Categories
Weekly Summaries

22nd of November – 28th of November

Germany’s new government

Two months after elections took place at the end of September, the German parties Social Democrats, Greens, and Free Democrats announced last week that they have concluded their coalition talks. The leader of the Social Democrats party, Olaf Scholz, is expected to take over as chancellor from Angela Merkel. This means that Germany may finally have a new government. Some policies included in the new deal are raising the minimum wage to 12€, building 400,000 new apartments to fight the housing crisis, legalizing the sale of cannabis, and new plans to phase out the use of coal by 2030.

Other News

  • To help battle the skyrocketing oil prices worldwide, Britain, the U.S., China, India, Japan, and Korea have decided to release tens of millions of barrels of crude oil from their storage, according to the New York Times
  • A bus caught fire and crashed in Bulgaria, killing at least 45 people
  • A new variant of COVID-19 called Omicron that was first detected in South Africa has started to spread
  • 52 people were killed due to a gas buildup and explosion in a Siberian coal mine last week
  • There were clashes between the police and demonstrators in Honiara, the capital city of the Solomon Islands. The protestors demanded that the prime minister resign.
  • The cyberwar between Iran and Israel has reached new heights
Categories
Weekly Summaries

15th of November – 22nd of November

Tensions at the Poland-Belarus border

Thousands of migrants were trapped at the border between Belarus and Poland for weeks. Poland, a member of the European Union, refused to open the border. Now, an increasing number of migrants have decided to seek asylum in Belarus instead. This could cause many problems for Belarus, a country that has few jobs and other opportunities. Towards the end of the week, Belarusian authorities then cleared the camps at the border and moved the migrants to a warehouse instead. The question of what will happen to the migrants now remains unanswered.

Other News

  • Sudan’s prime minister, Abdalla Hamdok, was reinstated on Sunday after being in house arrest for four weeks
  • A new Portuguese law is considered revolutionary in its efforts to regulate remote work conditions. The law effectively prevents employers from contacting their employees outside of working hours and from monitoring their work.
  • President Biden of the U.S. and President Xi of China met virtually in a three-hour long summit to keep “communication lines open”
  • Germany “suspended approval of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline,” according to the New York Times. The move cause gas prices in Europe to rapidly increase
  • An explosion in Kampala, the capital city of Uganda, killed at least three civilians. The explosion was later described as an “extremist attack” with three suicide bombers also dying. 
  • A self-portrait of Frida Kahlo sold for $34.9 million last week, setting a new record for the most expensive artwork by a Latin American artist at the auction Sotheby’s
Categories
Weekly Summaries

8th of November – 14th of November

Tensions at the Poland-Belarus Border

Poland has stationed thousands of troops along its border with Belarus where migrants from Middle Eastern countries have set up camp, hoping to enter the European Union. This situation can be seen as a confrontation between Belarus and the E.U., of which Poland is a member. Politicians from E.U. member countries have accused President Lukashenko, Belarus’ leader, of “intentionally trying to create a new migrant crisis in Europe,” according to the New York Times. The E.U. imposed sanctions on Belarus after President Lukashenko’s victory in the elections of August 2020.

Other News

  • After Brexit, British companies have found themselves caught in a tangled web of restrictions and financial obstacles if they want to do business in E.U. countries. The country Estonia saw an opportunity and is now welcoming British companies who want to escape such troubles.
  • The top general of Sudan’s army appointed himself as the “head of a new ruling body” after last month’s coup, according to the New York Times
  • Japan’s economy contracted again in the third quarter of the year
Categories
Weekly Summaries

1st of November – 7th of November

Elections in Japan

The governing Liberal Democrats won the elections, but it was closer than usual. The new prime minister, Fumio Kishida, was chosen by his party, the Liberal Democrats, only last month but was still able to lead them to a victory. The other candidate for the representative of the Liberal Democrats was Sanae Takaichi, who would have become Japan’s first female leader. In the end, the Liberal Democrats won 261 seats, easily making the 233 seats necessary to have a majority, but lost 23 seats compared to the 2017 elections. Interestingly, the Liberal Democrats’ main opposition party, the Constitutional Democratic Party, also lost seats, according to the New York Times. Prime minister Kishida is a former foreign minister but faces some charisma in the issues and is in fact often said to be “boring” by the Japanese press.

