Categories
Weekly Summaries

1st of March – 7th of March

Protests in Spain

The young Spanish generation has been going to the streets in major cities like Madrid and  Barcelona for more than a week now. At first, the protests were a reaction to the arrest of the rapper Pablo Hasel, but now the protests have developed into a much bigger movement. The pandemic has hit Spain’s youth very hard; over 40% of young Spaniards now find themselves unemployed, the highest number in the EU. The current situation is a far-cry from the Barcelona that once was one of the “best places in Europe” for young people.

The Former French President Found Guilty of Corruption

It is the second time in modern French history that a former president was convicted of a crime. The former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was sentenced to at least one year in prison this past week on charges of corruption. Sarkozy supposedly gained confidential information from a judge after offering to help the judge get a job.

Other News

  • Britain and the EU have had some major disagreement this past week. The path to a “normal” relationship between the two parties remains a rocky one.
  • Last Sunday, the Hong Kong authorities charged 47 pro-democracy activists of violating the new Chinese Security Law.
  • New charges have been raised after the civil leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi by Myanmar’s military which staged a coup a few weeks ago. She now faces a prison sentence of up to 9 years.
  • The U.S. announced sanctions against Russia on Tuesday on the accusation of poisoning Aleksei Navalny
  • Three female journalists were shot in Afghanistan last week on their way home from work
  • After hundreds of Nigerian girls were abducted from their boarding school last week, their kidnappers have now released them
Categories
Weekly Summaries

22nd of February – 28th of February

General Strike in Myanmar

A general strike took place in Myanmar on Monday the 22nd of February. Millions participated, protesting against the military rule that has been in place since the military coup three weeks ago. Last weekend, two protestors and dozens more had been injured when the military started shooting at the protestors. Since then Facebook has banned Myanmar’s military from its platforms, making it obvious that they were siding with the pro-democracy protests.

Other News

  • An order was issued by the Supreme Court which allows the release of the former US President Donald Trump’s tax returns
  • Italy’s ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo was among three other people who were killed during an attack close to the city of Goma
  • The Syrian pound reached an all-time low against the dollar on the black market
Categories
Weekly Summaries

15th of February – 21st of February

Developments in Myanmar

This past week, the military supposedly fired rubber bullets, water cannons, and tear gas at protestors. However, several ambassadors from Western countries issued a joint statement in which they urged the military to refrain from using violence against the protestors. The statement also said that the protestors were protesting against the overthrow of “their legitimate government.” Since then, a closed-door trial against Daw Aung San Suu Kyi began in secret.

Other News

  • Almost 7 months after leaving Earth, a new rover from NASA has landed on Mars
  • So far, three people have died from ebola during the recent outbreak in Guinea
  • The former President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, did not appear at an inquiry panel about his role in corruption this past Monday
Categories
Weekly Summaries

8th of February – 14th of February

Protests in Myanmar

After the military re-claimed power during a coup last weekend, hundreds of thousands of people in Myanmar responded by going out on the streets to protest. They called for the release of the civilian leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi who was detained during the coup. In the hopes of gaining international attention, the protestors posted videos on Facebook meanwhile the military has taken a firmer grip. Some of the tactics the military has already implemented are telecommunications outages and banning social media platforms such as Facebook during the process of cementing their power.

Trump’s impeachment trial will go ahead

On Monday, the U.S. Senate voted to go ahead with the impeachment trial. The defending team of the former U.S. President Donald Trump argued that it would be unconstitutional to go ahead with the impeachment as Donald Trump is no longer in office at this point. If Trump were to be found guilty, the Senators could prevent him from running for federal office again.

Other News

  • In India, a Himalayan glacier crumbled, killing 7 people, wounding 125 more, and destroying two dam projects.
  • The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, pleaded not guilty. He is accused of several corruption charges, and the general election for which he is running for re-election is only a few weeks away. 
  • The Netherlands has suspended international adoptions for the time being. Recent investigations have shown that there were abuse cases between 1967 and 1998 on which the government had failed to act.
  • China has banned BBC programs
Categories
Weekly Summaries

1st of February – 7th of February

Military Coup in Myanmar

After Myanmar’s civilian leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her top lieutenants were detained during raids in the early Monday morning hours, a one-year long state of emergency was announced on a military television network. The army chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing is now in power. Later on, a statement was also issued through television, which was supposed to justify the power takeover by the military, claiming that there had been frauds in the November elections. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s party — the National League for Democracy — had won the election with a landslide victory. Some say that the coup now marks the country’s return to full military rule. She now faces up to three years in prison, being charged with the illegal import of at least 10 walkie-talkies. Since then, the new military government has blocked access to Facebook as Myanmar slowly begins to isolate itself from the rest of the world again.

Navalny sentenced to two years in prison

Aleksei Navalny was sentenced to more than two years in prison by a Moscow court. He is charged with violating a parole from 2014 about regularly checking in with the Russian authorities. Navalny did not do this while he was recovering in Germany. There have been continued protests in Russia, but Russian authorities have signalled that they will remain firm.

Other News:

After the British government announced that they would make it easier for Hong Kong residents to move to Britain, the Chinese government responded by declaring that it would no longer accept the special passports issued by Britain to Hong Kong residents.

Categories
Weekly Summaries

25th of January – 31st of January

Elections in Portugal

President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was re-elected this past week. He received 61% of the votes, a number that may come as a bit of a surprise because Portugal introduced a new lockdown just two weeks ago over concerns of overwhelmed hospitals. This may also explain the low turnout, which was only 39% of the population. 

