Today Framing the World celebrates an important achievement: It’s our number X, the first double-digits one.
Below you will find recent news about the opposition between the United States and China related to duties, updates concerning the growing tension in the Persian Gulf, the Austrian political scandal, and the historic turning point linked to the Taiwanese choice to legalize gay marriage. Also, we keep pay attention to the Korean Peninsula and to the Venezuela crisis, as well as giving important geopolitical updates on the Balkans.
But given that we aren’t intentioned to spoiler the whole content, the only way to know is to read our biweekly newscast focused on the analysis of the most important international events.
Afghanistan, journalist and activist Mina Mangal got killed. The journalist and now political adviser Mina Mangal, who’s known for fighting for women’s right to divorce, was gunned down in her home. Witnesses say it was a real ambush, but it is still unclear for authorities whether the murder has been caused by personal reasons or terrorist attack. According to Reporters Without Borders, Afghanistan is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for press journalists: the last year15 of them were killed.
Sri Lanka, 10 years since the war finished, victims keep seeking justice. Ten years after the end of the civil war that has been afflicting Sri Lanka since 1983 until 2009, victims keep demanding authorities to grant justice. It’s estimated that 100.000 people were killed during the conflict between the Government and the separatist armed group “Tamil Tigri; among them at least 40.000 people were killed in the last months of the war. The United Nations repeatedly asked the country to investigate war crimes committed by both sides, but the Government seems to not be intentioned to do so.
Taiwan is the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage. On the international day against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia, Taiwan formalizes the entry into force of the act allowing same-sex people to marry. The new act has been adopted in accordance with previous decision of the Constitutional Court; this last urged the Taiwanese Government to change its legislation concerning same-sex marriage.
USA tight women right to abortion. Alabama recently adopted one of the most aggressively anti-abortion law. According to this last, abortion is banned at every stage of the pregnancy, even in cases of rape and incest; abortion is only permitted if the mother’s life is at risk. The abortion law provides that doctors could face 99 years in prison for performing an abortion. Following its footsteps, Missouri adopted a new act (24 votes in favour, and 10 against) to ban abortion after eight weeks pregnant, even in cases of rape and incest. If adopted, the new law would only permit abortion in case of medical emergency, like in Alabama.
INTERNATIONAL FINANCE AND ECONOMICS
Tariffs. The trade war between United States and China has entered a new chapter, after that unsuccessful negotiations have brought President Trump to increase tariffs on Chinese products for 200 Billion Dollars from 10% to 25%. Free trade determined a global balance of the post war, and its destiny seems now buckling but, unexpectedly, Trump is not the (only) responsible. At the end of the Obama presidency, only 30% of Chinese export entered the USA without being subject to tariffs, and only 35% of American export was managed likewise in China. Now sums are lower, 13% and 85 respectively, but this trend preceded the Trump administration. Also, it’s important to underline that the “trade war” included 5 protectionist measures, but since 2009 little less than 370 other similar measures were adopted, and these last were very expensive: (On the whole) Trump’s decisions aren’t even among the 25 most unprofitable protectionist measures of the last 10 year.
Wall Street, a bothersome bird. A 102 words tweet has been enough to erase $1360 Billion in one day. The news announcing Trump’s decision to increase tariffs on Chinese products caused the worst financial session of the last 8 months for the American and Global Stock Exchange. Then the announced Chinese reaction worsened the beginning of the last week. However Wall street capital has unexpectedly started growing fast, making good the losses. So the trade war has taken second place because of news coming from technology and trade sectors. Walmart registered new sells records, bringing an upward in the whole sector, highlighting that consumption goods still present growth margins.
Further positive news was that President postponed the application of tariffs on European cars for six months, while the deadline was Saturday 18.
