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Framing The World, XXI edition

A summary of the main international events

Welcome to this new issue of Framing the World, ready to inform you in pills about the main world events of the last two weeks. It has been a particularly hot period for several governments, from Chile to Iraq, from Lebanon to Spain, which faced a wave of popular protests. The Middle East is confirmed as a geopolitical hotspot for the Turkish invasion of Syria, which may have come to a truce and may have seen the use of chemical weapons by Turkey .On the terrorism front, the death of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, confirmed by the White House, should be reported. Attention is also paid to Africa, which on the one hand sees a growing Russian interest, and on the other tries to restore peace with operations in Niger and Mali. In the economic field, we talk about the good results of American companies and the slowdown in the Chinese economy, while in the Americas important elections were held in Canada and Bolivia. In Asia, the new Japanese emperor officially ascended the throne, and important diplomatic meetings took place for the occasion, meetings that could lead to a resolution of tensions with Korea. Finally, let us conclude with the latest negotiations on the Ukrainian issue and with the surprising austerity policy of the United Nations.

This and much more, in the new Framing the World edition.

HUMAN RIGHTS

Chile, several human rights violations were perpetrated during the repression of anti-government protests. In the recent days, numerous protests have broken out throughout Chile in response to the government's decision to raise the price of public transport tickets. President Sebastián Piñera declared a state of emergency and established a curfew throughout Santiago de Chile. The streets and squares of the capital are guarded by tanks and military armoured vehicles, which were meant to protect the civilian population. The police, however, was accused of having allegedly abused civilians and especially on several occasions.

Libya, the Alan Kurdi ship threatened by the Libyan coast guard. In the past few hours, the Libyan coast guard has surrounded the NGO Sea Eye’s Alan Kurdi ship, while the latter was rescuing 92 migrants, some of whom were still in the water. Some gunshots were even shot in the air and in water by the Libyans to further frighten the ship's crew, so to convince them to stop the rescue. After moments of high tension, however, the Libyan coast guard withdrew and the Alan Kurdi crew finally managed to rescue all 92 migrants.

Nicaragua, the European Union adopts sanctions against the country. On October 14, the Foreign Ministers of the Member States of the European Union adopted a series of sanctions against Nicaragua for the numerous violations of human rights perpetrated in the country during the protests in April 2018. Following these sanctions, those who will be deemed responsible for such abuses will be subject to travel prohibitions and the freezing of their assets. These measures are fundamental, especially since many of the culprits are government officials and thus they will never be judged by the judicial system of their own country.

Northern Ireland, same-sex marriage and abortion have been finally legalized. On October 22, 2019, same-sex marriages and abortion finally became legal in Northern Ireland. The decision was taken by the British parliament, which took advantage of the institutional paralysis of the country to vote on the amendments, that will become effective in 2020. This represents a particularly important step forward, since until a few days ago Northern Ireland was the the only exception in the United Kingdom that had not yet recognized these rights to its citizens.

Syria, the Turkish armed forces are suspected of using chemical weapons against the civilian population. The new 150-hour truce established by the governments of Russia, Turkey and Syria with Kurdish militias has not been respected and conflicts continue in Syria. In this regard, the Turkish government has been accused of using white phosphorus bombs: a chemical weapon that burns everything it comes into contact with. If these weapons were used to hit civilians, as seems to be happening in Syria today, this would constitute a serious war crime. In order to let the United Nations focus on these atrocities, a 21-year-old Syrian Kurd set himself on fire in front of the UNHCR headquarters in Geneva.

United Kingdom, 39 migrants found dead in a container in Essex. A few days ago, 39 dead migrants were found on a truck in a car park in Purfleet, a port city in the county of Essex. The 39 victims, mostly of Chinese descent, died frozen inside a refrigerating room to transport food, which had been shipped on a cargo ship from Belgium to Northern Ireland and then to England. The British law enforcement agencies are both involved in organized crime, and as a long-time human trafficker in entering the UK immigrants and sex slaves.

