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
Following the uncertainty last week, there is continued unrest in Europe, with major protests in France, Brexit challenges in the United Kingdom, and worry about the use of cyberattacks to manipulate elections. In France, for the third weekend in a row, major protests against mounting gas prices and eco-taxes continued. This “yellow vest” movement has become a wider protest against President Emmanuel Macron, who announced a suspension of fuel tax and utility hikes later in the week. In the United Kingdom, for the first time ever, the British government was found in contempt of Parliament after it refused to publish the full legal advice underpinning its Brexit plan. And in Europe in general, a survey found that 61 per cent of Europeans worry about the use of cyberattacks to manipulate elections. Continue reading