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Weekly Summaries

21st of December – 27th of December

Travel ban imposed on Britain

More than 50 countries imposed travel restrictions for people coming from Britain over fear of the spread of a new mutation of the coronavirus, which is supposed to be more contagious. Since then, a new lockdown was also imposed for the southeastern part of Britain, which includes London. However, this past Tuesday France eased travel restrictions, allowing select travelers from Britain into France. The European Commission also urged member countries to lift the restrictions and allow essential travel with Britain. 

Fourth elections in Israel in two years

The Israeli Parliament dissolved itself last week after failing to meet the deadline for approving a new budget. This forces new elections to take place on the 23rd of March, which will be Israel’s fourth election in a time period of barely two years.

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Weekly Summaries

14th of December – 20th of December

Climate pledge from China

China is the largest contributor to CO2 emissions worldwide. Now, however, China’s leader Xi Jinping has taken a step against climate change by announcing — on the fifth anniversary of the Paris climate agreement — that China would reduce its carbon intensity over 65% by 2030.

New laws in Hungary threaten civil liberties

This past Tuesday the Hungarian government passed new laws which severely restrict the rights of gay people. For example, one of the constitutional amendments that was made defines a family as including a man as the father and a woman as the mother, effectively preventing gay couples from adopting children. Other measures which were introduced make it more difficult for opposition parties to challenge the Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orban, in future elections and also make an overview of public spending more difficult.

Boko Haram kidnaps young boys

This week gunmen raided a secondary boarding school in the northern Nigerian province of Katsina and took more than 300 young boys captive. The leader of the Boko Haram has now claimed responsibility. However, late Thursday night the state governor announced that all boys would be released and reunited with their parents.

Other news:

  • Britain and the European Union have agreed to extend their trade negotiations. The initial deadline was this past Sunday (the 13th of December).
  • On the 13th of December the White House announced that hackers from a foreign country had broken into multiple key government systems. 
  • The Electoral College confirmed Biden as the next US president on Monday
  • Somalia cuts diplomatic ties with Kenya
  • President Macron of France tested positive for the coronavirus
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Weekly Summaries

7th of December – 13th of December

Brexit Updates

Time is running out for the UK and the EU to reach a deal before the UK is supposed to leave the EU on the 31st of December this year. This past Monday the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had announced that he would travel to Brussels in a final attempt to reach a trade agreement with the EU. On Wednesday the European Commission then published no-deal contingency measures in an attempt to prevent chaos on the 1st of January 2021 if no agreement is reached till then.

Vaccinations in Britain against the Coronavirus

In Britain the first people have now received a vaccine against the coronavirus, which was developed by two companies called Pfizer and BioNTech. However, two of the people who received the shot so far have had serious allergic reactions to the vaccine, but they both have a history of severe allergic reactions. The vaccine will be administered by health care workers, the military, volunteers, and even first-aid workers. The National Health Service is aiming to vaccinate tens of millions of people in a matter of months. Furthermore, Canada has now also approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for people older than 16 years.

Other News:

  • Morocco joined the ranks of Arab countries who have normalized relations with Israel
  • Almost 50,000 Ethiopians from the Tigray region have sought refuge in Sudan
  • European Union leaders agree on a $2.2 trillion stimulus package
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Weekly Summaries

30th of November – 6th of December

Ethiopia declares victory in the Tigray Conflict

After days of attacks on the regional capital of Tigray, Mekelle, the Ethiopian government claimed it had “won” the conflict against the region of Tigray on the 28th of November, without killing a single civilian. However, local farmers tell a different story, describing dozens of deaths related to the conflict.

Egyptian Human Rights Workers Released

Although the Egyptian government did try to interfere with the freedom of human rights activists in the past by, for example, preventing them from travelling, only very few were arrested and sent to prison. This changed a few weeks ago when three employees from the human rights group Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights were arrested. However, the international public put pressure on Egypt as diplomats, politicians and even celebrities called for the release of the human rights workers. In response to the increasing pressure, the Egyptian authorities released the workers this past week.

Protest in France over new Security Bill

This past week, the streets of two cities in France, the capital Paris and Lyon, were filled with protestors against the new security bill. The bill would restrict the sharing of images of police officers, in addition to strengthening government surveillance tools. Since then, the French government has announced that it will make severe changes to the bill.

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Weekly Summaries

23rd of November – 29th of November

Update on the situation in Ethiopia

This Thursday, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Aiby Ahmed ordered what he called a “final” military assault on Tigray’s capital. He also announced that the deadline for the leaders of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front to surrender had passed. The announcements come after Prime Minister Ahmed released his military forces on the northern region of Tigray. According to the United Nation, hundreds have since then been reported dead and 40,000 refugees have passed into Sudan.

