April 5 Turkey: The Turkish government detained 10 retired admirals after more than 100 former senior navy officials issued an open letter regarding the use of Turkey’s key waterways, according to Al Jazeera. The letter criticized decisions of the federal government to build a canal that would go against the 1936 Montreux Convention. “It is unacceptable for some retired admirals to release a statement that is reminiscent of ugly things that have happened in the past. It is obvious what this method and behavior refer to in our political past,” wrote ruling Justice and Development Party Spokesperson Ömer Çelik. “We condemn this primitive language aimed at people’s will.” People in the ruling party called the letter reminiscent of past coup attempts. “The uncalled declaration, which is based on delusions, by those who have forgotten the value of the title they have carried in the past is an insult to democracy, law, our government and our people,” wrote Interior Minister Abdulhamit Gül on Twitter.
April 8 Canberra, Australia: Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Australian politicians and judges will no longer be exempt from sexual harassment laws, according to Reuters. Currently, legislators, judges, public servents and some who employ volunteers are exempt from complains about workplace gender discrimination because of a loophole that says they are technically not the complainant’s employer. “Sexual harassment is unacceptable,” Morrison said. “It’s not only immoral and despicable and even criminal…it denies Australians, especially women, not just their personal security but their economic security by not being safe at work.” This announcement comes after weeks of protests over the handling of allegations of sexual harrasment and rape in the federal parliament. “Women are calling for a much deeper commitment by our federal politicians to really stamp out sexism, misogyny, sexual harrasment in the workplace and very serious allegations involving rape,” said Australian Politician Sonja Terpstra in an interview after a protest on March 15. “Women have had enough. It’s simply not good enough and women across Australia are calling on our federal politicians to do more.”
April 9 London, England: Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh and husband to Queen Elizabeth II, passed away at the age of 99. “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,” the palace stated, according to AP News. “His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.” Prince Phillip was the longest serving consort in British history. People traveled to Buckingham Palace to pay their respects and place flower bouquets. “Farewell Prince Philip – I have a huge amount of respect for a man that can swallow his pride to dedicate his life to supporting the Queen,” a note attached to a bouquet left outside the palace wrote, according to BBC. A ceremonial funeral is expected to take place April 17 with no public access due to COVID-19 restrictions.“While this is naturally a time of sadness and mourning for the Royal Family and the many others who knew or admired The Duke of Edinburgh, it is hoped that the coming days will also be seen as an opportunity to celebrate a remarkable life,” a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said.
April 10 Djibouti: Incumbent President Ismail Omar Guelleh was elected for a fifth term with over 98% of the vote after the main opposition party boycotted the elections, according to Al Jazeera. Of the 177,391 votes cast, “President Ismail Omar Guelleh obtained 167,535 votes, which is 98.58%,” said Interior Minister Moumin Ahmed Cheick. Only one challenger, Zakaria Ismail Farah, ran against Guelleh, receiving 2.48% of the votes, according to Reuters. “This outcome is undoubtedly the result of ballot-box stuffing, [which] occurred in the absence of my delegates,” Farah told Reuters. Farah’s allegations of a fraudulent election have been denied by the current administration. “Allegations of ballot-box stuffing are absolutely false, the gentleman who raises them didn’t even vote and in doing so attacked our democracy,” said the president’s chief advisor, Alexis Mohamed.