Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune had pledged efforts to reaffirm support for Palestinians at the Arab League summit. | Photo Credit: Algerian Presidency/Reuters

Weekly Recap Oct 31 to Nov 6

Nov 7: The Ethiopian government and Tigrayan leaders agree on a formal cessation of hostilities, Arab League meeting takes place in Algeria, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wins election.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

North America:

  • The Commander of US Strategic Command, Admiral Charles Richard, warned of China’s nuclear weapon development capability exceeding that of the United States last Wednesday (Nov 2). During a speech at the Naval Submarine League Annual Symposium, he commented that the US does not have good enough operating plans, commanders, or forces, before calling the development of China’s nuclear weapons programme a “near-term problem.” Richard had previously warned of China’s nuclear development in 2021, calling their programme a “strategic breakout.” China’s modernisation has long been viewed as a strategic threat to the US, with Pentagon officials sounding the alarm for years.
  • Twitter laid off thousands of employees across the company last Friday (Nov 4)—a move seen to potentially upend the operational capacities of one of the world’s most used platforms. US President Joe Biden criticised billionaire Elon Musk and his acquisition of Twitter at a Democratic fundraiser in Illinois, saying that “Elon Musk goes out and buys an outfit that spews lies all across the world,” adding that “there’s no editors anymore in America.”
  • The US House select committee investigating the capitol riot in January, announced last Friday (Nov 4) that former President Trump and his legal team must start producing records no later than next week. The records requested include calls, texts, photos, videos, memoranda, and notes of conversation leading up and during the riot. While the committee has issued a subpoena, it appears unlikely that Trump will testify to the committee, after blasting their efforts investigating the Capitol riot and calling it the “unselect committee.”
  • Canada’s Department of National Defence said last Friday (Nov 4) that it was investigating reports that China attempted to use lucrative payouts to incentivise British, Canadian and other former military pilots to train its air force. This October, the BBC reported that former military personnel from Canada and other allied nations are being targeted by intermediaries with offers that can include six-figure payouts. A Canadian National Defence spokesperson reiterated the commitment to the nation’s national security by the Department of National Defence, the Canadian Armed Forces and its members.
  • The US Federal Reserve executed a fourth consecutive historically large interest rate hike last Wednesday (Nov 2), an increase of 0.75 percentage points, in an effort to combat soaring inflation. Citing recent high inflation figures, Federal Chair Jerome Powell said that “[t]here’s no sense that inflation is coming down.” The Federal strategy has concerned economists who believe that the Fed’s strategy is likely to tip the economy into a recession by next year.
  • The United States and Canada imposed sanctions on Haitian politicians over their alleged ties to armed gangs. The current and former presidents of Haiti’s Senate, Joseph Lambert and Youri Latortue, were accused of  using their positions “to protect and enable the illegal activities of armed criminal gangs” through “money laundering and other acts of corruption”. The country facesis facing a dire humanitarian and security crisis fuelled by gang and criminal activity.

South America:

  • Two inmates were killed and at least six police officers wounded last Wednesday (Nov 3), in the latest of a series of gang-linked prison violence in Ecuador, This has led to more than 300 deaths this year, according to local authorities. The latest clash took place in the Guayas 1 prison, during which police officers were confronted by inmates with guns and explosives. The escalating violence in the country is fuelled by feuding drug gangs, as Ecuador grapples with a surge in local drug-distribution and consumption.
  • An Indigenous group in Peru’s Amazon forest freed an estimated 100 tourists who had their riverboat detained in Loreto, in northern Peru, last Friday (Nov 4). The Cuninico community held the local and international tourists for a day, in protest over government inaction concerning toxic oil spills, which caused more than 1,000 inhabitants as well as those in other communities to consume contaminated water and fish. Peru’s Minister of Mines and Energy Alessandra Herrera Jara had since said  her ministry was responding to the community’s request and an environmental emergency had been declared in the affected area.
  • Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in Peru’s Capital of Lima on Saturday (Nov 5) protesting for the resignation of President Pedro Castillo. Protectors marched towards Peru’s Parliament and the government palace, until riot police fired tear gas. Castillo is facing six criminal investigations for corruption, although he denied any charges.
  • Brazil’s Supreme Court ordered police to remove roadblocks erected by supporters of outgoing President Jair Bolsonaro last Tuesday (Nov 1) in protest of the appointment of the nation’s President-elect Lula da Silva. More than 271 points were obstructed along highways amid the protests occurring in at least 23 states across the country. In a statement on Tuesday, Bolsonaro thanked his followers and said he would adhere to Brazil’s constitution stipulating that Lula’s government will come into office on January 1st. 
  • Brazil, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, countries home to large tropical rainforests may form an “Opec of rainforests” under an agreement that would coordinate conservation efforts, as understood by news agencies last Saturday (Nov 5). The move would come to fulfil a campaign promise by President-elect Lula da Silva to fight for zero deforestation of the Amazon, following rampant deforestation under Jair Bolsonaro’s regime, during which more than 1.55 million hectares of forest were cleared in the Amazon rainforest in 2021.  The three countries are home to 52% of the world’s remaining primary tropical forests. 

