News from around the world October 2018
By Sakuni Kalyanaratne
Here are some of the top stories that captured the world’s attention during the past month.
Death of Jamal KhashoggiRenewed Saudi Arabian journalist and harsh critic of the Saudi government, crown prince and the country’s king. Khashoggi fled Saudi Arabia in 2017 and went into self-imposed exile. The journalist was last seen alive on October 2, 2018, when he entered the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, to obtain some documents to marry his Turkish fiancé. After he did not return to the waiting car, his faince reported him as a missing person. An inspection of the consulate by the Saudi Arabian and Turkish officials took place on October 15, it was suspected that Khashoggi has been killed, despite continuous denial by the Saudi government. However, 18 days later, the Saudi government admitted that the journalist was killed after a fistfight inside the consulate which was finally admitted on October 25, to being a premeditated murder.
Another royal baby on the wayThe most talked about event in this year’s calendar was the marriage of Prince Harry and Megan Markle. The Duke and duchess of Sussex is now expecting their first child in spring of 2019, according to official confirmation from the Kensington Palace. The announcement came during the royal couple’s Australian tour and was told the duchess of Sussex has completed her first trimester. It is revealed that the duchess has cleared as much of her calendar to ensure she gets rest as much as possible.
Hurricane MichaelThe second hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season to hit USA was the hurricane Micheal which originated on 2 October in the southwestern Caribbean Sea. It became a tropical depression by 7 October and by the next day, had developed into a hurricane near the western tip of Cuba. This was the third-most intense Atlantic hurricane to make landfall in US in terms of pressure and the strongest in terms of maximum sustained wind speed. The category 4 hurricane produced at least 60 deaths by 22 October.
Angela Merkel announces retirement The most powerful female politician in Europe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that she would not seek re-election in 2021, when her term expires. The announcement come amidst the heavy losses for both the CDU and the Social Democratic Party, in the recent regional elections. Merkel will also step down from her chairmanship of the center-right Christian Democratic Union party after 18 years in the post.
Ireland president elected for the second termIncumbent president Michael D Higgins was re-elected for a second term in a land-slide victory during the recently held presidential election in Ireland. Higgins managed to secure almost over 820,000 first preference votes, nearly 60% of all votes cast, in the largest majority win in the history of the State. The defeated candidates were Peter Casey, Joan Freeman, Seán Gallagher, Sinn Féin’s Liadh Ni Riada and Gavin Duffy. The president will be inaugurated for his second term on 11 November.
Political crisis in Sri LankaThe country was taken by surprise last Friday, 26 October, when former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was sworn in as the new Prime Minister of the country. At the time of the appointment, Mr. Ranil Wickramasinghe had not yet vacated the office. The news came as a surprise as people were not expecting the sudden government change. Mr. Wickramasinghe at the time of his removal enjoyed the confidence of the majority in the parliament. However, the recent events have prompted politicians to crossover and it is still unclear who has the majority in the parliament. President decided to prorogue the parliament amidst the crisis until 16 November and the people will have to wait until then to see the end of the debate.