Marta Stroppa


ECONOMICS AND INTERNATIONAL FINANCE

Wall Street, Q3 is here. The quarterly accounts of listed companies are being published, and net of surprises, data is positive and pushed the U.S. stock market to new all-time highs. Banks are positive with Bank of America, JPMorgan and Citi, although Goldman Sachs is disappointing. Less well the industrial sector: Boeing still suffers from the 737 MAX and changes CEO of the commercial airplanes division, and Caterpillar that misses the target for weakness in Asia. Sales of consumer goods are good, but Amazon doesn’t fill very fine: a -26% of profits translates into a -9% on the stock exchange, and Bezos loses the richest man title, while it is striking that 70% of profits come from cloud services rather than online sales.

WeWork, from hero to zero. Only at the beginning of the year the start-up that sells coworking space was planning a stock exchange listing of $47 billion, but a series of reversals first reduced its value to 20 billion, and then completely blew up the listing due to the strong doubts of investors. After the WSJ announced that the company would not be able to go through the end of the year with the liquidity possessed, SoftBank, the historic investor behind WeWork, intervened to avoid bankruptcy: it "kicked out" the CEO, Adam Neumann, who leaves his shares for $1 billion (plus $185 million for a consultancy), and it guarantees a loan of at least $5 billion, but cuts staff by 30% (-4,000 people).

GM, the strike is over. The strike that paralyzed General Motors for 6 weeks, triggered by the review of insurance and social security benefits, and cost the company $2 billion because of 300,000 vehicles not built, is finally over. The agreement between the company and the union leadership reached a few days ago was confirmed by the workers in a referendum. The agreement provides for a return to work bonus of $11,000, an increase in hourly wage (to $32/h) and production bonuses, while maintaining the closure of three production sites, without redundancies but with the transfer to other plants. The UAW now aims to renegotiate the contract with Ford and FCA on the basis of these concessions.

China, a sharp slowdown. The Chinese economy, once again, has scored its worst quarter in 20 years, with a "paltry" +6%, even below economists’ forecasts. In the last quarter, although industrial production and retail consumption gave positive signals, investment spending was strongly down. This is not entirely negative for China, because it improved the trade balance, but it was not enough to compensate for the negative effects caused to GDP, and the overall effect was the reduction of growth to the lowest figure of the growth range indicated in March by the Party, which predicted for 2019 growth of between 6 and 6.5%.

Libra, Zuckerberg responds. After the doubts expressed by the financial and political authorities and the withdrawal of excellent partners such as Visa, Mastercard and Paypal, Mark Zuckerberg explained to Congress some changes to the project of Libra. The main news is that there will be more digital currencies, which will reflect the prices of physical currencies; this aims to allay the concerns of a loss of monetary sovereignty. Zuckerberg also drew President Trump's attention to the fact that China is making great strides in this area, and that if Libra does not succeed, the United States could remain subject to "a digital financial system supported by Beijing", with all the risks that this entails.

Markets, a busy week. This will be a rather important week for global markets. The Q3 results of Apple, Google and Facebook will be published and will give important information on the trend of the technology sector. A meeting of the Federal Open Markets Committee is scheduled for Wednesday and a cut in interest rates is expected to stimulate the economy. Finally, eyes are on Brexit and the deadline of October 31, with Boris Johnson who will ask and probably get a new extension from Brussels and at the same time will try to call new elections to find a new, more favorable parliament. This could lead to strong volatility on the stock and currency markets.

Leonardo Aldeghi


SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Burkina Faso, continue the trail of death. Also in this edition we are forced to report the umpteenth event of violence in Burkina Faso territory. According to the first news a new attack seems to have taken place on Wednesday, October 23 in the north of the country, in the municipality of Barsalogho, causing the death of six soldiers and injuring four others during two different ambushes (Guindbila and Sidogo). Only a few days earlier, on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, five soldiers and nine civilians had lost their lives in two other attacks, again in three provinces in the north of the country near the border with Mali.

