The UK's Prime Minister Liz Truss delivers a speech outside of 10 Downing Street in central London to announce her resignation. | Photo Credit: Daniel Leal/AFP

Weekly Recap: Oct 17 to Oct 23

Oct 24: British Prime Minister Liz Truss resigns after 45 days in office, China President Xi Jinping secures third term as leader of the CCP and unveils new Politburo Standing Committee, Former US President Donald Trump ordered to testify under oath surround last year’s US Capitol riots.

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North America:

  • Former US President Donald Trump was ordered last Friday (Oct 21) to testify under oath and provide documents to the House of Representatives committee investigating last year’s January attack on the US Capitol by his supporters. The committee said it had sent a subpoena to Trump requiring documents to be submitted to the panel by November 4 and for him to appear for deposition testimony around November 14. Trump is not likely to cooperate with the subpoena.
  • Canada banned the sale, purchase, and transfer of handguns last Friday (Oct 21) in the latest gun-control measures. A handgun ‘freeze’ was announced in May along with strengthened gun control measures to tackle gun violence. The regulations that took effect on Friday also prevent individuals from bringing newly acquired handguns into the country, according to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office. 
  • The United Nations (UN) Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution and imposed sanctions last Friday (Oct 21) demanding an immediate end to violence and criminal activity in Haiti. The sanctions will allow the imposition of an asset freeze, and travel and arms ban on those who threaten the peace and stability of the country – starting with top gang leader Jimmy Cherizier. Meanwhile, the United States and Mexico are working on a second resolution that will allegedly help restore security and allow the delivery of desperately needed humanitarian aid.
  • A new programme for Venezuelan asylum seekers set up by US immigration officials began accepting applications as announced last Tuesday (Oct 18) by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The programme which is aimed at addressing the growing number of Venezuelans seeking asylum at the US-Mexican border will allow 24,000 Venezuelans to come into the US by air. This also includes the expansion of a border expulsion policy known as Title 42, allowing many entering the US through the southern border to be  expelled back to Mexico.
  • Hurricane Roslyn, a Category 4 storm, was expected last Saturday (Oct 22) to hit Mexico shores with strong, damaging winds. The storm made its landfall last Sunday (Oct 23) as a Category 3 storm on the Mexican state Nayarit with sustained winds reaching 195 kilometres per hour. The maximum sustained winds recorded from the hurricane so far nearly reached 215 kilometres per hour. Authorities have since declared a precautionary alert in the coastal states of Jalisco, Colima, Nayarit and Sinaloa.

South America:

  • An infamous Colombian drug kingpin and paramilitary leader Daniel Rendón Herrera, known as Don Mario, was sentenced by a New York court to 35 years in jail last Monday (Oct 17). Don Mario who was captured at his rural hideout in 2009 and extradited to the US in 2018 was the most wanted kingpin in Colombia at the time. He pleaded guilty to trafficking more than 80 tonnes of cocaine to the United States. He also led a right-wing paramilitary group United Self-Defence Forces (AUC) which was involved in attacking and killing anyone who was deemed a sympathiser of Colombia’s left-wing rebel groups, displacing thousands of Colombians. 
  • Thousands of people in Bolivia took to the streets in Santa Cruz last Saturday (Oct 22) to protest the postponement of a population and housing census which delayed the distribution of economic resources and defining seats in the Bolivian parliament. Vicente Cuellar, the head of Bolivia’s committee overseeing the process said that 2023 and 2024 will not be “opportune” for the census due to a scheduled election in 2025.
  • The Organisation of American States (OAS) passed a resolution last Thursday (Oct 20) to send a mission to Peru in a bid to promote national dialogue in “preserving representative democracy”. Earlier this month, Peruvian officials launched an investigation into President Castillo on corruption allegations and President Castillo accused them of attempting a “coup d’etat”. The OAS council has also called on all political actors in Peru to show respect for the “rule of law” as a team will be dispatched at an unspecified date to assess the situation.
  • Legal representatives for Argentine President Alberto Fernández last Thursday (Oct 20) said that the President will launch a civil suit against Walter ‘Alfa’ Santiago, a contestant on the “Big Brother” TV show. Santiago in an episode of the TV show last Wednesday claimed that he had paid bribes to the head of state. In response, the Casa Rosada (Office of the Argentine President) denied those claims, saying that the President did not engage in corruption and had never met Santiago. Santiago, a car salesman has been known for his bombastic style and has constantly drawn attention through his political statements against governments.
  • Another landslide in northern Venezuela claimed the lives of three people in the town of Maracay last Monday (Oct 17). This came just after 50 people were killed in a similar incident a week before. The landslide damaged more than 50 homes with many residents needing rescue. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro blamed climate change as the cause of the heavy rains that resulted in frequent landslides. 

