Category: Current affairs

What was Latin America’s Pink Tide?

  • Recent dominance of left-wing politics.
  • Argentina (2001-15), Brazil (since 2003), Venezuela (since 1999), Bolivia (since 2006), Ecuador (since 2007).
  • Seems to be ending.

French U-turn on Assad?

  • Yes - prior to Paris attacks France considered Assad a pariah.
  • But now focus has shifted to defeating ISIS.
  • France now suggesting that Assad regime's soldiers can fight alongside Coalition-supported opposition groups to defeat ISIS.

Upcoming Paris climate conference Macrosnap?

  • If the terms of any accord are legally binding (i.e. a Treaty), Obama will need Republican dominated Congress' approval, which he's unlikely to get.
  • The Republican party refutes the opinions of humankind's scientific community, and is accordingly hostile to attempts to combat climate change.
  • France has already conceded to the US demand that agreement will not be legally binding.

Brazil still in a quagmire?

  • Yes - economic crisis continues.
  • Political crisis continues too - Rousseff hugely unpopular.
  • Petrobras corruption scandal moving closer to her as investigators arrest corporate, financial, judicial & political grandees.

How has Syria war affected Turkey?

  • 2.5m refugees on its soil.
  • Has reinvigorated Kurdish militancy within Turkey.
  • Has soured relations with Russia, its 2nd largest trading partner.

Macrosnap Russian & Turkish leaders, Putin & Erdogan?

  • Both are authoritarian, populist leaders with big egos, thrive on confrontation, and are preoccupied with national pride.
  • Not a lot of warmth between them (publicly or in private).
  • Differing Syria strategies - Turkey wants Assad removed, Russia wants him to stay.

Explain EU’s wooing of Turkey in attempt to stem refugee flow?

  • EU wants Turkey (which currently has 2.5m refugees on its soil) to become a migrant buffer, instead of a gateway.
  • So Brussels is ignoring Erdogan's autocratic drift, and is showering Turkey with political and financial favours.
  • In return, Turkey would stem the flow by providing job and education opportunities for refugees, and tighten border controls.
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