Colombian Presidential Election Heats Up in Final Weeks

With the first round of Colombia’s presidential elections set to take place on May 29, the stakes are rising as candidates representing vastly different views prepare to face off. Colombia experienced massive protests in 2021, according to BBC News, and this election will demonstrate the strength of opposition movements in the country. The election is currently contested among three major candidates: Gustavo Petro from the left-leaning “El Pacto Historico” coalition, Federico Gutierrez of the right-wing “Coalición Equipo por Colombia,” and an anti-corruption candidate named Rodolfo Hernandez. 

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Ecuador Requests Extradition of Former President Rafael Correa

On April 22, an Ecuadorian high court requested the extradition of former leftist President Rafael Correa from his current residence in Belgium. Correa, who has lived in Belgium since the end of his presidency in 2017, was sentenced in absentia to eight years in prison for the alleged acceptance of bribes to finance his political endeavors between 2012 and 2016 in exchange for state contracts worth around $7 million.

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Viktor Orban Wins Fourth Term as Hungarian PM

On April 6, Viktor Orban, already serving out his third consecutive term, won the Hungarian parliamentary election in a landslide, a victory that will put Hungary on uncertain footing with the EU and other allies, Reuters reports. The mercurial leader of Hungary’s center-right populist party Fidesz, Orban has previously drawn the ire of European heads of state and EU commissioners alike for his abrasive rhetoric on gender and immigration issues.

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Ketanji Brown-Jackson Confirmed as First Black Female U.S. Supreme Court Justice

On April 7, the United States Senate confirmed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States. According to NBC News, Judge Jackson will be the first Black woman and first public defender to be nominated and confirmed for a seat on the country’s highest court. She will take office in October 2022 following Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement at the end of the current Supreme Court term. 

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New Prime Minister Appointed in Pakistan After No-Confidence Vote

In the midst of intense political turmoil, Pakistan’s parliament elected its new Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif on April 11, reports The New York Times. The new Prime Minister was voted in after the previous Prime Minister, Imran Khan, was ousted in a contentious no-confidence vote on April 10. 

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Turkish President Visits UAE to Boost Long Strained Ties

On February 14, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited the United Arab Emirates for the first time in nearly a decade in an attempt to revive relations long strained by regional disputes, Barron’s reports. President Erdogan was welcomed in the capital Abu Dhabi by the de facto ruler of the UAE, Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, for the second meeting in three months between the Middle Eastern nations, after years of hostility over the role of Islamist groups in the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings.

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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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Indonesia to Relocate Capital Due to Climate Change

On January 18, Indonesia’s parliament passed a bill to relocate the nation’s capital from Jakarta to the jungle island of Borneo, with the new city’s name to be Nusantara. The move, according to BBC News, will cost an estimated 466 trillion rupiah, or roughly $32.4 billion. The bill passed by approvals from eight factions, with one faction rejecting, according to Indonesian House Representative Puan Maharani.

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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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