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In today’s email:

  • No More: 💰 Russia & China have announced they will completely stop using the US Dollar.

  • One Dam To Rule Them All: 🌊 Africas largest dam.

  • Gone But Not Out: 🚢 Vessel barely afloat after Houthi missile strike.


Russia and China Declare End to Trading in US Dollars

In a groundbreaking move that has sent shockwaves through global financial markets, Russia and China have announced their decision to abandon the US Dollar in commercial transactions. This pivotal shift marks a significant moment in economic history, challenging the longstanding dominance of the US currency and signalling a transformative change in the landscape of international trade. The move by these economic giants underscores a growing desire for autonomy and a departure from the reliance on the Dollar, marking a clear end to its unchallenged reign in global finance.

The implications of this decision are profound, signalling not just a change in currency preferences but a bold assertion of independence from the US's economic influence. By choosing to step away from the Dollar, Russia and China are not only altering the fabric of global trade but also setting the stage for a new era of economic multipolarity. The move has immediate repercussions, weakening the Dollar as China seeks to boost its economy through interest rate cuts, which in turn has sparked speculation about further global economic shifts and potential interventions by other central banks.

The departure from the Dollar heralds a new chapter of diversity in global finance, challenging the previous US-centric economic order. The ramifications of this shift are expected to be far-reaching, affecting not just the economies of Russia and China but also the global financial system at large. As the world adjusts to this new reality, the move by Russia and China could lead to increased volatility and uncertainty in the global markets, prompting a reevaluation of the Dollar's role as the cornerstone of international trade. This bold step towards economic self-determination by Russia and China signifies a major realignment in global finance, with potential long-term impacts on global economic stability and trade dynamics.


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Africa’s $5BN Mega-Dam Will Block the Nile

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, a monumental mega-project that stands as Africa's largest dam and a symbol of Ethiopia's ambitious economic aspirations. Towering twice as high as the Golden Gate Bridge and holding a reservoir comparable in size to London, this mega-dam is poised to double Ethiopia's electricity output, generating over 5,000 megawatts of power. Its construction, shrouded in secrecy due to delicate regional politics, represents a vital step towards lifting millions from poverty. However, it also stirs contentious debates over Nile River water rights, threatening to spark regional conflict. With 90% completion and a backdrop of stalled diplomatic talks, this dam embodies a transformative yet contentious force in Africa's landscape


Bad odour leads to discovery of 19,000 live cattle on ship in Cape Town. The vessel was stopped on its way from Brazil to Iraq and the smell emanating from it has caused Cape Town authorities to open an investigation. Initially, officials suspected that a sewage facility may have leaked, before the source of the stench was discovered.

Brexit has cost UK food companies exporting to EU an extra £170m. In the past 12 months alone, exporters have paid more than £58m. The extra costs have resulted in a sharp fall in exports, particularly among smaller producers, with the value of meat products sent to the EU down by 17% since 2019.

Lucid Motors will only build 9,000 EVs in 2024 after once predicting it would ship 90,000. The company plans to build just 9,000 electric vehicles in 2024, only 500 to 1,000 more than it made in 2023, as it struggles with demand for its luxury sedans.


Vessel Still Afloat Despite Houthi Claims of Sinking

The Rubymar, a Belize-flagged and British-registered cargo ship operated by Lebanon's Blue Fleet Group, was subjected to a missile attack by Iran-backed Houthi rebels while carrying combustible fertilizer. Despite sustaining significant damage in the Gulf of Aden, the vessel did not sink. The attack, which occurred on Sunday, involved one missile compromising the ship's side, allowing water into the engine room and causing the stern to lower. A second missile targeted the deck but did not cause major damage, according to Blue Fleet CEO Roy Khoury.

Following the assault, the ship's 24-person crew, consisting of nationals from Syria, Egypt, India, and the Philippines, was evacuated to Djibouti. Khoury shared that the Rubymar, still afloat with its stern submerged, was leaking fuel oil but there was no immediate risk of sinking. Efforts to tow the ship to Djibouti were in progress, with a tugboat expected to arrive within days.

This incident has been marked as the most severe damage inflicted on a commercial vessel by the Houthis since they began targeting ships last November, purportedly in solidarity with Palestinians. The attack has heightened concerns over maritime safety in the region, leading some shipping companies to reroute around southern Africa to bypass the Red Sea, which accounts for approximately 12% of global maritime trade. The United Nations has reported a significant decline in traffic through the Suez Canal, underscoring the broader implications of such disruptions on international trade.



Launched in the mid-20th century, the USNS General Hoyt S. Vandenberg served as a troop and missile tracking ship. After contributing significantly to Cold War defense and space exploration, it was intentionally sunk off Key West in 2009 to create an artificial reef. Today, it serves as a dive site and underwater memorial, highlighting its historical and military significance... Click to see shipwreck 👀


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