Weekly Reports — CANVAS

Weekly Reports

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CANVAS produces a weekly report on several countries where nonviolent resistance can play an important role in confronting challenges to democracy. 

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Weekly Report 12 December, 2019

Weekly Report 12 December, 2019

Malaysia 

Malaysia will proceed with criminal charges against Goldman Sachs due to the losses caused by Goldman Sachs in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal. The losses amount to US$7.5bil (RM31.19bil) from Goldman Sachs alone, which is disputed by a Bloomberg report that speculates Goldman Sachs will ultimately pay less than US$2bil. Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad recently told Reuters in an interview that Malaysia would prefer to avoid going to court, but only if a reasonable offer could be agreed upon. 

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Mohamad announced that he would hand over power to anointed successor Anwar Ibrahim in spite of new sexual assault allegations against him. The world’s oldest Prime Minister at 94 years old, Mohamad told Reuters that he would not hand over before a summit of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) countries that Malaysia will host in November of 2020. Ibrahim, 72, has been jailed twice on separate counts of sodomy and for corruption. 

North Korea 

This week, US-North Korean relations have further deteriorated as North Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Ri Thae Song threatened the United States. The minister confirmed the possibility of North Korea resuming long-range missile tests, as well as shared how “it is entirely up to the US what Christmas gift it will select”. North Korea insists that if the US does not change its position on nuclear negotiations the North will retaliate. So far, the US has not capitulated and maintains its position on nuclear negotiations.

Hong Kong

On Wednesday, a probe composed of foreign experts that was delegated to objectively investigate police brutality in Hong Kong abruptly quit, citing failure to agree on a formal process with the  Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC). The commission, which serves as a police watchdog, lacks the powers necessary “to meet the standards citizens of Hong Kong would likely require” in a society that “values freedom and rights”, according to the experts. The decision by the foreign panel to quit is likely to heighten protesters’ demands for an independent probe, and increase public distrust of government institutions. 

Libya 

This week, an Al Jazeera correspondent interviewed Libyan families who had been displaced by the eight-month-long conflict between Tripoli’s Government of National Accord and Haftar’s Lybian National Army. The family that the correspondent interviewed is just one of 130,000 others who had been displaced during the conflict. The interviewees spoke of the housing crisis in Tripoli and the harsh living conditions they had been forced into. Many families are demanding that the Tripoli government provide them with compensation for their lost homes. The government has yet to meet their demands. 

Sudan

A methane surge has been detected in South Sudan by researchers from Edinburgh University, UK. According to their studies,  a big jump in emissions coming from the wetlands of South Sudan could be responsible for at least part of the recent growth in methane (CH4) levels in the atmosphere. A potent greenhouse gas, Methane is increasing its concentration in the atmosphere and thereby exacerbating the climate crisis. 

This week, the U.S. placed sanctions on 5 South Sudanese nationals for their alleged roles in the abduction and execution of two prominent critics of President Salva Kiir’s government nearly three years ago. The South Sudanese government has consistently denied responsibility for the disappearance of human rights lawyer Dong Samuel Luak and Aggrey Idri, a member of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO). However, a U.N. panel of experts said it verified evidence strongly, which informed the U.S. treasury’s decision. 

Iran

This week, the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced the government’s $39bn budget plan aimed to combat harsh US sanctions; he coined the budget plan a “budget of resistance”. In May of last year, the US imposed strict sanctions on Iranian oil, which led to economic turmoil with inflation of over 40%. In turn, the economic downfall caused months of deadly protests throughout Iran as protesters challenged the rise in fuel costs. Rouhani shared the budget would “announce to the world that despite sanctions we will manage the country, especially in terms of oil.” He aims for his budget to aid Iran in overcoming economic difficulties and ease public unrest. 

Iraq 

Two powerful Iraqi tribes from the South of Iraq have decided to fill the government and security vacuum left by the past two months of violence and unrest. According to tribal leader Oday Sharshaab al Badour, people in the south of Iraq have completely “lost trust in the government”. Seeing as parliament members from the southern Iraqi province have resigned and local councils have dissolved, the local leaders see no choice but to assume leadership. The leaders have formed a joint statement demanding the resignation of parliament and early elections. In the statement, the leaders wrote: “We stand with the demonstrators and their legitimate demands. We denounce anyone from security forces who had a hand in the bloodshed”. Though security forces have recently claimed a new, calmer state, demonstrators interviewed across the country are still sharing reports of violence and clashes. 

