World recap: February 11-15

NEWS_World Recap

Weekly geopolitical events

By Keating Smith, Staff Writer

Africa: (South Africa) South African president Jacob Zuma called for “unity in action” during his state of the nation address in Cape Town last week, calling for an end to rape and other malicious acts of violence which are rampant across the country. Government figures show that around one in 36 rape cases are reported in the country and last year alone 65,000 sexual offences were committed in the country. Last week, a 17-year-old woman was found at a construction site in the nation’s capital barely alive after sustaining a horrific attack in which she was raped and brutally maimed. The story has gained nation-wide popularity and criticism on how South Africa’s government is dealing with the growing and widespread problem.

North America: (United States) US Airways and American Airlines announced last week that a merger worth $11 billion will occur between both airlines to create the largest airline company in the world. US Airways CEO Doug Parker will be taking over the newly merged company, with US Airways shareholders owning 28 per cent of the company and 72 per cent of American Airlines shareholders owning the rest. Both companies have been hit with financial difficulties like many other North American airlines in recent years, with American losing a supposed $12 billion over the past decade. The new company will employ 94,000 workers and will boast almost 1,000 planes.

(Mexico) Officials in Chicago have listed Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman as the city’s public enemy number one—a first for the city since the prohibition era’s notorious gangster Al Capone. El Chapo, who is responsible for being in charge of both the Sinaloa cartel and a massive portion of the continuing drug cartel violence in Mexico, is believed to be in hiding in a mountainous range in western Mexico. According to the federal Drug Enforcement Agency, Chicago is a major hub for the cartel to operate and distribute drugs from to the rest of the United States due to the size and geographical location of America’s third largest city.

Asia- Central & South: (India) French president Francois Hollande, along with several members of his cabinet and French business leaders, made a visit to New Delhi last week to begin pushing trade talks around nuclear power and the sale of French-built fighter jets. Hollande is lobbying for the sale of 126 Rafale jets to India’s growing but aging air force at a price tag of $12 billion and for French company Areva to build a 9,900-megawatt power plant in the western state of Maharashtra worth $9.3 billion. Officials in India said no agreements would be signed during Hollande’s visit but would be examined in greater detail.

Europe: (Iceland) The Icelandic government is considering imposing a ban on Internet pornography in the country. The ban would include prohibiting its citizens from using credit cards to purchase sexually explicit material on the Internet. Currently, the government has placed a ban on printing and distributing pornography in Iceland and among the European countries. England is the only other country that has considered imposing such a law. “We have to be able to discuss a ban on violent pornography, which we all agree has a very harmful effects on young people and can have a clear link to incidences of violent crime,” interior minister Ogmundur Jonasson said. In 2010 Iceland’s government implemented a ban on strip clubs during a highly controversial move in which they argued such establishments have harmful effects on women in the Nordic country.

Middle East: (Iran) Imposed images of Iran’s new Qaher-313 stealth fighter flying high above a mountain range in the country appeared on the Internet last week, creating fierce criticism among political experts. The prototype warplane, which is replicated from the American F-35, is currently in its research and development stage, and according to critics is incapable of flying due to its small size and lack of structural materials. Several Iranian bloggers noticed the image of the plane in flight to be identical to an image of the plane taken during its unveiling earlier this month in Tehran.