Burundi, new clashes with the rebels. This is the RED-Tabara group, a formation that has settled in Congolese territory since the outbreak of the civil war and since then has been carrying out cross-border guerrilla actions. Government sources have spoken of 14 deaths among the irregular, while on the other hand there is talk of a dozen deaths among the regular forces and one death plus some captured among the guerrillas.

G5 Sahel, a good first operation in Niger. The intervention of ECOWAS and the requests for European ownership could have had the desired effects. A first success has been obtained by the Nigerian battalion of Madama which, in the framework of the operation carried out between the first and the tenth of October, has allowed to recover a substantial quantity of weapons held by armed groups; it is the first mission after months of inactivity on the part of the whole joint force.

Guinea Bissau, the president cries out at the attempted coup d'état. The suspect would be the head of the opposition, Umaro Sissoco Embalò, who would have initiated the organization of a coup d'état to prevent the preparation of the presidential elections of 24 November pv. The Prime Minister said that he had concrete evidence of these allegations and that they would be made public at the appropriate time, in the meantime the preparation of the ballot would continue without interruption. The person concerned obviously rejected all the accusations, saying that it was an attempt to discredit him as a dangerous opponent.

Mali, DDR operation in the central region. Disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration is the operation by which Mali hopes to reduce the level of ethnic-municipal violence that is tearing the country apart. Two hundred individuals voluntarily surrendered their weapons on 11 October and are in addition to the 8504 others who have so far done so on a national basis. The announcement of this operation takes place in a climate of great bewilderment following the approximately forty soldiers killed at the end of last month and shortly before a second proclamation, that of the extension of the state of emergency for another year, from 31 October.

50 jihadists neutralized. The Malian government said on Friday 18 October that it had carried out a counteroffensive in response to the attacks on Boulkessy and Mondoro, which allowed 50 enemy elements to be neutralised, wounding another thirty. Following the operation, the news of the presence of female components among the armed groups was confirmed.

DRC, 237 irregular detainees released. These are individuals who had been previously and irregularly detained and who, in order to reduce prison overcrowding, were released through a ceremony held by the Minister of Justice.

Sochi Summit, Russia reaffirms its position on the continent. The Summit, which kicked off on Wednesday, October 23 in Sochi, wanted by Vladimir Putin gathered more than forty leaders of African countries and was depicted as a success. The message is clear: Russia is not shirking the game that China and Japan are already playing in Africa and intends to "double the volume of trade in four or five years.

Marcello Alberizzi


NORTH AMERICA

Trudeau's victory in Canada. Justin Trudeau, the outgoing premier, is confirmed again at the helm of the Canadian government with 155 seats. It is 22 fewer seats than four years ago, in fact his government is forced to ally with the New Democrats of the Sikh Jagmeet Singh. The new prime minister is progressive, attentive to the environment and the cause of refugees. A new way of being social, attentive to the language of the millennia and their supporter. A minority government will lead the country, which will continue to support multiculturalism and welcoming policy. The only real winners of this election are the independentists of Bloc Québec who have tripled their presence in Parliament from 10 to 32 seats.

Mexico, the war for green gold. What is it? The Avocado is the world's green gold. Its commercialisation in Europe and the United States following the dramatic increase in consumption has made it the most profitable economic source in the country, especially in certain areas. The strong interest and the market of the Avocado result in a strong increase in violence. Farmers are armed with rifles and take turns guarding areas, particularly in the Michoacan area. The U.S. Department of Agriculture team in charge of verifying the quality of the crops has been directly threatened, so much so that the U.S. has threatened to suspend the import of avocado. Mexico accounts for 43% of the world's avocado exports, representing a turnover of €2.4 billion. Meanwhile, the country continues to fight the smuggling of exploited migrants at work. It is estimated that 380,000 people are exploited or abused in the workplace.

United States, Donald Trump in favour of hard coal. The well-known Paris agreement brought together 195 countries in the battle against climate change but, the US president, is determined to increase the activities of the coal industry (almost extinct) and increase the marketing of gas and oil. The challenge seems more difficult than expected, as the industrialists themselves tend not to use coal anymore but renewable energy sources that are cheaper. This is a real challenge, in contrast to the rest of the world. The President hopes that the parameters of the Paris Agreement can be revised. The country's oil supply makes the United States self-sufficient enough to break away from the energy interests of the Middle East. 