Bayer, conviction at first instance. The Deutsch chemical colossus has been sentenced to pay a compensation of $2 billion to an American couple which sued the company because an herbicide containing glyphosate, produced by Monsanto, caused them a cancer. Bayer had acquired Monsanto the last year for $63 billion. Judges took the view that Monsanto acted negligently for failing to notify the dangers of its product. Bayer denied all responsibilities and it will appeal, because it declares to act in compliance with EPA (USA) Regulation and Global health authorities such as the European Food Safety Authority, OMS, and FAO – these last affirmed that glyphosate isn’t cancerogenic. This is the third sentence (the two first judgements had established a compensation for $80 million each) and it should bring Bayer to make a deal concerning the remaining cases (more than 13.000), for an estimated value of 5 billion.
The company stock price decreased of 7% because of the last news.
European Commission, new sanctions. After Google, penalties will be assigned to five of the biggest banks in the world: Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland, Citigroup, RBS and Mufg Bank. The total amount is 1,07 Billion Euros, composed by 2 different sanctions to the value of 811 and 257 millions: the most expensive will be assigned to the first four listed banks, the cheaper will be assigned to Barclays, RBS and Mufg Bank. They are accused to have participated in illegal cooperation in order to coordinate their strategies for trading markets, their exchange operations (executed on the day of the order). Also, it was found that some traders used their personal skills to exchange personal information concerning whether orders for purchases/sales were placed or not, differences in price according to different situations, and information about their future trading activity. This system was discovered thanks to the complaint lodged by UBS, that hasn’t received any sanction for this reason, although it took part in the plot.
Apple, bitter pill. After months of good performances, Apple came to a standstill recording -6% after that the Supreme Court issued its decision in an antitrust suit for hundreds millions. The legal suit will now involve the Cupertino colossus, that’s accused to monopolize the app market, forcing IPhone users to buy app on App Store for a fixed price or not acquire the product, since it is impossible to buy Third Party Apps.
Since bad news never come alone, the IPhone sales data decreased of 18% year on the American market. It globally sells 36.4 million units (for the past 5 years), but it keeps its position concerning market shares (little more than 40%).
Finally, the international trade scenario doesn’t benefit the company: if tariffs were implemented, they would bring decreasing profit, because of higher production costs and the fall in sales, due to the increase in the prices of devices.
Dubai, uncertain future. The rich emirate is going through a difficult financial situation or the second time in ten years. Contrary to the other Emirates, Dubai hasn’t oil reserves, and its success was due to the construction industry, since thousands of flats were built in order to attract expatriate citizens from the Gulf region. Until 2016 things were going so well, but now buildings price is decreased of 25%, 30% of the yards suspended their activity, and at least 50% of required units will be delivered late (unofficially it is due to lack of demand). 30% of GDP is earned from the construction industry, that’s why the economic growth rates is lower than 2%, that’s the lowest level since 2011.Following advices from Consulting Companies, the Sheik Maktum found that it is due to the absence of rich Qataris citizens (as a result of the Saudi embargo) and especially to the Europeans’ escape because of new taxes on sales and incomes.
Benin, the new President of the Assembly has been chosen. Following the events reported in the previous edition, the last Friday (May 17) the President of the Parliament has been chosen too. The main aspect of this event is breaking an unwritten rule established long time ago, in 1995. This last provided that the President of the Parliament couldn’t come from the same region (North or South) as the State President, in order to balance the political power. However nowadays both Presidents come from the Northern part of the country. Many tensions had already expanded within the country because of the total exclusion of all opposition parties, and very low participation rates were recorded in the elections at the end of April; naturally this decision brings additional discontent.
Burkina Faso, four hostages have been released. Two French, one American woman and one South-Korean woman were freed during a special operation leaded by French forces within the framework of the Berkhane mission, coordinated with government Forces and American troops. However two French soldiers died while carrying out the operation. The mission took place on 9 may, and the task was to save three tourists and the South-Korean woman resident in the country- they were captured few days before, on may 4th, following the assassination of their guide.
