Weekly Links

By Patrick Pierson.

William Gedney Bunce, “Early Morning—Venice” c. 1905. Via The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

 Meet Mexico City’s first female elected mayor. The US is donating military vehicles to Guatemala, despite ongoing allegations of corruption and human rights abuses. Cuba now has mobile internet. Panama has signed more than a dozen trade and infrastructure deals with China. Political killings of indigenous leaders continue in Colombia. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is criticizing the sanctions currently imposed on Venezuela. Russia just signed a $6 billion investment deal with Venezuela. Ecuador is picking up the pace in efforts to move Julian Assange from their London embassy. In Brazil, more than a dozen people were killed this week during a firefight between police and bank robbers.

Nearly 1500 arrests were made this weekend during France’s ongoing Yellow Vest protests. Yellow Vest protests are now popping up in Belgium and the Netherlands. Belgium’s ‘Africa Museum’ is facing increased scrutiny. Denmark has announced plans to move “unwanted” migrants to a remote uninhabited island. In Germany, the Christian Democrats have a new leader in the Merkel protégé Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. Hungarians took to the streets this weekend to protest against proposed labor laws that have been dubbed ‘slave laws.’ Riots broke out in Greece this week on the 10th anniversary of the fatal police shooting of a teenager. Thousands of protesters descended on Belgrade to protest a recent attack against an opposition politician. The US military is pushing back against Russian aggression in Ukraine. Armenia held snap parliamentary elections this weekend.

A senior leader of ISIS has been killed by airstrikes in Syria. Israel claims to have discovered multiple Hezbollah tunnels leading from Lebanon into Israel. US senators are continuing their push to punish Saudi Arabia over the recent killing of Jamal Khashoggi and the kingdom’s ongoing war in Yemen. New reports document human rights abuses committed by Houthi rebels in Yemen. Yemen peace talks appear to be making headway in Sweden. ISIS continues to plague Iraqi officials. Women will now hold 50% of the seats on the UAE’s advisory council.

The political stalemate in Sri Lanka continues. In Bangladesh, the leading opposition party is claiming that 2000 of its supporters have been detained on false charges in the run up to general elections on December 30th. Separatist rebels in Indonesia are demanding negotiations over self-determination. One soldier and more than a dozen civilians were killed by the rebels this week in Papua. Chinese tech giant Huawei’s CFO, Meng Wanzhou, has been detained in Canada and is facing extradition to the US. In a meeting with Chinese officials, North Korea’s foreign minister has reiterated the country’s commitment to end its nuclear weapons program. Facing an unprecedented labor shortage, Japan has loosened its notoriously tight laws for foreign workers.

Protesters marched on Libya’s largest oilfield this week. You can now pay a visit to Senegal’s Museum of Black Civilisations. Liberian President George Weah has ordered ministers to declare their assets by next week in an effort to follow through on campaign promises to combat corruption and increase government transparency. Togolese forces cracked down on protesters this week, killing two and injuring dozens more. Boko Haram continues to carry out attacks in Nigeria’s restive northeast. A camp in Niger is helping Boko Haram defectors transition out of the group. Clashes between the Congolese army and rebel groups are picking up steam in the run-up to this month’s elections. In Somalia, the US military’s quiet war against al-Shabaab continues. You can now have a live goat delivered to your door in Angola. Angolan President Joao Lourenco is meeting with civic society groups in a manner that was unheard of during his predecessor’s 38-year rule. Diane Rwigara, a leading critic of the Rwandan government, has been acquitted and released after spending the last year in jail. The Burundian government has ordered the UN Human Rights Council to shut all of its offices in the country within the next two months. Does Burundi have an open conflict with Rwanda? President Nkurunziza thinks so.

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