The large quantities of relevant news that have been occurring domestically have caused some of the international events to get short shrift. Here are some quick pieces to bring everyone who hasn’t been following world events up to speed:
ISRAEL: Netanyahu is still Prime Minister and new elections are set for early March. What is drawing attention these days are his corruption charges. As expected, he has sought immunity from prosecution of those charges. His immunity is in the process of being stripped away, however, with the final decision on that front expected to take place next week, as explained by the Jerusalem Post.
GREAT BRITAIN: Brexit is due at the end of the month. Some decisions have been finalized, some have not. A key decision, announced today, is that non-UK citizens currently living and working in the UK will not be immediately deported. Another key decision, announced on Tuesday, is that the UK will not allow “indyref2”, a demand by Scotland for an independence vote which would allow that country entry back into the European Union. Unlike the deportation agreement, which has strong backing of both governments involved, the Scottish independence vote decision has roiled that country and is causing significant turmoil in Parliament.
INDIA: One of the biggest stories to hit that nation in recent weeks was an attack on what could be described to Americans as “India’s Berkeley.” Masked people – some of whom have since been identified as students – flooded into some of the campus buildings and began attacking students and faculty using clubs and pipes, while accomplices destroyed cars outside the building. The city police were informed but did not immediately respond to the calls for help, choosing instead to let the overwhelmed campus police handle the situation. 28 were injured in the attacks. Subsequent investigations have not concluded but have identified the attackers as primarily belonging to a nationalist group, the ABVP, that has as a goal the changing of curriculum to match their ideology.
VENEZUELA: President Maduro is refusing to allow opposition party members from being seated in the national Parliament, in an attempt to stifle the influence of Juan Guaido , who leads a strong majority in their Congress. Instead, he has declared Socialist party MP Luis Parra as the leader. Maduro’s efforts to nullify opposition are suspected to be directly associated with an attack by armed men on a convoy attempting to carry opposition members to their their congressional building. No serious injuries were inflicted in the attack, but the vehicles were significantly damaged.
SOUTH KOREA: Recent threats by North Korea against the United States have not thwarted efforts by South Korea toward reconciliation. After being strongly encouraged to develop stronger ties with the North for three years under Trump, the US is now pressuring South Korea to halt such actions. Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said on Tuesday that “Our basic stance is that US-North Korea and inter-Korean dialogue should complement each other and move in a virtuous cycle,” and “(A)t certain points in time, US-North Korea relations can progress first or inter-Korean relations can move forward first.” This runs counter to recent warnings by the United States that independent action could trigger sanctions against South Korea if it does not coordinate with the whipsawing U.S. foreign policy dictates.