By Prarthana Mitra
In the midst of Canada legalising marijuana, Argentina decriminalising abortion, and Gay Pride Month drawing to a successful close, the world last week has also seen some gross human rights violations and escalation of the tariff war. Things aren’t looking too great for America’s ruling party which awaits its mid-term elections later this year. Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is upset for being denied service at a restaurant but she advocates similar treatment for gay Americans. Plus, there have been recent developments in the separation of refugee families under Trump’s orders.
Meanwhile, in Turkey, despotism will continue despite democratic elections.
Counter-tariff tally on the US increases
In the latest news from the ongoing latest tariff war against Trump’s exorbitant import duties, the EU member states join Canada, Mexico and China in hitting back with heavy retaliatory tariffs on American goods. On Wednesday, EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström announced their unanimous decision to impose tariffs on $3.2 billion worth of commodities. These are expected to affect Republicans the most, and include bourbon, peanut butter, and Harley-Davidson motorcycles. It is poised to take effect on July 6.
The EU is making good on its threats to retaliate against Trump's tariffs, moving to slap penalties on $3.2 billion of American products, like bourbon, motorcycles and orange juice https://t.co/zlhI81Oxwx
— The New York Times (@nytimes) June 21, 2018
Turkey prepares for a historic election
Four politically distinct parties formed an allied bloc to challenge Turkish president President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the upcoming key polls this week. This the first time presidential and parliamentary polls have been combined to make the presidential system an executive one.
Calling it a necessary alliance, Erdogan’s surviving opponents wish to take advantage of people’s wavering faith and confidence in the existing government. One volunteer of the IYI Party told Al Jazeera, “All partners in the alliance are pro-democracy parties that believe in the parliamentary system. That’s where their paths cross…All of them want change. They want to change this government for the better.”
Exit polls, however, suggest a greater chance of Ergodan’s reinstatement despite having engineered a widespread crackdown on press freedom and civil rights in the country over the past decade.
Mr. Erdogan is 20% points ahead of his closest opponent but will he manage 50% vote to avoid a Re poll?
— Musadaq Zulqarnain (@MusadaqZ) June 24, 2018
Canada joins Uruguay in legalising cannabis
The Canadian Senate last week approved the Cannabis Act that legalises possession, cultivation and sale of psychoactive drug marijuana. More than half the states in the US have already deemed the use of marijuana for recreational and/or medicinal purposes legal. However, by legalising it completely, Canada’s ruling government aims to regulate the crisis aspect of the drug, like selling to minors. It also fulfils a major campaign promise for Trudeau’s Liberal Party which made a promise in 2015 to legalize marijuana.
“We will legalize, regulate, and restrict access to marijuana,” the Liberal Party declared on its campaign website. “Canada’s current system of marijuana prohibition does not work. It does not prevent young people from using marijuana and too many Canadians end up with criminal records for possessing small amounts of the drug.”
Fashion faux-pas at detention centres for refugee children
Last week witnessed a global outrage that took down Trump’s inhuman policy of separating migrant children from their families at the US-Mexico border. After the fiasco was over and Trump repealed the dictum, FLOTUS Melania Trump decided to don a jacket bearing the message “I really don’t care, do u?” on her visit to the tender age detention centres for migrant children. Social media, activists at the border and the common mass were peeved by the unthoughtful gesture. It marks a most bizarre cultural moment at a time when Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy has led to widespread and furious protests.
— The Independent (@Independent) June 23, 2018
Argentina leads Latin America in a journey towards pro-choice
Argentina voted to pass a bill decriminalizing abortion in the country on Thursday that would extend up to the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. This is a historic step towards pro-choice in Latin America where 97 percent of women live in countries with restrictive abortion laws. Activists are still sceptical about the bill eventually becoming law, but it is a victory and the first step towards giving women the right to a safe, free and legal abortion in the 21st century.
Prarthana Mitra is a staff writer at Qrius.
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