In Panama, centre-left candidate Laurentino Cortizo beat his centre-right rival by two percentage points, in South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa is set to retain power, albeit in his party’s worst electoral showing in 25 years, and in Thailand Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is likely to retain his position with a slim majority. The results in Panama and Thailand have also been contested respectively for reports of voting irregularities and for a controversial formula for apportioning parliamentary seats. Continue reading
In the same week China organised the second Belt and Road Forum, the sentencing of four Occupy leaders in Hong Kong marked the end of years of prosecutions and tens of thousands protested against a government plan to allow extraditions to mainland China. In China: A lift crash left 11 people dead, the government formally arrested the former head of Interpol Meng Hongwei, and the Belt and Road Forum drew representatives from over 150 countries. And in Hong Kong, four of nine Occupy leaders were sentenced up to 16 months for their involvement in the 2014 Umbrella Movement, and an extradition proposal sparked one of the biggest protests in recent years. Continue reading
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