Welcome to Global News Roundup! I’ll be compiling analysis and news of weekly events worldwide. With so much global news going around, it’s hard to keep track, so here is a condensed list of several high-profile events going on around the World. In addition to the Roundup, I will publish full-feature articles on certain global topics. To make it easier to follow, I have broken them down by continent
Most of this news is a refresher from last week; however, many of these events will spill over into the future.
Farmers take Amsterdam
With news of potential deliveries of fourth-generation F-16 fighter jets and inflation being a major concern of Dutch citizens, the more obscure election for the Senate of the Netherlands was held. The Senate is elected by members of Provincial legislators who won their elections back in March.
Just like the right-wing Forum for Democracy (FvD) had a surprise victory in the last round of Senate elections, this time, the agrarian interest Farmer-Citizen Movement (BBB) came out notorious. In 2021, the party only gained one seat in the House of Representatives and struggled to become known. However, the party’s agrarian message, coupled with its vehement opposition to a national bill attempting to curb nitrogen emissions, helped it gain influence among voters across the Netherlands. The BBB won the largest share of votes in every province.
While the party only attained around 13.67% in the North Holland, the country’s most populous province and home to Amsterdam, the BBB won over 31% of the vote in the rural-dominated Overijssel province. This continued climb with farmers could prove to be a headache for the Dutch Government, who now must venture a path forward. The two most viable options for the current government, led by the center-right People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), are either to partner with the BBB and likely be forced to abandon certain key initiatives like reducing nitrogen emissions, or work with the center-left PvdA alliance between the Labour Party and Groenlinks (a green party). The Dutch government largely comprises free market liberals who want stronger EU integration, two things the BBB disapproves of.
It will be interesting to see how Prime Minister Mark Rutte plays his hand, but the Senate could become a major pain for the PM.
Tensions in northern Kosovo
Following the boycott of municipal elections in Kosovo, the heavily ethnic Serbian population of northern Kosovo is protesting ethnically Albanian Mayors taking their posts. The areas of the protests would have likely elected Serbian mayors if they had participated, but the Albanian minority won with the boycott championed by high-ranking Serbian officials like President of Serbia Alexander Vucic.
The protests turned violent when Serbian protestors got agitated by Kosovo police and NATO KFOR (NATO’s special mission on preserving peace in Kosovo and Serbia) forces dispersing tear gas on the protestors. That is when the protestors attempted to break through security lines and at least 30 members of KFOR were injured. The Italian Ministry of Defense even said that several of their mission members were burned from “Molotov cocktails, with nails, firecrackers and stones inside.”
It will now be seen what occurs. A redo election that sees ethnic Serbs participate, more violence, or a peaceful transition of power to the newly-elected mayors. This issue also puts pressure on Vucic, who is treading a careful line between appeasing western nations who Serbia hopes to expand relations with (including possible EU accession) and appealing to a heavily nationalist base of Serbs.
The right is here to stay in Italy
After a first round earlier this month, the Italian right took many local offices in run-offs last Sunday, including the right winning nine provincial capitals, three of which were previously represented by members of the center-left alliance.
The elections are another affirmation for right-wing Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni that her policies are continuing to be popular, despite recent opposition to new anti-LGBTQ+ legislation as well as her remarks on illegal migration. This could give Meloni more leeway for right-wing policies ahead of the upcoming European Union Parliament Elections.
The election was also a setback for new Partito Democratico leader Elly Schlein. After having an upset victory over a more moderate candidate to lead Italy’s largest left-of-center party, she was hoping for a strong showing for her new leadership. She may be subjected to judgment for the results, but she is very likely to remain leader.
Erdogan wins again
After a hard-fought election that was up in the air and saw Incumbent President Recip Tayyip Erdogan almost clinch a first-round victory, he narrowly prevailed in the runoff.
Erdogan’s victory can be attributed to Sunni Muslim voters in the rural Anatolia heartlands (also known as the “Quran Belt”), diaspora voters, and holding the opposition to narrow wins in Istanbul and Ankara, Turkey’s two largest cities.
Erdogan arrived on the political scene in the 1990s as a pro-western Islamist. After being jailed for citing an Islamic poem at a rally in Istanbul, he was released after pressure from leaders such as American President Bill Clinton. He then led the Justice and Development Party, which sought to protect people’s Islamic identity. He worked to expand economic progress to Turkey and made major moves such as allowing women to wear headscarves at work, something secular Governments before he opposed. Erdogan initially did seek closer relations with Western nations; however, he has grown more paranoid and distrustful, especially following a 2016 coup attempt that Erdogan alleges an Islamic cleric from Pennsylvania orchestrated.
Erdogan has now taken a much more nationalist, Turkey-first approach. He has sent military aid to Ukraine while also continuing economic projects with Russia. He worked on procuring F-35 fighter jets from the U.S., but ruined the deal when he purchased an S-400 air defense system from Russia. Erdogan has consistently gone back and forth between the west and nations that despise the west, mainly in the name of helping Turkey be the best the nation can be. Erdogan even accused the Biden administration of working with the opposition to topple him.
