Vladimir Putin visited North Korea. The Russian president received an elaborate reception before holding talks with Kim Jong Un, the Asian country’s dictator. The pair strengthened their alliance during the war in Ukraine, with North Korea supplying Russia with weapons. The West fears that, in return, Russia is helping North Korea with its nuclear program. Both leaders signed a mutual defense pact. Next, Putin went to Vietnam, where he also received the full treatment of a state visit.

South Korean soldiers fired warning shots at North Korean troops who crossed the demarcation line in the demilitarized zone separating the South and North. It was the second such incident in a week, although South Korea believes the breaches were accidental.

Thaksin Shinawatra, ousted as Thailand’s prime minister in a 2006 coup and returning from exile last year, has been formally accused of insulting the monarchy. Thaksin, an influential figure in Thai politics, has been granted bail, postponing for now the problematic prospect of sending him to prison. The indictment is one of three politically charged cases that could shake up Thai politics. The Constitutional Court has set dates for early July to hear a case that could oust Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin and another that could ban Move Forward, the main opposition party.

Meanwhile, Thailand became the first Southeast Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage after the upper house of parliament overwhelmingly approved the measure. The king now needs to sign the bill, paving the way for gay marriages later this year.

A global summit to bolster support for Ukraine in its fight against Russia ended without securing agreement from major non-aligned countries. China did not participate in the meeting in Switzerland and countries such as India, Indonesia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and South Africa did not sign the final communiqué.

Jens Stoltenberg, NATO secretary general, said 23 of the alliance’s 32 members would meet the target of spending at least 2% of GDP on defense this year. That represents an increase from just three countries in 2014 and ten in 2023. Stoltenberg was in Washington to discuss next month’s NATO summit, which is expected to reach an agreement on providing security assistance and training to Ukraine. Meanwhile, Mark Rutte, the outgoing Dutch prime minister, appeared poised to succeed Stoltenberg as NATO leader in October.

The French revolution

Jordan Bardella, president of the far-right National Regroupment (RN) party in France, called on voters to hand his party an absolute majority in early elections called for June 30 and July 7. Polls show that the RN parliamentary party, led by Marine Le Pen, will win the majority of seats, but will not achieve a majority. Bruno Le Maire, the finance minister, subtly criticized Emmanuel Macron’s decision to call the election, saying it caused “concerns, incomprehension, sometimes anger” among the French.

A European Union meeting that was supposed to decide who will take on the bloc’s highest posts for the next five years ended without an agreement. Ursula von der Leyen is still the favorite to extend her term as president of the European Commission. The positions must be confirmed at a summit on June 27th and 28th.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said it would carry out a daily “tactical pause” of military activities on a road in southern Gaza to allow more aid to enter the territory through the Kerem Shalom crossing. Binyamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, denounced the decision. The IDF made it clear that this did not amount to a ceasefire. They said fighting would continue in Rafah, where eight soldiers were recently killed.

Netanyahu released a video criticizing the Biden administration for its treatment of Israel during the current war in Gaza. He said it was “inconceivable” that the United States was “withholding weapons and ammunition” in recent months. The White House said it did not know what the prime minister was talking about, stressing that only a shipment of heavy bombs had been delayed.

Following the departure of Benny Gantz and Gadi Eisenkot, Netanyahu dissolved his six-member war cabinet. Some of the decisions previously made by the war cabinet will now fall to the broader security cabinet, which includes some of Netanyahu’s far-right allies.

At least 550 people died during the haj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, while temperatures in the city reached 51.8°C (125°F). Around 1.8 million Muslims are expected to make the pilgrimage this year.

A ship that was recently attacked by Yemen’s Houthi insurgents has sunk in the Red Sea, making it the second vessel the rebels have sunk since beginning their campaign to disrupt shipping last November. One crew member died in the incident. The Houthis used a drone boat loaded with explosives.

South Africa’s two largest political parties, the African National Congress (ANC) and the Democratic Alliance (DA), formed a coalition government led by Cyril Ramaphosa, the president, after the ANC lost its parliamentary majority. The new government, which also includes other smaller parties, has agreed to focus on economic growth, encouraging investors. MK, the party of Jacob Zuma, a disgraced former ANC president, has joined the opposition.

Senegal has joined the club of Africa’s oil producers as production begins on the country’s first offshore project after a series of delays. The new government of Bassirou Diomaye Faye, Senegal’s left-wing nationalist president, hopes the nascent oil and gas industry will allow the country to invest more heavily in its priorities such as agriculture.

The UN Security Council adopted a resolution ordering the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a Sudanese rebel paramilitary group, to lift the siege of el-Fasher in the Darfur region. He also called for an end to fighting between the RSF and the official Sudanese Armed Forces. The resolution, which was passed after Russia abstained, points to a hardening of international opinion against the RSF amid concerns that it and allied Arab militias are carrying out genocide in Darfur.

To have and keep

Joe Biden announced new legal protections for migrants who are in America illegally but are married to US citizens. The new system simplifies the process for applying for permanent residency, but applicants must have lived in the United States for at least ten years. About 500,000 spouses could potentially benefit, in one of the most significant presidential actions on immigration in a decade.

Louisiana Governor Jeff Landry signed a bill that requires classrooms in the state to display the Ten Commandments. The mandate does not take effect until next year and will face numerous legal challenges from secularists who argue it contradicts the constitutional separation of church and state.

Large protests were held in Brazil against a proposed change in the law that would equate abortions after 22 weeks with homicide. Conservatives in Congress support the bill, but critics note that late-term abortions are often performed on children who have been abused by relatives. Abortion is legal in Brazil only in cases of rape, fetal deformity and when the woman’s life is in danger.

Venezuela’s opposition coalition said four more of its activists were arrested ahead of the July 28 presidential election. Dozens of opposition figures have been detained this year on false conspiracy allegations. Polls suggest that Nicolás Maduro, the authoritarian president, would lose heavily in a free and fair election.

Ecuador will temporarily suspend visa exemptions for Chinese citizens starting July 1 as tens of thousands of migrants travel to the country on their way to the United States. Ecuador is one of only two South American countries that grant visa-free travel to Chinese visitors (Suriname is the other). From there they often head north. The number of Chinese citizens trying to cross the US border has skyrocketed since 2022.

Via The Economist

Source: https://www.ocafezinho.com/2024/06/20/as-historias-politicas-mais-importantes-desta-semana/

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