Weekly Round Up 25th June – 1st July

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El Nuevo Presidente?

Who?
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador

What?
Stands to win presidential election

Where?
Mexico

Why is it important, relevant, worth consideration or keeping an eye on?
On Sunday Mexicans turn out to vote for their next president. Self-described outsider and leftist “man of the people” Lopez Obrador is expected to win. Obrador has run on a campaign of transparency and promises to massively reduce the corruption that has long plagued Mexico. The recent Mexican political cycle has be fraught with violence, with over 130 reported killings of candidate running for office. Not only will the office of the President be decided in this election, but also the occupants of both of Mexico’s Houses of Congress. Furthermore, the local mayoral races are of importance these offices are most important to the gangs and cartels in order for to continue their illicit trade.

Should Obrador be elected president, his promises of wide sweeping reform and to combat corruption could very well lead to increased violence with the cartels. Another challenge that faces any new president of Mexico is the poor relationship with US President Donald Trump over topics of migration and trade.

The Reuters Factbox about the presidential candidates:
Reuters Factbox

Full Articles:
Al-Jazeera

Reuters

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A chance for Peace

Who?
Taliban / Ashraf Ghani

What?
End of historic Truce

Where?
Afghanistan

Why is it important, relevant, worth consideration or keeping an eye on?
Afghanistan now stands at a critical juncture after the end of an 18 day truce called by the government of Ashraf Ghani. The ceasefire began at the beginning of June to mark the celebrations at the end of the holy month of Ramadan. Despite ordering government forces to continue with operations to combat the terrorist group, Ghani has called upon the Taliban to agree to full scale peace talks.
The necessity for a peace process and a glaring example of just how delicate the situation in Afghanistan currently is was underlined by a suicide bomber in Jalalabad in the northeastern province of Nangarhar. The blast killed some 20 people, most of whom belonged to the Sikh minority in that region. The attack occurred just hours after Ghani visited Jalalabad to open a new hospital there.
The situation in Afghanistan remains fragile and uncertain. This however could mark a positive turning point for the future of the war torn country.

Full Articles:
Reuters

Reuters

Al-Jazeera

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Closed ports and open arms

Who?
Migrants from Africa

What?
Deviate route to Europe

Where?
Spain

Why is it important, relevant, worth consideration or keeping an eye on?
In a recent escalation in the Mediterranean, both Italy and France have closed their ports to rescue boats transporting migrants from all over Africa to Europe. Spain however has welcomed the huddled masses. This recent influx of migrants is beginning to strain the capability of Spanish security forces as well as capacity to house the new arrivals. Migration from Africa to Europe has been a hotly debating topic in Europe in recent years, and the stream of migrants and asylum seekers shows no sign of decreasing in coming years.
It remains to be seen whether the xenophobic voices of Europe will win out or whether  a mass reform of asylum and immigration policies across Europe will be prompted by the current situation.

Full Articles:
Assoc. Press

Al-Jazeera

Reuters

***

Full List of Resources Used:

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/06/mexico-elections-expect-180630154552690.html

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mexico-election/mexicans-vote-for-president-after-violent-campaign-outsider-favored-idUSKBN1JR15F

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mexico-election-candidates-factbox/factbox-a-look-at-mexicos-presidential-contenders-idUSKBN1JR1U7

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-afghanistan-blast/deadly-blast-hits-eastern-afghan-city-targeting-sikh-minority-idUSKBN1JR1IX

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-afghanistan-security-usa/unacceptable-for-taliban-to-refuse-peace-talks-u-s-official-says-idUSKBN1JR1O2

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/06/afghanistan-ghani-orders-resumption-anti-taliban-operations-180630073258615.html

https://www.apnews.com/3e5df30aaadb459b8e29766365756e9e/Spain-feels-the-heat-as-migrants-shift-route-into-Europe

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/06/spanish-ngo-boat-safe-dock-saving-60-refiugees-180630170610126.html

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-europe-migrants-ship-spain/migrant-rescue-boat-heads-for-spain-after-italy-malta-reject-it-idUSKBN1JR1I2

 

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