Asia Pacific: 

  • Ousted Pakistan former Prime Minister Imran Khan was wounded in the leg last Thursday (Nov 3) when a burst of gunfire hit his vehicle while holding a protest march in the eastern city of Wazirabad. One person was killed and at least five others injured, Khan is currently in a stable condition. A senior aide and spokesperson for Imran Khan accused the Pakistani government of being “directly involved” in the attack. The Pakistani government had yet to comment. 
  • In a seminal meeting since Chinese President Xi Jinping secured an unprecedented third term, President Xi told the visiting leader of Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party, Nguyen Phu Trong, last Monday (Oct 31) that both countries should “never let anyone interfere” or “let any force shake the institutional foundation” of their development. The bullish message against foreign interference came at a time of strained tensions between China and the West. Trong was the first foreign leader to visit President Xi since he secured his position as General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party.
  • Campaigning for Malaysia’s general election kicked off last Saturday (Nov 5). The Barisan Nasional (BN) party had ruled Malaysia since the country’s independence from Britain in 1957 however anger over government corruption led the coalition to lose to Anwar Ibrahim’s, the long believed to be successor of the prime ministerial position, Pakatan Harapan (PH) in 2018. Two-time former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and Anwar Ibrahim had submitted their nomination papers. The election is expected to see stiff competition between three main coalitions and dozens of independent blocs vying for power amidst the fragmented political landscape 
  • In a report published last Wednesday (Nov 2) by a group of international legislators nd parliamentarians said that support from China, Russia and India is enabling Myanmar’s Junta to sustain its power and carry out human rights abuses despite its failure to consolidate power following last year’s coup. The report wrote that the support for Myanmar’s military has come amid an “utter” lack of progress on a peace plan proposed by the country’s neighbours in the Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). They called on countries that professed support for democracy to immediately recognise Myanmar’s shadow National Unity Government (NUG) as the legitimate sovereign authority in the country and provide funding for the NUG.
  • Vietnam tightened regulations to deal with “false” content on social media platforms such that it must be taken down within 24 hours, instead of the previous 48 hours. Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung told parliament last Friday (Nov 4) that there was a risk that “false news, if it is handled in a slow manner, will spread very widely.” Vietnam’s move came amid intensifying crackdowns against dissidents.


  • The Russian paramilitary group Wagner opened its first headquarters in St Petersburg, Russia, last Friday (Nov 4). The group, controlled by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin and sanctioned by the US and the EU, has been cited as a private mercenary force whose fighters carry out clandestine operations on Moscow’s behalf in Ukraine, Syria, Libya, the Central African Republic, Sudan and Mozambique. The opening of the “Wagner Centre” is seen as another step amongst others by Prigozhin to take a more public role in shaping Russia’s defence policy.
  • A European parliamentary committee investigating the use of spyware in the bloc urged Greek officials last Friday (Nov 4) to dig harder and shed light on a phone surveillance scandal that targeted opposition politicians and journalists. The scandal, which shook Greece’s centre-right government this year, was regarding the  Greek National Intelligence Service (EYP) tapping opposition party leader Nikos Androulakis’ phone. Committee rapporteur Sophie in ‘t Veld said that while no definitive proof emerged, “everything is pointing in the direction of people in government circles.” The Greek government has said that it will increase accountability at EYP with plans to ban the use of spyware by private entities in Greece, although no further information has been provided.
  • France and Germany called on Italy last Friday (Nov 4) to grant a safe port to a humanitarian rescue ship carrying nearly 1,000 migrants stranded at sea off Italy for more than a week. While pressure from humanitarian groups such as the UN refugee agency and European NGO SOS Mediterranee, Italy’s new right-wing government had issued a directive warning that they were considering banning humanitarian ships from Italian ports. SOS Humanity head of operations Till Rummenhohl said last Sunday (Nov 6) that their supplies will last till the beginning of this week before running out of food.
  • North Macedonia’s parliament adopted a law that will prevents organisations and cultural clubs from adopting names deemed to be linked to fascism last Thursday (Nov 3). The move followed recent protests against the legacy of a Second World War monarch in neighbouring Bulgaria, after an ethnic Bulgarian association named itself after King Boris III. Existing organisations must revise any controversial names within three months or be removed from the country’s central register. The bill also prohibits political parties and groups from using symbols or names of individuals directed against other religious or ethnic groups. The proposed law passed with 67 votes in the 120-member parliament.
  • German Chancellor Olaf Scholz urged President Xi Jinping last Friday (Nov 4) to use China’s influence on Russia to stop the war in Ukraine. As the first Western leader to travel to Beijing since the pandemic and since President Xi secured an unprecedented third term, Chancellor Scholz’s visit is seen as highly questionable by those who worry that his presence would o cement the domestic ruling of President Xi. However, Chancellor Scholz said both countries had agreed Russia’s nuclear threats were “irresponsible and highly dangerous” and will seek to cooperate within the international community.