Niger, four soldiers killed in an ambush. If its climate is usually characterized by extreme heat, the presence of Terrorists groups sets Sahel afire. During the last weeks the general attention was focused on Mali, Chad and Burkina Faso, today we analyze instead the attack occurred in Niger few days ago, on May 14. It seems it was conducted by hundreds of heavily armed men who fired on a moving army division. The attack occurred in the area north of Mangaize, in a northern region of the country, but the attackers pushed towards the border with Mali. The area is afflicted by a critical situation, that’s the reason why the International Community’s attention in focused on the centre of Mali and the northern Burkina Faso, where terrorist groups presence is increasing, as well as the vacuum in the Lake Chad Region.
Somalia, the importance of AMISOM and State Authorities. The mandate of the AMISOM mission is the object of the negotiations among the members of UN Security Council. All countries operating in Somalia recognise its importance, and hope it will be operationally extended for long time. Clashes involving all parts have been proceeding during the last weeks, and the United States supported Government armed operations through air raids. Acleddata reports that since May 5th there have been many victims among terrorists in different areas, such as Hiiran and the Lower Shabelle. European countries keep supporting the UN operation and the US presence in the country, but they underline that it is necessary that Somali authorities assume more responsibilities for fighting and restore order.
Also, after that Hareri village, near Mandera, was attacked again, Nairobi received many requests for greater determination in leading the Horn of Africa region, in this particular period characterized by tensions between al-Shabaab and ISIS divisions.
South Sudan, the peace agreement doesn’t bring to the waited results. According to Jeune Afrique the Sudanese situation is complicated by cattle rustling and weapons possession among farmers. I seems that the diffusion of Kalashnikov is the principle cause of the spreading violence, which led to the deaths of 200 farmers since January – according to MINUSS, the UN mission in the country- and sparked a spiral of revenge. The country (that’s independent since 2013) suffers consequences ensued from the violent separation from a giant bordering state, and it is monitored in order to prevent upsetting effects following the events occurring in Sudan.
Guatemala, protests don’t blow over. Protests of the past months go on, and peoples’ discontent doesn’t blow over. Clashes have blown up on May 7 in the Pavòn prison, the biggest in the country.The dead and injured toll is not defined, and the global rebellion and difficulties atmosphere shows that several violent conflict contexts exist. Clashes of 7 May caused 7 dead and some twenty civilians were hurt.
Mexico, the engagement for migration. President Lòpez Obrador made many promises to Central American migrants. The National Institute of Migration had rescued migrants from Central America on January 17, allowing them to stay in Mexico for one year, after being registered by National authorities.
On April 22, in a similar situation, a wave of migrants coming from the near Honduras was firmly pulled over. The Government migration policy stays then unclear, and the future of migrants in the Mexican territory is also undefined.
Panama, Social democrats got the power. On May 5th Parliamentary elections occurred, and the winner is Laurentino Cortizo, a 66-years-old businessman, thanks to only 40.000 votes. But the opposition candidate, Ròmolo Roux, denounced electoral irregularities. The now elected President must face several challenges. After that Panama Papers news were published in 2016, corruption is expanding, and journalists’ investigations increase. Also, the country need to reduce economic inequalities, because they often cause people’s anger.
Peru, the surge of arrests expands. Detention of ex-Government representatives increase. The investigations carried out by Authorities brought the Court to sentence ex-President Ollanta Humala to 20 years in prison, and his wife to 20 years in jail. The charge is to be involved in money-laundering. Unfortunately, corruption among national Government representatives has been present for a long time, and the judiciary is trying to discover every illegal activity to curb crime in the country.
