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German election outcome still uncertain – could be weeks of wrangling ahead

Conveying this from a note via ING, bolding is mine for emphasis but read the whole paragraph:
  • The current result also means that there will now be long coalition talks. Germany doesn’t have a prefab mechanism for these coalition talks and the strongest party does not have an automatic right to lead the next government. In fact, all parties can have exploratory talks in whichever combination they want until they have found a constellation which would have a parliamentarian majority. In the past, there were actually two national elections after which the largest party did not lead the government coalition. With the current results, three coalitions would be possible: a SPD, Greens and FDP coalition, a CDU, Greens and FDP coalition, or another revival of the grand coalition but then under the leadership of the SPD. The option of a left wing coalition of SPD, Greens and Left Party is no longer possible.
That last sentence likely means less probability of a much higher taxing government. EUR is little changed so far here in early Asia hours:
Earlier posts are here, its a cliffhanger:

North Korea expanding facility used to produce weapons-grade uranium

CNN with a report on new satellite images revealing North Korea is expanding a key facility capable of enriching uranium for nuclear weapons

  • “likely indicate the country plans to significantly ramp-up production at this once-dormant site in the near future, according to experts who analyzed the photos.”
  • Could allow North Korea to increase production of weapons-grade nuclear material by as much as 25%
  • the ongoing construction is consistent with previous efforts to add floorspace at the facility, allowing it to house more centrifuges and thus, enrich more uranium
Earlier in the week NK fired off test missiles:
CNN with a report on new satellite images revealing North Korea is expanding a key facility capable of enriching uranium for nuclear weapons

Leaders of Australia, India, Japan to meet with Biden at the White House – ‘Quad’ summit

US President Joe Biden will host a ‘Quad’ summit on September 24. China’s growing assertiveness is said to be the main topic.

Will be held at the White House, leaders all attending in person.
  • Australia’s Scott Morrison
  • India’s Narendra Modi
  • Japan’s Yoshihide Suga
“Hosting the leaders of the Quad demonstrates the Biden-Harris Administration’s priority of engaging in the Indo-Pacific, including through new multilateral configurations to meet the challenges of the 21st century,” says White House press secretary Jen Psaki
i.e “challenges of the 21st century” = China, I guess.
The last meeting, in March, was virtual:
US President Joe Biden will host a 'Quad' summit on September 24. China's growing assertiveness is said to be the main topic. Australia’s PM praying he still fits on his pants? Dunno.

Pentagon response to North Korea missiles – a threat to region

US response now:
  • We are aware of reports of DPRK cruise missile launches. 
  • We will continue to monitor the situation and are consulting closely with our allies and partners.
  • This activity highlights DPRK’s continuing focus on developing its military program and the threats that poses to its neighbors and the international community. 
  • The U.S. commitment to the defense of the Republic of Korea and Japan remains ironclad.

Japan PM Suga to resign

Reports in Japanese media say that Prime Minister Suga will step down

  • Will not run in the leadership ballot for his party this month.
Kyodo with the report, via Reuters .
Nikkei futures have popped on the news and USD/JPY is up around 10 points.  Yesterday a contender for the leadership, Kishida promised a broad swathe of fiscal support.
More:
  • Suga to resign as PM on September 30.
  • Will spend his time until then focusing on measures to address the coronavirus pandemic and associated economic damage.
Anyway, so say the reports, we haven’t heard anything from Suga himself on this.
Suga was all-powerful as Chief Cabinet Secretary during former Prime Minister Abe’s terms in office. Suga’s time as PM has not been so successful for him.
Japan PM Suga to resign

China requires all foreign ships entering the South China Sea register with Chinese maritime authorities

China says the new rule will apply to the South China Sea, the East China Sea, and the islands and reefs dotted across those waters. China claims these as its territory.

As you’d expect, the US is having none of it.
Pentagon spokesperson comments:
  • “The United States remains firm that any coastal state law or regulation must not infringe upon navigation and overflight rights enjoyed by all nations under international law” 
  • “Unlawful and sweeping maritime claims, including in the South China Sea, pose a serious threat to the freedom of the seas, including the freedoms of navigation and overflight, free trade and unimpeded lawful commerce, and the rights and interests of South China Sea and other littoral nations” 
Tensions continue between the US and China.
China says the new rule will apply to the South China Sea, the East China Sea, and the islands and reefs dotted across those waters. China claims these as its territory.
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