Author: Zachary Schullian

December 2020International News2020

Companies Seek Vaccine Approval as COVID-19 Cases Rise

On Tuesday, November 30, biopharmaceutical firms BioNTech and Moderna applied for approval of their respective COVID-19 vaccines in the European Union (EU), The Wall Street Journal reports. National Geographic says the EU is expected to conclude Pfizer’s assessment by December 29 and Moderna’s by January 12. Both Moderna and Pfizer Inc. also applied for emergency usage of their vaccines in the United States at the end of November, though it is unclear when a decision will be made.

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November 2020International NewsAfrica2020

Algerian Constitutional Referendum Fails to Satisfy Protestors

On November 2, Algerians approved a referendum to reform the constitution, despite record-low turnout, Al Jazeera reports. The bill was passed with approximately two-thirds of the vote. However, less than a quarter of registered voters casted ballots, and fewer than 15 percent of eligible voters voted in favor of the referendum.

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FocusNovember 20202020Elections in the Age of Coronavirus

Focus on Elections During Coronavirus: Ethiopia

2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is facing a critical moment as ethnic tensions boil. Abiy was elected in 2018 and is seen by many outsiders as a reformer seeking to lead Ethiopia away from the current system of ethnic federalism towards a more unified, secular federalist form of government. Under the constitution, Ethiopia is divided into nine ethnically-based regions that are each granted a significant amount of autonomy from the central government.

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October 2020International News2020Middle East

Fatah and Hamas Reach a Deal on Palestinian Elections? Hamas Denies

Fatah and Hamas reached a deal on Palestinian elections at the Palestinian Consulate in Istanbul last week, according to Al Jazeera. This has raised hopes that the factions can unite after years of animosity, facing a shared issue as Israel continues to threaten annexation while it normalizes relations with Arab nations.

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September 2020International News2020Europe

Russia Ready to Mediate Turkey-Greece Conflict in East Mediterranean 

Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said on September 8 that Moscow is ready to help ease rising tensions over Turkey’s search for energy reserves in the eastern Mediterranean, and rejected any actions that could lead to further escalation, The Associate Press reports. The Associated Press cites Larov, stating “we would be ready to contribute to building good neighborly relations in the event this is requested of us by those involved,”  and later adding that Moscow has repeatedly called on leaders in the region to “resolve these differences through dialogue and within a legal framework.” 

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