Lebanon 

This week, former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who resigned recently to appease protesters, asked for international help to finance the country’s imports. Currently, Lebanon is facing its “worst economic crisis in decades”. This economic crisis is what triggered the now two-month-long protests throughout the nation, in which protesters called for the complete overthrow and restructure of government. However, it has been made clear that international aid will come with its own list of demands. International support seems to be tied to the new restructured government that is expected to take shape. 

Zimbabwe 

This week, the World Food Programme has pledged to double the number of people it will provide emergency food to in Zimbabwe. According to a United Nations study, nearly half of the country’s 14 million population are suffering from severe hunger. Amid a call for increased funding to its donors, WFP Executive Director David Beasley said in an emailed statement “We’re deep into a vicious cycle of sky-rocketing malnutrition that’s hitting women and children hardest and will be tough to break . . . with poor rains forecast yet again in the run-up to the main harvest in April, the scale of hunger in the country is going to get worse before it gets better”. 

Nicaragua 

A Nicaraguan judge has ruled that 16 opposition activists will be tried for weapon charges. The opposition activists were arrested when delivering water to protesters participating in a hunger strike. Police claimed to have found weapons at the site of the hunger strike and accused the individuals who brought water to the protesters of “illegally transporting arms”. The activists deny the accusations and maintain they solely brought water to the hunger strikers. The Nicaraguan Human Rights Center has criticized the judge’s ruling, calling the process “tainted”. 

Bolivia

This week, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) called for an investigation into human rights abuses committed in Bolivia after the controversial October election. Weeks after the election and Evo Morales’ resignation in early November, violent clashes between police and protestors have prompted international concern. In its initial report, published on Tuesday, the IACHR said it had found “strong indications of human rights violations, with profound repercussions for the life of Bolivian society”. Bolivia’s interim government, led by Jeanine Anez, has disputed the report, stating that “The Ministry of the Presidency considers that this is an unfair report that has not evaluated everything that happened during the events in November”. According to the report, 36 people have been killed in the post-election violence.

Weekly Report December 6th, 2019

Weekly Report December 6th, 2019

Myanmar

Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi has flown to The Hague for legal hearings, as she faces genocide charges in the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Suu Kyi has been accused of orchestrating an offensive with security forces and local Buddhists that systematically killed Rohingya Muslims and forced a large portion of the population to flee. The lawsuit was filed by the largely Islamic Gambia, as a show of religious solidarity with the Rohingya community in Myanmar. Suu Kyi has denied the allegations of genocidal intent and will be attending the hearings in hopes of refuting the conclusions drawn by the international community.

Vietnam

This week, the The Global Climate Risk Index 2020 (CRI) report noted that Vietnam’s position in terms of climate risk has worsened, moving from 9th place in 2018 to 6th place in 2019. The measure of the global vulnerability ladder is supplemented by Vietnam’s increase in extreme weather events over the last decade. With a reported 226 extreme weather events, killing on average 285.80 people per year and causing annual economic losses of US$2 billion per year, the report painted a grim picture for Vietnam’s future at this week’s 25th Conference of the Parties (COP25) in Madrid. 

Malaysia

The People’s Justice Party (PKR) of Malaysia has continued to shown signs of fracture, as fights during the PKR Youth Congress were taken to the street this Friday. Though there was a ceasefire between rival groups in the party,  the Youth Congress event saw high levels of hostility within the organization. The fight outside of the political convention resulted in one person needing medical attention. As tensions escalate, it is likely that the party will split.

North Korea

This Tuesday, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un unveiled a new town near Mount Paektu. This town will be able to house 4,000 families and offers a ski slope and a new stadium. However, the building of the town has sparked controversy, because “forced labour is said to have gone into the construction of Samjiyon.”  

Hong Kong

A large-scale march has been planned in Hong Kong for Sunday, 8th. On Thursday, police allowed the Civil Rights Front, the group that organized the massive protests from this past summer, to formally organize the march. Hong Kong’s police commissioner Chris Tang also urged citizens to continue to demonstrate peacefully, and continue the lull of violence from the past week. However,  Tang has travelled this week to meet with senior officials from the ministry of public security in Beijing and is expected to return to Hong Kong on Sunday. 

