International Insight

Joanna Hampson brings you the latest EN4 international news brief for Tuesday October 23.

Here are today’s top stories.

  • The killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was allegedly planned days in advance. The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan revealed he has strong evidence to suggest Khashoggi was killed in a premeditated murder at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on the 2nd of October. In his address this Tuesday, to the MP’s of his ruling party, President Erdogan confirmed that 18 people had been arrested in Saudi Arabia over the case, but is yet to release further information regarding the details of the evidence. For live updates from the investment conference in Saudi Arabia head to the Guardian.

 

  • The world’s longest sea-crossing bridge has finally been opened in Zhuhai, China. Chinese President Xi Jinping has officially opened the bridge, which connects Hong Kong to Macau and the mainland Chinese city of Zhuhai, spanning 55km (34 miles) of water. The $20 billion bridge took nine years to build while incurring major delays and cost overruns. To watch the video ‘flying over the world’s longest sea bridge’ head to the BBC.

 

  • Poland’s first openly gay politician has said progressive policies can win in the countries local elections. After the ruling Law and Justice party suffered setbacks in local elections at the weekend, Robert Biedroń who stepped down as mayor of Słupsk to launch his own pro-European, “pro-democratic” movement, has now said that progressives can win. Biedroń’s own political trajectory, as a young, former LGBT activist who was elected to the Sejm in 2011, strides towards a modern Poland, advancing on the common view of the Catholic country. The Guardian report on the advancements of the upcoming elections in more detail on their website.

 

  • Donald Trump has warned that the US will bolster its nuclear arsenal to put pressure on Russia and China. Speaking to reporters, the President repeated his belief that Russia has violated the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, which he has threatened to leave. Russia continues to deny these allegations.

In Business

 

  • UK based vacuum cleaner manufacturer, Dyson, is set to build its new electric car in Singapore. The factory will break ground in Singapore later this year with the first car scheduled to roll off the production line in 2021. Dyson has said Singapore was chosen for the project based on the availability of engineering talent, regional supply chains and proximity to some key target markets. With a vast budget of £2 billion committed to the plant, Dyson will be focussing largely on research and development and test track facilities.

 

  • Co-founder of the Benetton clothing firm, Gilberto Benetton, has died at the age of 77. Benetton founded United Colors of Benetton in Italy, with brothers Luciano and Carlo and sister Giuliana, in the 1960s. Considered as one of the most powerful families in Italy, Benetton himself is credited with diversifying the clothing company into a multi-billion euro giant. United Colors of Benetton is known for its provocative advertising campaigns which have previously featured images of prisoners sentenced to death in America and, more recently, displayed images of migrants being rescued from the Mediterranean.

State of the Union 2018

US President Donald Trump has declared a, “new American moment” as he delivered his State of the Union speech to congress.

In his maiden address, the republican leader said he was,” extending an open hand” to democrats in order to move forward. Together.

Trump also stated that he was ordering Guantanamo Bay to be kept open, reversing the Obama-era directive to close the controversial detention camp.

In an upbeat juxtaposition to his “American carnage” inaugural speech just a year ago, Trump has claimed his administration was, “building a safe, strong and proud America”.

“There has never been a better time to start living the American dream,” he told congress. Following up with saying that in the first year of his term, 2.4 million jobs were created. The stock market has soared while unemployment rates in the US are at a 17 year low.

However the average job satisfaction last year was only 38%, the lowest first-year figure for any president in in the history of Gallup- polling service.

In the Democratic rebuttal, Massachusetts congressman Joseph Kennedy III, a great-nephew of President John F Kennedy.

Up and coming Democrat, Joseph Kennedy III. Credit Wikimedia.

Kennedy attempted to seize Trump’s political mantle by claiming to speak for the “American’s who feel forgotten and forsaken.”

He went on to depict Trump’s presidency as “chaos. Leaving the country fractured and with many citizens being left anxious, angry and afraid over the last year.

In a passionate moment, Kennedy spoke of how, “Bullies may land a punch. They may leave a mark…But they have never once in the history of our United States, managed to match the strength and spirit of a people united in defence of their future.”

However it was one blatant moment during the speech when the president claimed that African-American unemployment had hit record lows that showed the Democratic Party’s disapproval of Trump’s presidency. The Democratic Congressional Black Caucus sat in silence amid a standing ovation.

There were many Democratic lawmakers who boycotted Trump’s Speech.

Congress meets for The State of Union Address by President Trump. Credit – Good Morning America.

 

Oprah Winfrey for President?

Her Golden Globes speech touching upon black and female empowerment went viral so far as to spark hopes of a 2020 presidential bid.

When asked if she would run for president, her partner Stedman Graham said she would “absolutely do it.” 

Oprah has said she would be interested

President Trump responded quickly to the idea: 

Oprah Winfrey has long been celebrated as a strong female role model, hosting her talk show for nearly three decades . She was accepting the lifetime achievement award when she made the speech.

She praised those who have stepped forward with their stories of sexual harassment and promised that ‘a new day is on the horizon’ for women everywhere.

