Compass World: Nigeran President Buhari to Visit South Africa
LATIN AMERICA & THE CARIBBEAN
Economic Inequality in Brazil Grows
According to a report by the Rio Times, income inequality has grown to “unprecedented” levels since 2015. The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics began to gather data on the population's income in demographic censuses in 1960. Income is becoming increasingly concentrated as the levels of poverty and unemployment grew by 10 and 20 percent since 2015, respectively. The immobility of the working class, coupled with an unchanging tax regime for capital under President Jair Bolsonaro, contributes towards the paving of the road to income inequality.
Morrison Defends Giving Assistance in Trumps’ Inquiry
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison dismissed accusations from the opposition Labor party that he had prioritized assisting President Trump over Australia’s national interest. Morrison agreed on a phone call with Trump to cooperate with Attorney General William Barr’s investigation into the FBI getting information regarding Russian interference in US elections from Australian diplomats. Morrison has been pressured to release the transcript of his call with Trump and stated that "All that simply happened here was the US Attorney is undertaking an official investigation and Australia had already stated in May that Australia would cooperate with such an investigation.”
MIDDLE EAST & CENTRAL ASIA
Rouhani Cautiously Supports French Negotiations Plan
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has stated that French negotiation initiatives were broadly acceptable during a cabinet meeting. The plan would allow Iran to resume oil sales if it ceases its nuclear program, while simultaneously lifting the current sanctions. The Iranian President has, however, shown frustration over the competing American and European messages with regard to sanctions and oil exports. Separately, Supreme Leader Khameini has said that Iran will continue violating provisions in the historic 2015 nuclear deal until it reaches a “desired result.” Iran has characterized the initial willingness to continue negotiations with Europe as positive as they simultaneously inch closer to acquiring a nuclear weapon.
EASTERN EUROPE & RUSSIA
Romania, Hungary to Nominate New Picks for EC
Romania's prime minister Viorica Dăncilă has lashed out at her political rivals and the European parliament after members of European Parliament rejected her country's nominee for the European Commission, Rovana Plumb. Dăncilă said that there was no reason why Plumb, a prominent Romanian socialist party politician, could not serve as EU transport commissioner. The EU transport Commissioner-designate, Plumb, and the proposed commissioner for EU enlargement, Hungary's former justice minister Laszlo Trocsanyi, were told confirmation hearings could not go ahead because of inconsistencies in their financial statements.
Nigerian President Buhari to Visit South Africa
Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari will be visiting Pretoria, South Africa, where he is due to be welcomed by South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa. The visit comes after targeted attacks occurred in Johannesburg, which have been condemned by Buhari. Nigeria and South Africa are the countries with the two largest economies on the continent, making them rivals in some respects while also being economic partners in others. The recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa, however, have also resulted in a similar sentiment rising in Nigeria of disdain for South Africans. With both countries’ economies struggling recently, the meeting provides an opportunity for both Buhari and Ramaphosa to quell the xenophobic trend of their citizenry as well as come to an economic agreement for the future.
WESTERN EUROPE & CANADA
ÖVP Wins a Plurality in Austria
The center-right political party ÖVP and its leader Sebastian Kurz won just over 37 percent of the vote in the Austrian legislative elections on September 29, which means Kurz could once again reclaim the title of world’s younger leader at just 33 years old. The far-right Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) saw its share of the vote drop by about 10 percent from the previous election, which raises questions about whether or not ÖVP will feature FPÖ in its leadership coalition. The other coalition option for ÖVP, the center-left SPÖ, also saw its support fall slightly from the 2017 election. The Greens, who failed to make it into government the previous election, reclaimed 26 seats among the 183-person National Council.
Writing contributed by Adam Hilelly, Ben Richmond, and Benjamin Barth.