Submarine spat, Evergrande, German elections, Suriname football


This week at United Nations headquarters in New York, Joe Biden sat down with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. The meeting came at a time when France, Washington's oldest ally, had recalled ambassadors to both countries – an unprecedented reaction to the blindside of a dropped submarine contract with Canberra and a surprise military alliance that brings in the UK and shuts out Paris.


French President Emmanuel Macron has since taken Joe Biden's call and the French ambassador returned to Washington on Monday. Siding with Paris, Australia's former Labour prime minister Kevin Rudd told FRANCE 24 he doesn't make sense of scrapping an existing deal for a hypothetical one. Last week, the French foreign minister said he didn't even bother to recall the ambassador to London because as Jean-Yves Le Drian put it, Britain is "the fifth wheel of the coach".

In his speech before the United Nations General Assembly, China's president took the high road, making no mention of superpower rivalries. Instead, he promised to stop financing coal-fired plants abroad: an important first step ahead of November's UN climate summit in Glasgow.

Xi Jinping has more pressing concerns than the South China Sea, such as the sea of red ink submerging troubled real estate giant Evergrande. Once a pinnacle of China's property boom, the company owes $305 billion to creditors. On Thursday, it missed an $83 million interest payment to bondholders and that's upping the uncertainty from everyone from international banks to the construction workers at an unfinished building site in Suzhu near Shanghai.

Germany is not done with Merkel yet and certainly not her own CDU party. Outgoing chancellor Angela Merkel was at a final rally in Munich alongside her struggling would-be successor Armin Laschet and the head of the Bavarian sister party CSU, Markus Söder. In Thursday's final candidates' debate, Laschet promised to be firm if need be when asked about Nord Stream 2, the gas pipeline that goes from Russia to Merkel's home constituency on the Baltic Sea. Meanwhile, Social Democrat leader Olaf Scholz staged his final big rally in Germany's most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Scholz was in Munster before heading to Cologne, where the current finance minister in a Merkel-led coalition government hopes to come across as the competent manager who can fill her shoes.

After Roger Milla scoring for Cameroon at the 1994 World Cup at the age of 42, make way for Ronnie Brunswijk. The owner of Suriname's Inter Moengotapoe put himself in the line-up against Honduras side Olympia for their Concacaf Cup first leg clash on Tuesday. At the ripe old age of 60, he played 54 minutes. Brunswijk is not just the owner with the stadium named after himself. He is also a former rebel leader, a drug baron and the country's vice president. He won't be playing the return leg, but not because Inter lost 6-0, rather because there is an Interpol notice for his arrest if he travels.

Produced by Charles Wente, Sophie Pizzimenti, Juliette Laurain, Laura Burloux. 

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