Michele Pavan 


SOUTH AMERICA


Morales confirmed president of Bolivia. The Supreme Electoral Court (Tse) of Bolivia has officially claimed that the candidate Evo Morales won the presidential race with 47.08% of the votes. This means that the head of the outgoing State obtained over 10% more votes than the challenger, thus confirming himself as president. Among the various candidates, the evangelical pastor Chi Hyun Chung of the Christian Democratic Party and Oscar Ortiz also received positive results. Although different institutions have confirmed the reliability of the election, the opposition requested the intervention of the Organization of American States which proposed a revision of the ballot. The OAS indicated that if Morales' margin of victory would be too tight, it would have been better to proceed with a runoff in December.

Over one million people in the streets of Santiago de Chile. During the eighth day of social protests, one million people gathered on the large Alamedas in the center of Santiago de Chile, under the pretext of contesting the slightest increase in the metro ticket . Both the organizers of the event and the Chilean media confirmed the high numbers of the participation which would be considerably higher than the one that 31 years ago brought the center-left on the streets in the capital on the eve of the referendum wanted by Pinochet to try to stay in power.

United Nations representatives arriving in Santiago. The spokesman of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights reported that on October 28th three representatives of the agency will arrive in the Chilean capital in order to verify the reports of human rights violations during protests in the country. The decision to send a mission was taken by the high UN commissioner for human rights and former president of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, facing the request made by a group of Chilean parliamentarians. Different NGOs and humanitarian organizations have criticized the lack of transparency especially in the figures on the repression of protests that broke out on October 18 and in which there were 19 deaths.

Michele Pavan e Mario Ghioldi


ASIA AND FAR EAST

China, Syrian issue, Hong Kong case and Nepal. China, and in particular the Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Zhang Jun, condemns Turkish behaviour and hopes for a peaceful resolution. According to Bloomberg, however, the country has poured at least one billion dollars into Turkey's coffers this June, alleviating the burden of the Turkish lira crisis in the country. With regard to the Hong Kong case, the semi-autonomous city government, according to security secretary John Lee, withdrew the draft extradition law on 23 October. Protestants, however, continue with the demonstrations and want Carrie Lam to resign. Meanwhile, Chan Tong-kai, the boy who murdered his girlfriend and started the debate on extradition, was released on October 23. To these latest events must be added the relationship between Beijing and Nepal: this is seriously interested in building a railroad that connects him to China. The Nepal-China Trans-Himalayan Multidimensional Connectivity Network. Finally, on Monday 28th, the party's Central Committee plenary will be held in Beijing, where 370 members of the Chinese government elite will meet to discuss the situation in China. 

Japan, Banzai! On October 22, Emperor Naruhito ascended the throne with his wife Masako. Prime Minister Abe Shinzo concluded a series of meetings with all the guests and foreigners who had come to the country to celebrate the Sokuirei-Seiden-no-Gi (enthronement). In 5 days, he met 62 heads of state, and Chinese Communist Party Vice President Wang Qishan was also present, and Taiwan was discussed with Abe. At the Tokyo-Beijing Forum held in Beijing on Saturday, October 26, Wang Yi, Chinese Foreign Minister, then said he wanted to improve relations with Japan and want to cooperate. South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-Yon and Abe met to discuss cooperation on North Korea. However, the Japanese Prime Minister recalled that the current diplomatic and trade crisis must be resolved first.

North Korea, we talk about hotels. In reality, there are few updates from North Korea, except that Kim Jong Un has asked South Korea to remove its belongings from Mount Kumgang, on which stands a hotel built in collaboration with the neighboring country. The terms have yet to be defined, but Kim has left open the possibility that, once the work is completed, South Koreans may come to visit the country in a special tourist area. On October 17, Kim was portrayed on a horseback on Mount Paektu, which is symbolic for the local culture. Today it is still an active volcano and is considered the birthplace of Daektu, ancestor of the first Korean dynasty about 4000 years ago.