President Rebelo de Sousa will begin his second 5-year term with a strong foothold: the candidate with the second highest number of votes — the Socialist candidate Ana Gomes — received only 13% of the votes. In Portugal, the role of President is second to that of the Prime Minister who is in charge of the day-to-day affairs. As President, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa can, however, dissolve Parliament and veto some legislations and is also involved in foreign policy and national security.

Italy’s Prime Minister Resigns

The Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte resigned this past Tuesday after weeks of political conflicts. At the moment there is still hope that Italian politicians may come up with a solution but otherwise early elections may be the only solution. Especially opposition parties are very keen on early elections with polls suggesting that the Nationalist Party may win. 

Other News

  • The House of Representatives sent an article of impeachment against Donald Trump on Monday.
  • This past Tuesday, President Biden and President Putin agreed to extend the last remaining nuclear arms treaty between the United States and Russia.
  • Thousands of farmers entered New Delhi, India, on Tuesday with their tractors to protest against new farming laws.
  • A new law went into effect in Poland on Wednesday which bans abortions in almost all instances (in cases of rape, incest, and threat to the life of the mother abortions are still allowed). Thousands went to the streets to protest, vowing to keep fighting.
Categories
Weekly Summaries

18th of January – 24th of January

President Biden’s Inauguration

This past Wednesday was Trump’s last day in office. He became the first US President to leave the White House before his successor’s (Joe Biden) inauguration. Biden became the 46th President of the United States and Kamala Harris officially became the first woman and person of colour to take up the position of vice president. Since then, President Biden has already released a national pandemic response plan.

US accuses China of Genocide

The US State Department declared on Tuesday — former US President Trump’s last full day in office — that the Chinese government is committing genocide and crimes against humanity. There has long been criticism of China for suppressing Muslim minority groups, including Uyghurs, in the region of Xinjiang. US officials later said that they hope that other countries will follow in their footsteps.

Other News:

  • Armin Laschet was named the next leader of Angela Merkel’s CDU Party. Elections will take place in Germany in fall.
  • On Thursday morning two bombers wearing explosive vests killed at least 32 people in an attack at a busy market in central Baghdad, Iraq.
Categories
Weekly Summaries

11th of January – 17th of January

President Trump’s Second Impeachment

On Wednesday night, the House voted to charge President Trump with inciting insurrection over the breach of the Capitol just last week. This means that President Trump has now become the first President in the history of the United States to be impeached twice. The vote was 237 to 197, with 10 Republicans voting for his impeachment along with the Democrats.

Russian Opposition Leader Aleksei Navalny Returns to Russia

Aleksei Navalny returned to Moscow on Sunday and was arrested shortly after his arrival. He has accused the Kremlin for trying to murder him. Previously, he had been treated in Germany after suffering a near deadly nerve-agent attack in August. 

Navalny was detained at a passport control and — according to Russia’s penitentiary service — is waiting for a court hearing. He is wanted for “violating the terms of a prior suspended sentence.”

Other News

  • China’s currency, the yuan, reached its strongest level against the US dollar in more than two years
  • President-elect Joe Biden announced plans for a rescue package worth $1.9 trillion for the US 
  • Elections in Uganda. Read our detailed article here: https://econir-web.com/2021/01/17/elections-in-uganda/
Categories
Weekly Summaries

4th of January – 10th of January

Storm on U.S. Capitol

Pro-Trump rioters overwhelmed the security forces present on Wednesday. The aim was to interrupt the counting of electoral votes to confirm Joe Biden as the 46th U.S. President. Chaos and violence followed, with one person shot and more dying later from their injuries. After more than three hours, the police, with support from the F.B.I. and National Guard members were able to regain control. Since, several social media platforms have banned President Trump’s accounts, including Twitter and Facebook. 

Other news

  • 100 civilians were reported dead in Niger on Monday after gunmen carried out a revenge attack in an area controlled by militants.
  • Saudi Arabia agreed to reopen its border and airspace to Qatar, after a boycott was first put in place in 2017.
  • In Hong Kong, the police arrested 53 pro-democracy officials and activists. It was the largest roundup since the introduction of the new national security law by Peking.
  • Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla replaced Jeff Bezos as the richest man in the world on Thursday.
Categories
Weekly Summaries

28th of December 2020- 3rd of January 2021

Brexit Deal

More than four years after British citizens first voted to leave the EU, Brexit is really happening: something that many people did not believe until the last minute. The UK’s transition period ended with a “Christmas Eve trade agreement.” This means that Britain is now no longer a part of the EU’s customs union and common market. However, the trade agreement means that British financial firms will lose their biggest benefit of being an EU member: the advantage of offering services across the EU from a UK base. Although at the moment it looks like the Conservatives are for the agreement, the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson may still face opposition from hard-liners and businesses. This past Wednesday, the deal was easily approved by Parliament. 

Earthquake in Croatia

A 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck in Croatia on Tuesday afternoon, killing at least six people, wounding dozens more, and leaving several towns in ruins. Tens of thousands of people were left homeless.

Other news:

  • President Trump signed a $900 billion pandemic relief deal
  • Argentina voted to legalize abortion
  • At least 16 people were killed and 60 more wounded at an airport attack in Aden, Yemen. The attack happened at the same time as an airplane with members of the newly-formed government onboard came in.