World this week

Thursday, October 26th, 2017


Spain announced on October 21 that it will move to dismiss Catalonia’s separatist government and call fresh elections in the semi-autonomous region in a bid to stop its leaders from declaring independence. The drastic escalation of Spain’s worst political crisis in decades will see separatist leader Carles Puigdemont and his administration stripped of their jobs, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy told reporters after a crisis meeting of his cabinet. Puigdemont’s threat to declare independence “has been unilateral, contrary to the law, and seeking confrontation,” said Rajoy, adding that he will seek approval from the Senate — where his conservatives hold an absolute majority — for permission to dissolve the Catalan parliament and call elections within six months.


Suicide attackers in Afghanistan killed at least 72 people at two mosques on October 20, one in the Afghan capital of Kabul and the other in the central province of Ghor, reports Reuters. At least 39 people died and 45 were wounded in an assault on the Imam Zaman Shiite mosque in Kabul, Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said. The attacker detonated his suicide vest in Imam Zaman mosque in the early evening, police said. At least 33 people were killed and 10 were injured in an attack on a Sunni mosque in Ghor province, west of Kabul, Danish said. Abdulhai Khatebi, Ghor provincial spokesman, said the attacker detonated his suicide vest during worship services in the late afternoon. The mosque is in the province’s Doleena district, according to CNN.


The head of the World Health Organization on October 22 reversed his decision to name Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe as a goodwill ambassador, following widespread uproar. “Over the last few days, I have reflected on my appointment of H.E. President Robert Mugabe as WHO Goodwill Ambassador for (Non-communicable diseases) in Africa. As a result I have decided to rescind the appointment” the head of the UN agency, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said in a statement. Tedros had announced the appointment earlier this week during a speech in Uruguay, where he praised Zimbabwe as “a country that places universal health coverage and health promotion at the centre of its policies to provide health care to all”.


US President Donald Trump said on October 22 that he will allow long blocked secret files on the assassination of John F Kennedy to be opened to the public for the first time. The November 22, 1963 assassination — an epochal event in modern US history — has spawned multiple theories challenging the official version that Kennedy was killed a lone gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald. Trump’s announcement followed reports that not all the files would be released, possibly to protect still relevant intelligence sources and methods. But Trump appears to have decided otherwise. “Subject to the receipt of further information, I will be allowing, as President, the long blocked and classified JFK FILES to be opened,” he said in a tweet.

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