South Korea, let's ease the relationship. On Thursday, October 24, at a dinner in Tokyo, South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon met with leading Japanese industrialists and businessmen to discuss economic cooperation. The same happened with Abe, who said that we must work to reduce the contrast. On October 21, China and South Korea met to discuss denuclearizing North Korea. This is the first bilateral meeting since the break-up in 2014 due to the installation of the THAAD missile interception system.

India, the Kashmir to vote. On Thursday, October 24, elections were opened for more than 300 "local councils", even though the fear is that representatives close to the Modi party may be elected, even if the boycott by the local political parties is very incisive. On Saturday, October 26th, a grenade was launched in Kashmir, in the city of Srinagar, injuring six men from the Indian military police (CRPF). A terrorist attack.

Stefano Sartorio


WESTERN EUROPE AND EUROPEAN UNION

Italy, the scandal over relations between Russia and the League is growing. The TV show Report has published an investigation that explores some aspects of the scandal of the Metropol. They managed to interview Malofeev, nicknamed the oligarch of God, an entrepreneur who finances ultra-right groups and who confirmed that Savoini actually talked about oil at the Metropol, involving also Eni. Report frames the negotiation in a broader international plan to weaken Europe. In the last 10 years more than 10 billion euros have arrived on the continent from ultra-Catholic American foundations. The idea would be to finance, both from the United States and from Russia, eurosceptic and sovereign political formations that could weaken Brussels even more. To date, the investigation is only journalistic, Savoini remains investigated for international corruption by the Milan Public Prosecutor's Office and Matteo Salvini continues to avoid answering or reporting to Parliament on the matter.

France, Macron again challenges the EU. After the rejection of Sylvie Goulard, the French president had to submit to von der Leyen a new name for the role of European Commissioner for the Internal Market. The choice fell on Thierry Breton, former finance minister in the Chirac government and unshakable rigorist fixed with the reduction of public debt. The candidate also has considerable experience in the private sector, as CEO of the Bull Group, Thomson-RCA, France Telecom and now Atos. This time, too, there may be conflicts of interest because the Commissioner is also responsible for the digital sector, an area in which Breton has worked over the years.

Spain, the protests are getting worse. The Catalans have not taken well the condemnation of the independence leaders. The sentences, in fact, provide up to 13 years in prison for Oriol Junqueras, leader of Equerra Repubblicana, left-wing party. The reaction was a wave of protests in Barcelona and other cities that led to clashes with the police. Barricades were formed in the streets and the Catalans set fire to numerous objects. The challenge between Real Madrid and Barcelona scheduled for 26 October has been cancelled. Vox, the extreme right-wing party, calls for the immediate arrest of the President of Catalonia and to launch an investigation into Tsunami Democratico, the online group that coordinates the action of civil disobedience.

Brexit: another chapter of a never-ending story. On the 21 of October the speaker of the lower chamber of the British Parliament denied the government the possibility to discuss the “Meaningful Vote” concerning the agreement on the Brexit with the EU. The vote was scheduled on the 19 of October, but the MPs approved first the “Letwin amendment”. In this way London cannot leave the Union without a deal. In this political decay Johnson has sent two letters to Brussels. In the first one he asks for an extension of the Brexit deadline, but he did not sign this paper. On the other hand, in the second letter he expresses his disagreement with the first letter, asking to not consider it. The 22 of October marked another page of this incredible affair. The British Parliament first approved the text of the deal found by Johnson with Brussels and after that it denied the acceleration of the procedure in order to get the Brexit done for the 31 of October.

The European Commission asks clarification about the italian economic measures. The Italian government has defined and sent to Brussels the document with the new economic maneuver, but something went wrong. The European Commission answered to the Italian letter on the 22 of October, asking for further information. The Vice-President of the Commission Valdis Dombrovskis and the Commissioner Pierre Moscovici are worried that with these proceedings Italy will not respect the communitarian economic commitments; moreover, they think that these measures deflect from the reduction of the structural deficit promised by the country. Meanwhile, in Brussels, the Commission is waiting for clarifications about this document by the 23 of October, taking into consideration the request of the M5S-PD-LEU-ITALIA VIVA government to fully exploit European flexibility option.

