On Saturday May 20, protests against President Maduro have reached 50 consecutive days and are still continuing. Hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets across the country to demand elections be held, freedom for jailed activists, foreign aid and that the opposition in the legislature have autonomy. Many Venezuelans are angry about the government’s spending on military and attempts to maintain control of the country, rather than spending on food and medicine. More than 2,600 protesters have been arrested, a third of whom remain detained. Also, opposition leader Henrique Capriles was banned from holding public office for 15 years in April 2017 and recently had his passport taken away.
In Manchester on Monday, May 22, a bomb exploded at the Manchester Arena after an Ariana Grande concert killing 22 people and hospitalizing 59 more. The attacker, Salman Abedi, died in the explosion. Immediately following the explosion there was chaos as people rushed out of the arena. In response, all parties have suspended campaigning for the election on June 8. Britain’s terrorist threat level was raised to severe after the bombing, indicating that the probability of attacks is high. Sadiq Khan, London’s mayor, said there will now be more police on the streets as a precaution.
Canada has passed new legislation hoping to help deal with its opioid crisis, which has claimed thousands of lives in the past few years. This new legislation makes it easier to open supervised drug injection sites. Past research has shown that these drug injection sites help prevent overdoses and also minimize drug related crime. Injection sites have been criticized for not doing enough, but many think that it is a step in the right direction. This program’s success in Canada has caught the interest of American cities that also have problems with opioid overdoses.
Hassan Rouhani won the Iranian presidential election with 23.5 million votes for a second term on Friday, May 19. Women played a significant part in Rouhani’s re election, as they believed that the conservative candidate would take away many of the freedoms they had gained during Rouhani’s last term. Rouhani was up against opponent Ebrahim Raisi, who received 15.8 million votes. Many think that Raisi was favored to become the next supreme leader by Ayatollah Khamenei after receiving a significant portion of the vote. So while this was a victory for reformists in the short term, the long term appears to be different.
A recent report by a coalition between the UK and African development and equality campaigners states that African countries lose about $40 billion each year. It was reported that although the African countries have received about $162 billion in loans, $203 billion was taken from the continent by either multinationals illegally using tax havens and repatriating profits, or by costs set by countries outside Africa for things such as requirements set to prevent climate change. According to one of the economists who worked on this coalition from The Jubilee Debt campaign, Tim Jones, the key point of this research is to show that in order to help countries in Africa, the amount of money that is being taken from Africa needs to be addressed first. The report suggests that the current system of voluntary aid needs to be changed to a system where outside countries and companies pay for the damage that they have caused to African countries.