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This Week Around The World

November 23, Warsaw, Poland: Police clashed with protesters outside of the Education Ministry during a women-led protest focusing on reproductive rights and education reform. A large poster was unveiled outside of the ministry building reading: “Free Abortion, Free Education” as reported by Reuters. Protests began in Poland in October when a court decision almost created a near total ban on abortions. Several people were detained—including a photojournalist—for assault of a police officer. On Nov. 28, police blocked another protest in Warsaw, resulting in the backup of traffic and the shouting of “we are sorry for the inconvenience, we have a government to overthrow” by protesters, as reported by AP News.


November 25, Buenos Aires, Argentina: The government declared three days of national mourning following the death of soccer star Diego Maradona, according to The New York Times. According to his spokesperson, Sebastián Sanchi, Maradona died from a heart attack at the age of 60 just weeks after undergoing brain surgery. Thousands of fans gathered outside the presidential palace for a chance to pay their final respects. BBC News reported some clashes broke out when some fans were unable to enter the palace.  “Thanks for having existed, Diego. We will miss you for life,” Argentinian President Alberto Fernández, wrote in a tweet.


November 26, Melbourne, Australia: Following the release of a report that showed Australian troops were responsible for the unlawful murders of Afghan civilians, the military has started the process of dismissing 13 troops. The report found that in 2009–13, 25 special forces soldiers took part in the 39 killings during 23 separate incidents. “These findings allege the most serious breaches of military conduct and professional values,” said General Angus Campbell, chief of the Defence Force, as reported by Al Jazeera. “The unlawful killing of civilians and prisoners is never acceptable.” In addition to the 13 soldiers that received notices, 19 current and former soldiers are facing criminal charges.


November 26, Burkina Faso: Incumbent President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré was announced as the preliminary winner of Burkina Faso’s presidential election after receiving 57.87% of the first round votes. “I will deploy all my efforts so that through continuous consultation, through dialogue … we can work together for peace and development,” Kaboré said, according to Al Jazeera. The election took place amid threats from jihadists. According to BBC, campaigning was forced to stop for 48 hours the week prior to the election due to a “deadly ambush on soldiers.” No votes were expected from approx. 20% of the country due to it being out of government control. “One-fifth of the country is not going to be able to vote, so on one side they will continue to feel alienated from the mainstream government,” said Chukwuemeka Eze, executive director of the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding. “On the other side is the perception of the extremists that they have actually succeeded because if [citizens] are not able to vote, it means they are winning the war because the state machinery is not well to allow the citizens to vote, which is what actually [fighters] have been aiming at.”

November 27, New Delhi, India: Thousands of farmworkers entered the country’s capital to protest new laws that would make it easier for farmers to sell products to and enter into contracts with buyers and companies. Protestors faced teargas, water cannons and baton charges from police who tried to stop them from entering the city earlier in the day, according to AP News. Proponents of the bill believe it will help farmers gain the freedom to market their produce and boost production through private investment—however, critics argue it could lead towards easier exploitation by the private sector. “Our slogan was, ‘Hail the Soldier, Hail the Farmer,’ but today PM Modi’s arrogance made the soldier stand against the farmer,” said Opposition Party Leader, Rahul Gandhi, as reported by Reuters. This is very dangerous.”