United States of America, new protagonists of an anti-abortion fighting. First, Georgia adopted a bill banning abortion as soon as fetal heartbeat is perceived (from the sixth pregnant), and now Alabama signed a bill that bans abortion in any event, even in cases of rape and incest. Doctors who perform an abortion would risk up to 99 years in jail. At the same time, the US is involved in many debates concerning arms sale, with arms lobbies on the spot. Beside domestic debates, there are International issues related to Tariffs debates with the European Union and, above all, with China; the resumed conflict with Iran; relations with countries such as Venezuela and Cuba, the migration towards Mexico. USA must face many challenges, but how will they be handled in the view of the elections of 2020?
Venezuela, arrest by tow truck. Who would have imagined an arrest through using a tow truck? Yes, on the evening of May 8 Venezuelan secret services –Bolivarian Intelligence Service – have arrested the vice-president of the Parliament Guaidò (Edgar Zambrano).
On May 7 Supreme Court of Justice had accused him of rebellion, corruption, conspiracy betrayal of the Homeland. Most likely the only solution to put an end to the crisis is vote. Who will be able to become the spokesman for democratisation of the country?
ASIA AND FAR EAST
Japan, a training month. May was extremely intense for Japanese army. In fact in the first week of May (from 2 to 8 May), the country participated in a joint Marine training with the US, India and Philippines in a specific area of the disputed South Sea of China. In particular, it sailed at a distance of 12 nautical miles from the Spratly Islands, contested among Vietnam, Philippines, China, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei. Also, Thursday 18 May Japan took part in a further exercise leaded by the USA, the French Navy, and the Austrian one, in the Bengal Gulf, between India and Indonesia. Trainings concerned anti-fire operations, research and recovery.
China, different “openness” levels. In the first period of May, the country saw different State visits with the Turkish Foreign Minister Sedat Onal in Peking (on May 16), with the Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos in Beijing (on May 15), and the President of Singapore Halimah Yacob, in this last city (May 17). “For us in the middle [...] we do not wish to be forced into making invidious choices, so we hope that both sides will work out a strategic response and take into account China’s increasing influence and weight in the international arena, and that both sides will find a way to accommodate each other’s legitimate interests”. Said the Foreign Minister of Singapore, Balakrishnan Vivian. At the Conference on the dialogue of Asian Civilisations (CDAC), held in Beijing, Xi then recognised the need of a greater openness to the world: “There is no clash between different civilisations, [we] just need to have the eye to appreciate the beauty in all civilisations”. Concerning openness, or closure in this case, Wikipedia is still inaccessible in China, in all languages.
South-Korea, a new imminent summit. “President Trump and President Moon will continue their close coordination on efforts to achieve the final, fully verified denuclearisation of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea”. This is the task of the next meeting between the US President and the Korean one in Seoul, with the aim to “[...] talk about measures to build a permanent peace here through complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula”. The summit is seen as a contour line , compared with the Osaka G20 planned for 28-29 June, and the meeting with the Japanese President Shinzo Abe, the date of which is not known nor decided at this stage. A further demonstration of the need of a dialogue among the nations is constituted by the North Korean missile testing.
North Korea, missiles and humanitarian aid. According to the World Food Programme (WFP) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), ten millions citizens in North Korea would strongly need humanitarian aid. The reason is the severe drought, that’s the most extreme ever recorded in the last 37 years. To collect, by September, all resources needed is what International Organizations recommend. South Korea has announced its intent to help the bordering country through a UN collaboration plan.
Meanwhile, on May 4th, at 9:00 a.m. North Korea has tested some short-range missiles, after 522 days from the last test. The country did the same on May 9, at 4:30 p.m. (local time), testing two other missiles. Although this kind of arms is not mentioned in the previous agreements on the dismantling of nuclear weapons concluded with the United States (that only mention the long-range ICBM), these missiles are supposed to encourage the US to reach a new agreement as soon as possible.
India in the final stretch, but not alone. On May 23 six weeks election will put an end to the biggest electoral competition in the world. The two main figures are the current Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Rahul Gandhi. On May 17 PM Modi participated in a press conference for the first time since he governs, but it seems that he didn’t answer to any question.
