Friday News Roundup - International

Researchers around the world warned of the escalating toll of climate change this week. Carbon dioxide emissions around the world are reaching record highs. Global emissions grew 1.6 percent in 2017, reported The Washington Post. The rise in 2018? A projected 2.7 percent. This is a bad sign as world leaders gather at the COP 24 summit in Poland to talk about ways to prevent global temperature increases.

In France, the Yellow Vest Protests turned violent this week. “The French Interior Ministry estimates 136,000 protesters turned out across the country over the weekend, in addition to 280,000 in previous weeks,” according to NPR.

Protestors had the initial demand of repealing French President Emanuel Macron’s “green tax,” which will increase the price of fuel. After these protests, Macron’s government scrapped the tax. But now, the protestors also want an increase in the French minimum wage.

Where are these protests coming from? The New York Times reports that rural French citizens may be affected the most.

Since public transportation is limited in rural France and the suburbs, most of the Yellow Vests have no choice but to use their cars — and are especially sensitive to fuel tax hikes. And that tax comes on top of already high payroll taxes that help the government pay for the health care system, social security and unemployment insurance, among other things.

U.N.-backed peace talks for the war in Yemen began in Sweden this week. The BBC reports that the “key aim of this round is to prevent an all-out battle for the rebel-held Red Sea port of Hudaydah where thousands of civilians are trapped.” The talks between the Houthi rebels and the Yemeni government are due to last a week.

The United States and China may also have reached a slight détente in the ongoing trade war, but tensions may be exacerbated by the arrest of an executive from leading Chinese tech company Huawei by Canadian authorities. The company builds telecommunications networks and sells smartphones. Per CNN, Huawei is viewed by American intelligence services as a national security threat.

The executive in question is the organization’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, though the charges have not been specified. The United States has asked that Wanzhou be extradited to the United States.

And in Israel, police have recommended indicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and his wife Sara, on bribery charges related to a telecommunications company. Israeli news site Haaretz reports:

The police are recommending that the prime minister be charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust as well as aggravated fraudulent receiving of an item. The recommended charges against Sara Netanyahu are bribery, fraud, breach of trust and obstruction of justice.

This is the third such allegation of corruption-related Netanyahu negotiating favorable press coverage. Prime Minister Netanyahu released a statement saying he and his wife were not surprised by the indictment.

We’re wrapping up the news around the world this week with a panel of top journalists.


Ravi Agrawal, Managing editor, Foreign Policy; former New Delhi bureau chief, CNN; @ravireports

Shawn Donnan, Senior writer, Bloomberg; former world trade editor, Financial Times; @sdonnan

Michele Kelemen, Diplomatic correspondent, NPR.

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