This week in international news

By: Emily Simons

Africa: On October 26th, Kenya will have it’s second election this year after the Kenyan Supreme Court nullified the election results of August 8th where Uhuru Kenyatta was announced the winner in his race against Raila Odinga. After the nullification, due security concerns over the electronic voting system, mass protests and violence broke out in the country, eventually turning deadly when police shot opposition demonstrators. Odinga said he would not run in the second election unless security concerns were addressed, and he officially withdrew on October 10th. The Kenyan parliament recently passed a law stating if a candidate withdraws the other automatically wins the presidency. Tensions remain high and the Supreme Court is expected to weigh in again.
Asia: Hindus, Sikhs, and Buddhists begin celebrating the biggest festival of the year, Diwali. Manners of celebration vary throughout many regions, but is most commonly celebrated with candles and oil lamps decorating people’s homes. Stories also vary but ultimately the holiday marks a time to remember that good triumphs over evil and light triumphs over the dark.
Australia: The Indian energy company Adani Group will break ground for one of the world’s largest coal mine in Central Queensland, Australia even as farmers and environmentalists fight against the plans. The Australian government backs the Adani Group, claiming it will create jobs yet there are very serious concerns that the mine will further damage the Great Barrier Reef.
Europe: With 17 months until Britain must leave the E.U. talks are still ongoing for their divorce settlement. Trying to break the deadlocked issues of citizen’s rights, trade agreements, and payouts British Prime Minister Theresa May tried to break tensions with efforts to address citizen rights. No real progress has been made and tension within the European Union remains high.
Middle East: ISIL continues losing territory in northern Iraq since the summer. Since the Iraqi government, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, Shia armed fighters, and international coalitions successfully liberated Mosul in July, 2017 (three years after the major city’s capture), most of northern Iraq is free of ISIL’s control.
South America: On October 15th, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s Socialist Party won 17 out of 23 states in the regional election, however the opposition group, the Democratic Union Roundtable (MUD) questioned the results, refusing to recognize the gubernatorial elections. Gerardo Blyde, MUD’s campaign chief demanded an audit of results, which President Maduro agreed to, even claiming that Venezuela has the best electoral processes. Updates on the audit are to come.