A series of parliamentary votes in the United Kingdom (UK) has added to the Brexit turmoil; the Boeing 737 Max 8 has been grounded after an Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed shortly after take-off; and mosque shootings in New Zealand left at least 49 people dead.
In the UK, despite Prime Minister Theresa May securing some concessions from the European Union (EU), her revised Brexit deal was defeated by a vote of 391 to 242 on Tuesday. On Wednesday, parliament voted twice that the UK should not leave the EU without a proper withdrawal agreement and on Thursday it approved a motion to briefly delay the March 29 withdrawal. In Nigeria, the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight – a version of the Boeing 737 Max 8, the same as the Lion Air aircraft which crashed in October last year – killed at least 150 people and led to the grounding of the plane from almost everywhere around the world. And in New Zealand, shootings at mosques in Christchurch left at least 49 people dead and 40 people wounded. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the shootings as a terrorist attack. Continue reading
Amidst political turbulence, Spain is set to organise its third election in less than four years. And even though early general election was called for April 28, the political gridlock is only set to continue. At the start of the week in Madrid, thousands of people demonstrated against the prime minister’s plan to ease political tensions in Catalonia. As opposed to the moves for independence, these demonstrators were calling for a united Spain instead. And as protestors called for the ouster of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, the trial of 12 Catalan separatist leaders – who are accused of rebellion and other crimes stemmed to the declaration of Catalan independence in 2017 – began. Later in the week, the Spanish government later lost a crucial budgetary vote in parliament, which will likely lead to a snap election. Continue reading
In the Philippines, there were fights against suspected militants and against a surge in measles cases, which was later declared as an outbreak. Earlier in the week, government troops killed three suspected Abu Sayyaf militants, while suffering five fatalities, and later in the week, in an assault on a suspected jungle lair of a Singaporean terrorist, security forces killed eight militants. In Manila the health department is fighting a surge in measles cases – likely the result of parents opting not to have their children vaccinated for measles and other highly contagious diseases – and later it declared an outbreak of the contagious disease. Continue reading