What happened?
On 12 July 2022, Twitter Inc announced the initiation of a legal battle with Elon Musk, the richest person in the world, after he announced on 8 July, his intention to backtrack on the deal to buy twitter at $44 billion. Musk claims that the company violated the agreement by not responding to requests for information on the spam/fake accounts, citing it as a material breach.

In their lawsuit, Twitter declares that Musk broke the terms of the deal, and was really backing out due to financial reasons. They also claim that he broke the US Securities rules when he failed to disclose his nine per cent holding in Twitter. In April 2022, Musk announced his interest in buying Twitter at a share price of $54, by 25 April, the value remained at $52. However, on 13 July, following the lawsuit news, the value stood at $37.

What does it mean?
Elon Musk’s tweets are slated to be used as evidence in the case. Twitter mentioned that the losses faced by Elon Musk’s Tesla in the past months is the real reason for backtracking on the deal alone. They claim that Musk is faltering on the deal simply because he does not want to buy Twitter anymore. The value drop of Twitter is an unfortunate collateral that is the outcome of Musk using Twitter for altering the value. The US Securities and Exchange Commission has been observing the proceedings of the Twitter deal, one could expect their intervention in the case. The SEC has been critical of Elon’s similar behaviour in the past. Since the deal has already been signed, the case may be extremely difficult one for Elon Musk. Many of the cases of this kind, usually end up in parties re-negotiating the terms of the deal or with one party paying the settlement to walk away. The lawsuit is expected to be a showdown on Wall Street.


China: President Xi Jinping visits Xinjiang
On 15 July, the Asahi Shimbun reported that Chinese President Xi Jinping travelled to the northwest province of Xinjiang amid worries over the country’s incarceration of one million or more people from predominantly Muslim ethnic local minorities. Xi described Xinjiang as a “core area and a hub” in China’s plan to create ports, trains, and power plants linking it to economies spanning from Central Asia to Eastern Europe. The Uighur and Kazakh communities living in the region have been subject to a broad crackdown by the government of Xi after a spate of violent separatist activity.

Solomon Islands: Manasseh Sogavare meets the Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand at the Pacific Islands Forum
On 13 July, the Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare met Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for the first time since signing a security agreement with China that alarmed US allies due to the country’s military interests in the Pacific islands. The leaders met in separate bilateral meetings that took place on the side-lines of the four-day Pacific Islands Forum in Fiji, to discuss China’s ambition for stronger security ties in the region as well as how to raise more international financing and support to combat the effects of climate change and rising sea levels. 

The Pacific Islands: Naval exercises conducted in the South China Sea 
On 16 July, the US Navy stated that the USS Benfold, a US Navy destroyer, conducted a second “freedom of navigation” exercise in a week close to the disputed Spratly islands. The ship was “driven away” earlier on July 13 from the disputed Paracel Islands by China’s military. The US regularly engages in such operations in the South China Sea to protest what it claims are obstruction to lawful passage set up by China and other claimants. The US Navy said: “On July 16, USS Benfold (DDG 65) asserted navigational rights and freedoms in the South China Sea near the Spratly Islands, consistent with international law.”