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Weekly Summaries

5th of July – 11th of July

Lebanon’s Crisis worsens

The World Bank announced that the current crisis Lebanon is facing could rank among “the world’s three worst since the mid-1800s,” according to the New York Times. In the past year, Lebanon has had to cope not only with the outbreak of the coronavirus but also with the deadly explosion in Beirut’s port. This has meant that Lebanon’s GDP has decreased by 40% from 2018 ($55 billion) to 2020 ($33 billion). Its currency, the Lebanese pound, has decreased in value by 90% since fall 2019. Furthermore, Lebanon currently hosts one million refugees from Syria. All of these factors make it a very difficult and bad situation, providing little hope for people that things may change for the better soon.

Other News

  • After the assasination of President Jovenel Moïse of Haiti, four people who were suspected of being involved in the assasination were shot dead and two arrested by the police. Later on in the week, two Americans and 15 Colombians were detained as well. In recent months there had been protests, demanding Moïse to step down as poverty and hunger continued to increase. Increasingly, armed gangs have also been taking control over streets, causing chaos in what is already the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
  • The Ever Given container ship, which famously blocked the Suez Canal, is finally on its way to continue its journey.
  • Italy beat England in the UEFA Euro 2020 Final, which took place on Sunday, 2:1 after a dramatic shootout. The game took place in the Wembley Stadium in London.
  • A military plane crashed in the Philippines after missing a runway. Onboard were 96 soldiers and crew members. At least 50 people died, including 3 civilians. Later on in the week, a “regional passenger plane with 28 people on board crashed in eastern Russia,” according to the New York Times, as well.
  • The U.S. handed over its final airbase in Afghanistan, ending its military presence in the country after almost two decades.
  • A mudslide in the Japanese town of Atami has left more than 80 people missing.

Fun Fact

England’s deer populations have spiked as the outbreak of the coronavirus halted hunting activity. On a more serious note, the increasing numbers of deer poses serious challenges to the survival of wild plant species.

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Weekly Summaries

24th of May – 30th of May

A possible case of plane hijacking by Belarus

Last weekend, a Ryanair plane on the way from Athens to Vilnius was forced to land in Minsk (Belarus’ capital) by a fighter jet, according to the New York Times. On board was Roman Protasevich, a leading opposition journalist who currently lives in exile in Lithuania. Upon landing, he was immediately arrested on what the New York Times calls “charges of inciting hatred and mass disorder.” He will face imprisonment of more than 12 years if he is found guilty. The international response has been critical of Belarus, with Greece and Lithuania both describing the scenario “hijacking by the Belarusian government” and the E.U. “urging” airlines to avoid flying over Belarus’ airspace. Russia, meanwhile, has stood by Lukashenko’s side.

Other News

  • The former leader of Myanmar, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, has been seen in public at the court for the first time since the military coup that detained her, ending her term as leader of Myanmar. If she is found guilty of the many charges she faces, she may be imprisoned for life.
  • The one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s killing was last Wednesday.
  • A cable car crash in Italy killed 14 people. Police have now arrested three people, who may be related to the crash.
  • Just as the last of the remaining U.S. troops in Afghanistan are withdrawing, 25 rural Afghan government outposts as well as bases in four provinces have surrendered to the Taliban, according to the New York Times.
  • Just days after Mount Nyiragongo erupted deadly in the Democratic Republic of Congo, another potential eruption forced the evacuation of Goma.
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Weekly Summaries

