This week around the world: June 17–23

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June 18 Paris, France

Newly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron and his allies emerged from parliamentary elections with a clear majority of seats, despite a turnout where less than half of France’s eligible voters participated. The mainstream Socialist and Republican parties continued to cede ground as a record number of women and many first-time candidates were voted into office.

June 19 Brussels, Belgium

The first day of official Brexit negotiations kicked off at European Commission headquarters, beginning a process to decide the terms of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union before the current March 2019 deadline. Uncertainty abounds concerning the direction the negotiations will take, particularly in the wake of British Prime Minister Theresa May’s loss of a parliamentary majority in the general election she called to strengthen her mandate.

June 20 Caracas, Venezuela

Amid ongoing and almost daily anti-government protests, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced the recruitment of tens of thousands of new police officers and national guardsmen. The Venezuelan Supreme Court also approved a lawsuit against the country’s top law enforcement official, Attorney General Luisa Ortega, who has come under fire for her criticism of the Maduro’s recent attempts to rewrite the constitution and strip the legislative branch of its power.

June 21 Worldwide

India will overtake China as the most populated country in the next seven years, while Nigeria will replace the U.S. as the third most populated country by 2050, according to a United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs report. Even if fertility levels continue to decline as they have in the past, the report said, the upward trend in world population size is expected to continue.

June 21 Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman placed his son first in line for the throne after issuing a series of decrees that included the removal of his nephew as the country’s interior minister and the establishment of Prince Mohammed bin Salman as the successor to the Saudi Kingdom. Mohammed was the primary architect behind President Donald Trump’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia, and as defense minister has overseen the war in Yemen, which is led by a Saudi coalition.

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