- Argentina votes for change and moves to right.
- Conservative Mauricio Macri narrowly defeats populist/Peronist Scioli.
- Voters seek reboot after 12 years of mismanagement under Kirchner husband-wife duo.
- Prefers to join an accord by executive agreement (i.e. a swish of Obama's pen).
- If accord contains legally binding obligations, Obama will need to put it to the Senate.
- But the Republican majority in the Senate is hostile to scientific consensus vis-à-vis climate change.
- Because there's a divide between rich and poor nations.
- Rich nations' industrialisation resulted in global warming - now poor nations want their own share of industrial wealth.
- Also, the Republican party in the US is hostile to to scientific consensus vis-à-vis climate change.
- Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition party's (NLD) historic win against ruling military-backed elite.
- Despite landslide electoral win, 25% of parliamentary seats are allocated to the military, so they will have huge influence.
- So she will need to work with them.
- Narendra Modi is India's PM and head of ruling BJP - landslide election win 2014.
- His dominance of the party has been unchallenged since then, and he has moved to centralise power.
- But BJP defeat in the state of Bihar this last weekend resulted in unprecedented criticism from within his own party - Modi magic is waning - he's accused of being divisive instead of consensual.
- Oil price has more than halved in the last year, so as OPEC cartel leader, one would expect Saudi Arabia to cut output (and hence force the price up).
- But instead they have chosen to maintain supply, despite the financial pain this is causing domestically.
- Strategy is to prioritise its own long-term market share, and perhaps to inflict pain on fellow OPEC members Iran and Russia (who Saudi Arabia believes have destructive geopolitical ambitions in the Middle East).
- Debate and decision were largely political.
- i.e. both the democrat-against argument (bad for environment) and conservative-for argument (creates jobs) were exaggerated according to energy & policy experts.
- Major victory for environmental movement, gives US credibility ahead of Paris December climate talks + boosts Obama's environmental credentials during last year in office.
- First meeting between leaders of Chinese Communist party and Taiwan's Kuomintang since 1945.
- Chinese motivation: Good for international image + concerned about strength of pro-independence opposition party in Taiwan.
- Taiwanese motivation: Current president wants to boost image domestically as opposition party looking poised to defeat him in January.
- These days governing Kuomintang is relatively pro-China and anti-independence.
- Pro-independence opposition DPP has gained strength in recent years.
- Looks like DPP could win January Presidential election, and also win majority in legislature.
- Not strictly recognised as a country, but 22 small countries/entities have diplomatic relations with it.
- Lost its UN seat in 1971, but it has it's own military.
- US established diplomatic relations with China 1979, but also committed to defending Taiwan's self-governing status.