November 5-11, 2017

 Pollution worsens in New Delhi. || Saumya Khandelwal, Reuters.

Pollution worsens in New Delhi. || Saumya Khandelwal, Reuters.

Asia

US President Donald Trump continues his trip around Asia. His most notable stops yet have been in South Korea and China. He utilized his stop in South Korea to continue elevating his rhetoric on North Korea, and call for surrounding nations to strengthen their stances against the regime. In China, Trump's tone changed since the election over a year ago, shifting from railing against China’s unfair trade practices, to praising the nation’s successes. It appears to many that Trump may be handing global leadership over to the Chinese.

As conditions worsen, India plans to spray New Delhi with water to combat a pollution emergency in the capital. The annual crisis has been brought about by factors such as illegal crop burning, vehicle exhaust, and airborne construction debris. The measure of PM 2.5 particles in the air was 523, thereby classifying the air as “hazardous” this past Friday. For reference, a healthy reading is 50.

North America

On Sunday, 5 November, a man entered a church in rural Texas where he shot and killed 26 people. The ages of the victims range from just 18 months old to 72 years. The daughter of the pastor, aged 14, was among the victims. The killer was chased down and cornered, where he then killed himself.

The American Supreme Court ruled on 6 November to allow for the execution of Vernon Madison: a 67-year-old stroke victim convicted of murder. Due to the stroke, Madison has no memory of the crime of which he had been convicted. Questions of morality were brought up pertaining to memory’s affect on culpability and of the purpose of punishment when the criminal’s memory has been compromised.

Middle East

The leader of Lebanon’s political organization Hezbollah has claimed that Saudi Arabia has officially declared war on Lebanon. This unprecedented statement came after the Lebanese PM announced his resignation in Riyadh, the Saudi Arabian capital.

Europe

According to a report by The Guardian, the EU is now actively planning for the collapse of all Brexit talks. While not the preferred option, technical preparation for the same are underway, to ensure the UK will be a third country on 29 March, 2019. On 14 and 15 December, member states will meet to judge the progress of negotiations. Of course, with collapse of talks, there would be 'consequences in multiple areas,' basically reverting to World Trade Organization terms. In any case, extending the negotiations is not an option for the UK as it would prove to be an extremely expensive alternative.