Category: Current affairs

Macrosnap China single child rule?

  • Introduced 1979 off fears of runaway population growth.
  • Believed to have prevented 400m births but now problem of ageing population and shortages of workers.
  • Now 2 children allowed per couple - official approval will be required for the 2nd.

How come EU is so soft on Turkey’s strongman Erdogan?

  • 2.3m Syrian refugees in Turkey.
  • EU scared of them slipping into Europe.
  • Therefore tolerating Turkey's slide to one-man rule.

Anti-Assad rebels withstanding Russian-backed Assad offensive?

  • So far yes.
  • Partly attributed to recent large influx of missiles from Sunni Gulf states.
  • Gulf States + Saudi Arabia are backing the rebels, with US approval.

US troops on the ground in Syria?

  • Tiny force (50 soldiers - special forces) going in to help anti-Assad rebels.
  • Response to Russian involvement.
  • Not substantive, but believed to send message to Russia that it does not have free-reign.

Who are the Kurds?

  • Middle Eastern ethnic group with own language and culture.
  • Don't have their own country - inhabit contiguous area (Kurdistan) spanning N-Turkey, N-Iraq, W-Iran and N-Syria.
  • Worldwide population 30-35m, primarily Sunni.

What is the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) in Turkey?

  • Pro Kurdish political party.
  • Alliance of leftists, Kurds, women's rights and gay rights activists.
  • Won 13% of parliamentary vote in June and expected to do just as well in November rerun.

Macrosnap Kurds in Turkey?

  • Population = 15m.
  • Participate in national elections and have recently seen success through the pro-Kurd coalition Party the HDP.
  • Kurdish militants, the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) in armed conflict with the government and is designated a terrorist organisation by the EU.

Explain November Turkey parliamentary election?

  • Rerun of June election which resulted in historic inclusion of a pro-Kurd party, the HDP.
  • But election resulted in a split parliament, failed coalition talks, hence the rerun.
  • If HDP wins more than the 10% threshold for parliamentary representation, might derail Erdogan's power consolidation plans.

Why is Germany welcoming refugees?

  • Moral: Burden of history + leadership in Europe.
  • Economic: Population shrinking, labour shortages so economy dependent on skilled and unskilled immigrants.
  • Championed by Merkel but in reality a three-pronged effort by government, civil society and the media - thusfar broad internal support but emerging signs of strain (logistical, financial & political).

An inherited economic-mega-mess for Argentina’s next leader?

  • New president (final round of election on Nov 22) will have to deal with mess of an economy left by incumbent Cristina Kirchner and her predecessor husband Nestor (who together ruled for 12 years).
  • Slow growth + dwindling foreign exchange reserves in wake of colossal economic mismanagement and end of commodity boom.
  • One of the world's highest inflation rates (officially at around 14.5%) and huge fiscal deficit (over 7% of GDP).
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