Trump declares North Korea ‘State Sponsor’ of Terrorism

In a series of measures toughing down on North Korea, US President Donald Trump has put North Korea back on the list of countries that are believed to have continually provided support for acts of international terrorism.

Stating his intentions in a cabinet meeting yesterday, Trump also announced that it would mean ‘very large’ sanctions would be imposed upon the country. Today, both South Korea and Japan declared their approval to the move stating that it put North Korea under more pressure to stop their nuclear programme.

Yesterday, a special security adviser to the South Korean president told local reporters that the measure seemed more ”symbolic than substance”.

It comes a week after Trump returned from a 12-day trip to Asia with North Korea’s nuclear capabilities the focus of his attention. North Korea joins three other nations — Iran, Sudan and Syria — on the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism. North Korea was first added to the list in 1988, and then removed in 2008 as part of negotiations with the US government of George W Bush.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson pointed to the assassination of Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of his brother and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, as a key factor in North Korea being placed back on the list. He did also concede that they were ‘largely symbolic’ compared to the level of sanctions already in action against North Korea.

Tillerson has said that he still hopes for a peaceful resolution, but it is expected that this news will setback talks between the two countries as regards the nuclear disarmament of North Korea.

President Trump spoke of the death of Otto Warmbier, the American college student who died on returning to the US after lengthy imprisonment in North Korea, as well as “the countless others so brutally affected by the North Korean oppression.”

North Korea continue to defy the numerous sanctions that have been imposed upon them by the UN Security Council.

 

EN4 News – International belt

Check out our roundup of today’s international news:

Katie Hopkins Causes Stir Over Trump’s Foreign Policy

Outspoken right-wing columnist Katie Hopkins has caused yet another effortless storm on Twitter, shortly after Donald Trump announced plans for National Security to build a wall across the Mexican border. “Big day planned on NATIONAL SECURITY tomorrow,” tweeted Trump yesterday evening. “Among many other things, we will build the wall!”

The Daily Mail columnist Katie Hopkins has unsurprisingly welcomed Trump’s immigration policy with open arms by tweeting her support for the 45th President of the United States.

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In addition to her approval of Trump’s plans for the wall and Muslim immigration, she also took time to lambaste the people who took part in the Womens’ Marches in Washington D.C. over the weekend. “Feminism has to be better than this,” according to Hopkins. “Better than posters telling me your vagina is tough. Or ‘this p*ssy grabs back’.

Hopkins rose to prominence as a contest of the UK edition of The Apprentice, a show created by current US President Trump. She appeared in season three of the UK Apprentice that was fronted by Alan Sugar in 2007. Since then, her voice has been amplified ten-fold, particularly on social media platforms such as Twitter with the vast majority of people viewing her as a ‘troll’.

The fact that it was Trump’s show (albeit in a British guise) that gave Hopkins a prominent voice in today’s right wing media, it’s no surprise to see her voicing her support for the man that, despite his apparent sexist and racist views, gave Hopkins the TV and attention she so desperately seeks.

5 animals that tried to predict the outcome of the U.S Election

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Months worth of polling couldn’t predict the result of the U.S election, so could a psychic animal have done a better job? On the verge of huge events in modern times, some people have resorted to animal predictions to find the answers they deeply need before the events happen. As human psychics are largely found to be fraudulent, it’s down to the psychics of the animal kingdom who have managed to remain credible in an era where psychic predictions are seen as old hat.

Scottish Spiritual Billy Goat

Many Clinton fans had their hopes set on the soothsayer named Boots, a goat from Roxburghshire who correctly predicted the Brexit vote in June. Sadly for fans of Hilary, he was as wrong as the pollsters.

Chinese Mind Reading Monkey

Trump was predicted to win by Geda, a simian psychic known for predicting the winners of European football matches. His foray into political forecasting will likely give him the credibility he needs to go on working as a monkey that sees the future.

Psychic Parrot Duo

These parrots told us the election was in the bag for Clinton, pecking and clawing at her name like they were absolutely sure she was going to clinch it. We reached out to the parrots, but they declined to comment.

Polarising Polar Bear & Fortune Telling Tiger

At Royev Ruchey zoo in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, election predictions were cast by giants of the oracle animal scene. In the red corner, we had Felix, the 1500 pound polar bear whose mind was set on Trump to win the presidency, while in the blue there was 700-pound liberal tigress Yunona, Clinton supporter and advocate of women’s rights.

Supernatural Swing State Dogs

In Cleveland, Ohio where the GOP Convention was held earlier this year, the city turned to its dog population to find out the results of the election. The combination of dog treats and chew toys has been proven to increase clairvoyant behavior in dogs. An attempt was made to reach out to Cleveland’s cat population, but they appeared to be disinterested in the political process.

Special Mentions : RIP Paul, The Psychic Octopus

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Sadly, the world’s most famous psychic octopus is no longer on this earth to make his thoughts known. Paul, whose specialty was predicting the outcomes of football matches would likely have a lot of traction in the run-up to the election. His protege is a Manchester based octopus named Otto, but he is widely seen as a hack after his failure to foresee the win for Leave during the Brexit referendum. Here’s to you Paul, the octopus who stole our hearts and helped our chances at the bookies.

