Weekly Global Newscast | July 8 - July 14, 2019
Police Use Pepper Spray on Protesters in Hong Kong Protesting Near the Chinese Border While Urging People Not to be Part of Illegal Activities
Protests in Hong Kong which were sparked on account of a legislation related to extradition of Hong Kong residents to China continue since protestors are not willing to trust their government on the issue of the bill. Moreover, the demonstrations have expanded in scope since inception, and now there are other issues being raised as well by the protestors.
‘The bill was suspended on June 18 but not formally withdrawn, while Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said it was “dead” and there was “no such plan” to reanimate it. Protesters, however, fear the government could revisit the bill, and are calling for its complete withdrawal as well as Lam’s resignation. On July 7, tens of thousands of people marched through the Kowloon side of Hong Kong, hoping to appeal to tourists from mainland China’, writes Jadyn Sham and Emily Dixon for CNN.
‘The gap between assurances and reality has generated growing anger and disillusionment. It is in this context that millions of people took to the streets when it looked as though Hong Kong’s cherished rule of law was about to be undermined by the introduction of new extradition legislation which would have put the people of Hong Kong at the mercy of China‘s notorious justice system’, writes Stephen Vines for Aljazeera.
Monsoon Flooding Has Hit Rohingya’s Refugee Camps in Bangladesh and Has Made the Population Even More Vulnerable
Thousands of refugees are being displaced from their temporary homes in camps and deaths are also happening. Aid agencies are working to prevent diseases and make necessary arrangements.
‘Flooding and landslides make the situation for an already vulnerable population even more precarious .Aid agencies are warning that thousands of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh are at risk after heavy rains swept through their makeshift homes .Hundreds of thousands fled from Myanmar to neighbouring Bangladesh after a military crackdown in 2017’, writes Mohammed Jamjoom for Aljazeera.
‘Hundreds of makeshift homes have already collapsed after landslides occurred on the muddy hillsides around the camps. About 4,000 families have been affected, many of whom have been moved to temporary shelters. For now, the worst of the flooding has receded — but another deluge is forecast in the next week and the monsoon season stretches until October’, writes Rebecca Wright for CNN.
Middle East & North Africa
West Africa Vying for a Single Currency
There are probabilities of ECO replacing CFA as the Western African economies continue their struggle for a single currency like Euro to boost the intra-regional trade.
‘Negotiations for the joint currency have been in the works for 30 years. Eight countries already use the CFA franc, which is pegged to the euro, and is guaranteed by France. The other seven have their own currencies, none of them freely convertible. Proponents of the eco say the single currency will facilitate trade, lower transaction costs and facilitate payments amongst Ecowas’ 385 million people. However, critics worry that Nigeria, the region’s biggest economy, will dominate monetary policy and stall the projected benefits. It looks extremely unlikely that all 15 countries will meet this target. The single currency was first planned to be introduced in 2003 but the launch has been postponed several times; in 2005, 2010 and 2014.’ Louise Dewast reported for BBC.
‘Ayo Teriba, the CEO Economic Associates said, “Currency difference is a well-known impediment to trade thus having a single currency in West Africa removes a major impediment to trade among countries in the region. A single currency will naturally facilitate trade.” Dr. Ngozi Egbuna, said a lot of work needs to be done if the 2020 deadline set by heads of governments in West Africa will be met. Mr. Ayo Teriba noted that there are other impediments to trade that must be addressed before a single currency regime can be a success. One key impediment is tariff. The tariff wall among West African countries must go down. This shows that you can’t achieve single currency by beginning from the end. This is why ECOWAS has been talking about the single currency for about twenty years without achieving it.’ Chris Agabi reported for Daily Trust.
Sub Saharan Africa
Casualties Rising in the Somalia Hotel Siege
Despite the casualties faced by Al-Shabaab in US airstrikes and Somali troops’ assualts, the group continues a spate of public executions as was the suicide car bomb attack on Asasey Hotel in Kismayo, which killed around 26 and injured 52.
‘At least four al-Shabaab militants attacked the Asasey hotel, which is popular with politicians, foreigners and lawmakers. A suicide car bomb demolished the entrance gate, allowing gunmen to storm the main building. The death toll from the attack in the southern port city of Kismayo, which began on Friday evening, has risen to 26 people, including a prominent Canadian-Somali journalist and several foreigners. Analysts said the operation had all the hallmarks of the group, which often uses suicide car bombs to blast through defences of heavily fortified targets. The US has ramped up its support for the government in Somalia, deploying hundreds of special forces soldiers, and frequently uses drones to attack the militants. The pace of US airstrikes against al-Shabaab has escalated dramatically. There were 47 in 2018 and have been 50 so far this year.’ Jason Burke reported for The Guardian.
‘Madobe, the president of the Jubbaland regional administration, said “those killed in the attack included two journalists, a presidential candidate for upcoming regional elections, and a U.N. agency staff member. He said “Kenyans, Americans, a Briton, Tanzanians and a Canadian were among the dead”. Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo has described the attack as “one of the wicked and the cowardly attacks by terrorists against Somali people.” “We express our condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the attack and wish a swift recovery to the injured,” Farmajo said in a statement. “The attack shows how the enemy of the Somali people are willing to target innocent civilians regardless of where they are,” the president said.’ Mohamed Olad Hassan reported for Voice of America.
Us Signals at Conditioning Its Post Brexit Trade Deal With Britain With Compliance to Its Huawei Policy
Trump administration is signalling that a post Brexit trans-Atlantic trade deal will depend a lot on whether or not the new Prime Minister in Britain agrees to follow in line with the US policy on Huawei. This signal comes at a time when Britain has yet to decide whether or not Huawei has to be involved in the project of UK’s 5G network.
‘There are concerns the telecommunications giant could share information with the Chinese government. This has sparked fierce debate on whether Huawei should be allowed to bid to provide equipment for the UK’s 5G network and the company had been hit with sanctions that prevent any trade with US firms. Founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei is a member of the ruling Chinese Communist Party and served in the People’s Liberation Army but has insisted he will “never do anything to harm any other nation”’, writes Gursimran Hans for Express.co,uk.
‘Donald Trump’s negotiators have signalled that the next prime minister’s hopes of a post-Brexit trade deal with the United States rest on his willingness to fall in line with tough American policies against the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei. Whitehall correspondence seen by The Sunday Telegraph reveals that British officials close to transatlantic trade talks believe allowing Huawei to provide equipment for new 5G mobile networks could be a deal-breaker’, writes Anna Isaac for The Telegraph.
New Zealand Starts Its First Gun Buyback as a Gun Control Policy Prompted by the Christchurch Attacks
New Zealand’s strict response to the Christchurch Mosque attacks continues as a program of gun buypack is initiated in which people will be given money for giving their weapons to the state. The government plans to keep this programme going.
‘New Zealand does not track the vast majority of its gun sales, so the total amount of weapons in the country is unknown. According to estimates, the country likely has somewhere between 1.2 and 1.5 million guns across its 4.6 million residents — or roughly one weapon for every three residents. The island nation’s response to the Christchurch shooting has reverberated throughout the United States, where mass shootings that leave at least four people injured or dead happen, on average, every day. Gun control advocates like Shannon Watts at Everytown for Gun Safety’s Moms Demand campaign said New Zealand’s swift actions “stand in stark contrast to the U.S.”’, writes Susie Neilson for NPR.
‘Hundreds of New Zealand gun owners have surrendered their weapons in exchange for cash — the first of many gun buybacks in the country after the deadly Christchurch mosque shootings. Those weapons will be destroyed More than 258 buyback events will be held around the country, home to just 5 million people, over the next three months. Owners will have until Dec. 20 to hand in their weapons’, writes Ebony Bowden for New York Post.
Trump Purging the Immigrants Leading to the Collateral Arrests of “Criminals”
The Latin Americans fleeing poverty, hunger and violence of their countries are now at the mercy of Trump mass arrest orders and the apathy of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
‘Trump’s threats to arrest migrant families have left many fearful of going to work, school or even the grocery store. “It starts on Sunday, and they’re going to take people out and take them back to their countries, or they’re going to take criminals and put them in prison” Trump told reporters in Washington as he boarded Marine One. “We are really specifically looking for bad players, but we’re also looking for people who came into our country not through a process, they just walked over a line, and they have to leave.” Trump on June 17 tipped off ICE’s “family op” plan by tweeting about it days before it was set to begin. He suspended the plan that same week after an outcry from Democrats, immigration advocates and members of his administration who warned that the safety of immigration authorities and the success of their mission could be jeopardized because the operation had been divulged publicly. “The upcoming ICE raids are yet another brazen attempt at family separation, a failed and inhumane policy devised to scare immigrants and asylum seekers from seeking refuge in the United States. Trump officials are clear with their intentions to use raids to terrorize families,” Emma Einhorn said. Volunteers are massing to protect them by setting up hotlines.’ Abigail Hauslohner, Maria Sacchetti, Colby Itkowitz and Nick Miroff reported for The Washington Post.
‘U.S. President Donald Trump made the unusual move of announcing the raids ahead of time. He said he was not concerned the early notice could help some of the targeted immigrants avoid arrest. Other presidents have ordered illegal immigrants deported, including Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama. But those orders generally targeted those who came here illegally and committed crimes. ICE agents say they are also mostly targeting immigrants who are considered dangerous. But immigration advocates say the raids could wind up separating families and arresting those who pose no danger.’ Aljandro Jaramillo reported for Voice of America.