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
Categories
Weekly Summaries

14th of June – 21st of June

Elections in Israel

The former Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu was “formally ousted” by Israel’s parliament last Sunday. The new coalition government was then approved by a single vote (60 to 59) and one abstention. Israel’s new Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who is said to be further right than Netanyahu, will be replaced by the centrist leader Yair Lapid in two years. In total, the new coalition government is made up of eight parties — including an independent Arab party for the first time in Israeli history — who have little in common due to their wide distribution among the political spectrum. This could mean trouble for the new government in the future, although they have announced that as the new coalition government, they will focus more on domestic issues instead of issues that divide them to provide some stability. The first step that the new Israeli coalition took on Tuesday was to announce their plans to “repair Israeli ties with the US,” the New York Times reported. However, at the same time, the Israeli military bombed parts of the Gaza Strip in the early morning hours last Wednesday after incendiary balloons were sent by the Hamas into southern Israel. So far, there have been no reports of casualties.

The G7 Summit in Cornwall

The first-in-person summit since the pandemic first began concluded last week. The countries that attended were the US, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, and the UK. Although the G7 countries were not able to reach agreements on all topics they wanted to address, they have planned a range of new policy approaches. You can read more about the G7 summit on Cornwall here: https://econir-web.com/2021/06/20/the-g7-summit-in-cornwall/

Other News

  • Ebrahim Raisi has won the election in Iran, becoming the new President. However, voter turnout, especially among the younger generation, was very low.
  • During the NATO summit, President Biden “reaffirmed his commitment to the alliance,” according to the New York Times. The union has also taken a harder stance towards China and Russia, saying that China’s growing military power and influence around the world may “present challenges.”
  • President Biden met with President Putin in Geneva. The meeting was described as “positive” by President Biden and as “constructive” by President Putin, with outcomes such as an agreement to “open U.S.-Russia talks on cybersecurity and arms control” (the New York Times) being made.
  • Britain and Australia have made a free-trade agreement, which is Britain’s first major trading deal since it left the European Union last year.
Categories
Weekly Summaries

15th of March – 21st of March

Shooting in Atlanta

Eight people were killed on Tuesday during a mass shooting in Atlanta at massage parlors. The victims include six Asian women, alerting Asian communities around the US. Law enforcement officials have responded by increasing police patrol, responding to an increase in hate incidents against Asians since the outbreak of COVID-19 over a year ago. The gunman has now been captured and has been charged with several counts of murder.

Other News

  • The European Union is taking legal action against Great Britain, claiming that Britain violated a legal agreement over Brexit and Northern Ireland.
  • Northern China experienced its strongest and largest dust storm in a decade
  • A court in Japan ruled that it was unconstitutional to not recognize same-sex marriages
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

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

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.

Categories
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