October 29-November 4, 2017

Europe

On 2 November, eight members of a dissolved Catalan Government were jailed and are currently pending charges of rebellion, sedition, and misappropriation of funds. Many Catalonians see the move to be politicized justice, while the rest of Spain thinks that the application of law against these offences is long overdue.

North America

At 3:05PM on 31 October, 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov ran a hired pickup truck onto a pedestrian and bicycle path in Manhattan, New York, killing eight and leaving dozens injured. Saipov exited his vehicle armed with what appeared to be two handguns, but was neutralized when a police officer shot him in the abdomen. He now remains in police custody. Authorities state that the man acted alone and that there is no evidence that his terror attack was a part of a larger plot.

On 3 November, the Magnitsky Act was used by the Canadian government for the first time ever. This act means that state governments suspected of being involved with crimes such as corruption, money laundering, or rights abuses in their own country are now at risk of having their assets frozen by the Canadian government. Sanctions were thus imposed on a total of 52 officials from Venezuela, South Sudan and Russia. South Sudanese officials were accused of playing a part in ethnic civil violence, while most Venezuelan officials were accused of undermining the democracy of Venezuela in some way, and the 30 sanctions against Russian officials are due to their suspected involvement in the Magnitsky fraud and murder cover-up case.

 Saad Hariri, ex-Prime Minister of Lebanon. || Mohamed Azakir, Reuters.

Saad Hariri, ex-Prime Minister of Lebanon. || Mohamed Azakir, Reuters.

Middle East

On Saturday, while in Saudi Arabia, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his resignation. Citing Iran’s impact within the Middle Eastern states and referencing Hezbollah, Hariri said he fears for his life. Officials in Iran responded with their belief that the resignation was a plot by the United States and Saudi Arabian governments to distract from their failures in the battle against ISIS and increase tensions in the region. The Lebanese government remains in limbo while they wait for Hariri to return to Beirut.

On the same day in Saudi Arabia, a new anti-corruption committee was formed under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Hours after its creation, the committee ordered dozens of arrests on charges of corruption. Those arrested include 11 princes, one of which is the billionaire Prince Waleed bin Talal.

Asia

On 4 November, 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump arrived in Japan for what will be a 12-day trip across Asia. Amid heightened nuclear tension, Trump is expected to show a united front with South Korea and Japan. The countries he will be visiting include South Korea, China, Vietnam, and the Philippines. A marathon trip such as this marks the first time since 1991.