Asia Pacific: 

  • The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) removed Pakistan from its list of countries under “increased monitoring” last Friday (Oct 21). Pakistan was placed on the list in 2018 due to claims that it had “strategic counter-terrorist financing-related deficiencies”, according to the FTAF. FTAF President T Raja Kumar reasoned that Pakistan has since addressed these deficiencies to meet the commitments of the 34-point action plan regarding money laundering, terrorist financing and action against terrorism, allowing it to be removed from the list. The removal is seen as great news for Pakistan, for it can now benefit from financial flows in banks and remittances. 
  • Mallikarjun Kharge, former Minister of Railways and Minister of Labour and Employment in the Government of India, was elected president of the Indian National Congress last Wednesday (Oct 19). This appointment marks the first time in 24 years since a non-Gandhi was elected. India’s opposition Congress party elected Kharge in hopes of reversing its electoral decline at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party are gaining support. 
  • China President Xi Jinping unveiled his new Politburo Standing Committee last Sunday (Oct 23) as he secured a third term as leader of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). He is the second party leader after CCP founder Mao Zedong to serve a third term. The unveiling came after a week-long party congress in Beijing with Mr Xi revealing the seven individuals of the Politburo Standing Committee. The committee will set the path of China’s development and international relations for the next five years. 
  • Eight people were killed and 18 others injured in explosions in Myanmar’s Insein prison in Yangon last Wednesday (Oct 19). According to local authorities, two parcel bombs went off at the entrance to the jail, killing three prison staff and five visitors. No group or individual has yet to claim responsibility for the attack. Insein prison is known as the country’s largest jail housing about ten thousand prisoners and is infamous for housing political prisoners.
  • Indonesia last Tuesday (Oct 18) announced plans to demolish the Kanjuruhan stadium which left 131 people dead and hundreds injured in a stampede earlier this month. President Joko Widodo said the stadium in Malang would be rebuilt according to safety standards set by the sport’s governing body Fédération Internationale de Football Association or FIFA. 


  • British Prime Minister Liz Truss resigned last Thursday (Oct 20) after 45 days in office, making her the shortest-serving prime minister in the United Kingdom’s (UK) history. Truss admitted that she was unable to deliver on the promises she made when she ran for the position of the Conservative Party (Tories) leader,  which threw the Tories into further disorder. A leadership election is expected to be completed within this week. Contenders for the position include former Finance Minister Rishi Sunak, Leader of the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt and the Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt.
  • Italy’s right-wing leader Giorgia Meloni formally accepted the job as Italy’s first female prime minister last Saturday (Oct 22). Her new government, “Brothers of Italy”, is said to be the most “far-right” in Italy since World War II, and takes power in a period of time when inflation and energy crises are at their peak. Meloni’s government will include Matteo Salvini’s far-right League and the right-of-centre Forza Italia of Silvio Berlusconi.
  • At least 80,000 Iranians marched in Berlin last Saturday (Oct 22) in support of the ongoing protests in Iran. The protests were set off by the death of a young woman, Mahsa Amini, in the custody of the morality police on Sept 16. Organisers said that there were 100,000 attendees at the protest, with the protesters demanding further sanctions against Iran’s revolutionary guard and for Iranian diplomats to be removed from Western capitals.
  • A Russian military plane crashed into a two-storey house in southern Siberia yesterday killing both pilots last Sunday (Oct 23). No civilians have been reported hurt. According to the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations, the plane was on a test flight before it crashed into a fireball, sending black smoke into the sky. Russia’s state Investigative Committee said that it has opened an investigation into the incident of a possible violation of air security rules.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said last Saturday (Oct 22) that Russia launched “massive strikes” targeting Ukraine’s energy grid in the western, central, southern and eastern regions. Ukrainian officials have said that nearly 1.5 million households were left without electricity. Ukrenergo, the national electricity operator, said that the strikes may have caused more serious damages than the previous bombardment earlier this month. 