The Chinese government announced this week that the United States navy and Air-force would not be permitted to operate in Hong Kong in retaliation for Washington’s recent adoption of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act — legislation that supports pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.  According to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying, Beijing urges the U.S. to “correct its mistake and stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs”. The press statement was released on state-run media outlet Xinhua

Libya

This week, Greece has announced it will be “expelling the Libyan ambassador to the country”. Their reasoning for doing so is behind their disagreement of the Libyan-Turkish agreement “over offshore energy exploration”. They claim this agreement infringes on their sovereignty and their rights to the Aegean Sea. Alongside Greece, Egypt and Cyprus have also claimed the agreement is illegal. 

Sudan

This week, 23 people have died and 130 others were injured in a ceramics factory fire in Khartoum. The fire is said to have started when a gas tank exploded. The fire spread easily throughout the factory, because “there were inflammable materials improperly stored.”  

Also this week, leading public figures in Sudan sent a letter to President Trump urging him to remove Sudan from the terror list. President of the Sudanese Doctors Union Sara Abdigalil, one of the signatories of the letter,  shared how “things have changed”. She believes Sudan should not be punished for the actions of their ousted leader Omar al-Bashir. With the removal of Sudan from the terror list and the subsequent lifting of sanctions, Sudan will no longer be hindered in their economic progress. 

Iran

According to U.S. intelligence, the Iranian state has been secretly building a hidden arsenal of short-range ballistic missiles in Iraq. Military officials stated this week that the weapon’s transfer is an attempt to intimidate the Middle East and counter emerging U.S. military presence in the region; since May, President Trump has sent over 14,000 troops to the region. The stockpiling also represents a failure of U.S. efforts to contain Iran’s influence in the region, at the likely expense of its allies such as Israel and Saudi Arabia. Iraq’s recent protests, which highlighted the public’s discontent with Iranian influence within the country, seem to have occurred simultaneously with the weapons transfer. According to U.S. Secretary of State officials, over 1,000 people were reportedly killed in the recent protests, though recent reports from mainstream news outlets such as the BBC have placed casualties at around 400. 

Iraq 

At least fifteen people were stabbed in Baghdad this week during clashes with pro-Iran protestors. A large group of men carrying flags and boasting the insignia of the Hashad al-Shaabi group (an armed, Shia-majority militia) attacked the demonstrators in Tahrir Square. The square has been the epicenter of peaceful protest since demonstrations started in Iraq. Many have speculated that the group of men were working on behalf of the government in an attempt to create divides within the movement. 

Syria

This Monday, at least 10 people have been killed and 18 others wounded in air raids perpetrated by the Syrian government. The air raids were targeting towns controlled by rebels: Maaret al-Numan and Saraqeb. In these towns the Syrian government’s raids targeted vegetable markets. Furthermore, on Twitter the Civil Defence shared that “the attacks came at a time when the markets were at their busiest”. These deaths add to Syria’s civilian death tally of more than 1,000 since late April. 

Lebanon

The Lebanese Presidency announced this week that parliamentary consultations to form a new government in Lebanon will begin next Monday, after Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned on October 29th in response to the anti-government protests. However, demonstrators have rejected Samir Khatib, the latest frontrunner for Prime Minister, as government formation negotiations persist. Khatib has been criticized by the public has being “too close to the ruling elite”, as he is the head of a large contracting and construction company. Protesters demand the complete removal of the current political class and have insisted on a government dominated by technocrats, despite the will of current Sunni, Shia and Maronite leaders in government. 

Zimbabwe

Following shocking discoveries of widespread food insecurity in Zimbabwe, the United Nations has pledged to deliver food aid to 4.1 million people in the country. The agency will be procuring food from all over the world in an attempt to offset economic devastation, which has been worsened by extreme draught. Though the Zimbabwean people are struggling, the government has banned protests of any kind and has made efforts to consolidate power in the nation. 

Cuba

This Monday, Venezuela and Cuba were accused by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for aiming to “hijack” Latin American protests in Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile and Colombia. Furthermore, Pompeo accused Venezuela and Cuba of attempting to arouse unrest. In a statement Pompeo shared, “we will work with legitimate governments to prevent protests from morphing into riots and violence that don’t reflect the democratic will of the people.” 

