The government shutdown in the United States – the third to happen during President Donald Trump’s tenure – became the longest on record, and it is set to continue, leaving nearly one million employees working without pay or sent home. Earlier in the week, Mr. Trump’s first formal, prime-time address from the Oval Office focused on the “growing humanitarian and security crisis” along the Mexico-United States border. The Democrats, in response, stressed the ongoing government shutdown. “Eventually, the pressure on Republicans in the Senate to bypass the president and cut a deal could prove irresistible”. Continue reading
In the same week China landed a lunar probe on the moon and Canada said that 13 of its citizens have been detained in China, Chinese President Xi Jinping called on Taiwan to follow the “one country, two systems” model for unification. The president said that “Taiwanese independence should not be tolerated” and urged the start of democratic consultations between the two countries. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, however, said Taiwan will never accept the model, even as Mr. Xi proposed two options: First, military force; or second, the aforementioned “one country, two systems” model.
Later in the week, China’s landing of a lunar probe marked “the world’s first expedition to a lunar region that never faces the Earth”. And in Canada, following the arrest of the chief financial officer of Chinese telecommunications company Huawei, the government said that 13 of its citizens have since been detained in China. At least eight of the 13 have been released. Continue reading
The Middle East continues to be marked by unrest and violence, with protests in Tunisia as well as attacks in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. In Tunisia, the death of a journalist – who set himself on fire over economic conditions in the country – has led to clashes between protestors and security forces, and has led to comparisons with the self-immolation of a street vendor in 2010 which consequently sparked a revolution and the Arab Spring uprisings across the region. A gun and suicide attack in Afghanistan killed at least 43 people, a car bomb in Iraq killed three people, and suicide bombers in Libya killed at least three people. Continue reading