The World in a Flash
The week’s RoundUp is short and sweet, with just enough room for some of our favourite articles and stories from the week. From Trump’s making of history by firing an FBI Director that is investigating the president, a leaked political manifesto in the UK, a plea to help gay men in Chechnya, and finally a desperate cry for weapons.
Trump Fires FBI Director
Amid the FBI’s investigation into Russian influence in the 2016 US Presidential Elections, President Trump has fired the head of the FBI on the advice of the Department of Justice. Trump had praised the FBI chief during the election campaign as being ‘courageous’ in going public with Secretary Hillary’s email controversy. However, in a bizarre – albeit not out of character – turn of events, the President justified the dismissal by citing the former director’s handling of the Clinton email scandal. In a further twist of events, the White House is unable to provide clear and consistent insight into the dismissal. The Deputy Press Secretary mentioned the ‘atrocities’ Comey committed against the chain of command, and Trump in an interview said that he was going to fire Comey even before he heard the recommendation by the Deputy Attorney-General. The President described the former director as a ‘showboat’ and ‘grand-stander’ There is suspicion that the director’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s connections with Russia is the real reason behind the dismissal
UK Labour Party Manifesto Leaked
As the UK general elections approach on June 8, all the parties are working hard to sway voters to their side. The main opposition party’s manifesto for the election has been leaked early and shows the party’s desire to take the country into the Left. It includes re-nationalizing the national rail service and extra £8 billion on social programs over the next parliament. It also states that there will be tax hikes on the highest earners to fund its programs. This leak is not really surprising as it does echo what the Labour leader has regularly spoken about. However, the effect of the leak on the election is yet to be seen.
LGBT Activists detained in Moscow over Chechen Purge
Five LGBT activists were handing in a petition calling for the government in Moscow to end the violence and persecution of gay men in Chechnya when they were detained. There have been reports over the past several months that up to 100 men suspected of being gay have been detained and at least 3 killed. The petition was signed by 2 million people and was calling for Moscow to investigate the torture of gay men. Chechnya’s leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, has denied claims of violence, and a spokesperson for Kadyrov have stated that there are ‘no gay people in Chechnya’ and if there were their relatives would kill them. Amnesty International is saying that this is just another example of the Russian Government trying to suppress activism.
Somali Government Calls for an End to Arms Embargo to Help Defeat Al-Shabaab
At a conference in London, the Somali president Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed has pleaded to the international community to lifts an arms embargo so the government can acquire heavy weaponry to fight Al-Shabaab. The longstanding conflict, according to the president, has been at a stalemate because both sides are using AK-47s and have little in the way of heavy weaponry. The relatively young government will also need an extra $900 million USD in aid to fight against a severe drought. At the heart of the plea was a deal for countries to provide security training and extra aid in return for a four year political reform program. The African Union has been battling Al Shabaab for years, but it appears the international community may still favour security training of Somali forces as opposed to lifting the embargo.