November 26-December 2, 2017

Asia

 Rocket launches in North Korea. || Reuters.

Rocket launches in North Korea. || Reuters.

In the early morning of 29 November, North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile that appeared to have a range capable of striking any city within the United States. This has been the twentieth North Korean missile test this year.

Oceania

Victoria has just become the first Australian state to legalize doctor-assisted dying. Within the past year alone 50 failed attempts to pass the bill have been made in New South Wales, South Australia, and Tasmania. The law will become set in 2019 with the following restrictions: the patient must have a life expectancy of less than six months, they must make the request on three separate occasions, and the doctor is barred from initiating the conversation with the patient. The process will only be applied to patients whose suffering cannot be relieved in a tolerable way.

North America

In a symbolic move, the United States has pulled out of the United Nations Global Compact on Migration, stating the committee’s priorities and policies for the handling of refugees and migrants do not match up with those of the US and the Trump Administration. The American ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, has stated that the US will continue its generosity in supporting refugee and migrant workers around the world, but that “our decision on immigration policies must always be made by Americans and Americans alone." More recently, the United States has also pulled out of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) due to what it claims is an “anti-Israel bias.”

In the early hours of 2 December, the US Senate passed Donald Trump’s tax bill with a vote split of 51-49. Only one Republican, Senator Bob Corker, voted against the bill. Although Republican rhetoric usually focusses heavily on “shrinking the deficit,” the US Joint Committee on Taxation projected that this particular tax bill will add more than a trillion to the deficit in the next ten years. Regardless, the bill was passed, just in time for Trump to achieve one significant piece of legislation in his first year as President.