects and sensitive efforts to contain Iran amid stalled efforts to revive the international nuclear deal with Tehran." In December, the Biden administration and Saudi officials worked to overturn a bill in Congress that w...
Quebec’s Social Services Under Pressure by Influx of Asylum Seekers
Americas

Quebec’s Social Services Under Pressure by Influx of Asylum Seekers

By The Canadian Press The influx of asylum seekers to Quebec is putting pressure on the province’s social services network, with homeless shelters in Montreal bearing the brunt. France Labelle, with a youth homeless shelter in downtown Montreal, says a rising number of requests for beds is coming from asylum seekers, who she says compose about 10 percent of her clientele. Sam Watts, head of homeless shelters with the Welcome Hall Mission, says that homelessness in the asylum seeker population in Montreal is a relatively new phenomenon. The federal government says that between January and November 2022, 45,250 asylum seekers arrived in Quebec, compared to 7,290 people for all of 2021. Quebec Premier François Legault said last month that the province needed help from Ottaw...
Colombia backtracks on ceasefire announcement with ELN rebels
Americas

Colombia backtracks on ceasefire announcement with ELN rebels

Government’s about-face comes after left-wing rebels said they had not discussed a truce with Bogota. The Colombian government has backtracked on an announcement that it had reached a ceasefire with one of the country’s largest remaining armed groups, a day after National Liberation Army (ELN) rebels said they were not part of any such deal. President Gustavo Petro had declared on New Year’s Eve that a temporary truce had been agreed with the country’s five largest armed groups, including the ELN, from January 1 to June 30. But the ELN, which last month concluded a first round of peace talks with Petro’s left-wing government, said in a statement on Tuesday that it had “not discussed any proposal for a bilateral ceasefire” with Bogota and, “therefore, no such agreement exists.” Instea...