Venezuela

On Wednesday, a survey released indicated that Interim President Juan Guaidó – who is considered the legitimate president of Venezuela in dozens of countries – has lost significant popularity among the Venezuelan people. According to the survey from Meganálisis, just 10% of those surveyed still “believe, trust and support” Guaidó. The results of the survey therefore place Guaidó and Maduro at equal standing in the eyes of the public. The survey of 1,580 people was conducted from Nov. 25 through Dec. 2 and has a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percent. 

Nicaragua 

Human Rights Watch reported this week that press freedom remains under attack in Nicaragua, saying that “the Ortega regime has retained 100% Noticias equipment and kept the channel off the air. Journalists continue to face harassment and death threats from pro-government groups. Some have faced physical attacks and assaults”. As the Ortega regime continues to consolidate power and limit freedoms, the United States has taken steps to pressure the administration. U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, announced that the trading giant would be implementing sanctions in aims of holding Ortega accountable. 

Bolivia

With more than 30 protesters dead after weeks of turmoil and unrest, Bolivia is now entering a “tense calm”. The calm has come after Bolivia’s Interim President called for new elections. However, despite this recent calming of tensions, Bolivia’s indigenous populations are fearful of setbacks.  Under Morales’ 14 year rule, poverty lessened dramatically among Bolivia’s indigenous populations. Now these populations, which make up 40% of Bolivia’s total population, fear progress will stop. 

Russia

Vladimir Putin and Angela Merkel are scheduled to meet in Paris on Monday to discuss the murder of  Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, a former Chechen rebel, in Berlin this August. According to Germany’s head prosecutor, the killing was committed by a suspected Russian contracted assassin, and ordered by either Russian authorities or its Chechen republic. On Wednesday, Chancellor Merkel stated at a news conference that the recent expulsion of Russian diplomats was in response to the Kremlin’s refusal to aid in ongoing investigations into the murder, and that she will discuss the issue with President Putin in Paris.  

United States

This Monday, a 16-year-old Guatemalan boy died while under US immigration custody. The boy had shared early Sunday morning he was not feeling well and a nurse assessed his health. The nurse found that the boy had Influenza A and recommended that he should be regularly checked in on and sent to the emergency room if his condition worsened. The boy was then placed in isolation to avoid any spread of his illness. The next day, he was found dead. A video released reveals Border Patrol failed to check in on the boy. He was left for hours on the floor after collapsing before anyone took notice. This tragic incident speaks to highlight the often cruel treatment of individuals in US immigration custody. 

Weekly Report November 29th, 2019

Weekly Report November 29th, 2019

Myanmar

This Tuesday, Myanmar’s military began a court martial to try soldiers accused of committing atrocities during a crackdown on Rohingya Muslims, according to an Army spokesperson. Myanmar prepares to face genocide charges at an international court in The Hague within the next month. Occurring in 2017 and resulting in a mass influx of Rohingya refugees into neighboring Bangladesh, the military crackdown has been labeled by the UN as “executed with genocidal intent”. Under investigation will be soldiers, police and local Buddhists that allegedly razed hundreds of villages in the Rakhine State. 

Cambodia

The Cambodian Prime Minister, Hun Sen, has responded positively to diplomatic efforts by the Trump administration. Hun Sen accepted an invitation to the United States for a meeting of Southeast Asian countries and agreed to promote talks between Cambodia and the United States. Additionally, Hun Sen also appeared with the Trump administration’s push for democracy in the region, following a trend of increased liberty in Cambodia in the past few weeks. Despite improvement in freedoms, Hun Sen still intends to rule until 2028 and remains a stringent leader; many see his alleged efforts to foster democracy and human rights as a show to maintain trade relations with democratic countries. 

Thailand

Thailand confirmed that mandatory conscription in the country will not be abolished due to low numbers of volunteers. The current conscription system targets men over the age of 21 and uses an annual lottery to pick servicemen. Public opinion concerning the system has been unfavorable, but the latest statement from the Thai Deputy PM indicates that conscription will continue. 

Laos

The Laos economy has been steadily growing since its initial launch of public companies in Laos Stock Exchange 10 years ago. Now having 11 Laotian companies trading in the stock exchange, the country has seen significant financial growth and has implemented a policy of transparency and neutrality in trading. Growth is expected to continue as the nation aims to add more public companies to its stock exchange. 

