International News This Week This week in international news, there have been reports of a mass shooting in Las Vegas, a new study claims that global warming is causing more violent crime, and the Vatican has released a report on the effects of climate change. Check out all the latest stories below!
Japan votes down Prime Minister’s proposal to abolish nuclear power
Japan’s lower house of parliament has rejected a proposal by the country’s prime minister to abolish nuclear power, dealing a blow to his policy agenda. The proposal was put forward to resolve Japan’s ongoing nuclear crisis, which has been caused by the meltdowns of three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in March 2011.
The vote was 281-137 against the proposal, with 47 abstentions. This result reaffirms the conservative majority in parliament and strengthens the hand of those opposed to any move away from nuclear power. It is also likely to delay any decisions on a revised reconstruction plan for Fukushima Daiichi, which was due to be made in June.
This setback comes as no surprise; opinion polls have consistently shown that a majority of Japanese people are opposed to wholesale abandonment of nuclear power. In April, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that he would take “all necessary measures” to ensure the safe use of atomic energy and prevent another Fukushima meltdown.
North Korea has once again fired a missile over Japan, this time sending a ballistic missile over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. The launch comes just days after the country announced it would be restarting its nuclear weapons program.
The Japanese government is warning people in the area to take cover and stay away from windows as the missile could potentially hit anywhere within Hokkaido. This is not the first time North Korea has launched a missile over Japan – in February of last year, a similar missile flew over the country and landed in the Pacific Ocean.
This latest launch follows an increased military presence in East Asia, with China and South Korea both announcing plans to build new military bases on their respective coasts. This move comes as North Korea continues to develop its nuclear arsenal and engage in provocative behavior, such as testing missiles that could potentially reach American soil.
The US Supreme Court upheld Donald Trump’s travel ban on Tuesday, with the court upholding a revised version of the executive order that was signed in March. The original ban, which was announced in January 2017 and placed a 90-day travel ban on majority-Muslim countries, was challenged by Hawaii. The revised version of the ban – which removed Iraq from the list of countries and reduced the duration of the ban from 120 days to 90 days – was approved by the Trump administration in September. This is the first time that a travel ban has been upheld by the US Supreme Court.
The travel ban has been criticised for being discriminatory and unconstitutional, as it targets Muslims without providing a justification for doing so.
Palestinians declare a three-day strike against Israel
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have announced a three-day general strike starting on Tuesday in retaliation for Israeli airstrikes that killed two Palestinian children on Sunday. The announcement was made by the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza.
The strikes came days after U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, saying that both sides need to respect human rights and stop the “unlawful use of force”.
The Israeli military said that its airstrikes were aimed at arms caches and “terror infrastructure” in the Gaza Strip. Ban said he was “deeply troubled” by the situation and urged both sides to “take all necessary measures to protect civilian life”.
According to the UN, over 1,200 Palestinians have been killed since Israel began its military operation in Gaza on July 8th.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte orders police to kill all drug offenders
UK leaves the European Union
The United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union. The Brexit referendum was held on Thursday, 23 June and resulted in a majority of 52% for leaving the EU. The UK will now begin the process of withdrawing from the EU, which is expected to take around two years.
The Prime Minister, Theresa May, said that the UK would “take control of our own laws, money and borders” after leaving the EU. She added that the UK would be “a fully sovereign nation” and would be able to make its own trade deals with other countries.
The Leave campaign argued that the EU was too bureaucratic and that Britain could do better outside of it. The Remain campaign argued that membership of the EU allowed Britain to trade with more than 500 million people and to share common values such as freedom, democracy and equality.
China releases new air pollution guidelines
This week, China released new air pollution guidelines that call for an increase in the use of electric vehicles. The guidelines come as part of a larger effort to reduce the country’s reliance on coal-fired power plants. China is the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases and is considered responsible for a large portion of global climate change.
This week in international news, Brexit continued to dominate the headlines. The United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, a move that has been met with widespread economic and political uncertainty. The pound sterling plummeted in value following the referendum result, and there is now a risk of a recession in the UK. Meanwhile, in France, far-right candidate Marine Le Pen narrowly lost the presidential election to Emmanuel Macron. Macron is expected to continue the legacy of his predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy, who led France into the European Union. Elsewhere in Europe, elections were held in Austria and The Netherlands. In Austria, Sebastian Kurz was elected president, while Mark Rutte was re-elected prime minister of The Netherlands.
Catalonia is on the brink of a historic vote on independence from Spain. If every vote is counted, an estimated 40% of Catalans are in favor of independence. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has called for a banned referendum, but the Catalan government has vowed to go ahead with the vote regardless. The stakes are high for both sides – if Catalonia secedes from Spain, it would become the fifth region of the country to break away and form its own country.
In other international news this week, Pope Francis met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Cuba, and announced that he would not be traveling to North Korea as previously planned. Putin reportedly thanked Francis for his efforts to improve relations between Russia and the Vatican, while the pope said he hoped their meeting would help resolve conflicts in Syria and Ukraine.
Hong Kong Protests
This week in international news, protests continued in Hong Kong over the city’s proposed constitutional changes. Demonstrators are calling for a referendum on the changes, which they say would violate the city’s autonomy. Meanwhile, in France, Emmanuel Macron was elected president with a majority of votes. Macron is a new direction for France and many are optimistic about his policies.
This week in international news, North Korea conducted its sixth and largest nuclear test on Sunday. The test created an estimated 6.3 kilotons of TNT, more than double the size of the previous test. This comes just two days after the United Nations Security Council unanimously passed a resolution condemning Pyongyang’s latest missile launches.
Meanwhile, in Syria, hundreds of civilians have been killed in recent weeks as government forces battle rebels for control of Aleppo. The UN has warned that if peace talks fail, the city could become “the largest humanitarian crisis of our era.” And finally, Japan is set to pass a new law that would allow women to legally obtain abortions without parental consent.
-An Earthquake measuring 7.3 magnitude struck off the coast of Japan on Tuesday, according to the United States Geological Survey. The earthquake caused a tsunami that has killed at least 20 people in several countries including Japan.
-The quake also damaged nuclear power plants in Fukushima and raised fears of more widespread radiation exposure. According to Reuters, Japanese officials said they were not able to confirm any radiation leaks from the plant.
-The tsunami has left thousands of people stranded on islands and coastal areas and disrupted travel in many parts of the world. The Associated Press reports that the death toll from the earthquake may continue to rise as rescuers reach isolated areas.
Syrian Refugee Crisis
Syria’s civil war has caused the largest refugee crisis in history, with more than 5 million people fleeing their homes. Most of the refugees are going to neighboring countries such as Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey, but some are also making their way to Europe. A recent report from the United Nations claims that there could be as many as 10 million refugees by the end of the year.
The Syrian refugee crisis is causing huge problems for Europe. The continent is struggling to provide housing, education, and employment for all of the refugees. Some European countries are even considering closing their borders to refugees.
There are a number of ways that you can help support the Syrian refugee crisis. You can donate money to organizations helping refugees, volunteer your time at a refugee center or shelter, or sponsor a refugee family.
This week in international news, the president of Ecuador has been ousted after months of protests and a referendum on whether to keep him in office. The European Union has proposed new rules that would require online platforms such as Facebook and Google to pay tax on their EU revenue. And finally, scientists have announced the discovery of a new planet orbiting around the sun much closer than any other known object.