Meanwhile India is facing the worst water crisis of its history, that involved 600 million people in serious or extreme deprivation.
Finally India offered its complete support to Sri Lanka in order to fight against jihadist terrorism, as the High Commissioner Taranjit Singh Sandhu stated: “[...] Any threat to Sri Lanka is seen as a threat to India, and we will fight this jihadi ideology and jihad terror together [...]”.
CENTRAL EUROPE AND EUROPEAN UNION
Austria, the video featuring Vice-Chancellor Strache. What occurred in the last days is an incredible and extremely suspicious event. The case blew up when Suüeddeutsche Zeitung published a video featuring Strache and the reputed niece of a Russian Oligarch in Ibiza, where the Russian women seems to be intentioned to invest in the Austrian press. So Strache began to issue some proposal for procurement, and purposed favouritism related to Russian investments in the country. Strache, leader of the Austrian Freedom Party (Freiheitliche Partei Ӧsterreichs, FPӦ), then announced his dismissal and Chancellor Kurtz immediately called early elections to face the following crisis and People’s protests. Even Johann Gudenus, the deputy leader, resigned for having organised the meeting Several doubts derive from the decision to publish the video just few days before the European elections, if it has been made in 2017.
European elections, the first exit polls. Few days left to the beginning of vote, and surveys give diary updates on the possible results concerning elections that have never been so heartfelt in Europe. Is it a new beginning for the EU? About 426 million citizens will vote, and the first countries to vote will be the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, on May 23; then Ireland (24 May), Czech Republic (24/25 May), Slovakia and Latvia (25 May); all the other countries will vote on May 26. Here we present Politico polls, considered in all countries: the European People’s Party is first, with 168 seats, followed by Social Democrats, with 147 seats, and the third is ALDE+ En Marche, with 104 seats. We invite you to check the site for further specific information for every country.
Italy, Government difficulties persist. Everything began with the Siri case, the League Transport and Infrastructure Undersecretary, and economic advisor to Salvini. The request for a presumption of innocence was rejected and Conte finally decided to revoke his nomination, on May 8. The reason is 30.000 Euros he would have received for put benefits (that were never inserted) linked to incentives for offshore wind energy in the Economic and Financial Document, and the following investigation.
However, it caused a further problem: since May 8, Conte hasn’t requested any Council of Ministers anymore, because of clear difficulties in handling his two vice-Chairmen of the Board, and the contrasts between them in two fields: rules providing economic incentives for families, sustained by Di Maio, and the second Security Decree (providing immigration rules and, above all, penalties for those who abet and transport migrants), promoted by Salvini.
The issue is also kinked to the UN worries on the matter; the League responded saying that the UN should deal with Venezuela, instead of Italy.
Italy, European sovereign forces in the places of Milan. The final elections campaign rally was held in Piazza Duomo, and Marine Le Pen was present, together with 10 other European Parties, while the Austrian Party defected because of the up-mentioned events. “There isn’t a far right, here we have a policy of commonsense” said Salvini from the stage, “There are no extremists here, extremists have been ruling Europe for twenty years”, he added. “We no longer want this rootless Oligarchy without a point of reference” added the leader of Rassemblement National.
United Kingdom, May keeps failing. Negotiations with Labour leader Corbyn have also failed, and that’s because of contrasts concerning the key element of a temporary staying in the European Customs Union. PM May categorically refused to hold a second referendum, so the negotiators didn’t reach an agreement.
However, in the past days May has announced that she will communicate her resignation date after presenting some other alternatives between May and June. She will be replaced by the winner of the Conservator Party primary, most likely Boris Johnson. May’s step backwards may give new follow-up to this issue.
