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This Week in the World

This Week in the World | 4.8.19

The Editors April 8, 2019

Illustration credit: Peter Naktin

Haiti

By Alice Hakvaag

This year marks the sixth year for the annual Haiti Fashion Week, something that has been making waves in fashion communities around the world. Michel Chataigne, a designer and coordinator for the event, says that, “designers from Italy, Paris, and the US come to see the shows and take part.” The event was founded after the 2010 earthquake, after designers were invited to the Bahamas for a fashion show. Haiti’s fashion industry has been historically low-budget fashion that is easy for sweatshops to turn out in high demand, but designers like Chataigne, David André, and Vladimir Aneas are bringing new designs and high end fashion with distinct Haitian inspiration to the fashion world at large.

Photo: Haiti Fashion Week

Rwanda

By Alice Hakvaag

Sunday marked the 25th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide that killed 800,000 Tutsis, about a tenth of the country’s population, in about 100 days. President Paul Kagame lit a ceremonial flame in the capital city of Kigali, along with several other diplomats from neighboring African countries and Europe. Students silently marched through the capital, and the day culminated with speeches from the President and survivors. Kagame spoke to the country’s path to healing, praising the Tutsi survivors’ “resiliency and bravery.” The country will remain in mourning for the next 100 days.

Photo: Ben Curtis/AP

Algeria

By Alice Hakvaag

Protests have entered their seventh week in the Algerian capital, with protestors not stopping the protest even after Tuesday’s announcement that sitting President Abdelaziz Bouteflika would step down. Protestors have said they do not want anyone associated with the former president taking over, which includes the current parliament speaker, who would be next in line. Despite protests lasting several weeks, there has been no violence, something the younger-skewing protesters are proud of. They hope to not only have Bouteflika resign, but two other top officials as well as dismantling a political system that they say was abused by businessmen and military officials.

Photo: Omar Havana/Al Jazeera

India

By Hal Conte

The Indian National Congress unveiled its 15-point election manifesto as its leader Rahul Gandhi prepares for a tough battle against right-wing populist incumbent Narendra Modi. The program includes what the party claims to be the world’s largest minimum income program, with 250 million to receive money from the state each month. The party’s critics in the Modi administration claim that the proposal follows an alleged trend of what they see as empty anti-poverty rhetoric by Congress. The program also promises to repeal colonial-era laws on sedition and torture as well as crack down on media monopolies which observers say has turned much of the Indian press into pro-Modi propaganda. Congress is behind in the polls and may likely rely on coalition partners if it is to come back into power next month.

Photo: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

Saudi Arabia

By Hal Conte

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos accused the Saudi Arabian government of hacking his phone and using its close relationship with the Trump-friendly National Enquirer tabloid to publish text messages between the mogul and his mistress. Bezos, who owns the Washington Post and has worked with the CIA, made his conclusion after a private investigation. The Post until last year employed Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist who was murdered last year under circumstances which U.S. intelligence agencies and independent media alike considered to be likely the work of the Saudi government.

Geneva

By Hal Conte

A World Trade Organization meeting aimed at revitalizing the nascent international body by focusing on e-commerce has drawn criticism from hundreds of civil society organizations in countries ranging from Finland to Guinea for fostering the monopolization and privatization of global cultural products in the hands of Western multinational corporations like Google and Amazon. They also allege that the rules, which call for the free flow of data, are likely to compromise privacy rights and restrict democratic governments from regulating tech giants. Business proponents of the e-commerce talks say that they would aid small businesses and create a consistent set of rules on social media and digital trade.

Photo: Shole_world/flickr/cc