The Economist

(Steven Felgate) #1
The EconomistJuly 21 st 2018 5


President Donald Trump of
America and President Vladi-

mir Putin of Russia met in
Helsinki the capital ofFinland
fortheir first-ever summit. The
bulkofthe meetingwas con-
ducted without officials pre-

sent leadingto much confu-
sion. In their press conference
the two men praised each
other and appeared to be in
broad agreement. Mr Trump

even exonerated Mr Putin of
interferingin America’s elec-
tion in defiance ofhis own
country’s intelligence assess-

ments. However in subse-
quent days he appeared to
change his mind.

America’s Department of

Justice charged 12 Russian
intelligence officers with hack-
ingDemocraticofficials in the
presidential election of 2016.
The indictment was the first by

American officials to directly
charge Russia’s government
with meddlingin the poll.

In an unrelated case a Russian
woman Maria Butina ap-
peared before a court in Wash-
ington DC accused oftrying
to influence American politics

as a spy for Russia. She alleg-
edly courted Republican-
supportinglobby groups such
as the National Rifle Associa-

tion under the direction of a
senior Russian official.

Look down

Pakistan’s former prime min-
ister Nawaz Sharif returned to
his countryto begin serving a
ten-year prison sentence. Last
year he had been disqualified

from holdingoffice bythe
country’s Supreme Court in a
graft case. His arrival added to
tensions ahead ofa forth-

comingelection. On the same
daya suicide-bomberkilled
over 140 people at a political
rallyin the south-western
province ofBalochistan.

At a summit with the EU
China’s prime minister Li
Keqiang spoke in conciliatory
tones about his country’s trade
war with America. China has
been rallyingsupport from
foreign powers in the face of
new American tariffs. But Mr
Li said China did not want any
country let alone America
excluded from a reformed
multilateral tradingsystem.

The HongKongNational Party
which supports independence
forthe city from mainland
China faces possible closure
under the Societies Ordinance
a colonial-era law which has
neverbefore been used to ban
such a group. Becominga
member of the party acting on
its behalf or raisingfunds for
the organisation would be-
come illegal. Officials in Hong
Kong have said the party
should be banned “in the
interests ofnational security”.

I dreamed a dream

France beat Croatia 4 - 2 in a
football match in Moscow to
win the World Cup. The coun-
try lastwon the accolade in
1998 when the tournament
was held in Paris. Football fans
partied on the streets in cities
across France. In Paris the
celebrations were marred by
two deaths and violence that
left shop windows smashed.

In a mixed weekfor Theresa
May Britain’s prime minister
Parliament narrowly rejected
an amendmentto trade legisla-
tion that could have forced the
countryto stayin the EU’s
customsunion. Ifit had

passed it would have plunged
herBrexit strategy into chaos
and could have caused the
collapse ofhergovernment.
Earlierin the weekshe had
caved into demands bya
group of hard-Brexit support-
ing MPs that appeared to con-
tradict her own government’s
policyon leavingthe EU.

Master of the house
John Magufuli the president
of Tanzania said that his
rulingpartywill be “in power
forever for eternity”. Under Mr
Magufuli the countryhas
become increasinglyautocrat-
ic. He has ordered that preg-
nant girls be expelled from
schools and recentlycalled for
prisoners to be kicked and
made to work“day and night”
ifthey are deemed to be lazy.

The number ofmigrants cross-
ingthrough Niger to reach
Europe fell by 95 % in 2017 said
Antonio Tajani the president
ofthe European Parliament.
Niger had been one ofthe
main transit routes acrossthe
Sahara used byas manyas
330 000 people in 2016 to
reach Libya and then cross the
Mediterranean Sea to Europe.

Avideo emerged purportingto
showsoldiers from Camer-
oon killingunarmed women
and children accused ofbeing
members ofBoko Haram a
jihadist group.

Iran petitioned the Interna-
tional Court ofJustice over the
“unlawful reimposition of
unilateral sanctions” by Amer-
ica followingits withdrawal
from the Iran nucleardeal
earlier this year.

Thousands of Iraqis tookto
the streets over the country’s
poorservices and infrastruc-
ture. At least eight people have

been killed scores wounded
and some government build-
ings were burned. The riots
come more than two months
after a disputed parliamentary
election. Authorities are still

Israel carried out its biggest
round ofair strikes in Gaza
since 2014. Binyamin Netanya-
hu’s government is under
pressure to stop the near-daily
waves of flamingkites that
have burned thousands of
acres in southern Israel. Egypt
is tryingto brokera truce.

Separately Israel’s parliament
the Knesset passed a contro-
versial bill declaringthe coun-
try to be the nation state of the
Jewish people. The bill re-
moves Arabicas an official
language and is seen as dis-
criminatory against Israeli-
Arabs who make up around a
fifth ofthe population.

Do you hear the people sing
Police and paramilitaries in
Nicaragua killed ten prot-
esters after a countrywide
general strike. The protesters
want President Daniel Ortega
a formerguerrilla leader to
agree to earlyelections. Hu-
man-rights groups say 300
people have died in the prot-
ests thus far.

Andrés Manuel López Obra-
dor a charismaticpopulist
who was elected Mexico’s
president earlierthis month is
consideringthe decriminalisa-
tion ofdrugs. Mexico’s war on
drugs is estimated to have cost
the lives ofaround 150 000
people since it began in 2006.

The United States is suing
Canada and several other
countries at the World Trade
Organisation for retaliating
against MrTrump’s tariffs on
steel and aluminium.

Police in Brazil are searching
for a celebrityplastic surgeon
who has gone on the run after
a woman to whom he gave
died. Dr Denis Furtado nick-
named “Dr Bumbum” has
appeared frequentlyon Brazil-
ian television and has 650 000
followers on Instagram.


The world this week

Free download pdf