CENTRAL EASTERN EUROPE AND RUSSIA
Lavrov meets Pompeo in Sochi. Sergej Lavrov and Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, met in Sochi on May 14 to discuss about some important issues related to bilateral relations between Moscow and Washington. It was an attempt to normalise relationships between these two countries, in the light of last events occurred in Venezuela, Syria, Ukraine, North Korea and Iran. The most inflames disputes concerned the ongoing Maduro Presidency in Venezuela; both Russia and the United States don’t seem to be intentioned to change their expressed position. Either of them wants to lose influence upon a territory where both countries want to pursue their interests.
Also, thick tension is linked to Ukraine issues: United States administration brought pressure to bear Russian Government in order to put an end to Russian occupation in Ukraine territories, but Russia seems not considering it.
The United States are also worried for another relevant element: the increasing cooperation between China and Russia. Is the need to normalise relationships between USA and Russia as quickly as possible, based on US fear to be soon isolated in the International scenario?
North Stream II (maybe) will be ready in the second half of 2020.The news concerning the imminent finalization of the gas pipeline named “North Stream II” ( that will link Germany and Russia in order to diversify Gas transport to Europe) provoked many fears. But why? First of all, Denmark refused to give permission to exploit its coastal waters. Also, gas prices could increase next winter; gas market could run out of control if delays in the correct working of the North Stream II occur at the same time as high tension levels in relations between Russia and Ukraine. If these two events happen simultaneously, they could cause a massive increase in the prices of Gas sells all over Europe.
The Council of Europe grants Russia to vote again. The Council of Europe welcomed the motion for Russian presence within the institution, after suspending its right to vote for the annexation of Crimea in 2014. The motion has been welcomed according to the principle establishing that every country are allowed to participate “on equal status basis”. Russia obtained its right to vote thanks to joint efforts from France and German, scared for additional worsening in the relationship between Moscow and the West.
Military technology, Russia aims to get laser. Russia is testing a new laser technology destined to the military sector, and it’s named Peresvet. This type of technology will spread Russia’s potential throughout the 21st century, according to President Vladimir Putin’s statements. A non-fatal technology may be employed in fields such as domestic security and fight against terrorism, since it will enable to neutralise any threat, even in closed and monitored places. Details concerning the use of laser are classified; a public presentation of Peresvet technology to military industries is planned by the end of May.
Ukraine, Zelensky will take office on May 20. The Ukraine Parliament has chosen the setting up date of Zelensky Presidency and its first move will most likely be to dissolve the Rada, that’s the Parliament. The new President had announced this choice during his elections campaign, and now it’s almost sure; in case of dissolution, Parliamentary elections must be held on May 27.
Pendarowski is the new President of Northern Macedonia. The ceremony for the beginning of Stevo Pendarovski Presidency took place on May 12, after the defeat of his nationalist opponent Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova in the electoral sessions. Pendarovski strongly sustained the Prespa Agreement, that enabled Macedonia to get the name of Republic of North Macedonia. Also, Macedonian President has declared his intent to lead the country on the path towards EU and NATO integration.
Northern Macedonia membership examined by the US Senate. Trump sent the Northern Macedonia’s NATO access Protocol to the US Senate. The Protocol has been signed on 6 February in Brussels, and now it must be ratified by all NATO member states; once it will be complete, Northern Macedonia will be the 30th NATO member state.
Western Balkans, their entry into the European Union seems closer and closer.Eu enlargement to the Western Balkans seems a concrete and closer possibility. At the end of April, during the summit in Berlin, the enlargement had been a debated issue, and on May 15, in the same city, the Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Johannes Hahn met the President and members of the Bundestag. It’s then supposed that European Institutions want to encourage opening attitudes to promote Balkan’s entry into the European Union. Will it be the final step to establish a real order in the region?
Andrea Maria Vassallo.