The European Commission will not took the office for the deadline date. It has been confirmed that the European Commission guided by Ursula von der Leyen will not begin her work on the 1st of November. The European Parliament has rejected 3 candidacies of commissioners nominated by the former German Defense Minister. Consequently, the Commission’s work has been postponed, probably to the 1st of December. This controversial issue is related to a particular situation inside the EU’s organs. On one hand there is the Parliament that is no longer only the approver of the Council’s decisions and that is determined to define his weight inside the Community. On the other hand, there is the Council, the intergovernmental body that used to be the decision maker for the EU. Moreover, the Council reflects the nationalistic trends that we can find in several member State, which are in contrast with the europeism. The Commission is prisoner of this confrontation.

Leonardo Cherici and Dario Pone

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE AND RUSSIA

Zelensky places new conditions regarding the next Normandy summit. Ukraine’s President Zelensky has placed new compulsory conditions for the next Normandy summit between Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France. The cessation of hostilities in the territories of Stanytsia Luhanska, Zolote, and Petrivske is now a mandatory requirement for Zelensky to attend a future summit to negotiate with Putin regarding the future of the Donbass region. The zone of Stanytsia Luhanska has already been reported as free from any type of clashes, and the liberation of the remaining two zones is in progress. A general compliance with these conditions has been declared as fundamental to let the peace talks start again between Russia and Ukraine.

NATO, Stoltenberg is confident for the future of Ukraine’s membership. NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has sent a positive sign about the future of Ukraine in the North Atlantic Alliance. Stoltenberg has called all the member States to act in favour of a Ukraine’s effective membership during a recent press conference, held to introduce a coming meeting between Defense Ministers in Brussels, where the Ukrainian matter will be discussed. Furthermore, Ukraine has reaffirmed in the past month, especially after Zelensky’s election, its will to become an active part of the Alliance. With an enhanced partnership, NATO will represent a major partner in the modernization of Ukrainian armed forces.

New stop to the accession procedures in the EU for Northern Macedonia and Albania. The European Council has failed to find a deal about the progress of the procedural path for Northern Macedonia and Albania. Despite the majority of the members of the EU agreed to go ahead with these candidacies, there is a front of countries led by Netherlands that is opposed, in particular towards Albania. The European Commission had recommended many times to proceed with the accession procedures, not only in order to keep credibility towards the countries in the Balkans, but also to balance the influence of China, Russia and Turkey in that area. The European Commissioner for the Neighborhood Policy and EU Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn underlines that the situation is still stuck although this advice.

The European Union and the partnership in the Balkans. The European Union is reconsidering its neighborhood policy, assessing the best way to proceed. One of the most critical elements of this policy is related to the “Eastern Partnership” (EaP) that is struggling to move forward. Moldova is a perfect example of the difficulties that the EaP presents to proceed into this path. The Moldovan Prime Minister, Maia Sandu underlined some bewilderment about this situation during the third forum about reflection on EU Eastern Partnership in Chisinau. She highlights that: “Our choice is not to be a grey zone, a buffer zone, between West and East”. Moldova, Northern Macedonia, Albania, all these countries believe that the European path is a timetable, but that must be ambitious and progressive. The critical situation is ascribable to a particular behavior of the EU. On one hand the Union asks these countries to implement significant internal reforms. On the other hand, there are not noticeable progresses about the “Enlargement”.

Russia, EU and Turkey: a complicate political triangle. Turkey’s aggression to the Kurds has deteriorated the relations between Ankara and Brussels. Similarly, the relations between the single European governments and the Turkish one is now complicated. In this critical situation within the NATO (that has condemned, although mildly, Erdogan’s actions), the Russian Federation has found her role in the region. Putin’s Russia has succeeded to find a solution between Syria and Turkey thanks to its geopolitical and geostrategic weight. Meanwhile, it has overthrown the US in the region. Thanks to the Russian’s influence on Assad’s Syrian regime and on Ankara it has been possible to end the conflict. Finally, Russia has also silenced the Turkish threat of a possible repatriation of Syrian migrants present in Turkey that was so frightening to the European community.

