New Zealand Climb to No. 1 in ICC Test Rankings: India is now number two in Test rankings that will take on top-ranking New Zealand at the World Test Championship match starting in Southampton on June 18. The Kiwis moved to the top after beating England convincingly in the second Test at Edgbaston on Sunday, and after cornering England convincingly in the first Test that England managed to draw. Former England captain Michael Vaughan tweeted after the NZ win: “Really fancy them to beat India next week.” Now’s the time for Kohli to beat both New Zealand and Vaughan.
China in Focus at G7 Summit: The G7 declared its confrontation to closed societies, and its measure to opposition to these was Internet access. “We commit to preserve an open, interoperable, reliable and secure internet, one that is unfragmented, supports freedom, innovation and trust which empowers people,” the G7 communique says. Read in this China, that severely limits access to the Internet to and through its own engines and providers. The G7 did not name China a lot, but much that was agreed was aimed at China. Some of all this appeared aimed at India too. “We also affirm our opposition to measures which may undermine these democratic values, such as government-imposed internet shutdowns and network restrictions.”
Can Coal Plants Spell Trouble for India?: The G7 decision to get economically tough with economies that use significant amounts of coal for energy could place India in confrontation with leading economies right up to the big climate summit due in Glasgow in November. The G7 resolved to take tough steps against coal plants – unless they are equipped with technology to trap carbon emissions. That technology comes at a cost. Earlier, developed nations had pledged a fund of 100 billion dollars to help developing economies move to cleaner fuel. G7 last week spoke of 2 billion dollars, and that too was not a firm commitment. India is not likely to turn off its lights in a hurry because they may be powered by a coal plant.
A New Plan to Fight Corruption: G7 this year agreed on a new plan to fight corruption that would appear to include those fleeing from one jurisdiction to find protection in another. The G7 said in its communique at the end of the summit on Sunday that it recognises “the need for action on corruption, including by sharing information on illicit financial activities, tackling the misuse of shell companies, and curtailing the ability of illicit actors to hide wealth, including in real estate.” On all of these substantial means to take measures exist already. The difficulty is with the loopholes that rich nations have set up to their advantage. The test of the G7 declaration will be what the G7 countries do to implement their own declaration.
Economic Battleground in Africa: G7 has thrown up an economic battleground in Africa to confront China. “We are resolved to deepen our current partnership to a new deal with Africa, including by magnifying support from the International Monetary Fund for countries most in need to support our aim to reach a total global ambition of 100 billion dollars,” G7 says in its communique. Western powers have at last decided to counter the growing economic influence of China in Africa, through better financed support to build infrastructure. If this becomes a game between China and the West to pour more money into Africa, that can only be to Africa’s good. But the flip side of this push could mean less to invest in a country such as India.