Categories
Weekly Summaries

12th of April – 18th of April

Explosion at an Iranian nuclear enrichment site

Last weekend, there was an explosion at an Iranian uranium enrichment plant, which caused a power shortage. Since then, Iran’s foreign minister has threatened to take revenge against Israel, whom he blamed for the explosion. The explosion comes just at a point when relations regarding the 2015 nuclear deal were resumed again a few weeks ago.

Other News

  • Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and husband of the Queen of England died. His funeral took place this past Saturday,
  • President Biden has announced that the remaining U.S. troops that are currently still located in Afghanistan will withdraw by the 11th of September, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
  • The U.S. is imposing new sanctions on Russia.
Categories
Analysis News

The US Department of Defence’s Plans to Win the War on Global Warming

Who is the Department of Defence?

The Department of Defence is an executive branch of the department of the federal government, charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government directly related to national security and all the United States Armed Forces.

Global Warming and how the US is affected by it

Currently, the US contributes around 15% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions through a variety of activities including industrial activities, the burning of fossil fuels, and many more. The question remains, will the USA’s future plans allow this figure of 15% to be reduced significantly? The United States is a region of the world that is highly susceptible to natural hazards, which have only been intensified by the developing issue of climate change. Therefore, the US has a strong need and desire to reduce the impacts of climate change. In 2019, over 90 natural disasters were reported in America alone. Although the US is a developed, High Income Country (HIC), these natural disasters cost the US government billions each year, money that authorities can’t afford to lose, but more importantly the hazards can destroy whole communities and livelihoods. For example, in 2017, the government spent a record $306 billion following three hurricanes, extreme wildfires, flooding, tornadoes, and droughts – each of the 16 disasters exceeded a billion dollars in reparation costs.

The Plan of Action

The US Department of Defence has developed a ‘huge appetite’ for renewable energy sources, as described by POLITICO.com. President Biden, working alongside the Department of Defence, has assured the media that over $2 trillion of the governments’ budget will be directed into the expansion of clean energy, aiming to reduce carbon emissions and build resilient facilities over the next four years. However, the ambitious plan will need the approval of Congress, an audience that is likely to show resistance to the plan, due to the strong views of the Republicans, who aim to block any ‘green’ plans. The Department of Defence is one of the United States’ biggest contributors to carbon emissions and that is why this plan of action is imperative. Many people believe that the way to reducing climate change is by individually reducing our own carbon footprint. While this may be true, there is a limit as to how much individuals produce as companies and organizations such as the Department of Defence produce the vast majority of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Although the Department of Defence’s plans are not yet complete, their aims and intentions are in favor of helping reduce climate change, a plan that may take many years, but a small step today is still a step in the right direction.

Sources

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Department_of_Defense#:~:text=The%20United%20States%20Department%20of,the%20United%20States%20Armed%20Forces
  2. https://www.activesustainability.com/environment/top-5-most-polluting-countries/
  3. https://oceanleadership.org/natural-disasters-cost-u-s-record-306-billion-last-year/
  4. https://www.politico.com/news/2021/01/04/biden-pentagon-climate-change-454404
Categories
Weekly Summaries

8th of March – 14th of March

US Stimulus Package is passed

This past Wednesday, the 1.9 trillion US dollar stimulus package passed through the House of Representatives. The bill includes benefits for low-income Americans and also extends the $300 dollar per week supplemental employment benefit until September. President Biden signed the stimulus package on Friday. 

Other News: 

  • A series of explosions at a military base in the city of Bata in Equatorial Guinea killed at least 20 people and injured 500, according to local authorities. 
  • Tens of thousands email addresses have been affected by a hacking campaign against Microsoft. The victims are US businesses and government agencies.
  • Women protested in Mexico City at the residence of Mexico’s president against one of the world’s worst rates of gender violence.
  • The Russian government announced that it would be “slowing” the access to Twitter.
Categories
Weekly Summaries

25th of January – 31st of January

Elections in Portugal

President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was re-elected this past week. He received 61% of the votes, a number that may come as a bit of a surprise because Portugal introduced a new lockdown just two weeks ago over concerns of overwhelmed hospitals. This may also explain the low turnout, which was only 39% of the population. 

President Rebelo de Sousa will begin his second 5-year term with a strong foothold: the candidate with the second highest number of votes — the Socialist candidate Ana Gomes — received only 13% of the votes. In Portugal, the role of President is second to that of the Prime Minister who is in charge of the day-to-day affairs. As President, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa can, however, dissolve Parliament and veto some legislations and is also involved in foreign policy and national security.

Italy’s Prime Minister Resigns

The Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte resigned this past Tuesday after weeks of political conflicts. At the moment there is still hope that Italian politicians may come up with a solution but otherwise early elections may be the only solution. Especially opposition parties are very keen on early elections with polls suggesting that the Nationalist Party may win. 

Other News

  • The House of Representatives sent an article of impeachment against Donald Trump on Monday.
  • This past Tuesday, President Biden and President Putin agreed to extend the last remaining nuclear arms treaty between the United States and Russia.
  • Thousands of farmers entered New Delhi, India, on Tuesday with their tractors to protest against new farming laws.
  • A new law went into effect in Poland on Wednesday which bans abortions in almost all instances (in cases of rape, incest, and threat to the life of the mother abortions are still allowed). Thousands went to the streets to protest, vowing to keep fighting.
Categories
Weekly Summaries

18th of January – 24th of January

President Biden’s Inauguration

This past Wednesday was Trump’s last day in office. He became the first US President to leave the White House before his successor’s (Joe Biden) inauguration. Biden became the 46th President of the United States and Kamala Harris officially became the first woman and person of colour to take up the position of vice president. Since then, President Biden has already released a national pandemic response plan.

US accuses China of Genocide

The US State Department declared on Tuesday — former US President Trump’s last full day in office — that the Chinese government is committing genocide and crimes against humanity. There has long been criticism of China for suppressing Muslim minority groups, including Uyghurs, in the region of Xinjiang. US officials later said that they hope that other countries will follow in their footsteps.

Other News:

  • Armin Laschet was named the next leader of Angela Merkel’s CDU Party. Elections will take place in Germany in fall.
  • On Thursday morning two bombers wearing explosive vests killed at least 32 people in an attack at a busy market in central Baghdad, Iraq.