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The Weekly Global Roundup

The Weekly Global Roundup: “I Will Keep You In Suspense” (October 17 to 22, 2016)

This roundup covers news summaries across six regions: Africa, the Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, North America, and South America. Wherever possible I draw links to Singapore, but I think it is more important to understand geopolitical developments around the world, to draw attention to meaningful news stories, and to highlight both positive and negative events.

Around the world, I rely primarily on the email newsletters from “The Economist“, “Foreign Policy“, “Muck Rack“, “The New York Times“, “The Wall Street Journal“, and “The World Post“. In Singapore, the weekly digests from the European Union Centre and the Middle East Institute are handy. Do send me recommendations of news outlets or articles too, to jinyao.guan.yin.miao[a]gmail.com!

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, at the third and final debate.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, at the third and final debate.

October 17 to 22, 2016

“I will keep you in suspense”: Just under three weeks to go before Election Day in the United States on November 8, and the highlight of the third and final debate was the refusal of Republican nominee Donald Trump to respect the results of the election. “I will tell you at the time” was his response, when asked if he would support the winner even if it was not him. “The New York Times” reported that Mr. Trump was in this vein “rejecting American political norms and growing pressure from his own party by claiming that the political process is extensively rigged against him“, and at a time when he needed a strong debate performance – since most polls have him down against his opponent – many thought Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton completed a hat-trick of debate victories.

Beyond the United States, a 170-country agreement to cut the use of planet-warming hydrofluorocarbons is a rare bright spot in a world plagued by conflicts: a hurricane-battered Haiti which is now dealing with an outbreak of cholera, in the Legislative Council in Hong Kong where pro-independence members who refused to take a pledge were barred from taking their seats, and in Iraq where a messy and prolonged operation to take back the city of Mosul has just begun.

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Africa

The Asia-Pacific

  • In early-September, localists in Hong Kong won seven seats in the 70-seat Legislative Council, or the Legco (the pro-Beijing camp won 40 seats, and the pan-democrats 23 seats). Before the new session of the city’s Legco last week, the 70 lawmakers had to repeat a phrase swearing allegiance “to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China“, but two pro-independence members were barred from taking their seats after refusing to take the pledge.
  • On Tuesday, High Court Judge Thomas Au rejected a last-ditch request from the Hong Kong government, which wanted to halt the swearing-in of these two newly-elected lawmakers, Yau Wai-ching, 25, and Baggio Leung, 30.
  • President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in China to sign high-level trade and investment, bilateral agreements, in part “to appease Beijing’s aggressive stance in the disputed [South China Sea] waters“. While Mr. Duterte enjoys high approval ratings back home, there are concerns about the fragility of the country’s relationship with the United States.
  • Mr. Duterte then announced his country’s “separation” from the United States.

Europe

The Middle East

As it is with “Meydan TV” – an independent website which casts itself as one of few critical voices reporting on Azerbaijan, and is headed by dissidents – “Foreign Policy” noted that “In countries ruled by authoritarian regimes, such as those of the former Soviet Union, remote media projects are often the only source of critical or accurate information“.

North America

  • More than 170 countries agreed on a legally-binding deal to cut “the worldwide use of a powerful planet-warming chemical [hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs] used in air-conditioners and refrigerators“, a move which could help slow global warming. This deal is an amendment to the 1987 Montreal Protocol, designed to close the hole in the ozone layer. President Barack Obama has been pushing for this deal since 2013.
  • The third and final presidential debate was held this week, just under three weeks before Election Day. “FiveThirtyEight” has Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton with an over 80 per cent chance of winning the presidency in November.

Latin America

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About guanyinmiao

A man of knowledge lives by acting, not by thinking about acting. Carlos Castaneda.

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