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
Afghanistan continues to be trapped in a circle of violence, the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK) have made some progress, and in Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s fragile coalition suffers another blow. In Afghanistan, a bomb went off at an election rally in Afghanistan, killing at least 22 people, and later in the week a bomb placed under a sofa killed an election candidate. In the EU and the UK, following an acrimonious clash last month, a deal seems more likely now, with the EU said to be offering the UK a Canada+++ deal. And in Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s fragile coalition received another blow, as they received the worst results since the Second World War in Bavaria’s regional elections. Continue reading
During the first debate of the United States presidential election last year, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton said: “Words matter. Words matter when you run for president, and they really matter when you are president”. One year on, having just unsettled many with his bellicose rhetoric towards North Korea last week – threatening to unleash “fire and fury” and further adding that the country could “be in trouble like few nations ever have been” – President Donald Trump’s reaction to a white-nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, over plans to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, has been criticised. While he eventually denounced the neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan as criminals and thugs, he was slammed with his initial remarks that there were “many sides” involved, and in fact later in the week, the president went on to defend his initial remarks over the protests, by laying “blame on both sides” for the violence which transpired.
And words matter too beyond the United States. In chaotic Venezuela, where President Nicolás Maduro seeks to consolidate power through a new constituent assembly, Mr. Trump’s threat of a military solution has only emboldened Mr. Maduro to attack the opposition. Continue reading