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Focus This Week in the World

This Week In The World | 2.4.19

The Editors February 4, 2019

Honduras

Bianca Taipe

Following the first anniversary of President Juan Orlando Hernández’s inauguration, anti-government protests in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, raided the streets. During the 2017 election, Hernández’s opposer, former President, Manuel Zelaya accused Mr. Hernández of electoral fraud. The people of Honduras demand for President Hernández’s resignation, a conservative, pro-U.S. politician. He won the election by a narrow margin. The riots which struck on the 28 of January has led to citizens being gassed and beaten.

Photo: Orlando Sierra/AFP/Getty Images

Brazil

Bianca Taipe

More than 300 people are reported missing following the dam collapse in Brumadinho. The dam released mining waste into Vale’s facilities and the local communities. The dam, owned by Vale, was holding back sludge by-product form iron ore mining. Brazilian police are arresting five people, three of those arrested were officials from Vale. US investors are threatening to file a class action against Vale for failing to inform them about any environmental risks.

Photograph: Nicolo Lanfranch/The Guardian

Israel

Hal Conte

Benny Gantz, a former Israeli Defence Force three-star general, launched a prime ministerial bid under the umbrella of his newly-founded Israeli Resilience Party, which has shot up in the polls following a campaign speech last week. Considered the most serious challenger to current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he has run into criticism on the left for his brash campaign videos bragging about the vast number of Palestinian militants he has killed and from conservatives for declaring himself “neither right nor left,” leading some to accuse him of weakness and capitulation on terrorism.

Europe

Hal Conte

Tens of thousands of youth are skipping school in France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and other West European countries as a demonstration against what they see as a lack of substantial government action on climate change. The movement, inspired by 15-year-old Greta Thunberg of Sweden among others, has drawn attention to the importance of ensuring that responses to climate change resolve issues of economic inequality alongside emissions reductions, in response to the ongoing Yellow Vests protests in France that began as a movement against taxes on fuel justified on environmental grounds. Conducted under the banner of “Fridays for Future,” the protests have included students as young as 12 years old.

Photo: Francisco Seco/Associated Press

Zimbabwe

Hal Conte

A massive, coordinated crackdown in Zimbabwe by President Emmerson Mnangagwa has killed 12 and led to hundreds of detentions as the government has rolled out a series of unpopular fuel taxes and other economic reforms. Mnangawa, who came into office in an election seen by many internationally as suspect, has aroused major opposition from labor union groups, particularly teachers. He has called for a national dialogue and accused opposition groups of breaking the peace. The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, a government-sponsored group, has nonetheless fingered the military for its use of live ammunition and brutal techniques.

United Arab Emirates

By Alice Hakvaag

Pope Francis touched down in the UAE on Sunday, marking the first time a pontiff has visited the country. He was invited by Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan to visit Abu Dhabi for an interfaith conference. He will meet with Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, a grand imam for Sunni Muslims. Last Thursday, the Pope said he was grateful for the opportunity, calling the UAE “a land that is trying to be a model of coexistence.” The UAE is home to about 1 million Catholics, and the Vatican hopes the visit will allow more Catholic resources to enter the country.

Photo: Claudio Peri/AP