Democratic Republic of the Congo
As the runner-up in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s controversial presidential election, Martin Fayulu said last Saturday that he had asked the court to order an election recount. “My appeal is constructed such that we are requesting the electoral commission to recount all of the ballot votes,” he said in a statement sent to CNN. Another opposition leader, Felix Tshisekedi, had won the Dec. 30 vote. Fayulu was widely expected to win, and he would challenge the results as they were “not consistent with the truth,” and accused Tshisekedi of taking a “dangerous shortcut to power.” The DRC’s presidential election results came after nearly two weeks of speculation and mixed reactions have followed Tshisekedi’s win (CNN).
As North Korean leader Kim Jong-un headed back to Pyongyang after a fourth meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, South Korean President Moon Jae-in looked forward to a second summit between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump. At his annual press conference, Moon said, “The second North Korea-United States summit—to take place soon—and a reciprocal visit to Seoul by Chairman Kim Jong-un of North Korea will be turning points that will firmly solidify peace on the Korean Peninsula.” Moon added, “We will not loosen our guard until the promise to denuclearize the Peninsula is kept, and peace is fully institutionalized” (CNN).
An explosion caused by a gas leak in central Paris occurred at a bakery at 9 a.m. local time last Saturday. The blast killed two firefighters who were responding to reports of the leak, while a Spanish national died hours after the incident in hospital. Last Sunday, the body of a woman was found buried under rubble, bringing the death toll of the disaster to four. “Profound sadness. Standing by the families of victims. The nation shares in their pain,” French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner tweeted after the explosion, adding that 10 people were seriously injured and a further 37 were “in a state of relative emergency” (CNN).
A senior member of the Saudi royal family, Prince Turki al-Faisal, has warned against a U.S. troop withdrawal from Syria. “The U.S. actions from my perspective are going to further complicate rather find any solutions to it, and further entrench not only the Iranians, but also the Russians and Bashar al Assad. So from my perspective it is a very negative development,” Prince Faisal said. The prince added that the departure of Defense Secretary James Mattis in December was unlikely to help matters. The prince is no longer a member of the Saudi government, but has decades of experience within it (BBC).
Mexicans have endured a week of gas shortages as the government takes action to combat narco fuel thieves. Hundreds of petrol stations were closed and long lines were at those left open in several central Mexican states, including the capital, Mexico City. The government of Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador, known as AMLO, has cut off the gas supply in a number of key pipelines transporting fuel from refineries. The goal is to take the fight to fuel thieves. Many are affiliated with larger drug cartels that for years have been tapping pipelines of the state oil company Pemex. Fuel theft has become an extremely lucrative business for organized crime in recent years as profits from marijuana and opium have decreased (Fox News).
Compiled by Wenshu Wang