The first week of November, has so far, seen political restlessness all across the world. From violent demonstrations in Chile to the suppression of the free press in Pakistan, this week’s Globetrotter covers all the major incidents.
Chile, South America
Over the past two weeks, Chile has seen violent anti-establishment protests. The demonstrations began after the president made economic sanctions, sparking a massive public outcry.
According to the Economist, President Piñera succumbed to the pressure and replaced eight members of his cabinet. The new cabinet has a friendlier face. The president, who promised “better times” when he took office in 2018, says these changes are the beginning of “new times”.
Violence has lessened, but continues. Some protesters are demanding Piñera’s resignation.
England, Till Now in Europe
Boris Johnson was accused of heading a cover-up after it emerged that Downing Street refused to clear the publication of an inflammatory report examining Russian infiltration in British politics.
The Guardian says that the PM’s office indicated on Monday that it would not allow a 50-page dossier from the intelligence committee to be published before the election, prompting complaints over its suppression.
The committee’s chairman, Dominic Grieve said that there was no reason for the refusal had been given, while Labour and Scottish National party politicians accused the PM of refusing to recognise the scale of Russian meddling.
The Guardian reports that Islamic militants in Mali have killed dozens of soldiers in its deadliest strike against the African country’s military till date.
At least 53 soldiers and one civilian died in the attack on an isolated military base in the north-east of the country, the government said.
Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack in a report by its Amaq news agency on Saturday. However, it did not cite any evidence for the claim.
USA, North America
The Economic Times reported that the Democrats laid out a map for President Trump’s impeachment on October 31 as they gathered more evidence to support charges that he improperly pushed Ukraine to boost his own 2020 electoral prospects.
One day after an army officer told investigators he witnessed Trump pressure Ukraine, three other State Department officials on Wednesday offered more evidence supporting the allegations against him.
What I said on the phone call with the Ukrainian President is “perfectly” stated. There is no reason to call witnesses to analyze my words and meaning. This is just another Democrat Hoax that I have had to live with from the day I got elected (and before!). Disgraceful!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 4, 2019
And the inquiry testimony set dates for three more witnesses, including former National Security Advisor John Bolton, who has first-hand knowledge of the president’s alleged effort to leverage military aid to Ukraine in exchange for investigating his rival Joe Biden.
For six years, Talat Hussain, a well-regarded Pakistani journalist, wrote for the Diplomat, openly talking about political issues. But last year, that changed. Forced to comply with a “total blackout” of news that criticised the military or Imran Khan, Hussain found it impossible to speak freely.
While Pakistan has a rocky relationship with press freedom, under Imran Khan, elected as prime minister in 2018 with strong military backing, censorship is heavier than ever.
Journalists, authors and politicians spoke to the Guardian of a climate of “extreme fear and self-censorship”, and the suppression of opposition voices, even worse than during the military dictatorship of General Zia between 1977 and 1988.
– By Sayantan Guha and Sashwata Saha