Erdogans sometimes controversial Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu conducted a rant full of anti-western rhetoric. He has also said, “Whoever pursues a US-oriented policy will henceforth be considered a traitor to the Turkish people” on a media program earlier this year.
It will be interesting to see Erdogan’s new foreign policy stance following his Turkey-first campaign. That said, his new cabinet reveal has shown to be largely technocratic, with firebrands like Soylu being dismissed in exchange for moderate voices like economist Mehmet Simsek for the Financial Ministry.
Keating drags the U.S.
Australia’s leaders have usually advocated for a stronger defense network and have usually applauded closer defense partnerships with allied nations. However, there is an opposition campaign to Australia’s biggest defense arrangement in a long time.
AUKUS is a trilateral security pact between the U.S., the U.K., and Australia announced on September 15th, 2021, that will work to expand the defense of the Pacific from aggressive actors (namely China). Australia will eventually get three Virginia-class nuclear submarines from the U.S. as part of the agreement, in addition to spurring job creation from shipbuilding and maintenance that Australian residents will work on.
However, former Labour Party Prime Minister Paul Keating has lambasted the deal his own party’s leader supports. Keating has said that the deal will force Australia to get involved in a potential U.S.-led conflict against China and goes against non-aggression principles. It will be telling if Keatings influence in the Labor party could create a stronger movement against AUKUS.
Rapid support forces continue to expand in Khartoum
While the Government’s Sudanese Armed Forces still control most of the country, they are losing more and more control over the country’s capital, Khartoum. The capital has seen strong fighting for key infrastructure, such as the Khartoum Airport and Army Headquarters. The RSF has expanded on its stronghold of the airport and is now expanding outwards; meanwhile, the SAF has stronger results in other regions of the Country.
Both sides have set numerous bases around Khartoum and Sudan, fighting rages after SAF General. Abdel-Fattah Al Burhan left peace talks with the RSF in Saudi Arabia over a lack of progress.
Russia gets more power
The Central African Republic’s Ambassador to Russia Dodonu-Punagaza, publicly declared his Country’s intent on hosting a Russian military base that could house up to 5,000 to 10,000 Russian soldiers. The President of the CAR National Assembly has also endorsed this proposal.
CAR is seen as one of Russia’s strongest strategic partners in Africa. In exchange for the CAR government receiving security in the form of Wagner forces, Russia is given strong rein over the country. Russia is the lead exporter of vodka and beer to the CAR, and they even have a slice of the CAR’s small-scale timber industry. Wagner also gets many good deals with mineral extractions and runs many mines all over Africa, which help fund their paramilitary.
Russian soldiers being based in the CAR would further cement ties between the two nations and possibly entice other African nations with an affinity towards Russia to look into a stronger engagement. In Sudan it is being reported that the Wagner Group may take a stronger role in helping the RSF in Sudan, with reports already surfacing of indirect involvement by Wagner.
Lula calls for an new South American currency
For his time in office both currently and formerly, left-wing Brazilian President Lula Inacio De Silva has been an opponent to the strength of the U.S. dollar in foreign currency reserves and trade. Lula helped cement Brazil’s status into BRICS.
On Tuesday, with a meeting of South American Leaders, Lula formally called for a new common currency for the Mercosur Bloc (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay). Lula aims to reduce reliance on the dollar. This will prove an arduous task for nations relyingi on their own Indigenous currencies.
Haley becomes Ukraine’s GOP advocate
One of the most controversial aspects of former President Trump’s history is his dismissive attitude towards Ukraine. He has publicly announced his recognition of the DPR and LPR breakaway territories, and was impeached in 2019 for allegedly withholding Javelin anti-tank guided missiles to Ukraine unless the Ukranian Government gave him information on Hunter Biden.
DeSantis has also taken on a non-interventionist attitude by saying on Fox News earlier this year, “while the US has many vital national interests … becoming further entangled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not one of them.”
On the other hand former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley has taken on a strong tone for supporting Ukraine. She has called for further arming of Ukraine, further U.S. support, and has shown herself to be one of the strongest pro-Ukraine leaders in the GOP. Her odds of winning the Presidency are next to zero, but she has put support for Ukraine in the spotlight and has opened up a unique lane in the GOP Primary, where a substantial share of the electorate support the continued arming of Ukraine.
Conservatives Hold Alberta
After a somewhat turbulent election, the United Conservative Party emerged victorious. There was controversy as new UCP leader Danielle Smith’s continued controversial statements made the election closer than it should have been in Alberta. This reliably conservative province is home to Canada’s natural gas industry.
Check out editor-in-chief Eric Cunningham’s detailed analysis of the Albertan Election here.