Andrea Maria Vassallo, Mario Ghioldi e Dario Pone

MIDDLE-EAST AND NORTH AFRICA (MENA)

Iraq, protests continue. On Friday 24 October, protests against the Iraqi government were rekindled. The most violent incidents took place in Baghdad and Nassiriya, where several people were killed. The demonstrations began in early October and involved tens of thousands of people (mainly young people) against unemployment and rampant corruption. The clashes between police and demonstrators resulted in more than 150 deaths. The promise by the Iraqi Prime Minister (Mahdi) of a government reshuffle and a reform package served for nothing. Al Sistani, the country's highest Shiite authority, has intervened asking for moderation in the protests.

In Lebanon, too, the population is taking to the streets. For the past two weeks, Lebanon has been experiencing a wave of demonstrations against corruption, the high cost of living and the stagnant economy. Despite the government's announcement (last Monday) of a package of economic reforms, citizens continued to protest, demanding the resignation of the current Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri. On Friday, 24 October, Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Hezbollah (which holds a number of seats in parliament) declared his support for the demonstrations against the establishment. However, he also added that the current situation risks dragging the country towards "chaos" or even "civil war".

Israel, now it's Gantz's turn. It's official: the "try us again Bibi" did not work. But how do we get out of the impasse? President Rivlin decided to entrust the task of forming the new government to Benny Gantz, this is because in the first round of consultations 54 deputies were in favor of such an initiative. Gantz is facing a mission studded with many difficulties: he will have to try to collect 61 votes on the 120 Knesset necessary for the formation of the government. The numbers on which the former Chief of Staff can count come from 33 deputies of his Blue and White Party and 11 Labour and Democratic Field deputies. Uncertain of giving their support remain 8 nationalist lay deputies and 13 deputies of the United Arab List.

Syria, violence is giving way to negotiations. The Turkish attack on the Kurds has gone through several stages in a very limited period of time: the violent Turkish offensive "Source of Peace", blackmail and sanctions, surprise alliances, truce and - finally - the reaching of an agreement. In fact, at the end of the Sochi talks (which lasted 7 hours) an agreement was reached between Russia and Turkey: a "safe zone" was established which extends east of the Euphrates river for 440 km along the border with Turkey, some territories of the North-East (formerly in the hands of the YPG) are now under the control of Damascus, while Turkey maintains the dominion over a territory of 120 km between the cities of Tel Abyad and Ras Al-Ayn. Russia has gained a great political weight: supporter of the agreement, guarantor of the continuation of the Adana agreement, in the short term will employ its military (with Turkey and Syria) in verifying the effective abandonment of the area subject to "safe zone" by the Ypg militiamen.

Vincenzo Battaglia e Federica Sulpizio


TERRORISM AND INTERNATIONAL SECURITY

Italy expelled 297 terrorists in three years. The Presidency of the Council of Ministers stated that between 2016 and 2018 297 people were expelled, of whom 102 Tunisians and 92 Moroccans. It must be said that the number of people expelled in 2018 is twice as high as in 2016 because in 2016 the suspected jihadists discovered and accompanied to the border were 66, in 2017 105 and last year 125.

Another particular aspect of this analysis is that 13 terrorists were expelled from Albania, which, generally, is not identified as a country at risk of terrorist infiltration. Three French citizens have also been expelled, whose homeland is certainly one of the biggest jihadist targets at European level and France is one of the most multicultural states on the continent.

