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The Weekly Global Roundup

The Weekly Global Roundup: Moves For Independence (September 18 to 23, 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://img.rt.com/files/2016.07/original/5798699cc361885c0e8b4581.jpg.

Catalonia, Spain (Source: RT).

September 18 to 23, 2017

The spotlight this week shifts to Catalonia and Iraqi Kurdistan, where there are moves for independence. In Catalonia, plans for a referendum in October is set to be approved, even though the Spanish government has said the vote is illegal. Spanish economy minister Luis de Guindos also warned that Catalonia’s gross domestic product could contract by 30 per cent upon secession. In Iraqi Kurdistan last week, likewise, the parliament of Iraq rejected Kurdish plans to hold an independence referendum, and the country’s Supreme Court has also weighed in to order the suspension of the planned referendum on September 25. President of Iraq Fuad Masum, in addition, cancelled his trip to the United States “to jump start an initiative to resolve the crisis [involving the Kurdish independence referendum]“. The countries of Iran, Iraq, and Turkey, furthermore, are considering counter-measures against this planned referendum.

The Economist” argued that while the Kurds do have a case for the right to self-determination, under international law, the Catalan government does not, for it is not colonised, occupied, or oppressed. The newspaper argued that Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy should instead negotiate a new settlement with Catalonia, “while also offering to rewrite the constitution to allow referendums on secession, but only with a clear majority on a high turnout“. Instead, Mr. Rajoy insists the vote is illegal and unconstitutional.

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The Asia-Pacific


The Middle East

North America

  • Following naval accidents in in June and in August this year – off the waters in Japan and in Singapore, respectively – two more senior Navy officers of the United States were fired due to a “loss of confidence in their ability to command“.
  • President Donald Trump delivered his first address to the United Nations General Assembly, focusing on Iran and North Korea.
  • Having been hit by Hurricane Irma last week, Puerto Rico is now devastated by Hurricane Maria. Power has been knocked out.

Latin America

  • In a post-conflict phase, Colombia is looking to shape a post-conflict justice system to address “many individual rights violations and atrocities” across the past 50 years, and both army and FARC members must be held accountable.
  • A mystery is brewing in Cuba, as American (and some Canadian) diplomats have experienced so-called health or sonic attacks in their rooms, with some having mild traumatic brain injury (or concussion), and others permanent hearing loss. “The cases vary deeply“, with different symptoms and recollections. The United States first acknowledged these attacks in August, this year.
  • Hurricane Maria devastated the small Caribbean island nation of Dominica.
  • Hundreds were killed in Mexico City, Mexico, after a major 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck. This comes just two weeks after an 8.1-magnitude earthquake struck the country, with some tsunami waves recorded then.

About guanyinmiao

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



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