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Weekly Summaries

16th of August – 22nd of August

Chaos at the airport in Kabul

Thousands of Afghans continue to try to flee the country, with some clinging on to departing planes and crowds at the airport trampling people to death. Britain and Canada have since announced that they will both take 20,000 Afghans each who had fled the country. Meanwhile, President Biden defended the “hard and messy” retreat from Afghanistan, claiming that he had to either follow through on the deal with the Taliban he inherited from President Trump or fight the Taliban, according to the New York Times.

Earthquake in Haiti

Haiti was already trying to cope with the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake and the murder of President Jovenel Moïse in July. Now, another earthquake has hit, the death toll of which has now increased to more than 2,200 people. The government also estimates that around 10,000 more people have been injured. Heavy rains have made rescue missions difficult and the people are turning to local churches for support.

Elections in Zambia

Hakainde Hichilema, the leader of Zambia’s main opposition party — the United Party for National Development — won the presidential elections, receiving 59.38% of the votes. His main opponent, Edgar Lungu, who was the previous President, received only 38.33% of the votes. It is only the third time in Zambia’s history that an opposition leader won the election.

Other News

  • Amazon has taken over Walmart’s position and become the world’s largest online retailer operating outside of China, according to the New York Times
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Weekly Summaries

21st of June – 27th of June

Elections in Ethiopia

Last Monday, elections were finally held in Ethiopia after delays due to the outbreak of COVID-19. However, a number of people were not able to cast their vote. In fact, out of Ethiopia’s 547 constituencies, 102 constituencies were not able to participate in the elections due to war, civil unrest, or logistical issues. At the moment, official results are not out yet, but it is widely expected that Abiy Ahmed, the current Prime Minister, will win.

Elections in Armenia

Nikol Pashinyan and his party, Civil Contract, were able to pull off a win in last week’s elections in Armenia. In November, his unpopular peace settlement with Azerbaijan after six weeks of fighting over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave, caused some civil unrest. Now, however, the results of the election speak for themselves: showing the world that the Armenian people were willing to accept the terms of the peace settlement.

Other News

  • Tong Ying-kit has become the first person to face trial under the new “national security law” in Hong Kong.
  • The collapse of a condominium building in Florida has caused 99 people to be missing, with at least one person dead. Apparently, half of the building collapsed shortly after midnight when an earthquake hit.
  • Domestic viewers will be allowed to watch at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics
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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

22nd of March – 28th of March

Container Ship Gets Stuck in the Suez Canal

By now you may have seen the pictures that are spreading all over the Internet. The ship, which is about as long as the Empire State Building in New York City is high, has been stuck in the Suez Canal since Tuesday evening. It seems as if exceptionally strong winds forced the ship aground one of the Suez Canal’s banks. Because of its tremendous length, this meant that the container ship is now effectively blocking the passageway of one of the most important canals in the world, connecting the Red Sea to the Mediterranean. Over 100 ships are now stuck at either end of the canal, carrying oil and different goods destined for ports around the world. Delays in the transportation of materials from Asia to Europe are being expected. Unfortunately, it does not seem like the container ship will be dislodged any time soon—some suspect that it may take weeks or maybe even months.

Elections in Israel

This past Tuesday, Israel saw the country’s fourth elections in two years. Netanyahu, who is the current Prime Minister, is currently facing corruption charges, but hopes that his policies dealing with the coronavirus outbreak will help him win. Israel has put a vaccination program in place that is far superior to other countries and has been able to successfully vaccinate a large number of people. Recent counts suggest, however, that Netanyahu will have to form a coalition as he only received 52 of the required 61 seats to form a majority. Several parties which jointly hold 57 seats have already announced that they will form a block against Netanyahu, while some parties collectively holding 11 seats have not yet published their decision.*

Other News

  • Indian farmers have camped outside New Delhi for four months now, protesting against the subsidy system that is considered to be “broken” by many
  • An attack by gunmen left 137 people dead in Niger

*according to the news distributor Haaretz

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
News

Elections in Uganda

Electoral officials declared on the 16th of January that Yoweri Museveni has been re-elected as President of Uganda in an election with almost 18 million people who registered to vote. Receiving almost 57% of the votes with his main rival Bobi Wine receiving 35% of the votes, he is due to start his sixth term as President of Uganda. Changes had to be made to allow him to continue running for office. Museveni has been in power since 1986, the same year an armed uprising took place after decades of civil war. He claims to represent security and economic stability and has also been portrayed as a liberator, which helps him win votes.

Bobi Wine is a former pop star and with just 38 years of age is a lot younger than 76-year-old President Museveni. He says that he represents the younger generation. After the results were announced, he accused Museveni of cheating. This may sound like he is just a bad loser, but the Ugandan government did shut down the internet ahead of the voting day, an action which was condemned by election monitors. As the results started coming in on Friday, Bobi Wine claims that Ugandan soldiers surrounded his home, a statement which a government spokesman described as “dramatized.” Furthermore, a lot of Wine’s key advisers had either been arrested or are in hiding. There was also a lot of violence leading up to the election. Dozens of people were killed, and opposition politicians accused the government of harassment.

Meanwhile Museveni said that the vote had been peaceful and described the election as possibly being the “most cheating free” in the history of the continent of Africa. He also declared that “foreign meddling will not be tolerated” as the EU, the UN and several other rights groups raised concerns.

Bobi Wine announced that he rejects the results and will continue to present evidence of voter intimidation and rigging. His party — the National Unity Platform (NUP) — is expected to be the biggest opposition party in parliament, campaigning for basic needs such as access to healthcare, clean water, and education. Since then, another opposition party (Forum for Democratic Change) has also called the election “fraudulent.”

Sources

“Uganda: Veteran Leader Yoweri Museveni Declared Election Winner.” BBC News, BBC, 16 Jan. 2021, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-55689665.

Kiruga, Morris. “Uganda Elections: Museveni Wins, Bobi Wine the Rising Power in Parliament.” The Africa Report.com, The Africa Report, 17 Jan. 2021, http://www.theafricareport.com/59593/uganda-elections-museveni-wins-bobi-wine-the-new-power-in-parliament/.

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.

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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.

Categories
Weekly Summaries

17th of August – 23rd of August

Coup in Mali

For weeks there have been protests in Mali against the president who the protestors say manipulated the recent elections. Then on Tuesday the 18th of August, there was a coup by the military. The President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta and his prime minister Boubou Cissé were both arrested. Since then the military leaders who staged the coup have announced that new elections will take place.

Categories
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.