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!
June 3 to 8, 2019
The centre-left Social Democrats won the majority of the seats in the parliament of Denmark. And despite opposition complaints of voting irregularities in Thailand, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha was re-elected by parliament for another five-year term.
- Following a Swiss court ruling, South African Olympic champion Caster Semenya, who had been kept from competing because of a rule requiring female runners with naturally elevated levels of testosterone to take medication, would be able to race in the meantime.
- South Africa’s economy – the continent’s most developed – shrank sharply early this year.
- At least 13 protestors were killed in Sudan when the military “opened fire to break up a sit-in“.
- Later in the week, protest leaders in Sudan “turned down an offer by the ruling military council for talks and demanded justice for a crackdown that doctors said has left 101 people dead“.
- A series of landslides in Uganda left five people dead.
- A shooting in Darwin, Australia left at least four people dead. The incident was not terrorism related.
- Prime Minister of Thailand Prayuth Chan-ocha was re-elected by parliament for another five-year term, despite opposition complaints of voting irregularities in the contested March elections.
- In Denmark, the centre-left Social Democrats, with 26 per cent of the vote, “won the majority of the seats in Parliament“. Its party leader wishes to form a one-party minority government, seeking support from both the left and the right.
- Leaders from around the world gathered in Normandy, France, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
- After announcing her resignation last month, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Theresa May formally stepped down as Conservative party leader. The political race to choose her successor will soon be underway.
The Middle East
- Qatar expressed reservations about “hardline statements on Iran made at [three] emergency summits in Mecca organised by Saudi Arabia“, which adopted the policy of the United States against Iran.
- As the conflict in Yemen rages on, humanitarian efforts and aid distribution are at risk “due to fighting, insecurity, and interference“.
- A government report in Canada found that between 1980 and 2012, more than 1,000 indigenous women were killed or went missing – amounting to a genocide – prompting an apology from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
- NASA announced that the International Space Station would be opened to tourism, for up to two private citizens per year.
- President Donald Trump made a state visit to the United Kingdom, days before Prime Minister Theresa May is set to resign.
- A week after Mr. Trump announced that he was slapping a five per cent tariff on all Mexican imports so as to pressure the country to address the number of migrants trying to cross the Mexico-United States border, he called off the plan after an agreement.
- In May, migrant arrests at the Mexico-United States border rose to the highest monthly total in seven years.
- As the stand-off between Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaidó continues, Russia withdrew key defence advisors from the country, an embarrassing move for Mr. Maduro’s regime.
- Mr. Maduro also announced plans to reopen the country’s borders with Colombia, where foreign aid can be imported from. “The announcement comes months after Maduro severed diplomatic relations with Colombia and other countries“.