Scottish Parliament takes action against period poverty

This past week. the Scottish Parliament voted unanimously to make sanitary products available to anyone who needs them. This will include making sanitary products available for everyone in public buildings, including schools and universities. This is a first in the world in the fight against period poverty.

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Weekly Summaries

16th of November – 22nd of November

End of the fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh

After weeks of fighting, the dispute in Nagorno-Karabakh between Armenia and Azerbaijan is over. A Russian deal has ended the conflict which caused at least 2,310 Armenian soldiers to die since the 27th of September while the number of soldiers from Azerbaijan remains unknown. Because of the deal, Armenians living in the disputed region were forced to leave their homes, thereby burning houses and infrastructure to make the resettling of Azerbaijanis as difficult as possible, while Azerbaijanis are celebrating their victory.

Renewed cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority

This past week, the Palestinian Authority it announced that it would resume its cooperation with Israel. This will end 6 months of financial hardship for thousands of West Bank residents.

Other news:
  • China, Japan, New Zealand and 12 other countries signed one of the world’s largest regional free trade agreements, which covers 2.2 billion people
  • International aid groups claim that they have been prevented from helping thousands of Ethiopians displaced by the conflict between the Ethiopian government and the military forces in the northern region of Tigray
  • Over the past week, devastating typhoons have killed up to 70 people in the Philippines
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Weekly Summaries

9th of November – 15th of November

Border conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan possibly resolved

On Monday, Armenia’s prime minister Nikol Pashinyan signed an agreement which is supposed to end the border conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Armenia will have to surrender the disputed territories. Armenian forces in these areas are supposed to pull out. They will be replaced by Russian peacekeepers. Russia was also the country which helped to negotiate the deal to end the war. However, only a few hours after the announcement was made public, people started protesting in Armenia’s capital city, Yerevan.

France and Austria meet to discuss antiterrorism measures

This Tuesday the French President Emmanuel Macron and the Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz met in Paris. In recent weeks there have been terror attacks in both France and Austria.

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Weekly Summaries

2nd of November – 8th of November

Joe Biden named President-Elect

After multiple days of anticipation, the result was finally announced. Biden was named President-Elect, receiving 290 electoral votes. Our writer Liam wrote about the US elections in more detail on our updates section. You can read his post here: https://econir-web.com/2020/11/08/the-us-election-of-2020/

Terror attack in Vienna

On Monday night, four people were killed and at least 22 other people were wounded in the capital city of Austria: Vienna. Multiple gunmen shot people at 6 different locations in central Vienna. Sebastian Kurz, Austria’s chancellor, announced that the police killed one of the gunmen. Austrian officials later described the shooting as a “terror attack.”

Kabul University stormed

On Monday, gunmen in Afghanistan stormed Kabul University, killing at least 19 people and wounding many more. An Afghan branch of the Islamic State later claimed responsibility. 

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Weekly Summaries

26th of October – 1st of November

Judge Amy Coney Barrett confirmed by the Senate

On Monday night the Senate confirmed – with 52 to 48 votes – Amy Barrett’s position of justice of the Supreme Court. She is the fifth woman in the history of the USA to hold that position.

What happened to the protests in Belarus?

After the protests in Belaurs against the President Lukashenko’s fraud win in this year’s elections first started three months ago, the Belarusians have continued protesting. There have been arrests and police violence against the protestors, but people still continue to protest every Sunday in the ten thousands.

Poland’s new abortion law

The high court of Poland recently introduced a new law which bans abortion in the case of fetal abnormalities, and this in a country which was already known to have one of the strictest abortion laws in Europe. This ruling has resulted in the largest demonstrations since the fall of Communism in 1989. The protestors not only chanted anti-government slogans, but also effectively blocked major roads and bridges. 

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Weekly Summaries

19th of October – 25th of October

U.S. Justice Department files lawsuit against Google

The anti-trust lawsuit against Google, which was filed by the U.S. Justice Department this past week, has become known to be the most confrontational motion against a tech giant in decades. Google was accused of illegally maintaining its monopoly in the search sector. 

Nigerian security forces open fire

During the night of Tuesday the 20th of October, the Nigerian security forces opened fire against the participants of a demonstration against police brutality from the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Lagos. At least 12 people were killed. Furthermore, tear gas was also used against protestors in Abuja. 

Elections in New Zealand

Jacinda Ardern was elected prime minister with her Labour Party for the second time in row last week. Since then, people have called her “New Zealand’s most popular prime minister in generations.”

Other news: first official visit of the U.A.E. to Israel after the countries agreed to normalize their relations earlier on in the year