Compass World: Former-President of France Chirac Passes Away
LATIN AMERICA & THE CARIBBEAN
The Bahamas Continues Recovery Efforts
A month has gone by since Hurricane Dorian hit The Bahamas, and officials continue to make recovery efforts. Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said on September 27 that the number of those missing has significantly dropped in the past weeks as the death toll has risen. The death toll currently stands at 56. Dorian was a category five hurricane when it made landfall in the Caribbean archipelago on September 1. Early last week, the government of The Bahamas announced plans to hire local companies to conduct extensive debris removal in the hardest-hit areas. The hurricane also displaced thousands of residents from their homes, with many fleeing to the United States.
Australia Concealed Documents to Avoid Offending Japan
According to a report by the Guardian, the Australian government hid documents regarding a submarine project in order to avoid offending Japan. The government spent $150,000 over four years to stop their release. The deal in question was a $50 billion contract with the French company DCNS for the construction of a new submarine fleet. The awarding of the contract to DCNS left Japan, a rival bidder for the DCNS contract, feeling “raw.” According to Australian diplomats, the project had further strained the relationship between the two countries. The deal, according to the Guardian report, is a microcosm of Australia’s increasingly outsized role in the international arms trade.
MIDDLE EAST & CENTRAL ASIA
Iran to Build New Oil Terminal Outside of the Gulf
Iran is moving forward with the development of an oil terminal on the Sea of Oman that will allow its tankers to bypass the Strait of Hormuz. The National Iranian Oil Company signed a $52 million contract with three firms to build 50 pumps for a pipeline that will go from a terminal on the Persian Gulf to the Sea of Oman. The project is slated to be Iran’s second-largest crude export terminal, and Iran will be able to boost crude exports, according to projections. Tensions between Iran and U.S. military forces have escalated in recent months over the American presence in the Strait of Hormuz.
EASTERN EUROPE & RUSSIA
Thousands Rally in Moscow For Freedom of Protestors
After the arrest of more than 1,000 people protesting in Moscow against the inability of opposition candidates to run in local elections in July, a crowd of 20,000 to 24,000 people gathered on September 29 to demand their release. The arrested protestors were resisting the government’s move to bar candidates from running based on lack of signatures, a charge that the opposition candidates deny. Sentences for the protestors were up to four years in prison, but Russian authorities have been backing down in response to the outcry. The protests were attended by major opposition figures who pushed the crowd to continue to fight for their rights and attend rallies.
Al-Shabaab Attacks a U.S. Base in Somalia
Jihadists attacked a military base at Baledogle where U.S. soldiers train Somali commandos. Al-Shabaab, a jihadist militant group based in East Africa, has claimed responsibility for the assault, saying that it used a car bomb to breach the front gates. Officials say the jihadists were pushed back without breaking through the perimeter fence, and no casualties were reported among the Somali military. The base houses U.S. special forces and is used as a drone deployment center. The attack comes at a time when the Trump administration is ramping-up its military activities in the country.
WESTERN EUROPE & CANADA
Former-President of France Chirac Passes Away
Former-President of France Jacques Chirac passed away at the age of 86 on September 26 while at his home in Paris. Chirac served as president from 1995 to 2007. Prior to his two terms as president, he served as the mayor of Paris for 18 years and had multiple short stints as prime minister. Observers note that Chirac was known for, among other things, opposing the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, reforming the presidency by reducing terms from seven to five years, and acknowledging France's role in the deportation of Jews during World War II. A national day of mourning took place on September 30 with moments of silence across the country.
Writing contributed by Adam Hilelly, Ben Richmond, and Benjamin Barth.