Other News

  • In pro-democracy protests after the coup in Sudan last week, three people were killed and more than 100 were injured.
  • 4 countries, the U.A.E., Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait called back their diplomats from Lebanon’s capital city, Beirut. The move comes after Lebanon’s information minister referred to the Yemen war as a “Saudi and Emirati aggression,” according to the New York Times.
  • The chief executive of the British bank Barclays stepped down after there was an inquiry by regulators into his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein.
  • A building collapsed at a construction site in Lagos, Nigeria, killing at least four people and trapping more than 100.
  • In Virginia, USA, a Republican governor, Glenn Youngkin, was elected last week. He is the first Republican governor to be elected in Virginia in more than a decade.
Categories
Weekly Summaries

25th of October – 31st of October

Coup in Sudan

Last Monday, the top generals of Sudan seized power from the government in a coup. The prime minister and other civilian leaders, which had previously shared power with the military under a tense agreement, were arrested. The military proceeded to impose a state of emergency, opening fire on protestors. President Biden condemned the coup and offered economic assistance worth $700 million in the hopes of aiding the protests for democracy.

G20 Summit in Glasgow

Presidents and Prime Ministers from around the world gathered in Glasgow, Scotland this past week for the 12-day long global warming conference hosted by the U.N. to discuss global climate policies. How successful the summit will be is very uncertain as many countries are currently more focused on battling COVID and getting their economies back on track after lockdown.

Other News

  • A very severe fuel shortage is pushing Haiti, a country already struggling, to the brink of collapse
  • Facebook changed its name to Meta as part of its rebranding scheme
Categories
Weekly Summaries

11th of October – 17th of October

Nobel Prize in Economics

The 2021 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences was awarded to three U.S.-based economists who work with real-life experiments. David Card from the University of California, Berkeley, specializes in studying “unintended experiments to examine economic questions.” An example of such an experiment is whether raising the minimum wage causes people to lose their jobs. Joshua D. Angrist from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Guido W. Imbens from Stanford University won the prize for their joint work on developing research tools that economists utilize to test major theories using real-life situations. An example of this could be whether additional education has an impact on the amount a person earns. Click here to watch a video of the three winners

Other News

  • 32 countries joined the U.S. in a deal aiming to reduce methane emissions by 30% by 2030 that was developed by the E.U.
  • A trial in Burkina Faso hopes to finally establish who killed Thomas Sankara, the former president, more than 30 years after his death
  • In a pledge, the E.U. decided to give 1 billion Euros (around 1.15 billion US$) in aid to Taliban-ruled Afghanistan and neighboring countries
  • A man killed 5 people using a bow and arrow in Kongsberg, which is just outside of Oslo, Norway. The police announced that the suspect is now undergoing psychiatric evaluation
Categories
Weekly Summaries

4th of October – 10th of October

A long week for Facebook

Facebook and other apps owned by Facebook like WhatsApp and Instagram were down for over five hours last Monday. The shutdown showed just how dependent people around the world have become on Facebook. Just one day later, last Tuesday, a former product manager at Facebook turned-whistleblower, Frances Haugen, explained to a Senate subcommittee how Facebook “deliberately kept people — including children — hooked on its services,” according to the New York Times. Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Facebook, immediately rebutted the claims.

