The morning news

By Natalia Ilina / November 21, 2017

Major events this Tuesday:

 

Today, the Russian President Vladimir Putin will discuss the Syrian crisis on the phone with Donald Trump, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar, and Middle Eastern leaders. This Monday, the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad held talks with Mr Putin in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, then officially thanked him, the Russian defence minister and military chief of staff for their support.

 

The political uncertainty in Germany now has a deadline. The Chief of Staff of the German Chancellery, Peter Altmaier, addressed political parties today, stressing that they needed to form a stable government in the next three weeks. Although Angela Merkel and her party won the elections on September 24th, her recent talks with the Free Democrats (FDP) and the Greens were unsuccessful. The prospect of a re-election is looming, although the President Frank-Walter Steinmeier called on the parties to rethink their position and is to meet their leaders today.

 

The Amnesty International report states a “global pushback against human rights” and call the Rohingya Muslims discrimination in Burma a “dehumanising apartheid”. The 111-page report examines the causes of the conflict in Burma and also speculates what would the Muslim refugees face, were they to return home from Bangladesh. Rohingyas movement in the country is restricted, they are being refused employment and basic healthcare services, attacks against Rohingyas are documented every day. According to the Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, “progress is being made” but the crisis “cannot be solved overnight”.

 

Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s 93-year-old President is encouraged to retire, as the impeachment process begins. The ousted vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa, who returned to Zimbabwe on November 17, called for the leader to “accept the will of people” and resign. “Mugabe has always said that if the people don’t want him he will leave office, now that they have spoken he must now accept the will of the people and resign,” he said. Emmerson Mnangagwa is Mugabe’s most likely successor if the current president is impeached or steps down as country leader.

 

The first big alien asteroid from outside our solar system flew past the Earth. The asteroid was baptised Oumuamua and has a very unusual shape: it’s 400 metres long and about 40 metres wide, with a complex, convoluted shape. The leading astronomer of the Institute for astronomy in Hawaii, Karen Meech, said: “We also found that it had a reddish color, similar to objects in the outer solar system, and confirmed that it is completely inert, without the faintest hint of dust around it.” Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington, talks about a history-making discovery: “For decades we’ve theorised that such interstellar objects are out there, and now – for the first time – we have direct evidence they exist.”

 

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Natalia Ilina

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