World News

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Aramco, a massive state-owned oil company, has announced its plans to list on a public stock exchange in an effort by the Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to expand Saudi Arabia’s economy and diminish its dependence on oil. Aramco is estimated to be worth $1.2 trillion and profited $46.9 billion in the first half of 2019 alone, compared to Apple’s $21.6 billion and Exxon Mobil’s $5.5 billion. Despite these profits, some market analysts have pointed out political and strategic risks to investing in Aramco due to the dangers of operating in the region, and others have acknowledged the recent dissuasion from investing in fossil fuels worldwide as a potential issue. (BBC)

India

Air pollution levels have reached hazardous levels in Delhi, with pollution levels so high that the city’s monitors have too few digits to display the true amount of pollution. As a result of nearby crop burning, vehicle fumes and industrial emissions, coupled with the fireworks set off at the recent Diwali festival, smog levels in the area now have the same effect as smoking tobacco, according to the World Health Organization. Protests were held Nov. 3, to call for action, and schools have been closed as people are advised to wear anti-pollution masks and avoid the outdoors. (BBC)

China

Five people were injured Nov. 3, as riot police broke up mall protests in Hong Kong. These protests were part of the ongoing conflict over the direct elections of Hong Kong leaders and an investigation into police conduct in the city. Chief Executive Carrie Lam has not yielded to protestors’ demands, but she is working to address some of the issues that have been raised, including creating jobs and more affordable housing. She spoke to Vice Premier Han Zheng on Nov. 5, about the development of the Greater Bay Area in southern China. (Associated Press)

Spain

Both violent and peaceful protests continue in the Spanish region of Catalonia where roughly 50% of residents want Catalonia to separate from Spain while the other 50% oppose the separation. As separatist protests increased following the imprisonment of nine separatist leaders, unionists have responded by organizing protests of their own, including one on Oct. 27, with 80,000 protestors. This conflict over separation will likely prove to be a key factor in the national election Sunday, Nov. 10, where Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, who has refused to meet with Catalan chief Quim Torra, will try to keep his position. (Associated Press)

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