Weekly Global Newscast | August 5 - August 12, 2019
Kashmir in lockdown as India Reveals Plan to Change State’s Status
Indian-controlled Kashmir was in lockdown, with tens of thousands of new troops deployed into what is already one of the most militarized places in the world, as a number of prominent politicians were placed under house arrest and New Delhi announced contentious changes to the way the territory is administered.
“The Modi government said it would introduce measures to modify Jammu and Kashmir’s administrative status from a state to a union territory. In the Indian system, state governments retain significant authority over local matters. But New Delhi has more of a say in the affairs of a union territory.” Nikhil Kumar, Swati Gupta, Mukhtar Ahmad and Manveena Suri report for CNN
US calls China a ‘thuggish regime’ Amid Fresh Protests in Hong Kong
The US has called China a “thuggish regime” after a Chinese state newspaper published the name and photo of a US diplomat talking to activists.
“Hong Kong has seen weeks of demonstrations, sparked by anger at a proposed extradition bill between the former British colony and mainland China and evolving into demands for greater freedoms. Hong Kong is part of China but its citizens have more autonomy than those on the mainland. It has a free press and judicial independence under the so-called “one country, two systems” approach – freedoms activists fear are being increasingly eroded.” BBC analyzes
Middle East & North Africa
Iran warns U.S. and Allies’ arms sales could ‘blow up’ Middle East
Iran has criticized the massive amount of weapons sold by the United States and its partners to their Middle Eastern allies, warning such arms sales were destabilizing the region.
“The United Kingdom is the only country to officially heed calls for a U.S.-led coalition in the Persian Gulf. France has criticized the idea and Germany has outright rejected it, while China and Russia have backed Iran’s plan for a regional dialogue. All seven countries were signatories of a 2015 nuclear deal designed to provide Tehran sanctions relief in exchange for curbing its nuclear program, but Washington withdrew last year.” Tom O’Connor analyzed for Newsweek
Sub Saharan Africa
Africa Wants One Trade Deal With the U.S., the U.S. Wants Many
The U.S. and Africa have different views on their future trade relationship when a preferential access deal expires in 2025. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Tibor Nagy said in an interview Sunday his country favors bilateral trade agreements with African nations. A day later, African Union Trade and Industry Commissioner Albert Muchanga said the AU favors a free-trade agreement with the U.S. to replace the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
“The AGOA accord provides 39 sub-Saharan African countries duty-free access to the U.S. for about 6,500 products, ranging from textiles to manufactured items. The act was first signed into law by former President Bill Clinton in 2000 and extended for 10 years by former President Barack Obama in 2015. ……..The U.S. currently only has one free-trade agreement on the African continent — with Morocco.” Katarina Hoije writes for Bloomberg
No-Deal Brexit Could deepen Europe’s Medicine Shortages
As the October 31 deadline for the UK to leave the European Union approaches, health professionals are warning that shortages of some medicines could worsen in Europe in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
“About 45 million packs of medicines are shipped from the UK to the rest of the bloc every month, in trade worth nearly $14.5bn in 2016, according to a British parliament report.” Al Jazeera reports
Woman Stabbed in Central Sydney Knife Rampage, Suspect Arrested
A man stabbed a woman and attempted to stab several other people in central Sydney Tuesday before being pinned down by members of the public and detained by police, eyewitnesses and officials said.
“Police found a USB stick linked to Mr Ney suggesting he had “some ideologies” in relation to terrorism, and information of mass casualties from North America and New Zealand.” Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports
Most Americans Expect Next Mass Shooting to Happen in Next three Months: Reuters/Ipsos poll
Nearly half of all Americans expect another mass shooting will happen soon in the United States, according to a Reuters/Ipsos public opinion poll released on Friday, as the nation reels from rampages in California, Texas and Ohio.
“There is no set definition of a mass shooting, but the nonprofit organization Gun Violence Archive has tallied more than 250 such incidents so far this year alone – for an average of more than one a day – a widely cited figure that counts events in which four or more people were either shot and killed or shot and wounded.” Maria Caspani writes for Reuters