Scotland empathises with disappointed Americans following Trump’s election

“Today we make America great.”

This is what Donald Trump posted on his twitter page, 22 hours ago.

Today Scotland, along with the rest of the world, wakes to a new US President. Donald Trump is victorious against his rival Hilary Clinton.

Scottish political leaders have expressed their shock and disappointment after Donald Trump took a surprise victory earlier today.

Kezia Dugdale, leader of Scottish Labour and strong Clinton’s supporter, wrote a comment piece published on The Times website a few days ago. She said “Yes, Clinton can – if she withstands the crazy”.

There was hope in her words, a hope that was destroyed this morning when Trump gained enough votes to defeat Clinton.  “Cannot believe my eyes-what a dismal desperate day,” Dugdale said today.

Kezia Dugdale is not the only Scottish Clinton-supporter now struggling to come to terms with the results.

Patrick Harvie, co-convener of the Scottish Greens,  tweeted: “OK America, you have had your fun now. You’ve given us all a good scare. Time to be serious, and make the bad man go away”. This morning, after finding out the official result, he simply tweets “sickening”.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said the US was “turning inwards”, and that the UK therefore has a “duty to advance Western democratic values”.

However UKIP’s leader in Scotland, David Coburn, insisted the new president would be a “good thing for Scotland” because of his long connections to the country.

Nicola Sturgeon, whilst Americans were casting their votes, said she thought Clinton had the experience, strength and resilience to make a “good president.”

After the results Sturgeon stated: “The ties between Scotland and America are long-standing, they are very deep and they are enduring. And whatever the outcome of the election I respect that outcome and will continue to work to ensure that those relationships, which are not just relationships of family and culture but also very important business and economic relationships, continue to be in good health.”

More than 1,000 students from Edinburgh’s Universities watched the battle for the White House unfold in the city centre.

Organised by Edinburgh University North American Society and the Edinburgh Political Union, the sold-out event in Potterrow had TV screens broadcast results live from across the Atlantic, with experts from the school of history providing live analysis on the results throughout the night.

The Golf Tavern extended it’s license until 5 am to broadcast the results. We asked the Scottish crowd how they think these elections are going to affect our country.

“It will affect the world’s economy” said James, “ I am afraid it will potentially affect our ability to travel.”

Andrew said this election seemed to be “a new chapter after Brexit.” Perhaps it is for this reason many Scottish people could empathise with the many Americans leaving the pub in tears early this morning.

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Comment: Why Harambe’s votes are a statement on America’s political disillusionment

A gorilla at Cincinnati Zoo

A gorilla at Cincinnati Zoo

The notion that America’s fate would be different had over 15,000 voters not opted to vote for a dead gorilla is, for many, a frustrating state of affairs. But are votes for Harambe a wasted opportunity?

In fact, it could be argued that a vote for Harambe is better than a vote for either presidential candidate; supporting the lesser of two evils does not achieve more than using your vote for protest. As a result, we must consider: how different would America’s fate be in the scenario of a Clinton victory?

When placed alongside Trump, any candidate would appear an acceptable choice for presidency. Those who reject Trump for his foreign policies, his statements concerning deportation, nuking and such must reflect on Clinton’s equally heinous policies.

In reality, she is not enough of an improvement to merit a vote. This is the woman who stated in interviews her intent to launch attacks on the likes of Iran and Palestine in the case of her victory – a vote for her is a vote for attacks on the middle east. And so opting for a dead gorilla is perhaps not so preposterous after all.

Harambe’s supporters evidently had no desire to have Trump or Clinton in office. The fact that they were active and used their vote regardless is a great feat. Rather than sitting in silence, the people are standing up and fighting back.

Some may question how much this really achieves. Spoilt ballots may not have an immediate visible impact, but they achieve at least as much as any vote for a valid candidate. If nobody voted, we would not have any of these radges in office.

Votes for a deceased gorilla are in fact very important indeed – they are an expression of the disillusionment and discontent felt by voters in regard to the current political system. Harambe’s legacy lives on; this crazy gorilla continues to smash the system from beyond the grave.

Words by Ailsa McEwan

Here’s what the US electoral map would look like if only millennials had voted

A electoral college tracking map giving live updates on the US election results highlights the voting trends of Millennials.

The breakdown, released early this morning by data website surveymonkey showed an overwhelming majority of millennials cast their vote in favour of democrat Hillary Clinton.

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Despite the overwhelming support for Clinton, it did not translate into real life events with Trump winning over 60 electoral college votes more than the democratic party nominee.

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With some states still to declare a result, the map below shows how strong the Republican vote was across the US, pushing Democratic support back to strongholds on the west coast and the north east. Nationally, Donald Trump has won with 47.7% of the vote, with Hillary Clinton taking 47.5% – this has translated into 278 votes for the Republicans and 218 for the Democrats.

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