Premium permits also for hostile life sentences. Failure to cooperate with the courts cannot prevent the granting of permits for prisoners sentenced to maximum sentences, including for acts of mafia and terrorism. The Constitutional Court has established this by deciding on the so-called "hostive life imprisonment", life imprisonment that has no possibility of discounts on punishment. An appeal filed by the magistrates of the Perugia Supervisory Court was upheld in this regard. The sentence establishes that the supervisory judges will always have to evaluate the "social dangerousness" of the detainee and it will no longer be a reason for refusal ("hostative") the fact that the life imprisonment did not cooperate with the judiciary. At the beginning of October, the European Court of Human Rights also ruled that denying benefits "irrespective" of a prisoner, solely on the basis of the type of offence he was convicted of, was a violation.

Oslo, a stolen ambulance launches itself on pedestrians. On Tuesday, October 22, an armed man stole an ambulance and run down pedestrians in Oslo's Torshov district (five people were injured). Immediately the ghosts of a jihadist attack emerged, considering the dynamics of the ambush. However, the author of the attack, a 32-year-old Norwegian captured immediately by the police, is a former deputy police officer with criminal records of armed robbery and violence. He would also be linked to extreme right-wing circles.

Afghanistan, attacks are a daily occurence. Other attacks, more blood, have marked the last two weeks in Afghanistan. While peace talks are progressing slowly (after Trump's decision to provisionally block dialogue with the Taliban), terrorist groups continue to carry out armed attacks against civilians and the military. The most clamorous (and brutal) attack was against a mosque in the eastern province of Nangarhar on 18 October. The ambush, which can be traced back to the local IS cell, caused about 60 deaths and 40 injuries. A further serious attack took place against a checkpoint in northern Afghanistan (Kunduz district) on 22 October. 16 policemen were killed. Meanwhile, the United Nations has announced that 1174 died from 1 July to 30 September (because of the violence).

"Something very big has just happened." This is the tweet of Trump in reference to the killing of the leader of the Islamic State of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. According to US military sources, the US conducted an operation against the Caliph in the province of Idlib. The news was confirmed on Sunday afternoon (morning in the United States) by the American president himself during a conference at the White House. He reported an "impeccable" raid, made possible "thanks to the help of Russia, Syria, Turkey and Iraq and also of the Syrian Kurds". He then said that "now the world will be a safer place. But will it really be so? Terrorist groups, such as Qaeda, have shown that they can reorganize themselves after the death of their leader. Therefore, in the short to medium term it will be important to analyse the repercussions of this killing for the Islamic State, which has so far proved to be quite resilient.

Laura Vaccaro Senna e Vincenzo Battaglia


INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATIONS

UN - United Nations, very strict austerity. The lack of payment of the contributions of the states to the World Organization, leads to the suspension of all the activities of the United Nations. Probably the salaries for the month of November will not be paid and in addition, all evening activities are suspended after 18.00, new hires are blocked, the use of lifts has been banned unless strictly necessary, all official commitments are canceled. These are serious measures. Meanwhile, the UN is also preparing for EXPO 2020 in Dubai, with the aim of communicating the priorities for the planet, in particular by raising awareness among the youngest people.

Michele Pavan





Framing The World is a project conceived and created by the collaboration between members of the team of Mondo Internazionale associates.

Andrea Maria Vassallo: East - Europe and Russia Federation

Dario Pone: West Europe and European Union

Federica Sulpizio: Middle East and North Africa

Laura Vaccaro Senna: Terrorism and International Security

Leonardo Aldeghi: Economy and International Finance

Leonardo Cherici: West Europe and European Union

Marcello Alberizzi: Sub-Saharan Africa

Mario Ghioldi: South America, West Europe and Russia Federation

Marta Stroppa: Human Rights

Michele Pavan: North America, South America, Oceania and International Organizations

Stefano Sartorio: Asia and Far East

Vincenzo Battaglia: Middle East and North Africa; Terrorism and International Security



Original article: https://mondointernazionale.com/framing-the-world-numero-xvi issued on 2 September 2019.

Translated by: Andrea Maria Vassallo, Dario Pone, Federica Sulpizio, Laura Vaccaro Senna, Leonardo Aldeghi, Leonardo Chierici, Marcello Alberizzi, Mario Ghioldi, Marta Stroppa, Michele Pavan, Stefano Sartorio, Vincenzo Battaglia, Simona Maria Vallefuoco.


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