MIDDLE EAST AND NORTHERN AFRICA (MENA)
Saudi Arabia, subject to several boycotts. Since Sunday 12 May, Saudi Arabia suffered several armed attacks on many fronts. The first event to point out concerns the sabotage of four Oil Vessels (among them two ships were owned by Saudi Arabia, one by UAE, and the last one by Norway) while they were about to cross the Strait of Hormuz, near the port of Fujairah. The attack provoked significant damages to oil tankers structure, without causing oil losses. USA and Riyadh suppose that the episode – that immediately made spread oil prices- was planned by ayatollahs, but there’s no evidence of this. Only two days after the sabotage, Riyadh denounced a further terrorist attack (perpetrated by using drones) against the Saudi oil pipeline network. In this case, Yemeni Huthi rebels (clearly linked to Teheran) claimed responsibility for the attack, reacting to Saudi attacks in Yemen.
Iran-USA, the growing tension in the Persian Gulf. After one year since United States left the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), signed in 2015, contrasts between the US and Iran has never been serious enough to create worries for an imminent conflict. Since the US implemented heavy tariffs on Iranian petroleum in order to reset the Iranian oil export, Ayatollah’s regime has announced its intention to not respect obligations provided by the nuclear deal (in particular hose related to the exceeding uranium reserves). Then, Iranian threat to close the Strait of Hormuz (crossed by 40% of the global oil containers carried by sea) and the several sabotages of Saudi oil tankers, the tension became colossal. In response, the US placed Patriot missiles and B-25 bombers in Qatar-added to the Lincoln aircraft carrier, present in the Gulf. On this inflamed background, both parts firmly declare their willingness to avoid conflicts. However, declarations differ from facts, that seem to bring to a dangerous escalation.
Turkey, the result of Istanbul administrative elections has been called off. Since Ekrem Imamoglu (Republican People’s Party candidate) won elections on March 31, becoming Mayor of Istanbul, Turkey Supreme Electoral Commission decided to nullify the elections outcome, planning to hold elections again on June 23. After many accusations coming from President Erdoǧan Party (Akp), the Commission took this decision because some surveyors were not public employees. Many believe that this move sustain the argument concerning the authoritarian turning-point occurred in Turkey in 2016; in the following days, many citizens began to protest. In any case, it was to be expected that Erdoǧan would have refused a similar defeat in Instanbul, the economic and financial centre, where Akp Party has been ruling for sixteen years.
Israel, the short ceasefire with Hamas. Thanks to the mediation activity conducted by Egypt and the United Nations, Israel and Hamas achieved a truce on May 6. Yes, a truce, and it provisionally interrupts the military escalation that was supposed to cause more dramatic consequences. But this temporary disruption of the conflict couldn’t prevent new clashes. In fact some ten people have been wounded by Israeli troops that tried to disperse the crowd standing along the eastern part of the wall, participating in the Protest organised by Hamas to commemorate the 71st Nakba Day (that’s the Day of Catastrophe). For Palestinians May 15 (the Nakba Day) commemorates their exodus ensued from the Foundation of the State of Israel, when their people has been forced to escape their homes. Finally Hamas leadership monitored the protest, in order to maintain the truce.
Vincenzo Battaglia and Federica Sulpizio.
Australia, a freezing country. Even if we can’t say that Australia is a freezing country, but its climate is characterised by hot temperatures, we should make different considerations about the sustainability of development projects. The climate change is affecting this country more than others, and communication networks should be updated (for example, high-speed railway lines don’t exist), but politicians “freeze” before elections campaigns. Nobody warns people about possible developments and everything stops, waiting for somebody who shows the general need to change. So what will be the next step?
United Nations- the Security Decree II violates Human Rights.ONU warns the Italian Government about possible violations of migrants’ and Asylum seekers’ Human Rights (these last benefit from some specific international protections) and that there are victims, or possible victims of arbitrary detention, torture, human trafficking and many other serious violations.
TERRORISM AND INTERNATIONAL SECURITY
Terrorist attack against a Sufi sanctuary in Pakistan. On May 8 a suicide attack has been perpetrated against Pakistan Security Forces that were guarding a Sufi Sanctuary in Lahore. The dead toll signs ten victims, among which five policemen, and twenty injured people. The explosion occurred not far from the Data Darbar Sanctuary (the second most important sanctuary in the town), near a police car parked outside the place of warship.