Other News

  • Kurz, Austria’s chancellor announced on Saturday that he would resign
  • The WHO approved the first-ever malaria vaccine. The vaccine was developed by GlaxoSmithKline and could potentially save the lives of tens of thousands of children in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The city of Venice in Italy is using hundreds of surveillance cameras and buying the cellphone data of tourists in an effort to establish more crowd control, according to the New York Times
  • The cost of oil, natural gas, and coal has increased drastically the past few months. The rise is caused in part by oil companies refusing to produce more to prevent the prices from dropping.
  • In an order last week, the Indian Supreme Court ruled that the government should pay families who have lost family members to COVID-19 50,000 rupees (around 671 U.S. dollars)
  • The world has lost around 14% of its coral reefs since 2009, a new study revealed
Categories
Weekly Summaries

27th of September – 3rd of October

Lithuania enrages China

Recently, Lithuania has been trying to get closer to Taiwan, enraging China by taking actions such as quitting a Chinese-led diplomatic forum. In response, China recalled its ambassador to Lithuania, made it basically impossible for Lithuanian businesses to sell their goods in China, and paused trips by a Chinese cargo train into Lithuania. While Lithuania is a lot smaller than China — China has 1.4 billion people while Lithuania has fewer than 3 million — the country is important as a “transit corridor” for goods heading to Europe from Asia.

Other News

  • Shortages are restraining the recovery of many parts of the economy worldwide
  • In a tweet last week, the Taliban announced that women would be barred from teaching and studying at Kabul University, Afghanistan’s most prestigious university
  • Facebook has “paused development of an Instagram app for children under 13,” according to the New York Time
  • Japan’s governing party elected its choice for the next prime minister: Fumio Kishida

Categories
Weekly Summaries

20th of September – 26th of September

Elections in Germany

In Germany, elections took place this past Sunday. In Berlin, the marathon took place on the same day, which led to many disruptions and some people only being able to vote after the first results had already been published. The Social Democrats (SPD) ended up winning the election, winning 25.7% of the votes, earning just 1.6% more than the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), which is Angela Merkel’s party. Because no party earned more than 50% of the votes, they have to form a coalition. At the moment, there are three possibilities, but the negotiation talks could take months. It is also still unclear who will become Chancellor now that Angela Merkel’s 16-year long chancellorship has ended.

Elections in Canada

After the current prime minister Trudeau called elections early this summer in the hopes of gaining a majority, the people decided last week that he should stay in power. Overall, Trudeau’s party the Liberals won 158 seats, 12 seats short of the 170 seats required to have a majority. The Conservatives, meanwhile, won 119 seats. However, voter turnout was the lowest in more than a decade, with just 59% of Canadians who are eligible to vote giving their poll.

Other News

  • Meng Wanzhou, the executive of Huawei, has been released and returned to China last week
  • Thousands of residents of the island La Palma had to be evacuated by Spanish authorities last week because a volcano spewed lava and smoke. The eruption was later called the “most powerful eruption in half a century,” according to the New York Times
  • The U.S. lifted its travel ban on foreign travelers who have been fully vaccinated from 33 countries, which include E.U. countries, China, Iran, South Africa, Brazil and India
  • Same-sex marriages are now legal in Switzerland after many people voted for the legalisation in the vote
Categories
Weekly Summaries

12th of September – 19th of September

Australia to get nuclear-powered submarines

Last week, the U.S. and Britain made a joint announcement that they would help Australia deploy nuclear-powered submarines. If this happens, Australia would be able to conduct routine patrols in the South China Sea, which would challenge China. Nonetheless, Australia “committed never to arm the submarines with nuclear weapons,” according to the New York Times. The deal is a major blow to France because of multiple reasons. As a result of the deal, Australia will not buy French-built submarines, which is bad news for French businesses. France sees the event as yet another example of the “widening rift” in U.S.-French relations and has announced that it will withdraw the French ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia in protest.

Other News

  • Iran will allow nuclear monitoring as agreed in a last-minute deal reached last week.
  • North Korea announced that it had launched “long-range cruise missiles” that hit targets 932 miles away, according to the New York Times. This is a major violation of multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions.
  • The company Colossal is hoping to repopulate Siberia with thousands of woolly mammoths, thousands of years after they went extinct.
  • In a huge step towards deciding the fate of Catalonia, Spain’s prime minister Pedro Sánchez and Catalonia’s leader Pere Aragonès met in Barcelona.
  • French forces killed Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahraoui, a leader of the Islamic State