Jamaica to Remove Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State

As Jamaica approaches its 60th anniversary of the end of British rule, it has also begun the process of removing Queen Elizabeth II as it head of state and transitioning into a republic, reports The Independent. Jamaica is one of 14 countries outside the United Kingdom that is classified as a Commonwealth, meaning that Queen Elizabeth II is still head of state, according to Time. A new head of state has already been selected from within the Jamaican government, with the overarching goal being a transition from Commonwealth to Republic.

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UK Ends COVID-19 Restrictions in “Living With COVID” Plan

For the first time in two years, England has lifted all government-sponsored COVID-19 restrictions in what has been dubbed the “living with COVID” plan. According to ABC News, England will no longer require mask wearing, mandatory isolation for those who test positive for COVID-19, or financial aid for people who have lost part of their income due to isolation. Beginning on April 1, free testing will also be scaled back. Scotland, Wales, and Ireland are all following suit in reopening, however with slightly more cautious policies.

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“Partygate” Covers Up Deeper Problems Within UK Media

In November of 2021, a series of rumors about social gatherings at Downing Street, the home and office of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, set off a spiraling crisis that put his career in jeopardy. According to Foreign Policy, Johnson’s residence hosted over a dozen gatherings with more than 100 staff. At the same time, COVID-19 restrictions kept working class Britons from “mixing, visiting elderly relatives, or attending the funerals of loved ones.”

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80-Year-Old Italian President Elected to Second Term

Leading up to Italy’s presidential election, President Sergio Mattarella had plans that did not involve serving a second term. The 80-year-old president made this known, posting images of a packed-up presidential palace and making sure to be spotted on house hunting excursions. But after a week of struggles in Parliament to elect his replacement, Mattarella was asked to stay and accepted.

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson May Lose Job Over “Partygate” Scandal

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s political career may be in danger as allegations swirl that he attended a 50-person Christmas party at 10 Downing Street while the rest of England was under lockdown. According to BBC News, Johnson also hosted a “bring your own booze” event with around 100 invitees in May of 2020. The revelations have sparked speculation Johnson may have to step down, and that a Conservative party election will determine a new party leader and prime minister.

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Belarus Accused of Inciting Border Crisis

Belarus has come under fire from the European community for what is seen as an orchestrated attempt to destabilize Poland and Lithuania and pressure the EU to relax sanctions on President Aleksandr Lukashenko’s regime in Belarus. These tensions stem from an ongoing border crisis, in which migrants are being systematically pressured, in part by Belarusian officials, to enter Europe through Belarus’s border with Poland and Lithuania.

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British MP Sir David Amess Killed in Stabbing Attack

For the second time in just five years, a British politician has died after an attack while meeting with constituents. The New York Times reports that on October 15, longstanding conservative Member of Parliament (MP) Sir David Amess was fatally stabbed inside of a church during a constituency surgery in Essex. The incident, quickly declared a terrorist attack, has sent shockwaves throughout the UK, raising concerns about the security of lawmakers in an increasingly tense political climate. 

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Germany Hosts Pivotal Government Elections

Following the announcement of the retirement of Angela Merkel, Germany held a federal election on September 26, 2021, the first without its Chancellor in almost 16 years. According to the Guardian Germany uses a system in which voters cast two votes, one directly for a representative and another for a party.

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