The Guardian • Issue #2103


  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2103
Global briefs

China: The unmanned Chang’e-6 probe successfully landed on the dark side of the Moon for the world’s first mission to collect samples from that region. Samples were collected from the South Pole-Aitken region, the largest, oldest, and deepest basin recognised on the Moon. In addition to sample collection, the probe carried scientific payloads from the French Space Agency and European Space Agency, as well as Italy and Pakistan. The Chinese Lunar Sample Laboratory in Beijing, which studied samples from the 2020 Chang’e-5 mission, is prepared to analyse samples from Chang’e-6.

South Korea: Workers at Samsung Electronics have gone on strike for the first time as part of a larger campaign for better pay and benefits. One of South Korea’s big four companies, Samsung has not seen a strike in its 55-year history, in spite of frequent legal troubles involving executives and corruption. The National Samsung Electronics Union (NSEU), which represents tens of thousands of workers, has led the campaign and coordinated the strike effort, which consisted of workers taking paid leave entitlements simultaneously on 7 July. South Korea has a history of violent anti-union crackdowns and Samsung itself has historically avoided wage negotiations with the NSEU.

Wales: 17 Gaza protesters were arrested in Cardiff on 5 June, sparking outrage amongst peace campaigners. An organiser of protests in the wake of Israel’s assault on Rafah was the first to be arrested, and 16 others were later arrested on suspicion of violent behaviour after demanding his release. All 17 were later released without charge, however the bail conditions imposed upon them have effectively banned them from further protest activity. The bail conditions banned meeting in public with groups larger than 5 people. The 17 are also unable to communicate with each other. Groups such as Stop the War Cymru have condemned the bail conditions as “undemocratic,” while other protesters have reported police violence at demonstrations.

USA: Biden has imposed new immigration restrictions, stating that the right to asylum can be denied whenever officials claim the southern border is “overwhelmed.” The declaration cited Sec. 212(f) of the 1952 Immigration and Nationality Act, the same law invoked by Trump for his 2017 Muslim Ban and 2018 ban on asylum seekers. The new restrictions go into effect whenever attempted entries hit 2,500 per day, which in practice means they have gone into effect immediately, as average daily arrest averages have exceeded 2,500 for the last 3 years. Restrictions are to remain until the number drops to below 1,500 for 2 consecutive weeks, a number not seen since July 2020, the height of COVID.

Argentina: Argentine courts have ordered President Milei’s government and the Ministry of Human Capital to distribute thousands of tonnes of food supplies being withheld from community kitchen services. About half of Argentina’s population lives in poverty, with many relying on the 45,000 soup kitchen services around the country. The food has been withheld as part of Milei’s neoliberal campaign against public services and government spending.

Russia: The Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) for 2024 began on 6 June, with record numbers of attendees from 130 countries. Multipolarity and sustainable development were the main focuses of the event. In his speech outlining Russia’s economic strategy through to 2030, Putin drew attention to the failures of Western sanctions, stating that the actions of the US and EU have only pushed the development of Russian self-sufficiency, global trade in currencies other than the Euro and the US dollar, and stronger economic relationships between members of the Global South outside of Western systems. Representatives from other countries, including China and Venezuela, echoed the calls for greater multipolarity.

France: President Emmanuel Macron has called a snap election after heavy losses to the far-right Rassmblement National  (National Rally) party in the country’s EU election. He may be hoping to catch Marine Le Pen’s party by surprise, but it’s a risky move given Macron’s unstable popularity with the French electorate.

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