Environmental protests in Germany over planned Tesla car plant

By: Dhipa Palani

Reading Time: 2 minutes On Saturday, January 18, around 250 German protesters spoke out in Berlin against American car manufacturer Tesla’s plans to build a Tesla Gigafactory, claiming that the construction of the plant will consume enormous amounts of water and endanger surrounding wildlife. The US automotive and energy company had announced plans in November to construct its first European car factory in Gruenheide near the Berlin Brandenburg International Airport located southeast of Berlin.

Environmental protests in Germany have previously halted construction plans such as the Rhenish-Westphalian Power Plant’s (RWE) lignite mining at the Hambach Forest near Cologne in November 2019, where over 1,000 environmental activists broke through police lines and blocked train tracks at three major coal mines.

Global leaders meet in Berlin in bid to end Libyan war

By: Zachary Frye

Reading Time: 2 minutes Rival camps in the Second Libyan Civil War met on Sunday, January 19 in Berlin, Germany, discussing the possibility of ending the conflict. Fayez al-Sarraj, head of the elected government, and Khalifa Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA), were joined by the United States, Russia, Turkey, France and Italy at the talks.

The LNA is reportedly the main aggressor, with Haftar’s forces storming into the capital, Tripoli, in an attempt to overthrow the government in April 2019.

Ever since Libya’s longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi was ousted and killed during a NATO-backed uprising in 2011, the country has faced an ongoing leadership crisis. Gaddafi was deemed by many as a dictator whose administration reportedly violated human rights and backed global terrorism. However, while ruling the country for 42 years, Gaddafi also often managed to keep internal factions in check.

Amazon’s ‘world domination’ continues as it undercuts local businesses in India and reportedly pays zero federal taxes

By: The Millennial Source

Reading Time: 3 minutes Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was greeted by angry protestors accusing him of “crushing” Indian e-commerce and retail trade during his visit to India on Jan. 15.

Infuriated small store owners demonstrated in the streets to protest Amazon’s deep discounting, which has driven many local small businesses to bankruptcy.

Go beyond the headlines…

– What investigation has India’s antitrust investigator initiated against Amazon?
– How has Amazon paid the least amount of tax among the Silicon Valley Six?

Chinese president visits Myanmar to expand Belt and Road Initiative

By: Zachary Frye

Reading Time: 2 minutes Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Myanmar on Friday, January 17 for diplomatic meetings looking to expand Beijing’s signature international economic development program, called the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Jinping is expected to sign a deal worth $1.3 billion for a seaport in Rakhine State, located in the far west of Myanmar. Once completed, the port – named the Kyaukphyu Port due to its location in the Kyaukphyu special economic zone (SEZ) – will give the Chinese direct access to the Indian Ocean for trade.

Madrid’s low-emissions zone has dropped pollution to 10-year low, report says

By: Joseph Lyttleton

Reading Time: 2 minutes A low-emissions zone in Spain’s capital appears to have brought about a 10-year low in pollution, despite opposition from the city’s current mayor. The zone, known as Madrid Central, was implemented in 2018 by Madrid’s previous mayor.

However, when the opposition party was voted in the following year, the newly elected mayor attempted to have the new restrictions lifted.

Over 3,500 migrants enter Guatemala with Mexico and US in their sights

By: The Millennial Source

Reading Time: 2 minutes At least 3,500 Central Americans have entered Guatemala in US-bound caravans from Honduras, heading to Mexico and the United States, according to authorities on January 17. The massive migration is reportedly placing pressure on other regions, with US President Donald Trump’s demands to curb illegal immigration.

The event is likely to be closely monitored by the US government. President Trump has been pressuring Mexico and Central American nations to accept a series of migration pacts that aim to shift the responsibility of dealing with asylum seekers onto them, and away from the United States.

Russia appoints new PM a day after entire government resigns

By: The Millennial Source

Reading Time: 2 minutes Russian economist and politician Mikhail Vladimirovich Mishustin has been elected as the country’s new prime minister, a day after the entire government resigned on January 15.

Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, confirmed Mishustin’s new role on January 16 amid a major political shakeup. Mishustin served as the head of the Russian Federal Taxation Service (FTS), where he led the reformation of the country’s fiscal system.

Africa’s richest woman hints at Angolan presidency

By: Dhipa Palani

Reading Time: 2 minutes Angolan billionaire Isabel dos Santos dubbed the “petrodollar princess” has suggested that she may seek to become the country’s next president. In a January 16 interview with the BBC in London, Dos Santos declined four times to rule out running for the presidency.

Currently living abroad, she stressed that her life would be at risk if she were to return to Angola. Despite this, Dos Santos did not rule out the possibility of running for president, mentioning that she has a strong sense of patriotism and duty to her country. “To lead is to serve, so I will do whatever my life takes me,” she said.

Dos Santos has also told a Portuguese television channel that “it’s possible” she might run for the presidency in 2022. The announcement marks a dramatic shift for someone who has consistently portrayed herself as an entrepreneur with no interest in politics.

Hong Kong leader says ‘one country, two systems’ may continue beyond 2047 deadline

By: Zachary Frye

Reading Time: 2 minutes On Thursday, January 16, Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s chief executive, said the city’s unique ‘one country, two systems’ status could continue beyond 2047. ‘One country, two systems’ is a legal agreement signed in 1997 between Hong Kong and mainland China.

The system – meant to ensure a smooth transition from colonial rule – is set to expire in 2047. At the time of signing, it was expected that Hong Kong would eventually be reintegrated with the mainland. Under the agreement, Hong Kong is considered a Chinese Special Administrative Region (SAR). Although Hong Kong has its own currency, legislature and courts, it is unable to conduct independent foreign affairs or defense.

Over 100 dead in Kashmir avalanches, many more still buried under snow

By: The Millennial Source

Reading Time: 2 minutes More than 24 hours of heavy snowfall and rain have triggered a series of avalanches and landslides in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, killing at least 100 people.

“The severe snowfalls and landslides in AJK [Azad Jammu and Kashmir] have caused misery & deaths. I have asked the NDMA [National Disaster Management Authority], the military & all our federal ministers to immediately provide all humanitarian assistance on an emergency footing to the affected people in AJK,” Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted after visiting the region.

US and China sign trade deal, easing tensions

By: Dhipa Palani

Reading Time: 2 minutes After two years of negotiations, the United States and China have signed an agreement, easing tensions in the ongoing trade war. US President Donald Trump said the pact would be “transformative” for the US economy. “Together we are righting the wrongs of the past and delivering a future of economic justice and security for American workers, farmers and families,” Trump said.

According to the deal, the majority of the border taxes remain in place, with most tariff removals likely to be done in phase two which is expected after the US presidential elections in November 2020.

The Democrats held their final debate before the primaries begin – everything you should know about their health care views

By: The Millennial Source

Reading Time: 4 minutes On Tuesday, six of the 12 remaining United States Democratic candidates for president met on a debate. This was the seventh debate for the Democrats of this election season and the last before the first primary, which will occur in Iowa Feb. 3.

Of the six candidates who qualified to appear on the debate stage, four are considered among the likely candidates to earn the party’s nomination.

Go beyond the headlines…

– Who are the six candidates who qualified for the debate?
– Why didn’t Michael Bloomberg make an appearance?