Vietnam

The bodies of 16 Vietnamese found dead in Essex this October were returned to Vietnam this Wednesday. The victims were flown to Hanoi’s Airport, and will be taken by ambulance to their family homes. The lorry driver, 25 year old Maurice Robinson, has admitted to assisting in illegal immigration, while investigations are under way in both the UK and Vietnam. Though relatives were encouraged by authorities to opt for ashes “to ensure speed, low cost and sanitation safety”, many paid more for the bodies to carry out traditional burials, as cremation is rare in the Vietnam countryside. The Vietnamese government has issued loans to the families of the victims. 

Malaysia

This month, Malaysia’s economic growth “grew at its slowest pace in a year”. The reasoning for this slow growth is because of faltering exports in the wake of the US-China trade war. Still, Malaysia is the third-largest economy in Southeast Asia. A statement from Malaysia’s central bank, Bank Negara, suggested they are unconcerned with the growth slow, sharing the “growth is expected to be within projections in 2019 and the pace sustained going into 2020”. 

North Korea

North Korea has described US democratic candidate Joe Biden as a “rabid dog” after his campaign release that condemned Trump’s foreign policy. In the campaign, Biden criticized Trump’s tendency of praising “dictators and tyrants”, while pushing aside US allies. The campaign then showed an image of North Korean leader Kim and Trump meeting at the in Singapore at their first summit. Trump has responded to Biden’s criticism by sharing Biden “is actually somewhat better than that.” 

Hong Kong

China has responded angrily to U.S. President Donald Trump’s signing of legislation that attempts to defend protesters in Hong Kong. The signing of the bill, the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019, was met with enthusiasm by pro-democracy protesters in the region, who recently made more concrete steps towards democracy with local elections. The Hong Kong elections saw overwhelming support for pro-democracy candidates and a clear aversion to pro-Beijing candidates. Chinese media outlets in mainland China attempted to downplay the results of the elections, after the Chinese government’s hope for a silent majority of Beijing supporters was crushed by voting outcomes. Some media outlets ignored the elections altogether, while others accused the United States of interference. 

Libya

This week, Senior US officials met with Khalifa Haftar, the Libyan renegade general, in an effort to stop his offensive in Tripoli. The US state department also announced that they believe Russia to be “exploiting the conflict.” The aim of this meeting was to initiate “steps to achieve a suspension of hostilities and a political resolution to the Libyan conflict”.  Russia has yet to comment on the recent US accusation concerning Russian influence and exploitation of Libya.

Iran

After a week-long internet blackout, Iranian citizens can now access digital services again – however, the damage done to Iran’s virtual economy seems to be extensive. The blackout, imposed by the Iranian government, disrupted daily routines, postponed university application plans and dealt a blow to the bottom lines of many businesses. Currently, the damage to business is unclear after being barred from global infrastructure for 7 days. Though Tehran is on the verge of containing the violent protests, which claimed over 300 lives, intelligence agencies have indicated that Iranians are questioning the legitimacy of the regime and its Islamic revolutionary values instilled in 1979. With parliamentary elections set for February, Iranian officials fear a mass boycott of voters that will further delegitimize the status quo.  

Syria

This week, the United States military has resumed large scale operations against ISIS in Northeastern Syria. Though President Trump ordered for a full withdrawal of American troops, nearly 500 troops still remain and are expected to be engaged in active combat for the foreseeable future. Though ISIS leader al-Baghdadi was killed by U.S. forces, intelligence agencies have reported that ISIS fighters in Northeastern Syria have regrouped. Last Friday, American soldiers and hundreds of Syrian Kurdish fighters, previously abandoned by the Trump Administration in the face of a Turkish invasion, reunited to conduct a large-scale operation against ISIS fighters in the Deir- al-Zour province, 120 miles south of the Turkish border. According to the Defense Intelligence Agency report published this week, the death of al-Baghdadi would probably have “little effect” on the Islamic State’s ability to regroup. 

Zimbabwe

A UN envoy to Zimbabwe released a statement this week claiming that over 60% of Zimbabweans suffer from food insecurity, placing the country on the brink of man-made starvation. The current situation comes as a result of an economy crippled by hyperinflation, a period of extreme drought and the failure of government programs as a result of corruption. Though high numbers of food insecurity were expected, the figures shocked the UN envoy, who claim that the crisis will only worsen. Additionally, various senior doctors in the nation have stepped down as the doctors’ strike continues for the fourth consecutive month. 

