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7th October Briefing: Nobel prizes, another whistleblower, Portugal’s socialists and more…

By October 8, 2019 No Comments

Hong Kong protests defy ban

Protestors in Hong Kong marched once again this weekend. Many of them wore masks, obscuring their faces, breaching a government ban. Critics of the ban say that the law used to implement it is archaic. The marches took place in heavy rain and were peaceful before descending into a third day of clashes with police. Tear gas and petrol bombs were exchanged.

Protestors have stopped an extradition bill with China, their main demand, but now want greater democracy in the city. Protests have been going on for over four months.

Second whistleblower comes forward

A second whistleblower has come forward in a case which may lead to the impeachment of President Donald Trump. This time, the whistleblower offers first-hand evidence of President Trump’s call with the Ukrainian leader that has landed him in trouble. This undermines his defence that these allegations are hearsay.

President Trump is accused of recruiting foreign help in investigating political rivals. The former ambassador to Ukraine will testify in the impeachment probe later this week.

US-North Korea talks break down

Talks aimed at the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula have broken down once again. After they finished, US authorities claimed that they would resume in two weeks, while this was rejected by North Korea. North Korea has accused the US of misleading people about the outcome of the talks.

Last week, North Korea demonstrated a missile capable of being fired from a submarine. This increases the range of North Korea’s nuclear strike capabilities, allowing it to hit nearly all parts of the US.

Portugal’s Socialists retain power

Prime Minister António Costa looks likely to keep his position after his Socialist Party won a near majority in Portugal’s legislature. It won 106 of the 116 seats needed to form a government and will start coalition talks with smaller parties. Mr Costa has led a minority government consisting of leftist parties for three years and hopes to continue the coalition.

Robust economic growth has been overseen by that coalition including the Communist Party. The rise of the left in Portugal bucks a European wide rightward trend.

Nobel Prizes to be announced this week

The prizes were set up by Alfred Nobel after his death in 1896. Awards in chemistry, medicine, physics, peace and literature were first given out in 1901. An economics prize in memory of Alfred Nobel was first awarded in 1968. 590 prizes have been given out to 935 people, with many prizes given to multiple recipients working in teams.

The medicine prize will be announced on Monday, the physics one on Tuesday, chemistry on Wednesday, literature on Thursday, and peace on Friday. The economics award will be announced next week.