10th of May – 16th of May

Tensions between Israel and Palestine

The worst violence between Israel and Palestinian groups since 2014 has been seen in the past few days. The conflict escalated over the final Ramadan weekend. Since mid-April there have been daily clashes on Jerusalem’s streets. Over Ramadan, the Israeli government had imposed a daily limit of 10,000 people to gather for prayers at the Al Aqsa mosque. Based on these restrictions, tens of thousands of Muslims were turned back from the mosque. However, that is not all since the possible eviction of six Palestinian families from the Sheik Jarrah district has caused tensions to escalate even further. On May 8th, the holiest day of Ramadan, tens of thousands of Muslims gathered at the Al Aqsa mosque. Israeli police therefore blocked many Muslims from entering the compound, based on the restriction. Two days later, on May 10th, Israeli police also used CS gas and stun grenades inside the mosque. In response, Palestinians condemned this action and rockets were also fired by Hamas, which targeted Israeli communities bordering the Gaza Strip, with some rockets even reaching the suburbs of Jerusalem. Since May 10th hundreds of rockets have been fired from Gaza towards Israel and the Israeli Air Force has carried out airstrikes on Gaza. Dozens of civilians have been killed. 

Bombing in Afghanistan

Last weekend, a bombing in the Dasht-e Barchi neighborhood, which targeted female students. The triple bombing caused the deaths of more than 80 people, most of them belonging to the Hazara minority. Recently, Hazaras have grown increasingly angry and frustrated, saying Afghanistan’s government is not taking the necessary steps to protect them from these frequent terror attacks. 

Other News

  • Nine people died in a school shooting in Kazan in central Russia
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Weekly Summaries

3rd of May – 9th of May

Unrest in Israel

Last week, a stampede at a festival for the ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel left 45 people dead. Meanwhile the Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that he “would be willing to hand over leadership for one year” to Naftali Bennett, a right-wing rival, according to the New York Times. This statement can be seen as a desperate attempt by Prime Minister Netanyahu to form a government. Mr. Netanyahu may have been in office for the past 12 years, but he is currently facing trial on corruption charges and Israel has seen four elections in just two years. However, Naftali Bennett is uncertain about how sincere the Prime Minister is about his proposal, especially because the coalition would still be two seats short of the required number to form a majority government. Soon after, Mr. Netanyahu failed to meet the deadline set for assembling a new government, which was Tuesday night. Yair Lapid, who is politically in the center, now has 28 days to form a coalition.

Other News

  • A suicide bomber blew up a truck in Logar Province, Afghanistan. 
  • German prosecutors were able to break up “one of the largest child pornography sites operating on the darknet,” according to the New York Times.
  • The New York Times reported a subway crash in Mexico City last week, in which a subway overpass collapsed, has killed at least 24 people and wounded 70 more.
Categories
Weekly Summaries

26th of April – 2nd of May

The U.S. military’s withdrawal from Afghanistan

This past week, the U.S. military has begun its complete withdrawal from Afghanistan. The New York Times wrote this past week that the Afghan security forces are “unprepared to face the Taliban, or any other threat, on their own. Over the past few years, the U.S. and NATO have spent tens of billions of dollars to build up the the Afghan security forces, but serious shortages of ammunition, the low pay, and abundant corruption are still causing problems.

Other News

  • A fire in an Iraqi hospital caused by an exploding oxygen cylinder killed at least 82 people
  • In the Somali capital of Mogadishu, gunfire erupted when forces loyal to the president confronted groups that sided with his rivals
  • A spacecraft built by Elon Musk’s SpaceX company arrived at the International Space Station last weekend
  • This past month, Iranian military vessels are supposed to have “harassed American ships in the Persian Gulf” twice, according to the New York Times
Categories
Weekly Summaries

5th of April – 11th of April

Israel’s Prime Minister attempts to form a government

The President of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, is giving Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a chance to remain in office. Mr. Netanyahu is currently facing a trial on charges of corruption, which makes for an unusual situation. Israel has held four elections in only two years, and Mr. Netanyahu has not achieved a majority at any of them. Now, however, there is a chance for him to form a government with the support of another party, although his political enemies are also in the process of forming a coalition.

Other news:

  • Just weeks before the planned withdrawal of the US from Afghanistan, officials are negotiating with the Taliban in the attempt of making a deal
  • A train derailed in Taiwan, killing at least 50 people. So far it is still unclear what caused the incident to happen.
  • Talks between the USA and Iran are currently taking place in Vienna regarding the 2015 nuclear deal.
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

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.