Guinea Three people were killed as armed police opened fire on what opposition groups claim were purely peaceful protests. The opposition launched an appeal for a nationwide protest last month after the government proposed a redrafted constitution which would allow Alpha Conde, the country’s first democratically elected president, to run for a third term. The government’s security minister has been removed from his post for the violent response of the security forces to the protests.
Kenya A United Nations summit was held in Nairobi on progress relating to women’s issues across the world. Statistics from the UN Population Fund state that, each day, 33,000 girls are forced into marriage, and 800 women die from preventable pregnancy-related causes. Kenyan Uhuru Kenyatta set the tone of what was hoped to be a highly constructive summit with a pledge to end FGM by 2022, a pledge which critics say he has little feasible way to attain. Elements of the summit on abortion and reproductive rights were controversial, with the US refusing to back abortion even in the case of rape. Due to certain themes of sexual and reproductive rights which remain contentious within the Catholic Church, the Vatican abstained from any involvement.
Asia & Oceania
China Beijing successfully conducted a landing test in Hebei province for its 2020 Mars exploration mission. Other aspirations include a modular space station in 2022, which can then be used as a launchpad for missions into the solar system. Ultimately, China aims to rival Russia and the US as major space powers by 2030.
India Prayas, an Indian charity which aims to improve child protection and juvenile facilities, received widespread criticism after it held a children’s fun-run one day after the city government had ordered all schools to close due to extreme levels of air pollution. The charity claims it significantly shortened the run so that it was largely symbolic, and that it had permission from the authorities to hold such an event in those conditions.
USA The impeachment proceedings against President Trump held their first public hearings, as several current or former senior American diplomats in Ukraine gave their testimonies. Marie Yovanovitch, the former US ambassador to Ukraine, alleged that she was subject to a smear campaign by Trump’s lawyer, and then was recalled by the president from her post.
Italy As a final measure, the Venetian authorities order that St Mark’s Square be closed due to dangerous flooding and threats to life. A state of emergency has been called for the city, with many tourist attractions closed. The exceptionally severe ‘acqua alta’ are widely being blamed on global warming.