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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

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

28th of September – 4th of October

War breaks out between Azerbaijan and Armenia

On Sunday the 29th of September fighting broke out between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the province of Nagorno-Karabakh. The border running through the province was already a point of dispute between the two countries in the past. Now, the renewed outbreak of fighting has turned into the largest clash between the two countries since 2016, with both countries describing the conflict as “war.”

President Trump tests positive for the coronavirus

Early on Friday morning President Trump announced that both he and the First Lady of the United States of America had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Europe imposes sanctions on Belarus

After only watching and criticizing the Belarusian President’s supposed cheating in the recent elections, the European Union has now taken action. The EU agreed on sanctions after Cyprus agreed in exchange for penalties to be imposed on Turkey to enter negotiation talks with Cyprus and Greece for Turkey’s energy exploitation of Greek and Cyprusian waters.

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Weekly Summaries

14th of September – 20th of September

Signing of the Abraham Accords

This Tuesday, President Trump, the Israelian Prime Minister, and the foreign ministers of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain gathered to sign agreements – the “Abraham Accords” – which will normalize the diplomatic relations between Israel and the UAE and Israel and Bahrain. This will include the establishment of embassies.

Protests in Belarus

Last Sunday, tens of thousands of people gathered not only in the capital city  Minsk but also in other cities throughout the country. Just like on the past few Sundays, there was a heavy police presence, and possibly even soldiers. Then, on Monday the 14th of September President Putin and President Lukashenko met for the first time since the protests in Belarus first started. President Putin of Russia later said that the goal at the meetings was to establish a “strategic partnership and alliance” between the two countries.

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Weekly Summaries

7th of September – 13th of September

Protests in Hong Kong

Last Sunday, people went to the streets in Hong Kong to protest against the decision to delay the elections by one year. Thousands of police officers reacted by using pepper spray and arresting almost 300 protestors.

Belarusian protest leader vanishes

With large-scale protests continuing, the last prominent Belarusian protest leader Maria Kolesnikova was supposedly kidnapped this Monday. However, in the early morning hours of the 9th of September she appeared at the border that Belarus shares with the Ukraine. As soon as she had crossed the checkpoint, she destroyed her passport. This made it impossible for the Ukraine to admit her, and she is currently still in the Republic of Belarus.

Update on the Brexit negotiations

At the beginning of the week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that a no-deal Brexit would be a good outcome for the UK. Following this, the ongoing Brexit negotiations fell into chaos after the top lawyer of the British government resigned because of Prime Minister Johnson’s plan to override an important agreement with the European Union.

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Weekly Summaries

24th of August – 30th of August

Updates on the protests in Belarus

On Sunday the 23rd of August thousands of people gathered in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, to protest against President Aleksandr Lukashenko. Although the total number of participants may have been well over 100 thousand, there were no arrests or clashes between the protestors and the police. However, on Monday the 23rd of August, security forces arrested two high-profile opposition forces. Furthermore, President Putin of Russia warned the protestors in Belarus by saying that he ordered the creation of a special force of officers at the request of Belarus’ President Lukashenko.

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Weekly Summaries

17th of August – 23rd of August

The situation in Belarus

On Sunday the 16th of August, the ongoing protests in Belarus against President Aleksandr Lukashenko accumulated into the biggest protest in the history of Belarus as tens of thousands of people gathered in the capital city. This Monday the President then said that a new election is possible, just minutes after he said the exact opposite. The next day, Mr. Lukashenko vowed to stand firm. The protests continued but on a smaller scale as some protestors returned to work. The next big development came on Wednesday when the leaders of E.U. member countries announced that the election results from last week are not legitimate and that the European Union would impose sanctions on those involved in the manipulation of votes.

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Weekly Summaries

10th of August – 16th of August

What is happening in Belarus

On Monday, the 10th of August, protestors barricaded streets in the capital Minsk while riot police officers used tear gas, baton charges, and stun grenades to suppress them. The day before, President Aleksandr Lukashenko had been re-elected with an over 80% majority in an election that has often been called fraud. Then, on Tuesday Svetlana Tikhanovskaya who had been the main opponent of Aleksandr Lukashenko in the elections announced that she had left Belarus for Lithuania over fears for her and her children’s safety. Since then, many protestors and journalists have been detained and there are accounts of violent beatings.