World in brief

Recaps of the top news stories that happened last week from across the globe

  1. Slovakia elects first female president

In a highly contested run-off election over the past weekend, Slovakia elected Zuzana Caputova as the country’s first female president in its history.

Caputova, who had no prior political experience, defeated well-known diplomat Maros Sefcovic, winning 58 percent of the vote, while Sefcovic took 42 percent.

Caputova is a member of the liberal Progressive Slovakia Party, which currently holds no seats in the country’s parliament.

Running as an anti-corruption candidate, Caputova said she was largely inspired to run when an investigative journalist, Jan Kuciak, was shot outside his home last year in Feb. of 2018 while investigating links between politicians and organized crime.

Caputova’s primary theme of her campaign was “good vs. evil” and revolved around defeating corruption in government.

Source: BBC News at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-47756368

2. President of Algeria resigns

At the age of 82, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria announced that he would be stepping down before his term ends on April 28, following two decades as the country’s leader.

His resignation comes after weeks-long protests by millions of Algerians, demanding he step down as president.

Abdelkader Bensalah, the country’s chairman of the upper house of parliament, will assume the role of temporary president until a proper election is held in approximately 90 days.

The embattled and wheelchair-bound Bouteflika has rarely been seen in public since he suffered a stroke in 2013, leaving many to believe that his leadership was ineffective and that he was “unfit for leadership.”

Source: The Independent  at https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/algeria-president-abdelaziz-bouteflika-resign-protests-latest-a8849796.html

3. New imperial era declared in Japan

On April 1, Japan declared that the newest imperial era —or “gengo” — for the country would be deemed the “Reiwa Era” when the newest emperor, Prince Naruhito, is sworn in on May 1. 

The title of an era is chosen whenever the current emperor dies or retires, and the symbol is traditionally used on coins, calendars and newspapers throughout the country. 

The current emperor, Emperor Akihito, who took the mantle in 1989, plans to abdicate the throne to his son on April 30, becoming the first emperor to do so in over two centuries. 

The position of emperor in Japan has become more of a ceremonial role in recent history, while the majority of political and governmental responsibilities are granted to the country’s prime minister.

Source: NBC News at https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/new-japanese-imperial-era-reiwa-takes-name-ancient-poetry-n989436

4. Russia sent troops to Venezuela

Tensions between the US and Russia are looking to boil over as approximately 100 Russian troops and military advisors landed in Venezuela last week. 

The move comes as Russia recently backed the country’s president, Nicolás Maduro, in opposition to the US and its allies.

The decision by Russia is seen as a direct threat to the security of the Western Hemisphere, as the US and over 50 countries have backed opposition leader Juan Guaidó.

National security advisor to President Trump, John Bolton, warned against Russian interference in a statement that stated the US “strongly caution actors external to the Western Hemisphere against deploying military assets to Venezuela.”

Russia has since downplayed the significance of the move, as it comes in the middle of a Venezuelan humanitarian crisis, with nationwide blackouts as well as food and medical shortages.

Source: The Hill at https://thehill.com/policy/international/americas/436586-tensions-between-the-united-states-and-russia-over-venezuela

5. Ukrainian comedian potentially president 

Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a 41- year-old comedic actor, is in a strong position to potentially become Ukraine’s next president. 

Following an election on March 31, Zelenskiy held a commanding first-place lead over incumbent president, Petro Poroshenko, as the country heads to a runoff election in three weeks. 

Zelenskiy had previously starred in a 2015 Ukrainian television show called “Servant of the People,” in which he ironically portrays a school teacher who eventually becomes president.

The election comes as the country is facing an economic downturn as well as government corruption and the geopolitical strife with Russia-sponsored separatists in eastern Ukraine which followed the country’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in 2014. 

Source: Fox News at https://www.foxnews.com/world/ukrainian-comedian-a-step-closer-to-taking-office-for-real

~Information compiled and written by Shawn Fleetwood, Staff Writer~



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