Middle East: 

  • Iran announced its successful launch of a new satellite-carrying rocket on Saturday (Nov 5). The launch came three months after launching a satellite in conjunction with Russia, and amid the United States’ repeated concerns that such operations may ‘boost Iran’s ballistic missile technology’, or extend to the potential launching of nuclear warheads. Iranian authorities insisted its activities were for civil or defensive purposes, including the possible launch of Iran’s Nahid satellite for the telecommunications ministry. 
  • Israel launched several air attacks in the Gaza Strip on Friday (Nov 4), following its three-day offensive in August earlier this year which killed 49 Palestinians. Four rockets were launched from Gaza to Israel earlier on Friday (Nov 4), of which three did not enter the country and one was intercepted. 
  • Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-wing coalition won the Israeli election last Thursday (Nov 3). Netanyahu and his partners, including the Religious Zionism party, won 64 out 120-seats, with 32 going to Netanyahu’s Likud. The victory is a reversal of fortunes for the former leader amid charges of corruption and fraud, which he had denied. 
  • Russia’s President Vladimir Putin told his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday (Nov 1) that Moscow would consider resuming a deal allowing grain exports from Ukrainian seaports. However, it would resume only after receiving “real guarantees” about Kyiv’s adherence to the Istanbul agreement, particularly to the avoidance of the humanitarian corridor being used for military purposes. Russia additionally insisted on the completion of the investigation into alleged drone attacks on the Crimean naval port housing Moscow’s Black Sea Fleet. The grain deal was brokered by Turkey, and is due to expire on November 19. 
  • Arab leaders met for the first Arab League summit meeting since the COVID-19 pandemic, in Algeria, on Monday (Nov), despite the absence of Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman and the UAE’s Mohammed bin Zayed. The 22 member countries expressed the importance of the Palestinian cause despite their varying ties with Israel.


  • Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets in Accra, Ghana, in protest of the country’s spiralling economic crisis on Saturday (Nov 5). Protectors called for the resignation President Nana Akufo-Addo and opposed his administration’s bid to acquire a loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in a bid to have Ghana utilise its resources such as oil and gold instead of accumulating further debt. The protest was the latest in a series of peaceful demonstrations amid record high fuel and food prices and a credit plummet of 40% against the US Dollar this year. 
  • South Africa was set to receive US$497 million (S$698 million) to decommission one of its largest coal-fired power plants, according to the World Bank last Thursday (Nov 4). The Komati plant would be repurposed to generate solar and wind energy. The nation is one of the world’s largest polluters and is dependent on coal for more than 80% of its energy needs. The nation seeks to ease carbon emissions and create employment opportunities amid the switch to renewable energy.  South Africa procured US$8.5 billion (S$11.94) in loans from wealthy nations during the UN climate talks last year.
  • The Ethiopian government and Tigrayan rebel leaders have agreed to a formal cessation of all hostilities in Ethiopia, as announced on Wednesday (Nov 2). The decision came more than a week after the first formal peace talks began in South Africa. Both sides expressed their commitment to the new deal, which includes “orderly, smooth and coordinated disarmament” along with “restoration of law and order”. The conflict in the region killed thousands since it began in 2020, and caused widespread displacement and famine.
  • As many as 7.8 million people may face severe food shortages in South Sudan next year, according to the United Nations on Thursday (Nov 3). The shortages would be linked to rising inflation, poor macroeconomic conditions, declining humanitarian aid, climate change and conflict, and would be worse than the shortages at the height of the nation’s civil war between 2013 and 2016. The warning from United Nations agencies come alongside South Sudan’s Minster of Agriculture ‘s urge for action to “refocus” our and redirect resources across the country.
  • The COP27 summit began last Sunday (Nov 6), in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. The meeting was expected to discuss climate finance and the mitigation of further global temperature rise. The summit came after Egyptian host of the COP27 summit criticised attending countries of making empty public pledges on Friday (Nov 4). Diplomat Wael Aboulmagd expressed frustration that countries’ positive sentiments towards the climate crisis does not “translate” into the negotiating rooms, including annual funding for developing countries. 
Print Friendly, PDF & Email


+ posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

About Us

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.

The Capital Magazine

%d bloggers like this: