In the news this week #23

Disclaimer, this relies mostly on reliable journalistic sources listed at the bottom and just a bit of my brain to entertain

International shenanigans

G20

The summit took place in Hamburg this week, and things quickly got ugly. Riots erupted as always, Trump and Putin got chubby – and Putin denied any interference in the elections – May talked about getting closer to Asia via trade and Merkel had a bad time talking about it. It seems no radical change is taking place there. However 19 states made a declaration on climate change – I’ll let you guess who did not. Macron says the world has never been so divided, but it seems it’s pretty united against Trump policies.

US

Trump was in Poland, whose government has taken a sharp right turn recently, making many WH aides nervous about what could be said. He asked if the West has the will to survive, which raises a host of other questions, while speaking in front of a crowd of supporters bused in by Warsaw.

EU

The Union is set to conclude a free trade deal with Japan, while the European Space agency is planning a joint mission with Japan to mercury. Added to the fact that Xi Jingping is expected to continue to try wedging himself in the gap between the US and Europe during the G20, it seems like the EU is the one doing the pivot towards Asia that Obama was hoping for.

Iraq

The Iraqi Prime Minister announced its army’s victory over ISIS in Mosoul, meaning the Islamic State no longer has a stronghold in the country. The question remains of how to prevent all the jihadis to continue, and most important how to rebuild the country so the problems at the origin of ISIS’s rise are solved before another one takes its place.

France

President Macron gathered both chambers of Parliament in Versailles to detail his next moves slightly overshadowing his Prime Minister’s speech to the lower chamber the next day. The main point highlighted in the press was his ambition to reduce the number of Parliamentarians by 1/3 and slightly change the election process, but the overall tone of both speeches seemed to be upbeat, pro-European and liberal – with measures to reduce taxes and lift the state of emergency (but no words on its inclusion in common law). The radical left remains very skeptical, and most Parliamentarians from former presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s La France Insoumise party boycotted the Versailles gig.

Simon Veil, former Health Minister and famous for the law legalizing abortion passed in 1974 and bearing her name, died last week and will be one of the few women laid to rest at the Pantheon in Paris after being given military honors.

The government wants to make 11 shots mandatory, from the 3 that currently are. Considering that the health minister is a former pharma executive, there’s a but of suspicion around the move.

The Ethical commission declared it is in favor of in vitro procedures being available for lesbian couples and single women. Legalization might be near!

Qatar

The crisis continues as the Kingdom refused to give in to the demands of its neighbors. It is difficult to evaluate how this will play out, but the region definitely did not need more destabilizing.

Germany

Parliament voted to legalize same-sex marriage – Germany is now the 23rd country to have legalized marriage equality.

UK

Prime Minister Theresa May did forge a deal with the DUP to remain in power, but she is now facing backlash from other regions as the deal implied more funding for Northern Ireland. 50 Labour MPs defied Corbyn and voted to remain in the EU single market.

EU citizens living in the UK should be able to remain in the country after Brexit but could have to join a special ID register, and analysts expect many skilled workers to leave within five years of the deal. German industry bosses dashed the hopes that they would pressure to obtain a favorable trade deal by saying their priority is to protect the single market. In a word, game on.

Now that May is in trouble discussions around austerity are more vigorous than ever, with even members of her own government saying it might be time to increase spending, including in health.

Venezuela

Violence continues as the Supreme Court was attacked with grenades from a police helicopter, supporters of Maduro stormed the Parliament and the Attorney General Luisa Ortega, turned fierce opponent of the government, might be tried by that same Supreme Court after accusing President Maduro of destroying the legacy of Chavez and describing his plan to rewrite the Constitution as illegal. Ortega seemed to persist as she summoned the head of intelligence services and the former commander of the national guard to answer charges of human rights abuses against protesters.

India

Prime Minister Modi visited Israel, the first Indian PM to do so in 25 years, and came back with military deals. It seems everyone, not only Europe, is looking for new patrons and looking East.

Turkey

The opposition’s march should arrive in Istanbul by the end of the week, but Erdogan seems undeterred – and not ready to allow for more democracy or stop criticizing the media.

North Korea

Another missile was launched, but this one seems to be capable of reaching Alaska – meaning it is more dangerous than before and the rhetoric is escalating, some US papers calling this a red line. The US carried out military exercises in the peninsula and tensions are mounting.

Baltic Sea

NATO is conducting its naval exercises with members of the alliance in the Baltic Sea, a regular occurrence, but coupled with new troops deployed in the Baltic states rhetoric is getting tense in Russia. See above to figure out how well things are going right now.

Cybersecurity

Another cyber attack spread through Europe beginning in Ukraine, apparently similar to the ransomware of a couple of weeks ago meaning it could come from North Korea as well. How fun.

US Politics

Voter fraud

Trump appointed a special commission on voter fraud, which critics say is really out there to suppress votes instead, has been met with resistance from the States, which refused to disclose personal voter information.

Elections

The inquiry into Russian meddling is now turning to fake news, and whether the Trump campaign collaborated with Russian trolls to disseminate them. Meanwhile the New York Times revealed that Eric Trump and top aides have met with a lawyer connected to the Kremlin during the campaign.

Travel ban

The Supreme Court ruled that the second version of the travel ban should partially go into effect until a final decision is made, meaning people from the 6 Muslim countries targeted can still come in the US if they have a visa and a “bona fide” relationship with someone in the US. No protest so far, but no good news either.

Healthcare

The Senate postponed the vote on their version of the Obamacare repeal bill for fear of not getting the votes. That’s a good sign for anyone interested in people actually having healthcare, considering that 22 million people would lose coverage under this version, not mentioning the caps in Medicaid benefits and other absurdities.

Environment

A court blocked the EPA’s effort to suspend Obama era regulations on methane emissions. Not all is lost.

?

Trump caused a scandal when he insulted the hosts of Morning Joe on twitter. You can look into how there was calls for unflattering stories to be pulled and stuff, but it just does not make more sense than that. Also he had false Time magazine cover made with his portrait, and it was hung at his properties. Yeah.

Favorite article

She will be missed: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/30/world/europe/simone-veil-dead.html

For your trivia needs

The information contained in this article mostly comes from:
The New York Times
The Washington Post
Foreign Policy
The Guardian
The Hill
Le Monde
Le Courrier International
The Christian Science Monitor
Pink News
The Advocate
LGBTQNAtion
Human Rights Campaign
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