At the same time, an armed commando gunned a police agent in the North-West of the town. Hib ul Ahar (a terrorist group linked to Pakistan Taliban) claimed responsibility for the attack. The target is meaningful: a Sufi Sanctuary: Sufi are considered disbelievers by radical Islamists. However, Security forces outside the building were the first target, given that the bomb was close to a police car.
900 child soldiers were freed in Nigeria. On 10 May 2019 900 child-soldiers were released, among them at least 100 girls, they were exploited by Pro-Government military group Civilian Join Task Force (CJTF) to fight against Boko Haram, the jihadist terrorist group allied with ISIS. Children released in the city in the North-East ofNigeria, Maiduguri, were between 13 and 19 years old, and they began to fight in 2017 for tht CJTF. They will return to their families, and they’ll receive benefits in accessing instruction and education from the UNICEF child survival and development Programme. Currently 1700 children have been freed thanks to the agreement between CJTF and ONU after more than a year of negotiations. Boko Haram has benn also condemned for using child as suicide bombers.
Burkina Faso, attacks against Christians. On Sunday 12 May a new attack against the Christian community occurred: an armed commando broke in a Church in Dablo –in the north of the country- and gunned the followers inside. The dead toll is up to six victims, including the priest. The following day, a further attack targeted a Marian procession in Singa (in the Northern Burkina Faso), killing four Catholics.
Only three weeks ago some militias attacked the Protestant Church in Silgadji (at the border with Mali) causing another Sunday bloodshed.
As we mentioned in the previous number, during the last years the amount of attacks against Christians in Burkina Faso has heavily increased- it is one of the Sahel countries most exposed to the Jihadist threat. In order to fight against Islamic Terrorism, Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, Ciad and Mauritania made up a regional organisation in 2014: the so-called G5 Sahel. It operatively supported by French troops engaged in the Barkhane operation.
ISIS, a new threat for India? The Amaq news agency, which serves Islamic State, has announced the birth of the so-called Wilayat al-Hind (a Daesh district in India). In the same communicate, ISIS claimed responsibility for an attack perpetrated in the city of Amisphora, in the district of Shopian (the Indian Kashmir). Indian Security Forces denied it, sustaining that it’s just propaganda. However, Daesh’ decision to install its operative headquarters in Kashmir constitutes a well-defined strategy. In particular, after having been defeated in Syria and Iraq, ISIS wants to reorganise itself and expand its influence elsewhere, especially in Asia, and that’s what it’doing: it is necessary to mention ISIS-Khorasan in Afghanistan, single units responsible for attacks in Sri Lanka, the Abu Sayyaf group in Philippines, and Jamaah Ansharut Tauhid in Indonesia. Therefore, the birth of Wilayat al-Hind would cause serious problems, if it was confirmed: either concerning the Indo-Pakistan conflict, or terrorist threat in India and in the whole Asian continent.
Laura Vaccaro Senna and Vincenzo Battaglia.
Framing the World is a project designed and created thanks to a team of Mondo Internazionale associates’ collaboration.
Andrea Maria Vassallo: Eastern Europe and Russian Federation
Federica Sulpizio: Middle East and Northern Africa
Laura Vaccaro Senna: Terrorism and International Security
Leonardo Aldenghi: International Economy and Finance
Marcello Alberizzi: Central Europe; Sub-Saharan Africa
Marta Stroppa: Human Rights
Michele Pavan: America; Oceania; International Organizations
Stefano Sartorio: Asia and Far East; Oceania
Vincenzo Battaglia: Middle East and Northern Africa; Terrorism and International Security.
Translated by Simona Maria Vallefuoco
Original article: https://mondointernazionale.com/framing-the-world-x-numero
Published on 20 May 2019.