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This Week in the World

This Week in the World | 4.15.19

The Editors April 15, 2019

Illustration credit: Peter Naktin

Italy

By Hal Conte

Julius Caesar Mussolini, great-grandson of the infamous Italian dictator and founder of fascism Benito Mussolini, is running for election to the European Parliament. He’s running as a deputy for the Brothers of Italy party, at a time when the country’s political scene is dominated by anti-establishment and populist candidates. In an interview with the Times of London, Mussolini spread disinformation on supposed payments of 100 Euro payments on refugees and has described himself as a “non-ideological” fascist. Currently, Mussolini’s granddaughter Alessandra, an ex-nude model, sits in the parliament and recently engaged in a spat with artist Jim Carrey over a painting depicting the death of the Hitler-aligned 20th century leader.

Photo: Ivan Romano/Getty Images

Sudan

By Hal Conte

Protest movements against longtime Islamist ruler President Omar Hassan al-Bashir sparked by low food and social cuts have escalated amid clashes with heavily armed military police. al-Bashir is officially wanted by the International Criminal Court for genocide. Notably, there is a high volume of female protesters, as seen through activists’ social media. Multiple deaths have occurred among government and opposition forces, with protestors demonstrating around state buildings while watching football games on giant TV screens for entertainment. The movement in Sudan has been seen as part of an Arab Spring-like region-wide push against aged and repressive leaders, with protests in Algeria also sparking similar demonstrations in Tunisia.

Photo: Lana H. Haroun

Germany

By Hal Conte

Berlin residents have ramped up demands for a solution to the city’s out-of-control surge in rent prices, with thousands assembling in the streets requesting that the state government expropriate 200,000 apartments for use as affordable housing. Such a move has been backed by the Left Party, the successor party to the East German communists, in a U-turn after it and the Social Democrats supported the mass privatisation of housing in the 2000s. 85% of Berliners rent their homes and developers, including those from overseas, have increased in recent years. Critics of the protests from the center-right parties initially attempted to describe the plan as unconstitutional but have since pivoted to describing it as inspired by 20th century communism.

Photo: REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

Malta

By Alice Hakvaag

The Alan Kurdi, a ship carrying 64 Libyan refugees, has been allowed to let their passengers enter Malta after being stranded for two weeks. It originally attempted to dock in Italy, but they were turned away. The Maltese government has made it very clear that the immigrants will not be staying in Malta, but instead will be relocated to Germany, France, Luxembourg, and Portugal. “A solution was found in order not to let the situation deteriorate further while making it clear Malta cannot keep shouldering this burden.”

Ecuador

By Alice Hakvaag

Julian Assange, famous intelligence whistleblower and founder of Wikileaks, was removed from the Ecuadorian embassy on Friday. He had been living there for several years, avoiding spying charges from the US and sexual assault charges from Sweden. Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno announced his expulsion on Twitter, citing unhygienic conduct and violations of rules set on his online activity. British law enforcement came in and took Assange out, saying they would be extraditing him to the United States to face charges there.

Photo: Peter Nicholls/Reuters