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The Weekly Global Roundup

The Weekly Global Roundup: Election Fever (May 8 to 13, 2017)

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!

Taken from https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2014/08/28/18/france.jpg.

Incoming French President Emmanuel Macron.

May 8 to 13, 2017

In France, centrist Emmanuel Macron beat far-right leader Marine Le Pen with 66 per cent of the vote to be the country’s youngest head of state since Napoleon, with a vow to shake up the political system. His victory offered significant relief to the European Union, though Miss Le Pen’s National Front won its highest share ever, as she called for “a profound transformation of our movement to create a new political force“. But what will also concern Mr. Macron is the abstention rate of 25 per cent, “the highest since the presidential election in 1969“.

In South Korea, presidential candidate of the Democratic Party of Korea Moon Jae-in won with over 40 per cent of the vote, thereby returning the country’s liberals “to power after nearly a decade in the political wilderness“. Geopolitically, his predilection for dialogue and a “sunshine policy” could lower the temperature of the North Korean stand-off – though balancing China and the United States against one another would prove to be challenging – while politically, socio-economic discontent dominates the agenda, with high levels of youth unemployment and an ageing population.

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The Asia-Pacific


  • The 27 member states of the European Union (EU) backed the EU’s negotiating guidelines on Brexit, with key priorities: to negotiate withdrawal terms before future agreements, and to prioritise the rights of citizens, financial settlement, and its new external borders. The challenge, however, is the gulf of expectations between the EU and the United Kingdom.
  • Centrist Emmanuel Macron won the French presidential elections, to become France’s youngest head of state since Napoleon.
  • France published two decrees to protect the health of models and to prevent anorexia, requiring models to have a medical certificate “confirming their general well-being and the fact they are not excessively underweight“, and also making it compulsory for “commercial” images of models who have been digitally altered to be labelled.
  • In February, Romanians took to the streets to protest against a decree which would have decriminalised some abuse-of-power offences. Now, up to two thousand in Romania protested against a measure which would have pardoned corrupt officials.

The Middle East

  • In Egypt, Pope Francis warned against religious fanaticism, urging Muslim leaders to unite against Islamic militants.
  • In its seventh month, the block-by-block battle for Mosul in Iraq has been taking its toll, slowing to a crawl and “leaving hundreds of thousands of civilians trapped on an urban battlefield”, and hence coalition forces have opened a new front.

North America

Latin America

About guanyinmiao

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

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