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Focus News and Events This Week in the World

This Week in the World | 11.19.18

The Editors November 19, 2018

France
By Alice Hakvaag
Protests have broken out across France, with 280,000 people criticizing President Emmanuel Macron and rising fuel prices. Macron’s government raised the prices of fuel in an effort to encourage cleaner cars, on top of global fuel prices rising as well. Protests turned deadly on Saturday in the Savoy region, where a driver who was trying to get to a hospital struck a protester. Across the country, 227 people were reported injured. In response to the price hike, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said that 2 million more low-income families would receive help to pay their bills.

Japan/Australia
By Alice Hakvaag
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Darwin, Australia on Friday, making him the first Japanese Prime Minister to visit the city since Japan bombed it in World War Two. He was joined by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison at a ceremony honoring 250 Australians that died, as well as 80 Japanese sailors who died in response to the bombing. Morrison said about the visit, “Prime Minister Abe’s visit is deeply symbolic and significant and it will build on our two countries’ strong and enduring friendship.” This is the second such trip for Abe, who visited Pearl Harbor in 2016, making him the first Japanese Prime Minister to visit there as well.

Britain
By Hal ConteEnvironmental activists occupied five bridges in London on Saturday as part of the newly launched “Extinction Rebellion” campaign, leading to 85 arrests. The Extinction Rebellion movement seeks to place a spotlight on global government inaction on climate change and mass extinction, with the stated goal of reducing emissions to zero by 2025 and putting in place a massive mobilization of resources and people to combat catastrophe. Among those at the demonstrations were Green Party members of parliament. Demonstrations were also held in Stockholm, Sweden and New York City on the same day.

Iran
By Hal Conte
The largest sanctions ever placed on Iran were imposed by the U.S. government over the past week, including restrictions on the nation’s oil industry and airlines. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on the country to heel to U.S. demands “if they want their people to eat.” The new sanctions also have led to the country being cut off from SWIFT, the dollar-denominated international finance system. Experts quoted by Al Jazeera English, a Gulf-backed media outlet, said that this will require the country to “barter for food and medicine.” The European Union, China, and Russia have sought to create a system for Iran to make a run around the dollar economy.

Mexico
By Hal Conte
Some 77 members of the Central American migrant caravan, mostly LGBTQ people, have arrived at the U.S. border after they split off following discrimination from within the ranks of the travellers. Solidarity organizations provided the group of refugees with busses after they left the larger group amid verbal abuse. Their early arrival was met with surprise by residents of the small town of Tijuana, Mexico, where they set up shelter.