Iraq

Iraqi security forces have killed at least 45 protesters in Najaf after demonstrators stormed the Iranian consulate and set it alight. The killings come a day after the shootings of 29 people in Nassiriya and 4 people in Baghdad; many people ignored city-wide curfews to mourn the bloodshed. Protests continue in the region despite the violent crackdown of government forces and the deployment of military to the south of Iraq.  

Cuba

This Tuesday, new sanctions were imposed on Corporacion Panamericana SA. Sanctions were imposed by the Trump administration, because the company was accused of evading Venezuela-related sanctions. In an effort of backing the newly imposed sanctions, US Treasury Secretary Justin Muzinich shared that “Cuba has played a direct role in preventing the return of democracy to Venezuela.” The US hopes that by imposing sanctions on Cuban companies evading Venezuela-related sanctions, Nicolas Maduro will be squeezed from power. 

Nicaragua 

The Ortega regime has awarded 70 loyalists and security personnel for the repression of protesting civilians. Described as “peace-loving”, many of the individuals chosen for the award were involved in the killings of at least 328 demonstrators in the past year and a half. The award ceremony comes shortly after Ortega decided to enhance security measures in response to unrest in Bolivia. 

Sudan

Sudan has repealed a public order law from the al-Bashir era that dictated the way women acted and dressed. The law had previously allowed law enforcement personnel to punish women for the way they acted in social situations and for what they choose to wear. The repeal was seen as the first step in correcting a hugely discriminatory legal system put in place by the al-Bahsir regime, and appears to be a continuation in efforts to foster equal opportunities for men and women in Sudan.

Venezuela

Despite the financial crisis in Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro reportedly sent over $900 million in oil to Cuba this year, according to a top U.S. diplomat Elliott Abrams. Abrams stated that Maduro has the funds to alleviate the shortages of food and medicine that have ravaged the country, but has instead opted to pay debts to Russia and China, while continuing to supply Cuba with oil as Venezuela’s main regional ally. In total, Maduro has sent over $4 billion to foreign governments in 2019 alone. 

On Tuesday, a Miami investment manager Gustavo Hernandez Frieri plead guilty to participating in a $1.2 billion money laundering scheme with Venezuelan businessmen connected to Nicolas Maduro. The indictment charged against him last year also named seven other defendants, most of whom are still fugitives. Hernandez is accused of helping launder at least $12 million that prosecutors say was paid in bribes to one former senior official in Venezuela’s national oil company, PDVSA. 

Lebanon

This week, Lebanon enters its third night of violent protests after nearly three weeks of mostly peaceful demonstrations. Many individuals who once supported the anti-government protests have been swayed to support Hezbollah and the Amal movement after the Hezbollah leader condemned the protests and called for its end. With the Hezbollah leader’s  condemnation, the once largely inclusive protests began to show divisions and violence eventually sparked between protesters. Many fear the violence may lead to another civil war

Bolivia

On Sunday, interim President Anez signed a law that requires new presidential elections to take place. This law not only has the backing of Anez’s party, but also is backed by former President Morales’ party. The law also symbolizes a return to normalcy in Bolivia after weeks of deadly protests from anti-Morales’ protesters and protesters supportive of Morales.  

Russia

Russia has seen a 2.2% growth in their economy last month when compared to the year before. This economic growth may be attributed to President Putin’s 13 projects proposed in 2018. These projects range from from education, healthcare and infrastructure. In all, $406bn is expected to be spent on the 13 projects. However, there is still uncertainty on the private sectors roll in these state funded projects. Many also claim that this economic growth is not sustainable and will lesson in the coming months. 

The United States

This Wednesday, review boards for three Navy SEALs were cancelled that could have stripped them of their SEAL status. The SEALs were superiors to Edward Gallagher, who was convicted of posing for a photo with a dead ISIS fighter in Iraq and accused of murdering a prisoner of war, though he was ultimately acquitted of the latter. In total, Gallagher faced nearly a dozen charges for allegedly opening fire on civilians during a deployment to Iraq, and threatening fellow SEALs who wanted to report his actions. This week, President Trump ordered the reversal of the Navy’s demotion of Gallagher, resulting in the firing of Navy Secretary Richard Spencer as he refused to restore Gallagher’s full rank. The decision to cancel review boards for Gallagher’s superiors was made by the chief of naval operations, Admiral Michael Gilday, and Acting Secretary of the Navy, Thomas Modly, who was named to the job earlier this week.