July 26th – International News Round-Up (Part I)

Religion

Christian Today

World famous Evangelical Christian Billy Graham on whether or not he considers the Anti-Christ have a presence on this earth in this day and age? He struggles to define what he means by the Anti-Christ. Though he does present two contradictory ways in which Christians can deal with this, by saying that Christians should not worry about it even if he is a great presence in this world. As a theologian, he really should be able to flesh this out more.

Antichrist form the Osogovo Monastery (Image Source: Wiki Commons)
Antichrist form the Osogovo Monastery (Image Source: Wiki Commons)

Libya

Libya Herald

The Presidential Guard Commander has said that all light, medium and heavy arms would not be allowed to enter the capital Tripoli. This is part of the larger plan for the administration in Tripoli to restore some amount of normalcy to the capital after the Libya Dawn takeover. Italy and Turkey are the only major embassies to have returned to the city. It will take a while for there for various governments to trust the administration with their envoys.

Zambia

Lusaka Times

The Community Development and Social Welfare Minister of Zambia declared that as long as girls continue to be married off early, that the country would not grow and prosper. Though she was short on the details of whether girls who were not forced into marriages early in their lives would be allowed to pursue avenues that would contribute in any way to those around them.

Argentina

The Bubble

Midterm Primary Elections are just around the corner and The Bubble spoke to Rosendo Fraga on his predictions. Around 25% of the electorate have not decided on who they want to vote for. A huge number of undecided voters.

“But we’re not seeing a clear scenario where we can say that a party is 10, five points ahead of another one. That’s a matter we have to be aware of. Doing a bit of electoral geography, we have the provincial interior that has a third of the vote, with cities such as Bahía Blanca, Azul, Tandil, where Cambiemos has the majority of the vote. They have the rural areas as well,” he added.

Buenos Aires is the prize that everybody wants. Like in most other countries, there are certain territories that are considered as statements. Another way to put this would be to call them mandate indicators. These are usually historically important places, capitals or areas where enormous amounts of the electorate are concentrated (usually urban centers). Uttar Pradesh in India is a good example of this.

“The Buenos Aires Province is arguably the big price of the elections. Whoever gets it will be perceived as the winner, even if their party doesn’t get the most votes at a national level. That’s why I asked Fraga if he believes that the government will try to spin the analysis if it loses the Province at the hands of the former president.

“They will certainly try. They will say something like “Cristina is a party in the Buenos Aires Province, maybe the City too. I label the Peronist vote in the interior as something different. This is what the Kirchnerism tried to do in 2009, when De Narváez won and in 2013, when Massa won. It couldn’t. They could try, but I think it will be hard for it to [make] work. Especially because Cristina is a candidate, and that’s something that nationalizes the election in the Province,” he said.

Finance

Institutional Investor

Goldman Sachs apparently bonds issued by Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) back in 2014. The opposition party leader wrote to the CEO accusing him of making money off the suffering of a people. Which technically isn’t wrong.

Goldman isn’t the only large corporation that has done this. BlackRock also has holdings in the country. Goldman says that they made the investment in the hope that life in the country would improve, without going into the ethical quandary of whether supplying funds to Maduro was in good faith.

Arguments are made in the article about investing in developing nations in general and how government rule cannot damn individuals in the country who aren’t beholden to their host nations way of acting, but that really doesn’t solve the Goldman problem. PDVSA is a state-owned giant with very clear links to Maduro.

July 24th – International News Round-Up (Part IV)

United Kingdom

LSE Blog

The increasing polarization of Brexit politics led to an enormous political space in the center. As Labour moved further left and insisted that all immigration was good, the Conservatives moved further right and insisted on being British. The post discusses how neo-liberalism as a political and economic ideology has led to the peculiar character of British politics at the moment.

Jeremy Corbyn (Source: Wiki Commons - https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/10/Jeremy_Corbyn_Bahrain_1.png/1024px-Jeremy_Corbyn_Bahrain_1.png)
Jeremy Corbyn (Source: Wiki Commons)

Libya

Al Jazeera

More reports of executions of ISIS linked rebels. This one is from Libya. According to a video that has been circulated online (which I have not personally watched). General Khalifa Haftar and his soldiers are said to be seen carrying out executions. This adds to the wider trend of executions of ISIS fighters from Iraq to Syria and Libya, after being sentenced by kangaroo courts.

General Haftar and his forces are still in control of the eastern part of Libya, with the backing of the UAE and Egypt.

Cambodia

The Cambodia Daily

The King of Cambodia, Norodom Shiamoni has reportedly left the country.

“His departure follows a formal petition delivered by the CNRP on Thursday asking the king to avoid endorsing the changes, which could hold the party liable for any endorsement of or affiliation with its former, exiled president Sam Rainsy.”

This is the not the first time the Head of State has done this. He made a trip to China during another critical time as negotiations for constitutional laws were taking place. The ruling CPP claims that they have exerted no pressure on the King and that he is acting purely on his own volition.

Security

Small Wars Journal

Trump’s pick for Special Ops and low intensity conflict has floated a scenario in which a commercially available drone could be used to great effect and he says that the future where that would be a reality is just 5 years out.

Jordan

Trend via Reuters

Two Jordanians entered the Israel embassy at Amman under the pretext of being workers and opened fire, before they were shot. Jordan and Israel don’t get into it very often, but Israel and its metal detectors at one of Islam’s holiest sites in the Middle East is causing increasing tension with its otherwise quiet (if reluctantly) neighbors.

Lebanon

Long War Journal

Hezbollah claims to have made advances on the Lebanese border against Sunni jihadist forces.

“Hay’at Tahrir al Sham (HTS), a coalition of different jihadist and rebel groups in Syria in which al Qaeda’s branch operates, has also claimed that its forces killed over 50 Hezbollah fighters and that several attacks were repelled. This number is likely exaggerated.”

Venezuela

Sputnik

President Maduro says that he will arrest all the Supreme Court judges that were appointed by the opposition led parliament. This is in response to what he sees as a new “parallel state” being formed.