Middle East:

  • Yemen’s Houthi militia launched a drone attack on the Al-Dhabba oil terminal in the Hadramout province last Friday (Oct 21). The attack drew condemnation from the Arab League and the United Nations (UN) who said that it was a “deeply worrying” military escalation. Yemen’s Foreign Minister Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak reiterated calls for measures for the international community to put an end to the drone attacks by Iran-backed Houthis. This was the first major escalation to the conflict between the internationally recognised Yemen government and the Houthis since the UN-mediated truce expired on Oct 2 without the parties reaching an agreement.
  • Iran condemned calls from France, Germany and the United Kingdom (UK) for the United Nations (UN) last Saturday (Oct 22) to investigate allegations of Russia using drones of Iranian origin to attack Ukraine. The three European countries endorsed a call by Ukraine last Monday for a UN inquiry, arguing that the usage of the drones violates UN Security Council 2231 endorsing the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said that the calls were “false and baseless” and that they will defend the interests of the Iranian people. Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi also denied supplying drones to Moscow in the Ukraine war.
  • A Palestinian fighter was killed in an explosion in the occupied West Bank last Sunday (Oct 23). The Lions’ Den, a Palestinian armed group comprised of young Palestinians accused Israel of being responsible for attacks. The Israeli military has refused to comment on the allegations. They have been conducting night raids on the West Bank to break apart armed groups.
  • Turkey accused the United States last Friday (Oct 21) of bullying Saudi Arabia for its decision to have OPEC+ cut oil production from November onwards.  This move was met with grievances from the US with US President Joe Biden saying that “there will have consequences’ ‘ for American relations with Saudi Arabia. Turkish foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu condemned the move in a news conference, saying that it is wrong for the US to exert pressure on Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia on the same day has agreed to work together with China to strengthen energy security amid tensions with the US.
  • Iran opened a consulate general in Kapan, Armenia last Friday (Oct 21), marking it as the first country to set up diplomatic ties in a province of Syunik sought by both Azerbaijan and Turkey. This move came in protest to Azerbaijan and Turkey’s wish of establishing a transport link, the “Zangezur corridor” connecting Azerbaijan’s exclave of Nakhchivan with the Azerbaijani mainland. The implementation of the Zangezur corridor will have serious impacts on Iran-Armenia commerce and will sever a major Iranian transit link with the South Caucasus. The opening of the consulate supports Tehran’s claim that it would not tolerate any changes to the borders and transit links with Armenia. 


  • Ibrahim Traore was sworn in as interim president of Burkina Faso last Friday (Oct 21). The appointment comes after the removal of Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba a few weeks ago. Under Traore’s leadership, it is claimed that he would support the transition towards the “reconquest of territory” that is currently being occupied by “hordes of terrorists”.  Burkina Faso has been in a state of political instability due to armed uprisings that have resulted in thousands killed and two million displaced. 
  • President Mahamat Idriss Deby declared a state of emergency in Chad last Wednesday (Oct 19) due to the flooding that has affected more than millions in the country. 636 localities in 18 of 23 provinces in the country have been affected by the floods, with the southern provinces in particular being the worst affected areas. Even though floods typically occur in Chad during the rainy season from May to October, rainfall this year was at a record high. In response, the government has implemented a response plan to provide food, shelter and sanitation. 
  • World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned last Wednesday (Oct 19) of a possible genocide occurring in Tigray. According to Ghebreyesus, food and healthcare have been weaponised in northern Ethiopia. Ghebreyesus used to be the health minister and foreign affairs minister of Ethiopia and has been vocal about Ethiopian authorities’ actions and behaviour since the war began in 2020 when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent troops to Tigray after accusing the Tigray People’s Liberation Front of attacking federal army camps. 
  • Ethiopia’s military seized control over three towns from rebel forces in the northern Tigray region last Tuesday (Oct 18). According to the Tigray Central Command, the towns of Shire, Alamata and Korem fell into the hands of the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF). The Shire, in particular, allows the ENDF to gain wider access to other Tigray areas such as the regional capital Mekelle. International organisations like the United Nations and the European Union have called for an immediate ceasefire of the conflict that resulted from disagreements over how to distribute power between federal and regional authorities. 
  • The al-Shabab group launched an attack at a hotel in Somalia’s Kismayo last Sunday (Oct 23), which killed nine civilians. According to the security minister for Jubbaland Yussuf Hussein Dhumal, a car filled with explosives was detonated at the gate of the hotel which caused severe injuries to 47 people, including students and civilians. Dhumal highlights that security officers have since killed three of the attackers. Kismayo was the latest city to be targeted in a resurgence of attacks by the al-Qaeda-linked organisation.
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The IAS Gazette is a news site run by undergraduates from the Singapore Institute of Management’s International Affairs Society (IAS). Founded in 2018, it traces its roots to The Capital, a now defunct bimonthly magazine previously under the IAS.

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