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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

8th of February – 14th of February

Protests in Myanmar

After the military re-claimed power during a coup last weekend, hundreds of thousands of people in Myanmar responded by going out on the streets to protest. They called for the release of the civilian leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi who was detained during the coup. In the hopes of gaining international attention, the protestors posted videos on Facebook meanwhile the military has taken a firmer grip. Some of the tactics the military has already implemented are telecommunications outages and banning social media platforms such as Facebook during the process of cementing their power.

Trump’s impeachment trial will go ahead

On Monday, the U.S. Senate voted to go ahead with the impeachment trial. The defending team of the former U.S. President Donald Trump argued that it would be unconstitutional to go ahead with the impeachment as Donald Trump is no longer in office at this point. If Trump were to be found guilty, the Senators could prevent him from running for federal office again.

Other News

  • In India, a Himalayan glacier crumbled, killing 7 people, wounding 125 more, and destroying two dam projects.
  • The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, pleaded not guilty. He is accused of several corruption charges, and the general election for which he is running for re-election is only a few weeks away. 
  • The Netherlands has suspended international adoptions for the time being. Recent investigations have shown that there were abuse cases between 1967 and 1998 on which the government had failed to act.
  • China has banned BBC programs
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

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
Categories
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

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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.

Categories
Weekly Summaries

10th of August – 16th of August

Israel and UAE agree on diplomatic agreement

On Thursday the 13th of August, Israel and the United Arab Emirates reached an agreement to normalize relations between the two countries. Additionally, Israel also agreed to stop annexing more Palestinian territories for now to establish better relations with the rest of the Arab world. The agreement is historic because if it is fulfilled it will make the UAE the third Arab country to establish normal diplomatic relations with Israel (after Jordan and Egypt).