US and Russian diplomats met in Geneva this weekend to discuss concerns with rumors of Russia’s plans to invade Ukraine. NATO has expressed they are ready for conflict between Russian and Ukrainian forces as Russia has been amassing large amounts of military equipment along the border between the two sovereign nations. Ukraine, a resource rich country near the south western corner of Russia, is a former territory of the defeated Soviet Union but separated after the fall of the Berlin Wall and declared democratic independence in 2010.
A spokesperson for the North Korean government declared a successful hypersonic missile test for the second time in five months. The South Korean government is saying these claims are false as they have special detection equipment, developed in part with the US, that covers the whole of North Korea. As a heavily isolated third world country, North Korea is incapable of masking its technological and military developments from the rest of the world but a hypersonic missile could pose some threat to neighboring countries. Compared to ballistic missiles, hypersonic missiles fly at over five times the speed of sound and their direction can be changed mid flight, making them slightly more difficult to destroy with anti-missile defense systems but still comparatively tinker toys to the rest of the modern world's defense capabilities.
A military court in Myanmar has sentenced ousted democratically elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi to four more years in prison in addition to her previous sentences, some of which include possession of an unlicensed walkie talkie and reproductions of religious artworks. This charge is one of many in a trial international human rights critics are calling “trumped up” and “politically motivated”. These small time charges could collectively imprison the deposed leader for the rest of her natural life. A once celebrated elected leader of Myanmar, praised by other leaders such as Pope Francais to be a human rights activist, Aung San Suu Kyi was brought to power in 2016 after the first democratic elections took place in decades. On April 1st 2021, the military overthrew Aung San Suu Kyi in a coup d’etat that also imprisoned all democratic parliament members.
The new Dutch government was sworn in by King Willem-Alexander almost 10 months after elections due to the covid pandemic. The re-elected Prime Minister Mark Rutte is the longest running elected official in Europe. The new government has said they aim to make good on their promises to move towards green energy and affordable housing but the general consensus amongst the youth voters is that nothing will change.
The first session of Iraq’s newly elected parliament quickly turned to an angry shouting match when the first item on the agenda was picking speakers of the parties. The debates got so heated that at one point a parliament member had to be excused to seek medical treatment. Under the post Saddam Hussein government laws, the parliament has 30 days to select a president from the time the speakers are elected.