- The Guardian
- Issue #2071
AFRICA: Three former French colonies – Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali have formed a defensive alliance. Alliance of Sahel States (AES) aims to jointly combat any threats against their territorial integrity and sovereignty. The military governments of the three states had earlier deposed the western-backed leaders in their countries. ‘The alliance will be a combination of military and economic efforts between the three countries … with a focus on the fight against terrorism, particularly in the Liptako-Gourma region where the borders of the three neighbours meet’, explained the defence minister of Mali.
VIETNAM: Work has started on the first direct high-speed railway link between China and Vietnam. The railway track is 47 km long and will make travel between the Beibu Gulf economic zone and the Greater Bay area faster and easier. The construction will be finished and put into operation by the end of December. The travel speed is designed to be 200 km per hour with a future upgrade to 250 km per hour. The link will increase access to ASEAN markets. The China-Laos Railway is the biggest connection to ASEAN. It has proven to be a great success and in the first 20 months of operation it has transported 19 million passengers and 23 million tons of goods. Vietnam is seriously considering calls to build a North-South express railway that will connect the capital Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city.
VENEZUELA: President Nicolas Maduro’s six-day visit to China will have a powerful impact on the future relationship between the two countries. The Bolivarian leader applauded the signing of the joint declaration on the establishment of the strategic partnership as well as cooperation agreements related to economy, trade, education, tourism, science and technology, health, aerospace development, and civil aviation. “We have signed an agreement for Venezuela to place its products in the Chinese market,” President Maduro said at a press conference. He highlighted export opportunities for coffee, avocado, fish, and octopus. “China and Venezuela will strengthen the group of defenders of the United Nations Charter. This will be a central element in a strategy so that sooner rather than later the United Nations condemns and reverses the systems of unilateral coercive measures” he added. “We are in the 21st century, the century of the end of hegemonism and imperialism, the century in which a different pluripolar world was born for peace and union.”
USA: More than 25,000 people died as a result of gun violence in the USA in the first 8 months of this year. 470 mass shootings were also recorded in that period. An average of 22 children aged 17 and under are shot daily. The grim statistics includes deaths by suicide as well. Gun violence and the right to carry guns has been a divisive issue in American society for a long time. Deaths from gun-related injuries have been increasing since 2004; 2021 saw a record high of 48,830 deaths, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
CZECH REPUBLIC: Last Saturday over 100,000 Czech citizens gathered in the capital to protest under the slogan ‘Czech Republic against the government.’ The rally was mainly against the government policies on inflation, tax changes and pension adjustments. There were also banners saying ‘Down with US minions,’ and ‘Down with NATO.’